Governor Jay Inslee clarifies requirements for Loan Officers and Real Estate Agents during the Pandemic

Last Friday, Governor Inslee issued clarification to real estate agents and lenders regarding real estate and mortgage transactions during the corona virus pandemic. Originally, real estate agents were clarified as “non-essential” which caused a bit of an uproar in the real estate industry.

The memorandum (below) states that:

“While real estate activities along with mortgage lending activities have been approved as essential activities under the Proclamation, such activities shall only be permitted under the following restrictions and limitations:

a) In-person meetings with customers are prohibited except when necessary for a customer to view a property or sign necessary documents;

b) No real estate open houses shall be permitted;

c) Property viewings, inspections, appraisals, and final walk-throughs shall be arranged by appointment and limited to no more than two people on site at any one time, exercising social distancing at all times; and

d) Except for limited exceptions authorized above, all new real estate listings shall be facilitated remotely.

To that end, it is permissible to engage in real estate sales, as appraisers, settlement agents and escrow officers, property inspectors, mortgage loan originators, processors and underwriters and…along with those government workers necessary to review real estate excise tax and record documents.”

 


I have been working from home since this crisis has started. I did cancel a couple of appointments with clients who I were really looking forward to seeing, but during these times, it just doesn’t make sense when everything I do as a mortgage professional can be done either by email or talking on the phone. I do miss seeing my co-workers!

Many of the escrow people we work with are also working remotely and/or are no longer taking appointments. They are using their team of mobile notary publics to perform final signings when they call for original “wet” signatures.

While this is not “business as usual”, we are helping people refinance to lower mortgage rates, shorter terms or pay off debts and we’re helping them finance the purchase of their homes.

I thank Governor Inslee for the added clarification!

Please stay home and stay safe!

Getting a Mortgage During the Coronavirus

What strange times we’re in! Last night, Governor Inslee declared we are in a minimum two week “shelter in place” with only essential businesses allowed to operate, unless you can work from home.

Mortgage companies are currently considered essential and Mortgage Master Service Corporation is open to help you with your mortgage needs. I am currently working from my home office as I navigate mortgage rates that are off the charts! We are still helping people with their refinances and home purchases. [Read more…]

Were you potentially hacked from the massive Equifax breach?

Equifax announced yesterday that they’ve were hacked on a scale unlike any we’ve seen potentially impacting half of our population.

From Equifax: “…a cybersecurity incident potentially impacting approximately 143 million U.S. consumers. Criminals exploited a U.S. website application vulnerability to gain access to certain files. Based on the company’s investigation, the unauthorized access occurred from mid-May through July 2017.” [Read more…]

Mortgage rates dropping following the Brexit

Mortgage_Porter_Rates_GapInvestors had been banking on the Brits staying in the European Union. This morning’s Brexit narrow vote to leave the EU results stunned the markets. The Dow was down over 500 points. This morning, mortgage rates are dropping.

Want to lock in a historically low mortgage rate? You can start with getting a rate quote or by starting a pre-application. NOTE: I am licensed to originate mortgages for homes located in Washington State.

IRS breach potentially delaying real estate transactions

iStock-000017972256XSmallEarlier this week, it was revealed that over 100,000 tax payers may have had their personal information stolen from the IRS. This data breach is potentially causing hiccups with real estate transactions currently in process too.

[Read more…]

Keep me posted!

I forgot that postage rates were going up on January 27, 2013. Some of my clients who will be receiving my quarterly newsletter will see an extra $0.01 in postage on this issue! 

“Going postal” will soon mean “taking the weekend off” this summer when Saturday mail delivery ends. It will be interesting to see how this impacts the mortgage process, especially refinances with the right of rescission period. Currently with an owner occupied refinance, three business days must pass after signing before the loan can close. Many consider “three postal” days as three business days. This could cost additional time with some rate lock commitments. Stay tuned!

By the way, I do have a couple extra of my newsletters left over – if you would like me to mail one to you, please send me your name and address.  

Of course if you’re interested in residential mortgage for home purchase, refinance or even a reverse mortgage, I’m happy to help you as long as the home is located in Washington state.

Happy Friday!

Fall back on Sunday, November 4, 2012

I’ll be setting my clock back an hour before I go to bed tonight.  Day Light Saving Time ends November 4, 2012.  I’ve often wondered what it would be like to do away with DST and how it might impact the Seattle area.

2012 10 20 12 09 12 41
Lincoln Park, West Seattle

Back to School!

Today I’m doing something that mortgage originators who work for banks and credit unions don’t have to do: continuing education with an NMLS certified instructor. 

As a Licensed Mortgage Originator, every year I’m required to take 8 hours of continuing education – non-licensed (aka registered) mortgage originators are currently not required to. I hope this changes and I expect it will.  

Why there are different standards for mortgage originators who take residential loan applications is due to the SAFE Act. My suspicion is that powerful banks and credit unions lobbied their Congressmen to have softer rules for their mortgage originators…which they have. (Whenever a mortgage originator at a bank tries to say they are already regulated, I like to point to Washington Mutual). My personal opinion is that banks want to hire less experienced mortgage originators so they can pay them less since they are “bank fed” leads.

Any how, I always look forward to my “class” as my instructor is Jillayne Schlicke and her classes are always informative and very interesting.

I will be back to work tomorrow, Thursday, September 21, 2012.