fbpx

Legislative Updates

As the government responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, AIME is here to help you understand what legislation is passed or is currently in progress and how it impacts the mortgage industry. This page will continue to be updated with information as it becomes available.

THURSday, AUGUST 13, 2020

Secondary Markets

On Wednesday evening both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac issued new adverse market refinance fees. This loan-level price adjustment (LLPA) will take effect September 1, 2020 for both agencies.

What This LLPA Mean For Lenders

Any locked conventional refinance loan closing after September 1st will cost lenders an extra 50 basis points to sell to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

What This LLPA Means For Rates

Some lenders might make up the difference by driving up rates on these loan products to recoup the initial loss and pass through the burden of the new expense to the consumer. Fifty basis points have the ability to shift rates up to 0.10% however that increase will vary lender to lender depending on the company’s margins. Rates are still forecasted to remain low.

What This Means for Brokers

AIME is working closely with our partners to ensure there are minimal rate changes in response to the new LLPAs imposed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The wholesale channel remains the best place for the consumer regardless of these industry-wide changes. All loans securitized by Ginne Mae (VA, FHA and USDA) remain unaffected.

Ways to Get Involved

Reach out to your Senator and Congressional Representative to request the following:

“As a mortgage professional in your district, I implore you to ask the FHFA to rescind or postpone the recent adverse market refinance fees imposed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that will negatively impact local homeowners who have the opportunity to offset their monthly housing costs through a mortgage refinance. Any amount of this fee passed through to borrowers could be the difference between being able to pay their mortgage or having to make compromises. In a time when our government has pledged to offer stability for the secondary market this change does not reflect those intentions.”

MONday, AUGUST 10, 2020

The President signed four executive orders this past weekend in an effort to provide additional unemployment benefits, suspend the collection of payroll taxes, avoid evictions and continue assisting with student loan payments. He initiated these executive actions as talks in Congress over a new coronavirus stimulus package remain deadlocked. Below is a breakdown of what’s included in these executive orders.

 

Enhanced Unemployment Benefits 

The CARES Act originally provided a $600 per week unemployment insurance benefit for six months that expired on July 31. On Saturday, President Trump signed an executive order that will provide an extension on unemployment benefits to help millions of out-of-work Americans due to the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s still unclear whether he has the authority to extend enhanced unemployment benefits by executive action, but this would lower the weekly bonus to $400 with states being asked to cover 25% of the costs. This means the federal government will provide the remaining $300 per week in unemployment benefits and it could take months for states to begin implementing this action.

 

Student Loan Payment Deferral 

On Saturday, President Trump signed the executive order that gives Americans with student debt another three-month break from paying their bills, during which interest will not accrue. As a result, more than 35 million Americans with federal student loans won’t have to resume their monthly payments until January of 2021. However, this continues to exclude those with loans being held by private lenders.

The memorandum on continued student loan payment relief during COVID-19 is essentially an extension of what was originally set in place by the CARES Act, which stated:

  • Pause all payments for federal student loans
  • Set interest rates at 0%
  • Halt collection of federal student loan debt
  • Count non-payments of federal student loan debt toward the required 120 monthly payments to qualify for student loan forgiveness

Neither deferment nor forbearance on student loans has a direct impact on a borrower’s credit score during COVID-19. Although, borrowers should take into consideration that if they were late or overdue on their student loan payments prior to them going into deferment or forbearance, this will still result in a negative entry on their credit report.

 

Extension of Eviction Moratorium 

Within the executive order signed by the president on Saturday, he directs the Treasury and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to provide temporary financial assistance to renters or homeowners who are struggling to meet their monthly rental or mortgage obligations during the pandemic. The order also directs HUD to take action promoting renters and homeowners to avoid eviction or foreclosure.

The CARES Act originally prevented landlords or housing authorities from filing eviction notices, charging nonpayment fees or giving notices for tenants to vacate. Those orders only applied to federally backed housing and expired on July 24. Essentially, the president is extending these regulations but did not specify how long they would be extended.

 

Payroll Tax Cut 

President Trump introduced a payroll tax holiday to help aid workers struggling throughout the coronavirus pandemic. He directed the Treasury Department to defer the 6.2% Social Security tax on wages for employees making less than about $100,000 a year. That suspension would last from Sept. 1 through the end of 2020.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development 

HUD released a Mortgagee Letter that will affect verification of income for self-employed borrowers seeking FHA loans. Self-employed borrowers will be required to verify the operating status of the business. The policy changes also outline rental income usage and temporary flexibility for borrowers who took forbearance related to COVID-19.

