The health and safety of our constituents and the demographic we serve is of utmost concern for NRMLA. As the country has become aware, people over the age of 60 are most at risk of developing critical illness from COVID-19/coronavirus, and NRMLA is reinforcing the importance of a safe distance for all parties during any in-home visits related to a reverse mortgage.
We strongly urge all members participating in any borrower interaction to follow specific guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as state and local authorities and we encourage all borrowers to do so as well.
For their safety and yours, please take the following precautions during in-person visits:
- Anyone who is experiencing symptoms or has been exposed to someone who has been diagnosed with or is being tested for COVID-19 is to avoid meeting in person with customers. Likewise, if the borrowers themselves sound or appear unwell, or has been exposed to someone with the virus, do not accept the appointment.
- Avoid touching such as shaking hands or patting on the back
- Maintain a safe distance of at least 6-8 feet
- Avoid touching anything in the property other than what is needed to conduct business, similarly avoid using any facilities like the restroom or kitchen
- All parties should sanitize hands before and after the signing, through either hand washing or hand sanitizer
- Use latex gloves for yourself and the customer if it makes anyone feel more comfortable
- To the greatest extent possible, everyone in the presence of vulnerable people should wear a mask
- Wipe down the surface of any shared or borrowed item with an alcohol swap (pens for signing, handing over a phone or tablet for viewing, etc.
- Do not lick fingers to turn pages when reviewing paperwork
- Have tissues readily available for coughs and sneezes
- Do not accept food or drink if the borrower offers
- If you have traveled internationally to any destination, please refrain from visiting borrowers for at least 14 days from the date of your return
- Do not take public transportation unless urgent and absolutely necessary
- Be cautious when traveling by air domestically or when attending public events. Err on the side of caution upon your return to ensure you remain healthy before engaging with borrowers.
It is our privilege to serve seniors by providing stability through their home equity.
It is our responsibility to respect the risk posed to seniors’ health during this time.
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
- Presidential Proclamation Could Help Troubled HECM Borrowers. President Joe Biden issued a proclamation extending the COVID-19 national emergency. It will now expire one year from February 18, 2022 unless otherwise terminated before that date.(NEW)-February 25, 2022
- Mortgagee Letter (ML) 2022-02: FHA published a technical update to Mortgagee Letter 2021-15 that will provide additional time for borrowers economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to seek relief. (NEW)-February 11, 2022
- Mortgage Letter (ML) 2021-24: HECM borrowers who contacted their servicer between July 1 and September 30, 2021, and requested an extension from having their loans called due and payable, can apply for up to 12 additional months of relief if they need it.
- Mortgagee Letter (ML) 2021-15: FHA re-extended its foreclosure and eviction moratorium through July 31, 2021.
- Mortgagee Letter (ML) 2021-06.FHA re-extended the use of exterior-only appraisals through June 30, 2021.
- Mortgagee Letter 2021-05: FHA re-extended its foreclosure and eviction moratorium through June 30, 2021.
- On February 4, 2021, FHA issued a series of waivers of provisions in its Single Family Housing Policy Handbook 4000.1 that would normally require in-person contact between mortgage servicers and borrowers, including seniors with FHA-insured reverse mortgages, through December 31, 2021. Learn more.
- Mortgagee Letter 2021-04: HECM borrowers impacted by COVID-19 and facing foreclosure have been granted an extension through March 31, 2021 to request a six-month delay in having their loans called due and payable.
- Mortgagee Letter 2021-03: FHA re-extended its foreclosure and eviction moratorium through March 31, 2021.
- Mortgagee Letter 2020-47: FHA extended through February 21, 2021 the use of exterior-only appraisals.
- Mortgagee Letter 2020-46: FHA re-extended through February 21, 2021 guidance related to verification of self-employment and verification of rental income;
- Mortgagee Letter 2020-44: FHA re-extended deadlines associated with the due and payable dates for HECM borrowers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic;
- Mortgagee Letter 2020-43: FHA re-extended its foreclosure and eviction moratorium through February 28, 2021.
- Mortgagee Letter 2020-40. FHA re-extended through December 31, 2021 COVID-19 policies for verifying self-employment and rental income.
- Mortgagee Letter 2020-34. FHA re-extended to December 31, 2020 certain due and payable, foreclosure and claim timeframes for Home Equity Conversion Mortgage borrowers affected by the COVID-19 national emergency. The previous deadline, announced in ML 2020-06, was October 30, 2020.
- FHA Info #2020-72. On October 1, FHA issued a temporary partial waiver and corresponding housing directive waiver that non-borrowing spouses obtain legal ownership of the property within 90 days of the borrower’s death.
- Mortgagee Letter 2020-27. FHA re-extended its foreclosure and eviction moratorium through August 31, 2020.
- Mortgagee Letter 2020-20. FHA re-extended exterior-only appraisals through October 31, 2020.
- Mortgagee Letter 2020-19. FHA re-extended its foreclosure and eviction moratorium through August 31, 2020.
- COVID-19 Emergency Information for Housing Counselors
- Mortgagee Letter 2020-14–FHA re-extends the use of Exterior-Only and Desktop Appraisal inspections through June 30, 2020 as originally outlined in ML 2020-05.
- Mortgagee Letter 2020-13–Extends foreclosure moratorium guidance through June 30, 2020 as originally outlined in ML 2020-04.
- FHA Info #20-29 – New Default Reason Code to ensure that loss mitigation actions that result from the COVID-19 National Emergency are accurately recorded.
- COVID-19 Q&A
- Mortgagee Letter 2020-12-Assignment Claims During COVID-19 Emergency
- Mortgagee Letter (ML) 2020-07– Allows for electronic submission of HECM case binders
- Mortgagee Letter 2020-06: Provides loss mitigation relief to HECM and forward mortgage borrowers
- Mortgage Letter 2020-05–FHA allows for exterior-only or desktop-only appraisal inspections for HECM transactions through May 17, 2020.
- Mortgagee Letter 2020-04–FHA Suspends Foreclosures and Evictions for 60 days
- Consumer Groups to FHA Commissioner: More Protections Needed For Reverse Mortgage Borrowers
- Weiner Brodsky Kider. NRMLA’s outside counsel has created a page to track breaking news with regulatory developments.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Resources
- Fannie Mae Lender Letter 2020-04: Impact of COVID-19 On Appraisals
- Freddie Mac Bulletin 2020-05: Selling Guidance Related to COVID-19
- U.S. Treasury Secretary: Signing Agents Are Part Of ‘Essential Services’ During COVID-19 Emergency
- CARES Act Impact on Retirement Plans
- Massachusetts Department of Banks Issues Counseling Guidance (Published April 27, 2020)
- CA Secretary of State: State’s Notaries May Work During ‘Shelter in Place’ Order With Precautions
The following web resources provide clear, official and regularly updated information on the novel coronavirus COVID-19 threat:
CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- General FAQ, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html
- Travel-specific advice, https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices
WHO (World Health Organization)
Advice and guidance from WHO