Reverse Mortgage Week In Review

image I was happy to see the reverse mortgage industry get some good press from ABC’s Good Morning America earlier in the week (thanks Jean!).  After the senate hearing a few weeks ago it seemed like all the press was bashing our industry.  If you didn’t get a chance to catch it, check out the video here.  

Also take a look at the comments from the article (57 when I posted this)… people seemed to be upset that she mentioned you shouldn’t have a mortgage balance.  I understand this complaint but the video was very positive and our industry needs more of this.  My personal favorite comment was:

Something’s got to provide Mr. and Mrs. America the means to keep the status quo, otherwise down they’ll go….homeless and on the street. God Bless Reverse Mortgages!

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Amen.

A few other new stories:

Have a great weekend!

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  • Letter to NBC.

    Dear MSNBC,
    After a fair and very positive commentary about reverse mortgages by Mellody Hobson on GMA earlier this week, I was shocked to see the superficial and irresponsible piece on the ‘horrors’ of reverse mortgages on the Nightly News last evening (1/10). To say that it was sensationalistic, incomplete and erroneous is an understatement, to say nothing of being incredibly biased.

    You have done as much a disservice to senior homeowners as any unscrupulous lenders have to this point. This is a wonderful program, the result of years of intense work by the AARP, FHA and IndyMac Bank’s Financial Freedom. By concentrating on some isolated problems without providing constructive advice or presenting the other relevant facts, you have condemned the entire industry with one stroke.
    Seniors are understandably cautious enough and you have done nothing more than frighten them and cause them to not even consider dealing with an FHA approved lender and a member of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Assoc. Our clients read and sign a document as part of the application that states the originator HAS NOT offered or discussed annuities or any other financial investment with the borrower. IT IS UNETHICAL. To damn those of us who do this work not to get rich but to provide an option that has spared some homeowners from having to decide between paying for prescription drugs or paying for food, is the most irresponsible kind of journalism imaginable.

    You took one example of a woman who probably shouldn’t have been advised to pursue a reverse mortgage in the first place and made her the focal point. The fact that her lender did something basically illegal is portrayed as a common occurrence. The piece mentions the possibility of foreclosure which is just what a reverse mortgage guards against. To be so one sided on such a complicated issue is more worthy of Fox news.

    For a trusted name like NBC to handle a story so cavalierly makes me wonder how many other stories you have misrepresented or skewed to add a dramatic element. I now know I cannot trust anything coming out of Brian Williams mouth. I will never watch NBC again I promise you that…Charlie Gibson here I come.
    An extremely disappointed former viewer,
    John Brodey

  • I work in the reverse mortgage division of Bank of America as an Equity Loan Officer. I have had industry experence in FHA for over 20 years, am a memeber of AARP, as well as an approved volunteer for the organization.
    Though I love the word to get out in a positive fashion on Reverse Mortgages, much of what was said was incorrect or left out all together. The biggest mistake was that you must have no mortgage to get a reverse mortgage! A reverse mortgage is based on two main factors. Age of the youngest borrower and value of the home. A third factor comes into play after the appraisal is done which is the FHA cap for loan limits in your area. But large banks such as Bank of America and those who are approved to use a Jumbo Reverse Mortgage that Fannie mae offers are able to go much higher that FHA’s cap, which should be raised in the very near future.
    I agree with much of what was said by John Brodey, other than it was GMA’s at ABC mistake not NBC’s.
    It made me think how many stories that I have little knowledge on have been reported so poorly and no retraction or concern by GMA proceeded.
    My solution to a blunder such as this (in a time when baby boomer’s are turning 50 every 7 seconds and Reverse Mortgages in this sick mortgage market with become a necessity of many,) is to get AARP, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Financial Freedom, representatives, on television, along with a couple of Reverse mortgage homeowner’s and have a open discussion. Otherwise GMA would continue to have negative exposure to this situation and future commentaries would be lacking belief.
    Those of us who meet with the homeowner’s, like myself work hard to give out correct information and when a respected TV show such as GMC gives misinformation we all suffer and loss respect!

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