TUESday, July 28, 2020

The Senate is back in session to debate and vote on the Health, Economic, Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools Act (HEALS Act) which will be the fifth COVID-19 stimulus package. The bill is expected to include around $1 trillion in pandemic relief funding and be passed by the end of the week depending on negotiations. Below is a breakdown of what is currently included in the proposed HEALS Act:

 

Small Business Administration

The Continuing Small Business Recovery and Paycheck Protection Program Act aims to expand and continue the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and related small business relief programs found within the CARES Act, including:

  • Improvements of 7(a) loans for seasonal businesses and businesses located in low-income communities
    Funding for the hardest-hit small employers by granting them a second PPP loan
    Utilizing forgivable PPP loans for personal protective equipment, adaptive investments needed for operating safely during the pandemic and additional assistance

Note: PPP loans in excess of $25,000 still require a property lien under the new bill.

Read the full text of the Act here

 

Student Loan Repayments

The Student Loan Repayment and FAFSA Simplification Act introduces a No Income, No Monthly Payment initiative. This would mean the monthly payments for student loans should remain at ZERO if the borrower is not currently receiving an income. The Act also streamlines student loan repayment plans into two options:

  • A standard, 10-year mortgage-style repayment plan
  • An income-based repayment plan that’s dependent on the borrower’s annual income

Federal student loan borrowers who wish to enter into repayment plans or switch repayment plans on or before October 1st, 2020 will be eligible to choose between these two options. It is unclear how the No Income, No Monthly Payment initiative will be reflected on credit reports and affect mortgage qualification.

 

Other Notable Information:

  • Stimulus Payments – Americans are likely to receive a second one-time stimulus payment of $1,200.
  • Unemployment Protections – The Committee of Finance has drafted the American Workers, Families, and Employers Assistance Act to continue to supplement unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. The same Act also has provisions for Medicare and vulnerable populations.
  • TRUST Act – Included in the larger HEALS Act is the resurfaced TRUST Act originally proposed in the Fall of 2019. The TRUST Act addresses Social Security, Medicare and Highway spending.
  • Safe To Work Act – Aims to protect frontline service providers from lawsuits related to COVID-19.
  • Additional Spending
    Other spending includes $29 billion to defense, $13 billion to transportation, HUD & related agencies, and $0 to veteran affairs as outlined here.

THURSday, June 4, 2020

Small Business Administration

Last night the Senate passed the Paycheck Protection Program reform bill that will act to assist the small business owners that currently have PPP loans with more flexibility including:

  • Increase the loan forgiveness period from eight to 24 weeks
  • Reduce the proceeds required for payroll from 75 to 60 percent
  • Increase the loan repayment period from two to five years
  • Extend the current June 30 rehiring deadline

The President is expected to sign the bill into law soon.

 

California Legislation

A California bill that will extend the period of time borrowers can be in default without eviction proceedings has passed in committee this week and is expected to be voted on by the general assembly in the coming days.

Since California occupies twenty-five percent of all residential lending the passage of the bill could influence other states to follow their lead and pass similar legislation.

WEDNESday, June 3, 2020

Federal Housing Finance Agency Updates

Today the FHFA announced a final rule for FHLBanks to better serve low income homebuyers. FHLBanks purchase mortgages through the Acquired Member Asset (AMA) program, which serves roughly one percent of the secondary market. Read more here.

The FHFA also published a Credit Risk Transfer (CRT) Tool to help better inform stakeholders during the comment period for the re-proposed CRT rule. There will also be a public webinar on the re-proposed capital rule for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on June 4th at 2:00 ET.

THURSday, May 28, 2020

Small Business Administration

Today Congress passed a bill to extend the forgiveness period for the PPP loans from 8 weeks to 24 weeks or until the end of 2020 whichever comes first. It would also extend the repayment period to five years from the current two year period. The bill is expected to pass in the Senate and be signed by the President in the next few days.

Read Full House Resolution

 

California State Law

The state of California is in the process of passing a bill that would require lenders to maintain home and other loans for an extended period of time with no payments from borrowers without default proceedings.

Read Full Assembly Bill

WEDNESday, May 20, 2020

Yesterday the FHFA announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will allow borrowers to refinance or purchase homes if they are current on their mortgage and have made payments for three consecutive months. This announcement comes after much uncertainty for homeowners who are in forbearance periods and didn’t know the long-term limitations that it would cause.

