Fannie to help lenders, owners, millions of renters in 27,000 properties

Hang on, apartment owners and dwellers, help is on its way. In coordination with the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Fannie Mae’s Multifamily COVID-19 Response is allowing lenders to grant forbearance to multifamily property owners if they experience hardship.

Fannie anticipates the plan will provide relief to renters across more than 27,000 properties.

The federal agency pledged to help allow distressed renters living in multifamily properties owned by borrowers financed by Fannie to remain in their apartments for up to three months.

To participate in Fannie’s forbearance plan, “borrowers must agree to suspend evictions of tenants who are facing financial hardship due to the current crisis,” Fannie explained in a release.

“We are looking to provide relief to millions of families and communities who are affected by the devastating impact of COVID-19,” said Jeffery Hayward, Executive Vice President of Multifamily, Fannie Mae. “We are well-positioned to react quickly in this situation thanks to the strength of our delegated model, the Delegated Underwriting and Servicing (DUS) program.”

Through Money Management International, Fannie’s Disaster Response Network offers free personalized recovery assessment and action plan, financial coaching and budgeting to residents living in apartments financed by a Fannie Mae DUS lender.

HomeStreet suspends $25M in share repurchases

HomeStreet, Inc., the Seattle based parent company of HomeStreet Bank, has suspended up to $25 million in common stock from its current share repurchase program.

The Board of Directors approved the measure in aggregate common stock “at no par value,” or no designated minimum value. The bank said in a release, it also plans to withdraw its request for an additional $10 million in shares of the company’s common stock.

As of March 19, 2020, HomeStreet said it had repurchased 335,360 shares under the current plan at an aggregate cost of approximately $7.9 million.

“In these uncertain times of rapidly developing economic change as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic …it is prudent to preserve our capital to provide more protection against potential credit losses and provide more support for lending activities that may become crucial to supporting our community,” said Mark Mason, Chairman and CEO of HomeStreet.

HomeStreet said it plans to reinstate the remainder of the $25 million share repurchase program “as circumstances warrant,” to ensure it maintains capital levels that exceed the “well-capitalized” regulatory requirement.

New Vista introduces FastTrack refinance & equity loan processing tool

New Vista Solutions has launched a tool that accelerates the refinancing and home equity loan closing process. Called FastTrack, the new platform is essentially a bundle of settlement products that can be customized to fit each lender’s specific operational guidelines. It doesn’t merely save time. It also cuts the cost of traditional settlement products and services by as much as 70%, the company said in a release. All that, of course, while staying in compliance with lending regulations.

The FastTrack platform enables lenders to customize mortgage loans to their specific operational guidelines. It automates employment, income and asset verification, and allows lenders to choose from options such as flood determination, residential evaluation, hybrid appraisals that comply with the USPAP requirements, warranted title searches. 

Home Equity lenders have the option to add a Property Condition Report and a Mortgage Loan Report.

FastTrack responds to lender demand, said Jesse Rivera, CEO of the Austin, Texas based residential and commercial mortgage lending vendor-management company. “Our lender customers have been asking for a way to streamline their lending process while cutting costs and maintaining compliance.”

Younger people less at risk but in need COVID-19 protection

New data show younger people are more vulnerable to COVID-19 infection than previously thought. While health experts still agree that the elderly and those with underlying health conditions are most at risk of death from COVID-19, young adults and children are contracting and spreading the virus, even if they generally develop mild cases of the illness.

report issued by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analyzed the cases of about 2,500 US patients whose ages were known.

It shows younger people are making up a big portion of hospitalizations as up to 20% of the people hospitalized with coronavirus in the United States are young adults between ages 20 to 44. The report also found there were zero admissions reported for those under age 19.

Statistics show that out of nearly 45,000 confirmed cases in China through February 11, there was only one death in someone younger than 20, according to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and no deaths among children younger than 10.

Out of 731 confirmed and 1,412 suspected cases of COVID-19 in children in China, CNN said only one, a 14-year-old boy died, according to a new study that will be published in the journal Pediatrics in June. Only nearly 6% of children’s cases were severe, compared with 18.5% of adults, the study found.

Despite statistics, CNN recently confirmed an aberration at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta-Scottish Rite Hospital. A 9-year old patient diagnosed with pneumonia on March 15 tested positive for COVID-19 a week later. The girl had no pre-existing conditions and did not travel recently, so it is unknown how she contracted the virus. The patient is in stable condition, hospital spokesperson said without releasing other details “due to patient privacy laws.”

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