Wednesday, November 25, 2020 12:55 am

Builders already feeling pandemic pinch; real estate consultant Jim Belfiore provides Arizona perspective.

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By Jann Swanson | Mortgage Daily News

Flexibility seems to be the keyword as government agencies try to adjust to a lot of new realities. The Federal Housing Finance agency has already empowered the GSEs (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) to be flexible about obtaining appraisals, verifying borrower credit factors, and working with distressed borrowers. Now the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) says it is “providing needed flexibility to enable financial companies to work with customers in need as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“As consumers seek temporary relief from lenders, the pandemic is impacting the operations of financial companies that are eager to help their customers during this unprecedented time,” said CFPB Director Kathleen L. Kraninger.  “Our actions today are temporary and targeted to support consumers by allowing financial companies to focus their resources on assisting consumers.”

Kraninger said the Bureau had earlier released guidance urging financial institutions to help borrowers and other customers who are affected by the virus and expect to issue additional and updated guidance in the future. Thursday’s announcement is concerned primarily with required reporting from financial institutions. Several of these required or anticipated reports are being postponed so as not to interfere with a focus on helping consumers in need or on adapting their operations to meet the current challenges.

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“Arizona has deemed homebuilders and their subcontractors essential.  Traffic has fallen, for sure, with most builders voluntarily shutting down sales offices to typical foot traffic.  Expectedly, sales will slow, as we have projected, but Arizona builders have healthy backlogs presently and workers who want to work, to pay their bills, and feed their families, especially during this uncertain time.” ~ Jim Belfiore, Real Estate Consultant

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