Orange County orders Impac to adapt company-wide telecommuting

Impac Mortgage Holdings, Inc. announced it is implementing company-wide remote work programs to protect employees “and to comply with recommendations and requirements of various health organizations and state and county officials” related to the COVID-19.

That might be because, on March 18, the Orange County, California-headquartered company received notice that “the Orange County Public Health Officer issued an order for the ceasing of all non-essential activities effective immediately and until March 31, 2020,” according to a company release.

Prior, Impac stressed in the release, during its earnings call on March 13, 2020 company executives explained how during the last two months Impac developed a support network for its employees and associates that is part of Impac’s broader Continuity of Operations Plan.

As discussed on that call, the company said, “The safety of employees, associates, their families and their communities must be the priority.”

The release also calls the current situation unique, unprecedented and able to cause “severe disruptions in the U.S. economy” presenting Impac with financial performance risks. However, Impac says it’s working “to maintain its business operations pursuant to its continuity plan.”

WesBanco pledges mortgage loan, foreclosure moratoriums, $350K grant

WesBanco Inc. is one of the latest banks to take initiative to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. Here are a few things WesBanco is doing: mortgage payment deferrals for healthcare workers, the suspension of new foreclosure actions across its footprint, and a $350k community relief grant.  

The $4.7 billion-asset holding company of WesBanco Bank operates in Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia where it was founded in 1870.

The bank launched a Borrower Relief Program for existing residential mortgage and consumer loan customers. Healthcare professionals and emergency responders are eligible to receive deferral of their residential mortgage or consumer loan payments (principal and interest) for 90 days, the company said in a release. And will suspend initiating any new residential property foreclosures and vehicle repossession actions.

WesBanco borrowers impacted by COVID-19 are eligible to apply for participation in the program. Other borrowers, small businesses and consumers who wish to receive existing loan deferrals must call the bank, as eligibility is not automatic, the bank said. Effective through the end of March 2020, all measures “will be re-evaluated as circumstances require.”

In addition, the WesBanco Bank Community Development Corporation has established a $350,000 COVID-19 relief grant pool to support non-profit organizations serving communities in urban and rural areas across six states. 

“For 150 years, WesBanco has maintained its strong community banking roots,” said Todd F. Clossin, WesBanco President & Chief Executive Officer. “We are offering payment relief to affected borrowers, adjusting branch operations to help protect the health and safety of customers and employees” while maintaining access to our services and offering grant support to local nonprofit organizations.

Furthermore, the bank is deferring commercial loan payments for up to 90 days “for the most seriously impacted” customers. “Public accommodation businesses” such as restaurants with also receive working capital facilities up to $200,000 if they lose the business; or up to $100,000 if they have to reduce services due to the pandemic. 

Customer communication is key in the financial sector, particularly when uncertainty begins to circulate. In case you’d like to know how some of the big banks are handling the situation, here’s info on the emails Bank of America recently sent to its customers noting it is prepared to help them as the situation with coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to develop.

WesBanco enhanced enterprise-wide cleaning, and “expanded social distancing practices” to include limiting most locations to drive-up and ATM services, or digital banking and call centers. Customers with special cash supply or safe deposit box access needs may make appointments to visit a financial center.

Chicagoans unite to establish the Community COVID-19 Response Fund

Chicago’s 100-year old philanthropic organization The Chicago Community Trust (CCT) and United Way of Metro Chicago (UWMC), a grassroots group specialized in delivering funding, resources and expertise to local nonprofits, have established the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund.

The fund will deploy resources to local nonprofit organizations across metropolitan Chicago serving the most vulnerable individuals and households in need of emergency food and basic supplies, as well as rent, utility and mortgage payment assistance.

In addition to assisting those directly affected by the epidemic, the fund will be flexible, “so it can deploy essential resources to address possible additional areas of community need as they develop,” according to a press release.

CCT and UWMC will strategically coordinate with the City of Chicago and local nonprofits to meet both immediate and long-term needs, according to the release. Other partners include business leaders, other Chicago-based philanthropic institutions and individuals.

While this is a time of great uncertainty many residents “step up to ask what more they can do to ensure the well-being of our neighbors,” said Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, the fund “is a much-needed platform to quickly deploy assistance funded by the generosity of residents,” as many front-line organizations are doing critical work “to complement existing City resources.” 

“In this city of broad shoulders, we are asking anyone who can to step up and look out for their neighbors in need,” said Dr. Helene Gayle, a disease control and emergency response expert, and President and CEO of CCT, which administers more than $360 million in grants annually.

The Bluhm Family Charitable Foundation, ComEd, Crown Family Philanthropies, Exelon, JB and MK Pritzker Family Foundation, Lavin Family Supporting Foundation, Loop Capital, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Robert R. McCormick Foundation, Northern Trust, Pritzker Traubert Foundation, Michael Ferro Foundation, Michael Reese Health Trust and many other donors have committed to the fund. 

“This is an unprecedented time,” said Sean Garrett, CEO and President of UWMC. “We have to double down on our commitment to organizations, agencies and institutions in our neighborhoods that provide essential resources to the community.”

NewRez & Shelter Mortgage’s new joint venture supports teachers

NewRez LLC and its retail residential mortgage originator, Shelter Mortgage Company have partnered with Landed Inc. to launch Landed Home Loans LLC, a mortgage lending joint venture based in Denver, Colorado.

The Landed Home Loans platform is now in operation under the leadership of Brett Shafer, president of the joint venture.

Landed, Inc. of San Francisco brings to the partnership expertise in assisting so-called essential professionals achieve financial security and homeownership near the communities they serve, according to the company website.

Landed partners with schools, local government entities and community organizations to provide down payment support and homebuyer education to teachers and other education professionals.It helps make homeownership affordable for school employees through a shared equity down payment program offered alongside financial education support designed to explain how the mortgage lending process works before and after the property purchase.

Landed Home Loans operates a centralized platform with a customized origination and operations system that helps expedite loan processing.

“We seek out companies to join our growing network of joint venture partners,” says Randy Vanden HoutenSVP, Joint Venture & Retail Lending, NewRez. “We were particularly impressed” by how Landed incorporates its community focus into the company’s business mission.

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