Are you suffering from information overload? Check out these FAQs to learn more about new tax deadlines and extensions, rate information, remote online notarization, and more.
Have tax deadlines been extended?
Yes, for both the state of Idaho and the federal government. This applies to both filing and payments.
- New Idaho deadline: June 15.
- New federal deadline: July 15.
Does that apply to Idaho property taxes, too?
Yes, if you or your clients apply for the property tax circuit breaker, deferral, or service-connected benefit programs for disabled veterans. You can apply for a deferral through your county Assessor’s Office. Deferrals can help you save up to $1,320.
What’s happening with interest rates?
The Federal Reserve slashed its main interest rate to nearly zero on March 15 in response to the coronavirus. As of this writing, the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage was 3.438%, while the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage was 2.973%, according to Nerd Wallet.
Does that mean it’s a good time to refinance?
It definitely could be. We were already expecting a rise in refinances due to increasing property values and a tight housing market, but the downturn in the market has spurred a boom. Talk to your lender and see if refinancing is a good option for you, and let your clients know that refinancing rates are looking great — they’ll appreciate the outreach.
Should I be worried about security?
In a word: Definitely. Scammers are taking advantage of the move to home offices and unsecured networks — in fact, coronavirus-related phishing emails have increased an astounding 667 percent since the end of February. Here are five steps you can take to avoid email compromise and fraud:
- Call and confirm before taking any action. This is key not just for wire instructions, but for any email that you are not expecting or that has a link.
- Gather contact info for ALL parties verbally or via printed material (not from email or email signatures)
- Save these contacts in your database so their names will show as the sender vs. an email address. This will help you catch fraudulent email addresses that may be hackers.
- Forward emails instead of hitting reply all. This practice will ensure you enter the correct email addresses and removes any fraudulent email addresses that may be included.
- Register for and use the FNT startSafe™ system to reduce the risk of email compromise.
I need a notary. Help!
While many in our industry and in national government discuss the options of Remote Online Notarization (RON), we are finding a hard push back from the secondary lending market that is not allowing this solution to meet the needs of our buyers and borrowers during COVID-19. However, we can help you with RON if your lender approves. Just call us at 208-377-3190.
I’m trying to get ahead on marketing. Can you help?
Absolutely! We can still help you by creating flyers, compiling lists, and many other marketing tools. Contact Jessyca Hanson or Michelle Arevalo and they can help you use this stay-at-home period to hit the ground running once restrictions lift.
Is the FNT team still available to help me with transactions or questions?
Yes! Please feel free to reach out by calling 208-377-3190.