ALTA COVID-19 Update

March 18, 2020

HUD, Fannie, Freddie Suspend Foreclosures, Evictions During Outbreak

  • The Department of Housing and Urban Development will be suspending foreclosures and evictions for mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration until the end of April, President Donald Trump announced today. A HUD source familiar with the stop said the suspension would protect 8.1 million households.

Senate to Pass Coronavirus Package as Treasury Proposes Emergency Checks Starting April 6

  • The Senate is expected to pass a multi-billion dollar emergency aid package today to confront the economic impacts of the coronavirus, as the Treasury Department calls for $250 billion in direct payments to Americans starting April 6. The Senate's approval of the House-passed coronavirus bill paves the way for negotiations on a third, even larger stimulus package to address the pandemic. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reiterated his support for the House package and vowed to address any "imperfections" in the Senate's subsequent bill -- which McConnell promised to craft at "warp speed."

U.S. Coronavirus Cases Soar Past 7,000 as Doctors say Hospitals Aren't Prepared for a Continuing Surge

  • The American healthcare system might not be prepared for what's next in the coronavirus pandemic if people don't heed warnings from authorities, health officials say. Every state now has coronavirus after West Virginia reported its first case. Nationwide, more than 7,000 people have been infected, and more than 110 have died. Two major factors are fueling this pandemic: the fact that people with no symptoms can easily spread the virus, and problems with testing in the U.S. That's why it's critical for everyone -- even those who don't feel sick -- to stay at least 6 ft away from others and avoid social gatherings.

Track Reported Cases of COVID-19

  • Johns Hopkins University created this interactive map to track cases of the virus around the world.

Track County Office Closures

  • ALTA is tracking closures of county recording offices, as well as projected reopen dates, if online access is available and if counties accepts e-recording.

ALTA Response to COVID-19

  • ALTA is closely following the growing concerns relating to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) and the impact on our members, their customers and on our staff. This is a very fluid situation and ALTA continues to monitor updates from national and local public health officials regarding this epidemic. We are receiving many calls asking about county office closures, information on how to handle closings and updates on meetings, among other questions. To help provide answers, we have created a webpage to host ALTA/title industry related updates.

National News Roundup: U.S. Coronavirus Cases, a Stimulus Plan and the Canadian Border

  • All 50 states and the District of Columbia have confirmed coronavirus cases. More than 110 people infected with the virus have died in the United States, a toll that experts expect to rise quickly. The federal coronavirus plan aims to send $2,000 to many Americans and includes $300 billion for small businesses. The United States and Canada have agreed to close their 5,500-mile border to "all nonessential travel" as the deadly coronavirus outbreak continues to spread. The news comes as countries around the world adopt increasingly strict quarantine measures, and experts are warning that life worldwide will be severely disrupted for many months. According to data collected by John Hopkins University, confirmed cases of COVID-19 have topped 200,000 worldwide. Meanwhile, China -- the original epicenter of the crisis -- is reporting very few new cases.

State News Roundup: Primary Havoc, IT Supply Strain and ICE Agents' Arrests

  • The coronavirus attacked Tuesday's primaries as Illinois and Florida saw low voter turnout while Ohio decided to postpone altogether. Other issues included a shortage of election judges, failures to comply with sanitary guidelines and no-show poll workers. While tens of thousands of employees in multiple states have been told they can work remotely to reduce the risk of spreading the virus, the sudden surge of teleworkers is guaranteed to strain IT resources. West Virginia recently confirmed its first coronavirus case, and a recent study suggests the state may have the highest at-risk population in the nation. A study released by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 51 percent of West Virginia adults ages 18+ would be at a higher risk of serious illness if infected with COVID-19. Finally, with safety measures taken across California, immigrant advocates have criticized ICE for its continued enforcement operations. More than 45 organizations signed a letter calling on the Department of Homeland Security to suspend such actions. ICE said it would take precautions, given the new reality, but the arrests would go on.

Checks from the Government

  • As the coronavirus takes a growing toll on people's pocketbooks, there are reports that the government will soon be sending money by check or direct deposit to each of us. The details are still being worked out, but there are a few really important things to know, no matter what this looks like. Be on the lookout for scammers! Read more to see what the federal government will and won't do.

Amazon Tells Suppliers it Won't Accept New Shipments of Nonessential Items Until April 5

  • Amazon is taking drastic steps to prioritize delivery of essential items while pausing shipments of non-essential products to its warehouses as it tries to manage its supply chain strained by coronavirus-related demand. Amazon will still deliver products purchased by consumers for any category that is in stock. It has just asked sellers and retailers not to ship more nonessential items to its warehouses until at least April 5.

Webinar: What Financial Institutions Need to Do Now as a Result of the Coronavirus Pandemic

  • As the coronavirus hits its peak in the U.S., financial institutions are increasingly concerned about how to prepare for its impact on customers and operations, as well as regulators' expectations for handling the mounting crisis. Regulators have issued preliminary guidance, but the short-term and long-range impacts of the coronavirus on the financial services industry are just beginning to be understood. Join Ballard Spahr LLP for a discussion of consumer financial protection and safety and soundness topics from 12-1:30 p.m. ET on March 25.

Best regards,
Diane Tomb

Contact ALTA at 202-296-3671 or