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For over ten years, BankSouth has helped thousands of families finance their homes.  We know how daunting this may be, but we take the worry and hassle out of the process.

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COVID-19 and Your Mortgage: Your Questions Answered

Mar 26, 2020 Mortgage Speak

We understand that there are many questions regarding the loan process during the COVID-19 crisis we are facing. We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions and answers that can be found below, and we will continue to update this list as needed.

Communication with us will be ongoing through this crisis. We are in this together and are here for you as you embark on the exciting journey of homeownership!

Can I still get a mortgage or refinance my current mortgage?

Yes.  We are working remotely and working hard to make sure new applications and in-process loans move through the process smoothly; we do not anticipate any mortgage delays at this time.

What can I do help with my loan?

• Provide everything requested in a timely manner to ensure that your loan is not delayed.

• Respond to inquiries quickly, and keep your credit clean.

• If at all possible, refrain from job changes during the process of purchasing or refinancing your mortgage. If you have any changes in income, please let your mortgage banker and loan processor know immediately.

• Be patient and aware. During a pandemic, things change from hour-to-hour, so there may be unforeseen circumstances during the process. It’s a good practice to stay in good contact with your BankSouth Mortgage mortgage banker to stay up-to-date on the status of your mortgage loan.

Does the process take longer during a pandemic?

At this time, there does not appear to be any delays. It is a good practice to stay in contact with your mortgage banker on the status of your loan.

Are the same mortgage programs and products available?

Yes. Some special mortgage program deadlines may be extended. Consult with your BankSouth Mortgage mortgage banker for information on your unique situation.

Can I close without having to go to an attorney’s office?

BankSouth Mortgage is pleased to allow four different types of closings to keep our customers, agents, and attorneys safe. Borrowers have the option to choose a video closing, Power of Attorney (POA), mail-away, or an in-person closing.

In a video closing, all parties are on a secure video conference while the closing documents are signed. A full video closing is permitted on most conforming conventional loans in the state of Georgia. We are still working to allow all loan types to close by video.

Borrowers may choose to assign Power of Attorney to a family member who will execute the closing documents on their behalf. For limited cash-out and purchase transactions, the closing attorney or other allowable interested party may also be given Power of Attorney. For all transactions, borrowers may give Power of Attorney to an attorney who is not affiliated with the closing firm. 

In a mail-away closing, the borrower signs the closing documents in the physical presence of a notary, but not at the closing attorney’s office.

The fourth closing option is an in-person closing where the borrower meets with the closing attorney and notary to review and sign the closing documents. Closing attorneys are offering various formats for in-person closings and have implemented sanitizing and social distancing procedures to ensure the safety of employees and customers. 

Not all closing attorneys will offer all the closing options mentioned, and each firm will have their own procedures. Be sure to check with your closing attorney for their specific process.

Are appraisals still required?

For most loans, yes, appraisals will still be required. However, in response to COVID-19 health concerns, temporary flexibilities have been granted to lenders for appraisal requirements. For some loans, we will have the option to use different types of appraisals, such as a desktop appraisal or an exterior-only inspection, in lieu of a full interior/exterior inspection. There are also instances where appraisals are not required.

Should I wait to purchase a home?

Depending on your situation, now may still be a good time to purchase a home. Rates are low, and the Federal Reserve is making moves to avoid the type of credit unease we saw during the great recession.

Why should I choose BankSouth Mortgage during this crisis?

By partnering with a local lender like BankSouth Mortgage, you are choosing a lender with deep roots in the community. We have big-bank features with small-bank feel that means best-in-class mortgage products that close on time. BankSouth Mortgage is a local mortgage company, we have an up-to-the-minute understanding of the changes happening during the COVID-19 crisis, and will work hard to get your loan closed!

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