 

Read full announcement from FHFA

Read announcement from Fannie Mae

Read announcement from Freddie Mac

 

The President also announced that he is enacting an emergency de-regulation policy for regulatory agencies to assist industries in getting back to normal operations.

“Agencies should address this emergency by rescinding, modifying, waiving, or providing exemptions from regulations and other requirements that may inhabit economic recovery, consistent with applicable law and with protection of the public health and safety, with national and homeland security, and with budgetary priorities and operational feasibility. They should also give businesses, especially small businesses, the confidence they need to re-open by providing guidance on what the law requires; by recognizing the efforts of businesses to comply with often-complex regulations in complicated and swiftly changing circumstances; and by committing to fairness in administrative enforcement and adjudication.”

It is unclear how this will affect the financial and housing industries. AIME will continue to follow these updates as this unfolds on the Hill.

 

FRIday, May 15, 2020

Forbearance Policy Updates

This week the FHFA announced that homeowners in forbearance will have the option to defer their payments until the end of the loan term.

Foreclosure Policy Updates

The FHFA and HUD both announced the extension of the foreclosure and eviction moratorium to June 30, it was previously set to expire on May 17.

Small Business Administration

The SBA has updated a handful of policies for PPP loans. Find the updates linked here:

TUESday, May 12, 2020

Today the CFPB, FHFA, & HUD launched a joint mortgage and housing assistance webpage for borrowers and homeowners impacted by COVID-19.

Additionally, today Democrats in the House of Representatives published a draft of the $3 trillion CARES Act 2 bill that will likely be revised before passing and may include the following housing industry provisions:

  • Updated forbearance guidelines for GSEs
  • Liquidity facility for servicers
  • Extension of forbearance requirements across loans and includes non-government backed loans
  • Imposes certain borrower notice requirements for servicers, including a description of loss mitigation options at the end of the forbearance period
  • Extension of QM GSE Patch to June 1, 2021 (currently set to expire January 10, 2021)
  • $75 billion to assist distressed homeowners make their mortgage payments
  • $1200 stimulus payment per family member and up to $6,000 per household
  • $1 trillion to state and local governments

Read a summary of the proposed bill here.

THURSday, May 7, 2020

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued forbearance guidelines for borrowers and servicers that have FHA, VA and USDA loans. Loss mitigation options will vary based on the program it is insured or guaranteed under.

FHA

The COVID-19 National Emergency Partial Claim was established in early April as an option for FHA borrowers at the end of a forbearance period. The partial claim functions like a loan deferment. If a borrower does not qualify for the partial claim, servicers can explore other options like a repayment plan.

VA

Servicers of VA loans cannot require borrowers to make a lump sum payment immediately after a borrower exits a CARES Act forbearance. The VA has a suite of loss mitigation options detailed in Chapter 5 of the VA Servicer Handbook M26-4 designed to assist Veteran borrowers in bringing their home loan current.

USDA

The Rural Housing Service has provided the least definitive policy for CARES Act forbearance. Borrowers should work with their servicers to bring the loan current.

Resources for all three agencies can be found here.

THURSday, APRIL 30, 2020

The Department of Treasury has issued revised frequently asked questions for the Paycheck Protection Program to clarify stipulations that were included in the stimulus bill passed last week.

The SBA and the Department of Treasury are also collaborating to provide guidance to help businesses calculate payroll costs and determine the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan amount businesses can apply for.

How to calculate PPP loan amounts

Additional Small Business Administration Resources

MONday, APRIL 27, 2020

Today, FHFA director Mark Calabria announced in a statement that there will be “no lump sum requirements at the end of forbearance.” The statement further explained that the options available to borrowers at the end of a forbearance period remain at the discretion of the servicer.

What does this mean for borrowers? 

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have both issued statements asserting that lump sum payments in the case of forbearance will not be required, but neither have clarified if the alternative options that are available to borrowers will, in turn, have an impact on their credit or ability to qualify for loans in the future or result in other possible implications. Mortgage servicers still reserve the right to decide whether to request reinstatement of payments at the end of a forbearance period or explore repayment plans and loan modifications if needed. Mortgage brokers should continue to counsel clients on the implications of forbearance and the alternative loan payment options that might be available to them and ensure that any clients considering these options also contact their servicer directly.

