A Message From NMA President Becky Sandiland
Hello Nebraska Mortgage Association members,
I first want to say thank you. Thank you for being a part of this amazing community of lenders working so hard in complicated circumstances, on behalf of our Nebraska borrowers. Many of you are working from home and that has its own challenges. Some of you are still doing in person appointments and closing your own loans. I appreciate the risk this puts on you and your families. I have hesitated to reach out to our membership before now in an attempt respect to your “inbox overload”. I am reaching out now because I do have a few things to share.
First, I want to express my gratitude to our key industry partners - our title companies, appraisers and real estate agents. Without everyone doing their part, no loans would be closing right now.
~Our title companies are still open for business, making it possible for our borrowers to close and fund their loans. The vast majority have asked for everyone to limit the number of people who attend the closings to just those required to sign documents. I am hopeful we are all respecting this request. This is for their safety and ours.
~Our appraisers are under very high demand right now, thanks to the rate environment. Without them going into so many homes, we would all be at a standstill. I know many are taking significant actions to limit what they touch and how they move through the homes.
~Our real estate agents are still working to list and show homes. This is key to keeping our real estate market moving. While I have heard there has been a slowing of listings and such, I am told there are still many multiple offer situations, particularly for homes in the lower price points.
Second, this week FNMA released Lender Letter 2020-03 [singlefamily.fanniemae.com] and Lender Letter 2020-04 [singlefamily.fanniemae.com].
~2020-03: I had a few of our members reach out to me about their frustration with FNMA “flexibility” around verification of employment guidelines, yet not giving relief in the reps and warrants required by community lenders. Essentially, giving the public impression of governmental flexibility to the American borrower, but putting all the risk on the lender. This ultimately puts the role of the “bad guy” on the banks, as any well guided risk team isn’t going to open themselves to this risk. Through conversations with the MBA, we have essentially asked the GSEs to provide usable tools.
~2020-04: I personally expressed my frustration with DUs lack of appraisal waivers being issued. Having run several dozen files through DU over the last 30 days, and only getting 3 PIWs, I felt the MBA needed to push FNMA to “loosen the straps” in DU around the waiver guidelines. This is would be particularly helpful for our rural communities that have limited appraisers available. The reply to my request stated that 2020-04 indicated that is being done (I didn’t feel it is explicit enough, so I missed it… thus my request) and that it probably wouldn’t show unless DU is rerun. So, with this, I encourage you (where applicable) to rerun DU on files that may have last been run prior to 3/23/2020. If we can get more PIWs, it will give all of us the ability to close loans faster and mitigate risk related to appraisers having to go inside of properties. Of course, where we don’t get waivers, I do encourage lenders to use the other options available on appraisals.
In closing, on behalf of your Nebraska Mortgage Association Board of Directors, I again want to thank you all for your hard work and commitment to our Nebraska borrowers.
Stay safe and stay healthy!
Becky Sandiland, President