With the changes the COVID-19 pandemic has made to the world seemingly overnight, many homeowners and potential buyers are now in search of answers to their questions about their mortgage. Here are the answers to some of the common questions about mortgages.

Are Mortgage Rates Going To Go Down?

This is one of the most common questions, but it is also difficult to answer. They have gone down from where they were a year ago, but they are up from where they were a few weeks ago.

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According to Matthew Graham, the COO of Mortgage News Daily says that mortgage rates are "the most volatile they've ever been, by a wide margin." With as quickly as they are changing, there is no guarantee of how long mortgage rates will stay up or down.

Can I Stop Paying My Mortgage For A Few Months?

If you find yourself unable to pay your mortgage because of the pandemic, you might be able to temporarily delay your mortgage payments without incurring late fees or risk of foreclosure. Contact your mortgage lender and express your concerns as soon as possible to find out if you qualify for relief.

For a Fannie Mae loan, you can get more information here.

For a Freddie Mac loan, you can get more information here.

Will Paying My Mortgage Late Harm My Credit?

If your loan is through Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, no lender will be reporting late payments to credit bureaus, nor will they be giving late fees or penalties. If your loan is not owned by those programs, you will need to talk to your lender directly.

My Lender Says The IRS Is Closed And They Cannot Process My Loan Without Income Verification Documents Only The IRS Can Provide. What Do I Do?

The IRS reopened the Income Verification Express Service program because it was deemed essential. This program is primarily used by mortgage lenders to confirm a borrower's income.

IT can take a little longer than the usual 72-hours that these requests usually take. The IRS says this is because requests have been backlogged "since the funding lapse began on Dec. 22."

Did The FHA, Fannie Mae, And Freddie Mac Raise The Fees And Rates On Borrowers Who Have Lower Credit Scores?

This is not true; there have been no changes made to these loan programs. The only change that has been made is to give borrowers more flexibility in employment verification. However, individual lenders may have changed their standards for these loans.

Will A Notary Need To Be In My Home And Present On The Closing Day?

In many cases, a notary will still need to be present, though most notaries are having borrowers stay in the driveway and conduct the closing signatures while observing social distancing.

What are other resources available for information?

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development has additional resources at: www.hud.gov/counseling


Trapasso, Clare. "Mortgage Rate Madness: They're Up, They're Down, Where Will They Land?>." Real Estate News and Advice | Realtor.com®, Realtor.com, 23 Mar. 2020, www.realtor.com/news/trends/mortgage-rate-madness-theyre-up-theyre-down-where-will-they-land/.

Todd Wilkinson is the Founder and Owner of FonHome Realty.  FonHome is a customer-centric brokerage where our clients are in control and our experienced agents are respected for providing the positive and exciting experience the real estate transaction should be. Todd is an accomplished real estate investor with an undergraduate degree in Financial Economics and a Masters’s degree in Business Administration.  Todd has held senior management and executive-level positions with the world’s two largest retailers and a successful startup venture.  Todd has served terms on the University of Arkansas Advisory Board and is actively involved with the St. Theresa School in Kenilworth.  Todd opened his own brokerage after feeling underserved in his personal experiences with real estate transactions and wanted a firm whose mission was on serving the fiduciary responsibilities guaranteed to the Buyer and Seller.  Contact Todd today for a free Comparable Market Analysis for your home or for advice on beginning your search for a new home at www.fonhomerealty.com.