FRIday, APRIL 24, 2020

The House and Senate have passed a stimulus bill to fund the depleted Paycheck Protection Program, hospitals and increase COVID-19 testing. The House is also working on a broad spanning stimulus bill they are calling the CARES 2 Act which is expected to be voted on in early May.

For more information about the Small Business Administration loan programs visit: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options

WEDNESday, APRIL 22, 2020

Lender Liquidity 

The Federal Housing Finance Agency has announced a second temporary policy to help mortgage lenders continue to lend to borrowers. The new policies allow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to purchase qualified home loans that are currently in a forbearance plan.

What does this mean for lenders? 

The new policy alleviates lenders from the fear of closing an otherwise qualified loan that cannot be delivered to Fannie or Freddie because the borrower elected a forbearance plan within the first month of closing.

What does this mean for the housing industry? 

The combined policy changes made by the FHFA have offered a lifeline to both lenders and servicers that have been fighting to maintain liquidity in the market. The relief does come at a cost. Lenders will be charged up to 7% of the loan’s value to sell a loan that is currently in a forbearance plan which means lenders will be taking a loss on the loan but maintain liquidity to continue lending.

Update from Fannie Mae

Update from Freddie Mac

 

On the Hill 

Yesterday the Senate passed a bill to fund the Small Business Administration’s economic relief loan programs, hospitals and coronavirus testing. The House is expected to vote as early as Thursday and pass it to the President for signature.

Read the full bill

TUESday, APRIL 21, 2020

Servicer Liquidity 

The Federal Housing Finance Agency has announced new policies for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac backed mortgages that go into COVID-19 related forbearance to limit the number of payments servicers will be required to make to four months.

What does this mean for mortgage servicers? 

This allows for servicers to reduce the number of principal and interest payments that need to be paid in advance to the MBS holders. Servicers will be able to better calculate the cost of forbearance.

What does this mean for the housing industry? 

It is likely that a secondary action by the FHFA, Treasury or Federal Reserve will need to be taken to ease the impact on the MBS market when loan payments stop being made by servicers in the fifth month of forbearance. Ultimately the move prevents the mortgage market from falling into the same crisis as the oil industry is currently facing.

MONday, APRIL 20, 2020

Congress and the Senate are heading back to the Hill to vote on an additional coronavirus stimulus bill as early as Wednesday. If passed, the bill will provide the following:

  • $310 billion to the Paycheck Protection Program
  • $60 billion to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program
  • $75 billion for U.S. hospitals
  • $25 billion for additional COVID-19 testing

Stay tuned for more updates.

WEDNESday, APRIL 15, 2020

Americans around the country are starting to see their stimulus payments delivered through direct deposits into their accounts. Here is what is happening in the mortgage industry:

  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Federal Housing Finance Agency(FHFA) released a statement today to announce the launch of the Borrower Protection Program. The goal of the program is to share information between the two organizations to better serve borrowers as it relates to forbearances, modifications and other loss mitigation initiatives undertaken by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
  • Fannie Mae released new appraisal guidelines.
  • Fannie Mae released new Desktop Underwriting/Desktop Originator guidelines. These include clarification for rental income and DTI.
  • Fannie Mae has provided a script for servicers to use for discussing forbearance with borrowers. Know what they are going to ask to prepare your clients.

THURSday, APRIL 9, 2020

Senate Calls for Financial Stability Oversight Council to Intervene to Provide Mortgage Servicers Liquidity

  • The situation is still fluid but bi-partisan calls from the Senate have voiced support for the Financial Stability Oversight Council to intervene in the matter of liquidity issues due to the CARES Act forbearance provision.
  • The Council was established under Dodd-Frank and the Consumer Protection Act and provides monitoring of our nation’s financial system.
  • There is likely to be more news to follow on that topic.

Federal Reserve Announced $2.3 Trillion in Loans

  • The Federal Reserve has announced $2.3 trillion in loans extended across a broad span of businesses and local governments.
  • So far mortgage lenders and servicers are not a part of that plan.

Fourth Coronavirus Stimulus Plan Still in the Works

  • A fourth coronavirus stimulus plan is still in the works. Our team in DC has obtained a copy of the proposed package by the House Democratic Financial Services Committee.
  • The plan includes a provision that gives liquidity to mortgage servicers that are compliant with forbearance requirements.
  • This fourth bill is expected to be voted on in early May.

