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FHFA Directs Enterprises to Grant Flexibilities for Appraisal and Employment Verifications                                                                      


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         3/23/2020 PageContent

Washington, D.C. – Today, to facilitate liquidity in the mortgage market during the coronavirus national emergency, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) to provide alternative flexibilities to satisfy appraisal requirements and employment verification requirements through May 17, 2020.

To allow for homes to be bought, sold, and refinanced as our nation deals with the challenges of the coronavirus, the Enterprises will leverage appraisal alternatives to reduce the need for appraisers to inspect the interior of a home for eligible mortgages.

In addition, in the event lenders cannot obtain verbal verification of the borrower's employment before loan closing, the Enterprises will allow lenders to obtain verification via an e-mail from the employer, a recent year-to-date paystub from the borrower, or a bank statement showing a recent payroll deposit. Lenders should continue to utilize sound underwriting judgment to ensure these alternatives are appropriate to the borrower's circumstances.

Today's announcement is the latest action that FHFA has taken to ensure the Enterprises fulfill their mission of providing market liquidity during the coronavirus national emergency. Other actions include a suspension of foreclosures and evictions for at least 60 days and offering forbearance for borrowers facing hardship due to coronavirus.

FHFA and the Enterprises are monitoring the coronavirus national emergency's effect on the housing market and will continue to update our policies when necessary.

Link to FHFA Webpage on Coronavirus Actions 

Here's the website if the link doesn't work:

Sherry Bitner, MP, LISA, Branch Manager, RE Financial Services, Inc., 677 N. Washington Blvd., Sarasota, FL 34236, NMLS #1641732 / #197312 / MLO #8549, 941-504-1445

Posted by Sherry Bitner on March 23rd, 2020 3:04 PM

In the past you were required to set up escrows for your property taxes, homeowner's insurance and flood insurance if the conventional loan was above an 80% loan to value.  And, it cost you extra money to waive the setup of them if you were under the 80% loan to value. 

That is no longer the case!  You now have the ability to pay them on your own.  The beauty of this has multiple advantages.  Your loan payment will never change due to no changes in the escrowed items.  You can save yourself several thousand of dollars in additional closing costs to set the escrow up with 3 additional monthly payments collected at closing.  You can make interest on your own money (good luck with savings rates the way they are these days) but it's still a request I hear from borrowers.  

Recently a client contacted me regarding his new loan servicer wanting to collect over $2000 to adjust the escrow account when his insurance was due.  They were literally increasing his payment by over $200 a month.  This is not the mortgage statement you want to see!

You can now avoid this all together by waiving the escrows for taxes and insurance at closing, with no additional cost to you! 

If you have any questions, please reach out to me:  Sherry Bitner, NMLS #197312, RE Financial Services, Inc. 1641732, 941-504-1445

Posted by Sherry Bitner on June 19th, 2019 11:17 AM

Transitioning from the home you own in another state and moving to Florida may be easier than you think!  You have many options to arrange financing. 

Bridge Loan - You can obtain a bridge loan from your local bank or credit union in you present home location.  This will give you a down payment or cash to purchase your home in Florida.

Line of Credit - on the new home in Florida.  The closing costs are minimal on these.  Depending on the amount of cash you have available this option is also available.  You can pay off the line of credit when you sell your home and still have access to the line of credit for 10 years.

First mortgage - on your new home.  We can always do a first mortgage on the home in Florida and when you sell your home out of state, you will be able to re-cast the loan (rather than refinance it).  The re-cast adjusts the loan amount as well as the payment and only costs $200 to initiate it. 

We experienced with this process and make transitioning easy and efficient.  Give me a call, text, or email and we can discuss all the options for your specific needs.  You will have the soft white sand between your toes in no time! 

Sherry Bitner, 941-504-1445 or

Posted by Sherry Bitner on May 12th, 2019 3:46 PM

Do you know someone who was just turned down for a mortgage?  Perhaps I can help.

Many Retail Lenders and Banks have guideline overlays which limits the debt to income ratios, credit scores and many other guidelines.  And, there are times when they will take complicated self-employed borrowers and figure the income incorrectly. 

Many buyers have been told they are pre-qualified and entered into a contract on a home, only to be told "I'm sorry you do not qualify for the loan".  Now they and their Realtor are scrambling to find someone who possibly can help. 

Fortunately, Mortgage Brokers have a variety of wholesale lenders and credit unions, and a wide variety of programs to chose from which allow for higher debt to income ratios because of no overlays in the guidelines.   We also know how to calculate self-employed tax returns properly and have direct contact with underwriters who are only a phone call away for any additional clarification, up front. 

Some of those buyers find my website and contact me.  I have been able to help lots of buyers who were denied a loan by a Bank or Retail Lender, and I am able to get those borrowers approved and fund their loans quickly.  

What do you have to lose?  If you find yourself or your buyer in this position, give me a call.  Let's see if I can help.  941-504-1445 or check out my website:

Posted by Sherry Bitner on December 26th, 2018 12:48 PM

I have had a number of calls from loan originators who work for Retail Lenders or Banks who have loans they cannot get approved.  I have been helping them with ideas on how to get the file approved or else they are referring the loan to me because I have lenders without guideline overlays, or other loan programs, and even private lenders, that meet the borrowers' needs that they do not have access to, since our company is a Mortgage Broker. 

I have also heard from Realtors who are having issues with their buyers loan being turned down and I have been able to help some of those buyers as well. 

