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Daily Real Estate News

As Forbearance Requests Rise, NAR Dispels Myths

NAR Daily News Magazine - April 8, 2020 - 1:00am

FHA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac have not raised rates and fees, but the National Association of REALTORS® is advocating for a reliable source of liquidity for mortgages in forbearance.

How to Get Cleaner Air at Home

NAR Daily News Magazine - April 8, 2020 - 1:00am

As people spend more time inside, indoor air quality is becoming a pressing issue.

Ideas to Help Real Estate Pros With Their Business

NAR Daily News Magazine - April 8, 2020 - 1:00am

From ramping up online education to growing your social media presence and more, the industry is offering a growing set of resources.

Is Contactless Lending the New Norm?

NAR Daily News Magazine - April 8, 2020 - 1:00am

For home buyers or homeowners still closing on a loan, offer them some assurance: Loans are now being processed without physical human contact.

T3 Sixty Ranks Largest Real Estate Companies of 2020

NAR Daily News Magazine - April 8, 2020 - 1:00am

Find out who emerged as the sales leaders based on 2019 sales volume, transaction sides, and agent counts.

Be Aware of Security Flaws During Your Next Video Call

NAR Daily News Magazine - April 7, 2020 - 1:00am

Here are six ways Zoom users can protect themselves from hackers and security breaches.

Should Landlords Disclose COVID-19 Status of Tenants?

NAR Daily News Magazine - April 7, 2020 - 1:00am

Legal experts share insights about tenant rights in the coronavirus era.

Top New-Home Features in 2020

NAR Daily News Magazine - April 7, 2020 - 1:00am

Learn what builders are prioritizing in new single-family homes this year.

The Difference Between Mortgage Deferment and Forbearance

NAR Daily News Magazine - April 7, 2020 - 1:00am

Borrowers should check with lenders or mortgage services to see what relief options are available. Payment obligations are not erased by either approach.

A More Personal Marketing Approach

NAR Daily News Magazine - April 7, 2020 - 1:00am

Find out which marketing tools brokers and agents are using to create deeper connections.

How to Prevent Trolls From Zoom Bombing Your Online Meeting

RisMedia Consumer News - April 6, 2020 - 4:01pm

(TNS)—As students at the University of Tennessee were participating in a virtual “Milkshake Monday,” an anonymous person jumped into the Zoom gathering and began berating everyone with racist rants.

As the video conferencing platform Zoom has grown in popularity during the coronavirus pandemic, so have instances of “Zoom bombing.” Zoom bombing is when someone joins your meeting and disrupts it in some way. If you don’t want to risk this happening while chatting with your grandparents or co-workers, there are steps you can take to prevent it.

Create a Unique ID
Instead of using the personal meeting ID Zoom assigns when you create an account, PCMag.com recommends you instead generate a unique code.

“Here’s why,” PCMag.com writes. “Once you put your PMI into the world, people can use it to try and jump in on your Zoom calls at any time.”

Create a Waiting Room
By creating a waiting room, the host and/or co-hosts can control who joins a meeting. The “waiting room” option can be found under account settings. Once enabled, the host can either put everyone in the waiting room or “guest participants only,” which adds people on different Zoom accounts or who are not logged into the waiting room.

Disable Screen Sharing
The Verge also recommends the meeting host disable the screen-sharing feature.

“If you schedule a meeting from the web interface, you won’t see the option to disable screen sharing,” The Verge writes. Instead:

  • Click on “Settings” in the left-hand menu.
  • Scroll down to “Screen sharing” and under “Who can share?” click “Host Only.”
  • Click on “Save.”

The Anti-Defamation League has created a handy meeting checklist if you’re using Zoom. Before the meeting:

  • Disable autosaving chats.
  • Disable file transfer.
  • Disable screen sharing for non-hosts.
  • Disable remote control.
  • Disable annotations.
  • Use per-meeting ID, not personal ID.
  • Disable “Join Before Host.”
  • Enable “Waiting Room.”

During the meeting:

  • Assign at least two co-hosts.
  • Mute all participants.
  • Lock the meeting, if all attendees are present.

If you are Zoom bombed:

  • Remove problematic users and disable their ability to rejoin when asked.
  • Lock the meeting to prevent additional Zoom bombing.

©2020 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Atlanta, Ga.)
Visit The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Atlanta, Ga.) at www.ajc.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

The post How to Prevent Trolls From Zoom Bombing Your Online Meeting appeared first on RISMedia.

Why Observe Fair Housing Month in a Time of Crisis?

NAR Daily News Magazine - April 6, 2020 - 1:00am

It’s necessary in these times to use April to focus on education, reflection, and discussion of the Fair Housing Act while practicing social distancing.

What to Do If You Can’t Pay Your Loans During the Coronavirus

RisMedia Consumer News - April 5, 2020 - 1:02pm

(TNS)—James Bullard, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, recently predicted that in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, U.S. unemployment numbers may hit 30 percent in the second quarter. Considering nearly four in 10 Americans would have to borrow money to cover a $1,000 emergency, it’s easy to see how many will soon be left struggling to cover their bills.

Fortunately, banks, lenders and the federal government have already begun to address the dire financial situation many Americans will soon face. If you can’t pay your loans or you soon won’t be able to, you may have some options.

