Home buying, selling, financing and assistance during COVID-19
We at Draper and Kramer Mortgage Corp. are working hard to continue providing our home financing services in a safe, efficient and reliable manner during the developing COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation. Here are some questions and answers about the services and resources that are currently available for homeowners and homebuyers.
Can I still buy, sell or finance a home?
Yes, in most cases. Real estate and financial services have generally been deemed “essential” during the current situation, which has allowed our company and related businesses to continue assisting clients in buying, selling and financing homes. Our lending services are operating largely without interruption, and we are continuing to preapprove borrowers, accept loan applications and process and close loans for home purchases and refinances. There are some new challenges in the current environment, but we and other real estate service providers have been adapting to overcome them as smoothly and safely as possible.
What are mortgage rates right now?
Mortgage rates are always changing, and they have been unpredictable in recent months, but they are still very low. If you are considering refinancing or purchasing a new home, now may be a great time. Contact us to find out what current rates and mortgage programs may be available to you.
How are you keeping people safe?
The health and safety of our clients, business partners and employees remain our top concern. All our employees are equipped to work remotely, and our offices have been restricted to essential staff who are following proper safety protocols. We and our business partners are utilizing electronic solutions to serve the needs of our clients while maintaining physical distancing.
How does the home financing process work right now?
Here are some of the solutions and technology we are using to continue safely and efficiently providing home financing during the coronavirus situation:
- Electronic loan process: Through our website and mobile app, borrowers can get preapproved, complete their applications, submit their documents and sign their forms – all electronically.
- Digital communication: We are maintaining seamless communication with our clients, partners and venders by phone, text message, video conference and other electronic means.
- Home appraisals: When available, we are utilizing alternatives to traditional in-person home appraisals, such as desktop appraisals (no in-person visit), exterior-only appraisals or forgoing appraisals altogether.
- Employment verification: When a borrower’s employment cannot be verified by phone call to the employer, we may be able to accept an email from the employer, a recent year-to-date paystub from the borrower or a bank statement showing a recent payroll deposit.
- Closings: When possible, we are taking advantage of alternatives to traditional closings, which include “curbside” closings, power of attorney closings and e-closings.
- Preemptive time savers: To avoid unnecessary delays, we are sending funding wires early and ordering documents from third parties as soon as possible.
- Rate locks: Mortgage rates have generally remained low but have fluctuated dramatically, and we continue to lock interest rates on loans for preapproved borrowers when advisable.
- Purchase prioritization: To help ensure homebuyers can meet their closing deadlines, we are prioritizing the closing of home purchase loans while still allowing home refinance borrowers to get preapproved and lock their rates.
What happens if I lose my job or income while applying for a mortgage?
A borrower who applies for a mortgage must be employed and receiving their normal income at the time their loan is approved and closed/funded. We are taking steps to verify current income and employment for salaried/W-2 borrowers and the viability of business for self-employed borrowers who have applied for loans. Due to industry requirements, we cannot fund loans that have not met these conditions.
Does accepting financial assistance affect my ability to get a mortgage?
If you have lost your job or experienced a loss or reduction in income, federal and state governments may have help available for you or your business. These programs are still evolving and may change or expand over the coming months. Receiving income from these programs should not adversely affect your credit score or your ability to qualify for a mortgage in the future. Visit this page to find your state's unemployment resources.
What should I do if I can’t pay my current mortgage?
If you’ve been financially impacted by the coronavirus situation and are having trouble paying your mortgage, relief options may be available for you. These options may include mortgage forbearance – deferring or reducing your mortgage payments for a limited time. Visit our coronavirus mortgage relief options page for more information.
How can I protect myself from mortgage relief scams?
Mortgage relief scams are exploiting the difficulties and confusion caused by the coronavirus situation. If you currently have a mortgage, scammers may send you fraudulent calls, emails or text messages with fraudulent “offers” promising to lower or stop your mortgage payments or protect you from foreclosure. Make sure you only work with your mortgage servicer (the company you receive your mortgage statement from and make your mortgage payments to) and contact them via a trusted method when seeking mortgage relief. Visit this page for more information.
How can I get in touch?
If you have any questions about current home financing rates, timelines or requirements, please don’t hesitate to contact us or your Draper and Kramer Mortgage Corp. loan officer.