Service First Guidance on Shelter-in-Place Orders - Service First Mortgage

Dallas County, Tarrant County, and several others have issued orders requiring all county residents to shelter in their homes. This order states that people may leave their homes only for essential activities or to operate essential businesses. While this situation is fluid and changing regularly, we expect other counties to follow suit in the future.

What does this mean for Service First?

Since we have prepared for this and are considered an essential business, we are still open and able to serve our customers and referral partners while our workforce is 100% mobile.

If you have any questions, please reach out to us by filling out the form below.

2020-March

We have provided answers to some FAQs many homeowners and referral partners have been asking.

Q

Is Service First still open?

A

Yes, Service First is considered an essential business as are Appraisers and Title Companies. We are still open for business.

Q

Do I need to make my mortgage payment?

A

Yes, if you have the means to make your mortgage payment, please continue making payments as usual.

Q

If I can’t make my mortgage payment, what should I do?

A

Call your Loan Servicer and talk through your options. The Servicer is the company you make your payment to every month.

Q

If I don’t make my mortgage payment, will I be reported as “late” to the credit reporting agencies?

A

At this time there has not been direction given otherwise. Therefore, yes, the late payment will be reported to the credit reporting agencies. It is very important that borrowers understand if they just closed on a new loan, they MUST make their first payment. Failure to do so will result in default, potentially leading to foreclosure.

Q

If my loan is in a county that has enacted a “shelter in place” ordinance, will my loan still close?

A

Yes, as an essential business, title companies working in affected counties are still operational and have the means to close your loan.

Q

Do I have to physically go into a title company office, or can I close my loan from home?

A

While you can physically go into a title company office, you don’t have to. At Service First, we have options for you:

  • We can accept documents done through a mobile notary

  • We can accept documents from Notarize.com

  • We can utilize a Remote Online Notary with title companies who are approved with our eClosing vendor

Q

Some appraisers don’t want to go inside a client’s home, and some sellers don’t want appraisers inside either. If that’s the case, how will we get an appraisal?

A

FHFA has sent lending guidance to ease requirements on conventional loans only, including the ability for an exterior-only appraisal as an alternative to a traditional appraisal. Guidance on government loans will be forthcoming.

Q

How will we get Verification of Employment completed with so many businesses working remotely?

A

FHFA also provided guidance on alternative solutions for income and employment verifications. See the button to the press release below.

FHFA Guidance

Q

Is it possible to get an interest rate extension?

A

Yes, you can get an interest rate extension.  Please contact your loan officer if you rate is set to expire before your scheduled closing date.

While this situation is changing frequently we are committed to providing you with the most up to date information available.

Ian Kimball

Executive Director of Strategy

About the Author

Ian Kimball is the Executive Director of Strategy at Service First Mortgage.  He has direct responsibility for Sales Development, Marketing, Specialty Lending, IT, Accounting & Finance, Project Management and Strategic Planning and is focused on building the company’s infrastructure, tools, processes, and systems.  Ian has been in the housing industry since 1997 and holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota. He enjoys outdoor activities, sports, reading, and spending time with his wife and two daughters.