The Federal Housing Administration today announced it is extending its relaxed appraisal requirements for most FHA-ensured loans originated during the coronavirus national emergency. The extension, announced in Mortgagee Letter 2020-14 runs through June 30. Previously, the allowance for desktop and curbside appraisals was in place through May 17, per ML 2020-05 published in late March.
The extension applies to desktop-only and exterior-only appraisals as well as re-verification of employment guidance specified by FHA in the previous notice. The agency is also extending its foreclosure and eviction moratorium under the same time frame, which directs servicers to halt new foreclosure actions; suspend most foreclosure actions in process; and cease evictions from FHA-insured single family properties.
“We made it clear at the beginning of this pandemic that no American should have to worry about losing their home amidst a crisis. Today’s announcement ensures that commitment,” said U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson in a press release. “While we have made great strides in fighting this virus, the fact remains that many Americans are still struggling as we work diligently to get our economy back on sound footing, which I have full confidence we will do through the leadership of the President.”
The policy measures, while temporary, are designed to allow lenders and appraisers to continue necessary wok for new FHA-insured mortgages in light of social distancing requirements, HUD said in the release.
“For those among the over 8.1 million single family homeowners with FHA-insured mortgages who need assistance, our highest priority is to ensure that they have the time through the foreclosure moratorium, and the assistance they need through special COVID-19 mortgage forbearance, to remain in their homes long-term,” said HUD Deputy Secretary and Federal Housing Commissioner Brian Montgomery. “At the same time, extending our policy flexibilities will ensure that affordable FHA-insured mortgage financing continues to remain available to support first-time and other homebuyers, and the Nation’s housing market.”