March 18th, 2020
To our valued customers and business partners,
Tidewater Home Funding, Benchmark Mortgage Companies and Farmers Bank Home Mortgage take COVID-19 extremely seriously. The well being of our employees and their families, along with our customers, business associates and friends, remains a priority during this unprecedented time in history. Our commitment to maintain business continuity while managing through this challenging event is our mission.
Currently, the Company’s offices are open, though our employees are equipped to work remotely if and/or when the need arises or a mandate is given. We are following safe protocol internally and externally to do our part in eliminating the virus threat, while also trying to keep personal and work life as calm and normal as possible.
After the Federal Reserve’s two most recent moves to lower the discount rate, long term interest rates are not trending lower, as many consumers expect. The rate the FED lowered is the short term interest rate financial institutions may borrow from the Federal Reserve. This is not the interest rate for which long term mortgages are based. Long term rates more closely follow the 10 year Treasury. Even still, long term rates are NOT trending lower. Why? Given the unknown impact of COVID-19 on the national and global economies, Financial Institutions are playing it safe by keeping rates higher than they otherwise should be, until there is some stability and clear direction in the markets. Keeping rates higher also assures that aggregators have the capacity to handle the enormous amount of business that resulted after two drastic rate reductions in an uncertain economic environment.
Most importantly, this message is to assure our community and market areas that we are OPEN for business, will make every effort to minimize business disruption while following appropriate protocol for protecting the Company’s employees. We greatly appreciate your patience during this unexpected health crisis which has significant impact to all business. Please do not hesitate to reach out to any of us to discuss current market conditions or your personal mortgage needs. We are here for you. On behalf of our entire company, we hope that you, your family and friends are safe and remain so during this global pandemic event.