Federal Student Loan Payments Are Suspended
While it’s possible for the timeline to be extended, borrowers with federal student loans can temporarily suspend their monthly payments without penalty until at least September 30 under the new CARES Act. Interest charges for federal student loans are also suspended until at least September 30.

This change starts retroactively on March 13.

This suspension does not make your student loan debt disappear, and borrowers have to take steps to contact their loan issuer in order to suspend payment. To find out which servicer issues your loans, contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-433-3243.

Notably, if you are seeking public service student loan forgiveness, Forbes reports that suspended payments during this time period will count toward your 120 required payments.

For those who continue making their regularly scheduled student loan payments, their entire payment will be applied to the principal of their balance, helping them pay down debt faster.

Some Mortgage Lenders Step In to Provide Relief for Borrowers
Many mortgage providers have begun taking active steps to help borrowers negatively impacted by coronavirus or a resulting loss in income.

For example, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are ordering loan providers to provide assistance in the form of mortgage forbearance for up to one year. During this 12-month pause on mortgage payments, penalties and late fees will be waived and all foreclosure sales and evictions are put on hold until at least May 17, 2020. Negative reporting to the credit bureaus will also be suspended, and loan modification options should be offered to help homeowners stay in their homes until the one-year reprieve on mortgage payments is up.

While these changes are currently applicable to homes guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, federal regulators expect that most mortgage lenders will likely opt for similar policies.

With that said, in its current state, this relief isn’t available to everyone. Per a Freddie Mac response on the program, you have to have “a decline in income” in order to qualify.

Help With Personal Loans and Home Equity Loans
Many banks are also stepping up to waive fees and help consumers stay on track with their loans despite losses in income. For example, popular personal lender Marcus by Goldman Sachs is letting customers defer payments for the month of March on their personal loans and the Apple Card without accruing interest.

U.S. Bank is also temporarily lowering costs for consumers interested in personal loans, and Fifth Third is offering payment forbearance for their mortgage and home equity loan customers. Bank of America is also waiving payments on mortgages and home equity products on request, and Wells Fargo is offering fee waivers, payment deferrals and other assistance for auto, mortgage, credit card and personal lending customers who reach out and inquire.

If you’re unsure if your lender is offering assistance on a personal loan, home equity loan or any other loan product, check its website for details to call to inquire. New programs may be announced on a rolling basis, so don’t give up hope that help is on the way. 

Other Steps You Could Be Taking Now If You Can’t Pay Your Loans
While the programs offered by lenders highlighted here can be helpful as you navigate your finances over the next few months, there are additional moves you could be making that might also buy you some time. Steps you should begin taking now include:

  • Contact your lender and ask for assistance. If you are unable to make an upcoming payment on a mortgage or another type of loan, experts suggest reaching to your lender immediately to talk over your options. It may be able to help you sign up for up to 12 months of paused payments, or it’s possible that it’ll work with you to waive late fees or move your payment due date.
  • Look into refinancing. If you still have an income and meet other qualification requirements, it’s possible that you could refinance your mortgage, a personal loan or another loan product you have into a new loan with an extended payment timeline and lower monthly payment. Interest rates recently dropped like a rock due to the Federal Reserve cutting interest rates down to 0 percent, so this may be a good option if you can qualify.
  • Cut all discretionary spending from your budget. Taking a long, hard look at your spending and bills can also help you determine some areas to cut. In times of financial hardship, it can make sense to keep food spending to a minimum, cancel subscriptions you don’t always use and figure out ways to spend less in your daily life.

©2020 Bankrate.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

The post What to Do If You Can’t Pay Your Loans During the Coronavirus appeared first on RISMedia.

NAR Funds Telemedicine for Members in Need

NAR Daily News Magazine - April 3, 2020 - 1:00am

Until April 15, REALTORS® without a telemedicine plan can enroll and receive this benefit at no cost for two months.

Top-Producing Land Agents of 2019 Recognized

NAR Daily News Magazine - April 3, 2020 - 1:00am

Find out which real estate professionals posted a stellar year, winning the REALTORS® Land Institute APEX Awards.

HUD Announces Extra Relief for Borrowers With FHA-Insured Mortgages

NAR Daily News Magazine - April 3, 2020 - 1:00am

More help is being offered to homeowners struggling to make their next mortgage payment.

Number of Homes for Sale Has Dropped, But Prices Have Risen

NAR Daily News Magazine - April 3, 2020 - 1:00am

A March housing report released by realtor.com® shows fewer homes are on the market as the nation battles the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mortgage Rates Move Lower This Week

NAR Daily News Magazine - April 3, 2020 - 1:00am

Borrowing costs inched down for the second consecutive week. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.33%.

NAR Releases Guidance on Unemployment Assistance Eligibility

NAR Daily News Magazine - April 3, 2020 - 1:00am

Real estate pros who are unable to work now may be eligible for government assistance even as independent contractors. Here’s a resource to find out more.

Small-Business Relief Loans May See Longer Rollout

NAR Daily News Magazine - April 2, 2020 - 1:00am

Critical guidance is still needed for the lending community to process the expected surge of borrowers seeking aid.