If you have something falling apart, please feel free to give me a call, Sherry Bitner, 941-504-1445, or visit my website:   I will certainly be glad to talk with you and see if we can put our heads together for a solution.  After all, it is the time of giving, so let's work together to help a few more dreams come true this Holiday Season!

Posted by Sherry Bitner on December 6th, 2018 1:19 PM

I recently have had a few retail lenders refer me clients who were not qualified for Conventional and FHA loans (Prime Loans) who were self employed.  They referred them to me because they needed a Bank Statement loan to prove income.

What are bank statement loans you ask? 

These are perfect for the self-employed that do not report all their income on their tax returns. 

The bank statement loans require 12 or 24 months of either personal or business bank statements.  Income is derived from deposits into these account rather than using pay stubs or tax returns.  They require a 10% down payment and the rates are about 2% to 3% over the conventional rates.  They are a 30 year term loan that is fixed for the first 5 years and then roll into a one year adjustable, or for a little higher rate, you can get the term fixed for the entire 30 years. 

For more information on how bank statement loans work, please give me a call, text, or email. 

941-504-1445 - Cell/Text

Posted by Sherry Bitner on November 1st, 2018 1:16 PM

I have been working with a past client to help with financing a new investment property.  She recently sold an investment property in another State and wanted to delay paying capital gains on the proceeds from the sale, so she decided to do what is called a 1031 Exchange. 

When she closed on the property the proceeds went into an account managed by what is called a "Qualified Intermediary".  This is a company that is either a Title Company or a special legal entity who will manage the money during the Exchange. 

She then had 45 days from the sale of the property to identify 3 properties she would possibly purchase and have one of them under contract.  She then had 180 days to close on the new property.  The new property had to be a "Like Kind" property, or simply put, another investment property. 

The purpose of this type of purchase is to delay paying capital gains on the proceeds from the sale of her old property by purchasing another and transferring to a similar sale price and loan amount to what she had originally owned. 

So, if you are an investor, or a Realtor who has clients that might benefit from a 1031 Exchange, give me a call and let's discuss this further.  Sherry Bitner 941-504-1445

Posted by Sherry Bitner on October 16th, 2018 6:23 PM

There are better options than the government FEMA flood Insurance program.  Anywhere it rains it can Flood, and not just here in Florida!  FEMA's insurance pays claims on the depreciated value of your damaged items.  Private companies pay on the replacement value of your damaged items.  Costs are about the same for FEMA and private companies but the coverage is extremely different.

Contact your insurance broker and learn the difference.  If you need a referral to an insurance broker, I will be glad to assist in referring a few.

Sherry Bitner, MP, LISA, NMLS #197312, Branch Manager, RE Financial Services, Inc., NMLS #1641732, 941-504-1445 - Office, 677 N. Washington Boulevard, Suite 35, Sarasota, FL 34236

Posted in:Insurance and tagged: Mortgage Flood Insurance
Posted by Sherry Bitner on October 26th, 2017 1:59 PM

FHA vs. Conventional loans...Why one versus the other? 

FHA has increased their Mortgage Insurance Premiums again by 10 basis points, and it now remains on the loan, for the life of the loan.  This will increase the payment for a $250,000 loan by $20 per month.  In reality, FHA has increased the Mortgage Insurance Premiums for a loan of this type by $154 per month since 2010.  The down payment required is 3.5%.

The Conventional lenders have come up with new products to take away some of the FHA business and put it back in their hands.  Private Mortgage Insurance now saves the borrower from $111 up to $220 a month over the FHA Mortgage Insurance Premium, depending on whether the borrower will put 3% down or 5% down.  The other benefit options offered with the Private Mortgage Insurance is that the premium will drop off after the loan amount reaches 79%, and it can be tax deductible. 

To reap the full benefits of the Conventional Private Mortgage Insurance the credit scores need to be a minimum of 680. 

Planning is the most important step for the best loan products, so contact me and let's start with your new home adventure today!  Sherry Bitner 941-504-1445, NMLS#197312. 

Posted in:General
Posted by Sherry Bitner on June 23rd, 2013 6:14 PM

If you are looking to purchase a foreclosure, these Fannie Mae (FNMA) HomePath properties are an excellent opportunity.  We have a special FNMA HomePath program for financing these properties as well. 

There is no Mortgage Insurance on the loans. 

There is no appraisal required.

Owner Occupied properties are 97% Loan to Value (LTV), or a 3% down payment is all that is needed.  (Less than an FHA down payment of 3.5%.)

Second Homes and Investor properties are 90% LTV, or a down payment of only 10%.  Investor programs are normally a maximum of 80% LTV, or 20% down.

FNMA will pay a portion of the closing costs as well.

If the property needs repairs, you can add up to $10,000 to the mortgage, sign the loan documents, and then do the repairs. 

To locate properties on the web, go to enter in the county and state and search. 

If you like what you see, give me a call because you will want to have a pre-approval before you go looking at these homes.  They go fast and your Realtor will want to make sure you are ready to write an offer as soon as you find a home you like.  Make sure you also bring your checkbook because you will need to make a deposit when you write the offer. 

Call me today for more details - this is an excellent opportunity - while it lasts!  It's a jungle out there...I am your guide!

Sherry Bitner, 941-504-1445 - your Mortgage Loan Originator, NMLS#197312

Posted in:General
Posted by Sherry Bitner on August 26th, 2012 4:43 PM