WEDNESday, APRIL 8, 2020

Credit Reporting

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has issued credit reporting guidelines to be followed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Details include:

  • Lenders are still required to report to credit bureaus that consumers are current on their loans if consumers have sought relief from their lenders due to the pandemic.
  • Lenders are encouraged to continue to voluntarily provide payment relief to consumers and to report accurate information to credit bureaus relating to this relief.

In short, forbearance and other forms of payment relief will still be recorded on credit reports even if they do not affect the credit score directly. The CFPB has put together information for consumers to learn more here.

 

Loan Modifications

An interagency statement was issued on April 7, 2020, clarifying some additional points on loan modifications and reporting for financial institutions working with borrowers affected by the coronavirus. Here are the highlights:

  • Lenders will not categorize eligible loan modifications made during the COVID-19 national emergency as Troubled Debt Restructuring (TDR)
  • Financial institutions have broad discretion to implement prudent modification programs consistent with the framework outlined in section 4013 of the CARES Act.
  • To be an eligible loan under section 4013, a loan modification must be:
    • Related to COVID-19
    • Executed on a loan that was not more than 30 days past due as of December 31, 2019
    • Executed between March 1, 2020, and 60 days after the date of termination of the National Emergency OR December 31, 2020, whichever comes first.
  • After 6-months, loan modifications can be evaluated as being a TDR if additional modifications are needed to assist the borrower.

TUESday, APRIL 7, 2020

FHFA & Mortgage Forbearance Policy

There are widespread concerns about the FHFA’s lack of policy surrounding the CARES Act forbearance provision’s effect on the liquidity of lenders and servicers. To date, there has not been any intervention from GSEs (Government-Sponsored Enterprises).

Following the FHFA’s lack of intervention, both Fannie and Freddie have taken a wait and see approach for outlining possible funding to servicers that might not survive multiple months of missed payments.

Former CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association and Assistant Secretary of HUD, Dave Stevens, penned an article explaining the need for urgent action by the government to prevent a housing market collapse.

 

SBA Guideline Updates

This past weekend, SBA Administrator, Jovita Carranza, announced that SBA issued guidance clarifying all-faith based organizations, impacted by COVID-19, are now eligible to participate in the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan programs.

More detailed information regarding faith-based organizations’ participation in PPP and EIDL programs can be found here.

FRIday, APRIL 3, 2020

Small Business Administration Loans

Find updated information about the SBA disaster assistance loan options here.

Today the Small Business Administration opens up the application for the Paycheck Protection Program that was funded under the CARES Act. Other loan options available include Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Bridge Loans. These are great resources for business owners to leverage during this difficult time and come out ahead on the other side. 

We foresee this being a widely used option by business owners so expect delays and apply immediately. Find SBA’s Small Business Guidance and Loan Resources here. A record 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week. 

 

Fourth Stimulus Bill

As previously updated, the CARES Act has been passed and several branches of our government are busy executing those provisions. There is a potential 4th stimulus bill being discussed by Congress and the Administration. This additional coronavirus stimulus bill is expected to be negotiated and brought to vote as early as May 1st depending on the economic need.

Some of the ideas being considered include:

  • Additional direct payments to individuals
  • Additional unemployment insurance coverage
  • Additional funding to the business loan program
  • The potential repeal of state and local tax deduction limits

AIME has put together extensive resources to help you explain mortgage forbearance and other important topics.

WEDNEsday, APRIL 1, 2020

AIME has put together a CARES Act guide that breaks down the provisions as they relate to the mortgage industry and our consumers.

The Department of Treasury has released new information about the SBA Paycheck Protection Program. Applications will open on April 3rd, for small businesses and sole proprietorships. Find updated information here.

tuesday, March 31, 2020

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development(HUD) is working towards implementing the provisions of the CARES Act. Their ultimate goal is to minimize the socioeconomic impact of our most at-risk community members. Following calls for continued social distancing, guidelines were re-released to be effective through May 17, 2020. These included guidelines for VOEs and appraisals.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are both suspending credit bureau reporting of past-due payments of borrowers in forbearance plan until the national emergency is suspended.

Additional consumer Fannie Mae resources

Additional consumer Freddie Mac resources

Ginnie Mae announced that it will take action to ensure liquidity in the MBS market by offering pass-through assistance programs to help servicers address funding shortfalls and enable them to continue making scheduled payments to investors. This will allow your lending partners to keep lending, not only during the COVID-19 National Emergency, but into the future. AIME Chairman, Anthony Casa, explains in this video.

