(April 3, 2020) With updates and announcements daily, as well as much of our country under stay-at-home orders to help slow the spread of the virus, the real estate industry is challenged to stay engaged with clients and meet critical deadlines without in-person meetings.
Here are some updates that occurred this past week that affect real estate and homeowners:
• This week, Gov. Larry Hogan, issued an executive order authorizing remote notarizations. Twenty-three states have remote online notarization policies, which permit a notary and signer in different physical locations to execute electronic documents.
• Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac unveiled a new “payment deferral” option that will allow borrowers facing a hardship to defer two months of their mortgage payments until the end of their mortgage.
The program was set to be announced later this year, but with the coronavirus wreaking havoc on the country, the program was rolled out early to give mortgage servicers another way to help borrowers now. To be eligible for the payment deferral program, borrowers must have faced a short-term hardship that caused them to miss one to two months of mortgage payments.
• A new COVID-19 Delay Addendum was released by the Maryland Realtors Association. The addendum provides an acknowledgment that COVID-19 is impacting real estate transactions and provides for an advance agreement to extension of timeframes and right to terminate related to the following: the declaration of a local, state, or national emergency; buyer’s or seller’s inability to travel to sign documents; buyer or seller being subject to any voluntary or mandatory quarantine; closings of or delays in related government and business services such as mortgage lenders, title companies, land records, or other entities involved in the transaction.
– Lauren Bunting is a licensed Associate Broker with Atlantic Shores Sotheby’s International Realty in Ocean City.