April 02, 2019
How Lenders Helped Homeowners Weather the Government Shutdown
During the recent 2018-2019 partial shutdown of the Federal government, a good number of homeowners and potential homeowners were faced with diminished options, and small business owners were unable to get loans through the Small Business Administration. Any individuals who were relying on programs managed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, The Federal Housing Authority, or the Department of Agriculture in order to initiate a loan, close on reverse mortgages, or even buy rural homes, were out of luck. For some such people this hardly rose above the level of an inconvenience, though certainly there were cases where it resulted in true hardship, since the shutdown did eventually end.
Yet in the case of government workers who were furloughed or required to work without pay until the shutdown ended, and in the case of contractors whose sources of funding ceased because of the blockage of flow of funding, the potential hardship was palpable: in many cases it became difficult if not impossible for these workers to make payments on existing mortgages. The spectre of mass-foreclosure on government workers hung like a cloud over the economy. Naturally this problem only increased as the shutdown wore on.
Luckily, hearkening to calls by the Federal Housing Authority, major lenders and credit unions across the nation stepped up to ease the pain.
A great number of such lenders created solutions from scratch, offering low- to no-interest loans for federal workers affected by the shutdown—and not just for payment of mortgages, but in order for them to cover other costs, like rent, utilities, and so on. (Just by way of example: U.S. Bancorp offered loans from $100-$6000 at low rates to federal workers who already had U.S. Bank accounts, and Citigroup offered customers spanning several lines of business adjustments in fees and interest rates.) And, equally helpful, some lenders even waived fees that resulted from the financial hardships those workers faced.
Luckily, the shutdown ended before these pressure-easing measures could be overcome by the accrual of negative market forces; America’s housing market is once again open for business. If you’re looking to take advantage of the present security to buy that perfect home, we here at Topouzis & Associates, P.C. not only offer the services that ensure your title gets conveyed clear of defects, we supply purchasers with Owner’s Policies of title insurance. Contact us if you want your property transfer in Cranston, Rhode Island; Springfield, Massachusetts; or Miami, Florida to go through without a hitch—both before and after closing.