MONday, March 30, 2020

The CARES Act has been signed by the President and now officials are taking on the immense task of disseminating the appropriated funds. Since Friday, we have seen extensive news coverage about the MBS market and how servicing will be affected. What we know:

Mortgage Forbearance

  • Extensive mortgage forbearance for borrowers can cause lending to grind to a halt as servicers are still required to pay investors on the behalf of borrowers. To combat the potentially crippling effects on mortgage lenders, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has formed a mortgage task force to identify where spending will be most impactful.

Ginnie Mae Securities

  • Ginnie Mae securities (FHA, VA, USDA) are becoming harder to securitize by lenders because of the current unemployment rate. This is why lenders are adding new overlays to these products including higher credit requirements, lower DTIs, higher reserves, and more. AIME Chairman, Anthony Casa, explains this in detail in this video.

Small Business Provisions

  • State and local governments are beginning to implement the CARES Act provisions for local and small businesses. Find out if your business is eligible for the Payroll Protection Program offered by the Small Business Administration here and additional FAQs provided by the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

Financial Planning & Retirement Withdrawals

  • The CARES Act allows you to withdraw up to $100,000 from a retirement account without the 10% early withdrawal penalty. Is this an ideal financial decision for you? Financial advisor, Kieth Nichol, discussed this and more with the AIME team. Watch the video here.

FRIday, March 27, 2020

CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act:

How it affects independent mortgage professionals and their borrowers

The CARES Act appropriates $220.6 billion to labor, health and human services, education, transportation, housing and urban development, and related agencies. The Act granted $454 billion to the Federal Reserve and Treasury to improve liquidity and $349 billion to small-business assistance programs. AIME has compiled some additional information as it relates to the mortgage industry and how some of these dollars are being allocated.

Mortgage Forbearance

Single-Family

Applies to federally backed mortgage loans (Fannie/Freddie/FHA/VA/USDA) for those directly or indirectly impacted by the COVID-19 virus. If requested and granted by a loan servicer the initial period is up to 180 days, with the option to extend for an additional 180 days.

Multifamily

Investors and owners of multifamily residences can apply for a total of 90 days of forbearance, which will be granted in 30-day increments. This applies to federally insured, guaranteed, supplemented, or assisted mortgages, including mortgages purchased or securitized by the GSEs.

Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

HUD was granted a total of $17.4 billion to distribute across the following:

  • $5 billion for Community Development Block Grants
  • $4 billion in homelessness assistance
  • $1.25 billion in tenant-based assistance
  • $1 billion in project-based rental assistance
  • $50 million for housing for the elderly
  • $15 million for housing for persons with disabilities

Small Business Administration (SBA) 

Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL)

The SBA has increased funding for its Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). These loans can be used for:

  • Paid sick leave to employees impacted by COVID-19
  • Payroll
  • Rent/Mortgage Payments
  • Debt Obligations Due To Lost Revenues
  • Increased costs due to supply chain disruptions and materials

Payroll Protection Program

  • Businesses with 500 employees or less, including sole proprietors and independent contractors, are eligible for SBA 7(a) loans in response to COVID-19 covering expenses for the period of February 15, 2020 through June 30, 2020.
  • The loan amount will be 250% of the average salary expenditures/month for 2019, up to $10 million. For businesses not open yet in that period, the SBA will look at earlier receipts from 2020.
  • 7(a) loans can be used for:
    • Payroll, including payment independent contractors and employees who work on commission
    • Rent/Mortgage Interest
    • Utilities

All or a portion of these loans will be forgivable for businesses that maintain the same average payroll levels as in the previous year; forgivable amounts phase out as employers lower that.

Student Loans

Student loan payments will suspend all payments on federal student loans for 6 months with no interest during the forbearance period.

Cash Payments

Americans with incomes below the thresholds will receive cash payments from the federal government in the amount of $1,200 per adult plus $500 for each child under the age of 17. These payments should be sent out starting in April.

Other Cash Sources

  • Retirement accounts can take an early withdrawal of up to $100,000 without the early with-draw penalty and pay the normal tax on the amount over a three year period.
  • Businesses with 100 or fewer employees, can claim a refundable employee retention tax credit against payroll taxes of up to $5,000 per employee under certain circumstances.

