Urban Launches New Private HomeSafe Reverse Mortgage

Urban Financial of America is rolling out a new, proprietary reverse mortgage that will be made available to borrowers beginning September 2.

The new, fixed-rate loan, called the “HomeSafe,” will be focused on borrowers with high-value homes, with a maximum loan amount slightly more than $2 million. It will roll out initially in five states: California, Florida, Hawaii , New Jersey and Texas, with more states anticipated in the coming months.

A private investor group has partnered with UFA on the product, which has long been in the making, says Urban Financial President and CEO Steve McClellan.


“There is a lot of investment interest in this market and we have been working on it for quite some time,” he tells RMD, declining to comment on whether the product will be securitized.

The reverse mortgage market has, for several years, offered just a single proprietary reverse mortgage: Generation Mortgage’s Generation Plus jumbo loan, which was reintroduced in 2010. The Generation product is offered to borrowers with homes valued between $500,000 and $6 million, well outside the bounds of the Federal Housing Administration’s Home Equity Conversion Mortgage lending limit.

Other lenders have talked about the potential for more proprietary products, but none has yet to offer one.

Urban sees the Home Safe as an opportunity to work with borrowers who own non-FHA approved condos as well as high-valued homes.

“We view this as a complementary product, not a replacement product,” McClellan says. “It doesn’t apply for everybody, but it will allow for more participants in the market.”

The pricing of the product, which will include a credit underwrite for borrowers, will be more competitive than what is currently offered, he adds.

“Our product is priced a lot more attractively than the market. It will be a lot more price-friendly to clients,” he says.

It will launch at an initial interest rate around 7% and will be made available through Urban’s wholesale and correspondent channels, with Urban doing the underwriting of the loans.

“If you are a younger senior and you have a $700,000 condo that is not FHA approved, you can’t get anything out of that home with the HECM,” he says, noting the 140,000 senior homeowners in California with homes valued at more than $1 million.

Urban is mum on details of the loan-to-value ratios that will be available under the Home Safe loan.

“That’s a big part of our secret sauce,” McClellan says.

Hinting as to the possible loan amounts, however, Urban says the loan amount will be driven by age and home value.

“The older you are, the more you can access,” McClellan says.

Under one sample scenario, a homeowner with a $1.5 million home with a $100,000 mortgage can qualify to borrow roughly $410,000 under the fixed rate HECM program including a $246,000 upfront draw. With the HomeSafe, the same borrower can access $575,000, all upfront.

On purchase reverse mortgages, the HomeSafe will allow for seller credits, which are not allowed under the HECM program, offering an additional advantage to those utilizing the product.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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  • I assume the 246k upfront draw includes the 100k mortgage putting this borrower somewhere around 80yrs and providing around 38% LTV on the Homepath. I look forward to seeing the tables for younger homeowners as well. Ecstatic with all the new possibilities! Great work Steve 🙂

  • “Non FHA Approved Condos? Seller Concessions? Bravo! Way to show the industry the way forward into the future.
    With HUD conjuring up ways to make a Federally Insured mortgage program “risk free” it won’t be long before a conforming Conventional reverse mortgage with private mortgage insurance will be competitive.
    HUD has ventured so far from its original mission with this program as to invite legitimate and competitive conventional competitors.
    We can only hope. The HECM program has become too mired in its own regulatory quagmire.

    • 7.25 percent was the “average” interest rate on hecms for approximately 20 years. When we used the CMT exclusively….and margins were in the 1.50 range.
      These rates we’ve seen for the past decade are soon to be a thing of the past as rates find their way back to “AVERAGE”.
      the weekly average yield on U.S. securities adjusted to a constant maturity of 1 year….the CMT as we now call it, when combined with a margin of 1.5 to 2.00 would have averaged to 7.25 or higher. Try to imagine what that would do to PLF’s ! Yes that’s right! Borrowers would get 40 percent less than they get now! exciting huh?

  • The condo angle is a positive one but under what accordance’s? Is this the “spot condo” coming back? And yes 7% is a bit high, even in this not yet settled marketplace but I would imagine its also a harbinger of opportunity for others sitting on the fence with all of this liquidity I keep hearing about. Rates would come down with extra entrants. Kudos to ingenuity and gravitas on the new product.

  • What would really be exciting is if the program accommodated co-ops. It’s been over 6 years since HR 3221 was signed, and a Reverse Mortgage solution for co-ops still doesn’t exist.

  • “Urban Financial of America is rolling out a new, proprietary reverse mortgage that will be made available to borrowers beginning September 2.”
    Isn’t that in less than 1 week? Where is all the information, tables, U/W guidelines, training? If it’s not set to come out in 1 week then why no correction.

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