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Dayton Area Advocacy Update – June 2020

Bob Jones General News, government affairs

Local News

Dayton REALTORS® Virtual Legislative Meetings

Beginning the week of June 8, we will host online forums with Dayton area elected officials periodically as a replacement for our Columbus and Washington, D.C. legislative meetings that were canceled due to the pandemic. Be sure to read the Dayton REALTORS® Quick Notes e-newsletter for details on guests, dates, and times.

Annual Dayton Area REALTORS® Political Action Committee (DARPAC) Auction in the Works

The DARPAC committee is organizing a virtual auction and entertainment night for Dayton REALTORS® to occur in the month of August. Watch your Quick Notes for full details on how you can take part in the bidding action.

Issues Mobilization

Dayton REALTORS® received a grant from NAR’s Issues Mobilization program to begin an area-wide study on our housing inventory shortage. We will research the regulatory and zoning stopgaps to housing within the Dayton Metropolitan Statistical area and then use this data towards an advocacy program and forum aimed at changing these stopgaps.

Montgomery County Auditor Karl Keith

Auditor Keith requested a one-year delay in the triennial property valuation assessment. Noting concerns that property values may not be able to be accurately assessed until the pandemic is under control, Mr. Keith made a request to the Ohio Tax Commissioner for a one year delay for this process. Higher property values in some cases may also mean slightly higher taxes for those who may be financially crunched due to COVID-19. Unfortunately, the Tax Commissioner denied his request. We applaud the Auditor’s efforts towards delaying this assessment and the forethought demonstrated for County homeowners.

News for Commercial REALTORS®

NAR and multiple other national stakeholders have begun advocacy on behalf of commercial REALTORS® with the Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and Comptroller Office of the Comptroller to request measures to ensure financial institutions will work constructively with borrowers affected by COVID-19. In their letter they state, “[We encourage] commercial banks consider short-term modifications and forbearance on loans secured by commercial and multifamily assets, it would be helpful for federal banking regulators to clarify that, in accordance with recent regulatory directives and the guidance in the Statement, that agency examiners will not criticize commercial banks that apply similar standards to modifications and forbearance on warehouse lines of credit, repurchase agreements, and other extensions of credit to creditworthy NBL borrowers.” Contact Dayton REALTORS® Government Affairs Director Jyl Hall Smith for more information.

State News

Ohio REALTORS® has posted that the Ohio Division of Real Estate & Professional Licensing has temporarily moved offices. The Ohio Division of Real Estate & Professional Licensing was relocated to a temporary state office location today due to the unrest that was occurring in Downtown Columbus. The Division, which closed its office at 3 p.m. on Friday, May 29, has reopened at the new location and is resuming its operations with limited staffing. Mail sent to the Division was delayed until today. They are currently processing all mail starting with May 29 — putting a priority on transfers. There will be no late, suspended or other penalties resulting from the relocation. There will be no walk-ins or visitors permitted at the new location. If you need to reach the Division, please call 614-466-4100.

National News

Remote Online Notarization

With the surge in emergency executive orders surrounding remote online notarization (RON) during COVID-19, NAR, in coordination with Notarize, ALTA, and the MBA, has developed a model order. NAR is tracking RON orders and keeps an updated list of orders related to COVID-19 on the REALTOR Party website.

Update from Treasury on PPP Loan Program Forgiveness Documents

The Treasury Department and the SBA have released the documents that PPP loan borrowers will need to fill out and provide to their lenders when applying for forgiveness, which you can find here. Of the four documents posted, all borrowers will need to fill out and provide their lenders with two of them: the PPP Loan Forgiveness Calculation Form and the PPP Schedule A. The documents include detailed instructions for borrowers to use, delineate the eligible payroll and non-payroll expenses the loans can be used for, and walk borrowers through step-by-step how to calculate their forgiveness/show that they have met the program’s requirements.

On Thursday the House of Representatives passed new legislation that would make it easier for businesses to have their Paycheck Protection Program loans forgiven by relaxing restrictions on how the loan money can be used and extending the period that businesses have to use the funds.

Here are some key points on new PPP loan forgiveness rules:

  • The bill would extend the forgiveness period for PPP loans from eight to 24 weeks.
  • It would also reduce payroll spending requirements from 75% of loan funds to 60% of loan funds, giving businesses more flexibility in deciding how to allocate the emergency funds, and extend a June 30 deadline to hire workers back.
  • The push for the bipartisan legislation came after widespread complaints that the PPP’s original terms were too restrictive for struggling small businesses.
  • The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act was introduced by Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) and Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.). It passed in the House on Thursday with a vote of 471-1; only Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) voted no.

The Bill is now in the Senate, which was blocked yesterday but a deal is reportedly near.

NAR has also updated its SBA FAQs to reflect the new information. We expect further guidance from the Treasury and SBA on forgiveness, but these documents provide an important first-step for borrowers to use. We encourage NAR members who have received PPP loans to reach out to their lenders to ask about any additional documentation/records they will need.

Coronavirus: Quick Reference Guide on the Main Street Lending Program

The Main Street Lending Program is intended to provide loans to small and medium-sized businesses that were in sound financial condition before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Under this program, the Federal Reserve will support up to $600 billion of loans to eligible small and medium-size businesses. The loans will be made by federally insured banks and savings associations, credit unions and foreign banks operating in the U.S. The loans will be available until September 30, 2020, and are not forgivable. The Main Street Lending Program facilities are not yet operational, but continues to be a top priority for the Federal Reserve to implement.

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac will allow borrowers who took forbearance to refinance their mortgage via HousingWire

GSEs also extended their timeframe for buying loans that went into first-payment forbearance. The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Tuesday morning that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will now allow borrowers who went into COVID-19 forbearance to refinance their loan or buy a new home with the support of the GSEs as long as they’ve made three straight months of payments after their forbearance ends. This new policy is much different from the previous thinking that a borrower may not be able to get another GSE mortgage for as many as 12 months after they exit forbearance. The CARES Act stipulates that mortgage servicers “shall report the credit obligation or account as current” on any loan that goes into COVID-19-related forbearance. NAR Applauds FHFA Action Attempting to Assure Access to Affordable Credit via NAR: “NAR applauds the FHFA and Director Calabria for taking additional steps to secure the U.S. housing market and ensure mortgage and refinance options remain available to creditworthy Americans,” said Malta, broker at Malta & C, Inc., in San Francisco, CA. “Homeowners who have been forced into forbearance by no fault of their own but continue to make payments should not be penalized because of this pandemic. With the real estate industry driving nearly one-fifth of our national GDP, assurances that homebuyers can access credit and capitalize on record-low mortgage rates remain critical to America’s economic recovery.”

NAR Economic Update

NAR’s April 2020 REALTORS® Confidence Index (RCI) Survey shows the effect of coronavirus social distancing measures on the housing market. Here are five trends based on the data: 5 Housing Market Trends as of April 2020