Mortgage Roundup (3/24/20) – Relief Bill, iBuyer Pause & Credit Markets

Good morning! Today is Tuesday, March 24. U.S. airlines are drafting plans for a potential voluntary shutdown of virtually all passenger flights across the U.S. as coronavirus contagion hits air traffic controllers. And the International Olympic Committee hits pause on the 2020 Summer Olympics. 

And in mortgage and housing news …

DISPARATE IMPACT: Will lower and middle class borrowers be left out of the pandemic relief bill

iBUYER FALLOUT: Zillow suspends buying homes as part of its iBuyer program across the country amid orders to end all non-essential businesses.

ROSY HISTORY: Foreclosures hit a record low in February.

CREDIT MARKETS: The Federal Reserve announced it would spend more on mortgage-backed securities in the coming weeks “to support smooth market functioning and effective transmission of monetary policy to broader financial conditions and the economy.”

LIQUIDITY TSUNAMI: Mortgage companies are bracing for a severe cash crunch when Americans who lose jobs and income because of the coronavirus pandemic stop making payments on their home loans. 

EASING STANDARDS: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac relax appraisal, and employment verification standards in the wake of coronavirus.

STRINGS ATTACHED: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac offer forbearance to owners of multifamily propertieswho halt evictions.

INDUSTRY PUSHBACK: Congressional Democrats’ bid to pause negative credit reporting gets pushback from the banking industry.

WAREHOUSE LENDERS: Flagstar Bancorp, one of the nation’s biggest lenders to mortgage providers, has stopped funding most new home loans without government backing.