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Regulators Responding to Coronavirus Spread

According to World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, almost 125,000 cases have now been reported to WHO, from 118 countries and territories, the classification of the virus as a pandemic is not a signal to give up, but rather a signal for countries to “double down.

“This is a controllable pandemic,” Ghebreyesus said in a briefing. “Countries that decide to give up on fundamental public health measures may end up with a larger problem, and a heavier burden on the health system that requires more severe measures to control.”

“All countries must strike a fine balance between protecting health, preventing economic and social disruption, and respecting human rights,” he added.

Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Director Mark Calabria has said that the FHFA, as well as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, will be meeting the needs of home borrowers.

“To meet the needs of borrowers who may be impacted by the coronavirus, last week Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reminded mortgage servicers that hardship forbearance is an option for borrowers who are unable to make their monthly mortgage payment,” Calabria said. “For borrowers that may be experiencing a hardship, I encourage you to reach out to your servicer. The Enterprises and the Federal Home Loan Banks continue to provide support to the secondary mortgage market, and the UMBS market continues to operate at its normal level.”

Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, led six letters to Administration officials, prudential regulators, financial services organizations and credit reporting agencies expressing concerns about risks related to COVID-19 and the steps they are taking to prevent Americans and the financial system from being harmed.

“While our federal regulators, agencies and financial institutions must take action to protect consumers and our economy, I must emphasize that it is unacceptable to use this crisis as an excuse to justify rollbacks of important financial regulations that are in place to protect our financial system and economy,” Congresswoman Waters said in her letter.

Globally, hard-hit countries are adapting to attempt to mitigate the harm to borrowers. Italy, for example, is suspending mortgage payments across Italy as part of measures to soften the economic blow of coronavirus on households, according to Laura Castelli, Italy's Deputy Economy Minister.

President Trump stated that the U.S. economy is well-positioned to handle the crisis. The CEOs of the nation's largest banks met with President Trump Wednesday, discussing the next steps and a plan of action to combat growing concerns surrounding COVID-19, according to CNBC.

"Smart action today will prevent the spread of the virus tomorrow," the President stated.

About Author: Seth Welborn

Seth Welborn is a Reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Harding University, he has covered numerous topics across the real estate and default servicing industries. Additionally, he has written B2B marketing copy for Dallas-based companies such as AT&T. An East Texas Native, he also works part-time as a photographer.
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