Here are some updates at this time on the mortgage lending process.
Banks and lenders have not shut down. Much of the industry was already operating remotely, or had the capacity to do so. They are just a little busier, understandably so. So, if you need mortgage financing, don’t get discouraged, just allow some additional time for lender response. Regardless of the situation, my approach to all applications I submit to lenders is to package it up in a way that is easy for the underwriter. A borrower and mortgage broker can sort out a lot of things upfront prior to submission to that effect.
A few modifications to the financing process have been implemented recently.
Physical appraisals (termed ‘full appraisal’) are now modified. This avoids appraisers having to step into the property. It uses a combination of technology including live virtual video tours, photos supplied by occupant, telephone interviews and even assessment of the interior through windows (yes, legit, with consent). Some applications, particularly rental property, do require ‘full’ appraisals, and cannot be waived, hence these solutions. Lenders have already had policies in place for other less physical appraisals which may suffice for the rest of the applications. This includes drive-by, desktop appraisals or reliance on an auto-valuation system.
Lawyer closings, where signature and identification verification needed to be done in person, have been modified to using technology like videoconferencing.
Many branches are closed or scaled down open hours for walk ins. Financing via a mortgage broker almost always requires no need to visit a branch, and at this point, lenders are modifying this requirement. For mortgage deferral requests, lenders have set up phone and online, to avoid contact.