Unemployment Insurance

The unemployment assistance benefits are provided to individuals who are unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable to work for the weeks those individuals were impacted as a result of COVID-19 between January 27- December 31, 2020. Individuals who apply for unemployment benefits through their state will also qualify for Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance for up to four months that the authority of the issuing states. Unemployment benefits will also be extended for an additional 13 weeks for a maximum of 39 weeks.

Read the complete stimulus bill here: CARES Act

Read a summary of the stimulus bill, provided by the Senate Appropriations Committee here: CARES Act Summary

 

U.S. Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Assistance

Overview:

The U.S. Small Business Administration offers a Disaster Loan Assistance program to qualifying small businesses to use toward payroll, utilities, and other expenses when there is a declared disaster. In the case of COVID-19 these would be economic Injury Disaster Loans(EIDL). Loans can be up to $2 million at a fixed 3.75% for a loan amount for up to 30 years based on the borrower’s ability to repay.

Stay informed of the Small Business Administration’s Disaster Loan Assistance here: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance

More overview information can be found here: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Declarations/ViewDisasterDocument/3513

Do you qualify? 

Has your business’ state and county declared a disaster? This has to be the state that your brokerage files taxes in. You can look up which states have federally declared disasters here: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Declarations

To Identify if your small business qualifies, you will have to apply online or by mail with the required documentation identified here: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Documents/Three_Step_Process_SBA_Disaster_Loans.pdf

THURsday, March 26, 2020

The Senate has passed legislation today for a $2.2 trillion stimulus bill. This bill, known as the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act),  will be voted on in the House of Representatives this evening and, if passed, will be sent to the President for his signature.

 

Read the complete stimulus bill here: CARES Act

Read a summary of the stimulus bill, provided by the Senate Appropriations Committee here: CARES Act Summary

Read a summary of The U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, included in the CARES Act here: Keeping American Workers Paid and Employed Act

wednesday, March 25, 2020

A deal has been reached between the White House and the Senate. The package will be over $2 trillion in the stimulus. The Senate package was previously held up as additional concessions were demanded.

 

Additional Concessions obtained were:

  • Additional money to ramp up healthcare capacity
  • Ban on stock buybacks by corporations receiving government relief
  • Limit executive bonuses
  • Treasury would have to disclose loan details
  • Treasury would have a new inspector general to oversee this new stimulus program
  • Any business owned by President Trump or his family is prohibited from receiving any assistance from the stimulus program

 

Other items previously mentioned that we believe are still in the deal are: 

  • Direct payments to American families (up to $3200 per family of four)
  • Delayed payroll taxes
  • More money for hospitals
  • Telehealth services expanded
  • Expansion of using HSA/FSA accounts to pay for healthcare needs
  • Expanding unemployment benefits
  • More liquidity and flexibility for small business loans
  • Greater liquidity for the Fed

Once the Senate passes the legislation today we are hopeful the House of Representatives will take up the bill quickly and send it to the President for his signature.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Last night, the Senate failed to pass a $2 trillion stimulus package. Negotiations with the White House and Congress are ongoing as we speak. We expect this relief package to expand, not shrink, to get the votes needed in the Senate and in the House. The House also put out its own package with $2.5 trillion in spending. At this point we expect the Senate bill to be the basis for a deal as the House is still not in session.

Highlights of the current package include:

  • Direct payments to American families (up to $3200 per family of four)
  • Delayed payroll taxes
  • More money for hospitals
  • Expanded Telehealth services
  • Expansion of the ability to use HSA/FSA accounts to pay for healthcare needs
  • Expanded unemployment benefits
  • More liquidity and flexibility for small business loans
  • Greater liquidity for the Fed

Find more information about what’s in the Senate’s Coronavirus Bill here.

Monday, DECEMBER 23, 2019

Philadelphia, PA (December 23, 2019) — Chairman Anthony Casa, released the following statement commending the House and Senate for passing and for President Trump signing into law the Fiscal Year 2020 domestic appropriations bill (H.R. 1865):

“AIME* is thankful that the House and Senate came together to pass bipartisan legislation to fund the government through FY 2020.  In AIME’s December 2, 2019, letter to the House Financial Services Committee, AIME was supportive of technology upgrades for the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and other provisions included in FY 2020 spending package.  We look forward to working with Congress and the President to promote homeownership in 2020.”

*The Association of Independent Mortgage Experts (AIME), is a non-profit national trade association created for independent mortgage brokers who play a critical role in ensuring home purchase and refinancing mortgages for the middle class, low- and moderate-income homeowners, including minority and rural households, veterans and many others in underserved communities.