FINANCE AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING
Over the weekend, a coalition of financial industry organizations and affordable housing advocates released a statement imploring federal regulators to provide a source of liquidity to mortgage servicers that may need assistance to fulfill their obligations under the mandatory forbearance provisions of the CARES Act. “It is therefore incumbent upon the government to provide the final piece of the puzzle – a liquidity facility for single-family and multifamily servicers – to ensure that the entire industry can deliver much-needed economic relief to consumers through this unprecedented forbearance plan. While some servicers will not need assistance, many others will require temporary support to deliver forbearance at the scale and for the duration required.” NAR was among the coalition members and the full statement can be read by visiting the Mortgage Bankers Association website.
NAR – BROKERS RESPONSE TO COVID-19
In case you missed it. NAR has made a recording of an informative coronavirus-related webinar available to members. Learn what resources are available to REALTORS® in response to the impact of COVID-19 and gather first-hand tips and advice from other brokers in this webinar and broker-to-broker panel from Friday, April 3. Click here to watch.
OREGON STATE’S ECONOMIC OUTLOOK
Did you know? Oregon’s knowledgeable and informed state economists publish regular updates about numerous topics that affect the state’s overall economic outlook. Oregonians can review posts by topic, including demographics, housing, and employment, and can even comment on current posts and interact with the author. In addition to maintaining their own blog-style website, staff at the Office of Economic Analysis provide crucial guidance to state lawmakers Click here to read the latest on unemployment and COVID-19 from economist Josh Lehner.
SBA & PPP UPDATES
Late on April 2, the SBA released its interim final rule on the SBA 7(a) Paycheck Protection Program loans, created by the CARES Act. This rule clarifies one of the biggest outstanding questions on the program for NAR members – whether or not independent contractors should be included in an employer’s employee headcount, and payments to them included in their average monthly payroll costs calculations. Though there is some contradictory language in the rule, it explicitly states that because independent contractors have the ability to apply for their own paycheck protection program loan, they do NOT count for the purposes of a borrower’s PPP calculation.
SMAL BUSINESS AND INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR LOANS
Small businesses and sole proprietors can apply for the loans as of April 3. Independent contractors and the self-employed can apply beginning on Friday, April 10. The applications should go directly through an SBA lender. You can find out more about this loan – eligibility requirements, what it can be used for, forgiveness requirements, plus links to the application and how to find an SBA lender on NAR’s FAQ document.