On October 1st, EverBank Reverse officially joined MetLife Home Loans. MetLife acquired EverBank Reverse in June of this year as well as the retail mortgage business from First Horizon National Corp a few days later. Together the two business will have over 200 retail mortgage locations in the U.S.
Prior purchasing First Horizons mortgage platform, MetLife had no retail mortgage locations but still originated loans through referrals from insurance agents. Being one of the largest insurance providers, having its own reverse mortgage company makes a lot of sense. MetLife became the second major insurance company to purchase a reverse mortgage lender after Genworth acquired Liberty Reverse in 2007.
It’s unlikely we will see any real integration between its reverse mortgage and insurance companies until HUD issues its guidance on cross selling products with reverse mortgages. Included in the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 is a provision sponsored by the “Award Winning” Senator Claire McCaskill, which requires reverse mortgage lenders to maintain firewalls and safeguards between any associated financial or insurance companies.
According to the Mortgagee Letter 2008-24, HUD plans to issue a definitive guidance on this “cross selling” provision in collaboration with the industry through an administrative process. During the process, FHA will seek comments from the public and I would expect MetLife and Genworth to be very active participants in the process.