Mortgage Bankers Association Forms Reverse Mortgage Task Force

image The Reverse Mortgage Report (RMR) just published that the Mortgage Bankers Association is forming a 15 member task force to help establish standards for the reverse mortgage business.  The task force will be lead by former MBA Chairwoman Regina Lowrie, who is the CEO of Vision Mortgage Capital of Pennsylvania.

According to Lowrie and MBA Chief Operating Officer John Courson, the MBA plans to leverage its resources to help lobby and provide economic research to establish best practices for the industry.  This will be especially important as the secondary market for reverse mortgage lending returns in the next several years, leading to more proprietary loan products. 

The MBA will also work towards nationwide standards to prevent state by state regulation like we have seen in Washington and Massachusetts.  Other issues the task force will tackle include servicing and counseling problems.  I’m hoping the MBA can help fix the counseling problems created by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008.  Included in the Bill is a provision which was sponsored by Senator Claire McCaskill that has resulted in seniors being turned away from counseling if they are unable to afford it.  I’ve contacted Senator McCaskill several times but have yet to receive any kind of response.   

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The MBA will be able to help with this by using its Mortgage Action Alliance (MAA) which keeps members informed to regulatory changes on the national and state levels.  If there is an issue that needs attention, an email is sent to members which allows you to take action on their website by automatically by forwarding your message to the necessary people (ie Claire McCaskill).  To see what I mean click here.  While I haven’t seen this set up for reverse mortgages yet, I’m sure it’s in the works.   

The task force also has plans to roll out a certification program for originators by the end of the year which is something we have been waiting for NRMLA to do.  It has been “in the works” for at least a year but who knows if they will ever release it.

I’m glad to see the MBA is taking a step towards being more active in the reverse mortgage business.  The size and influence of the MBA is needed to help our industry move in the right direction for businesses and seniors.

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  • NRMLA has invested a great deal of time, energy, and finances in its attempt to establish a credential program. NRMLA is now in the process of creating a committee to oversee that credential. One problem NRMLA faces is satisfying the needs of originators, underwriters, processors, servicers, senior management, and a host of others with credential programs that meet their needs.

    NRMLA is still identifying what types of credentials it will offer, priorities in developing the programs, and curriculum. Whatever is developed should be outstanding.

    The MBA is a great organization but will it ever adequately represent the interests of those in the reverse mortgage industry? Just looking at raw numbers, it would seem that the MBA would not place the concerns of the RM industry anywhere near the top of its list.

    As to credentials, do we really need more credentials or titles? We already have RMSs, RMCs, and others. What credibility or esteem do these titles and credentials have with the general public? We need an originator’s credential that has real meaning and recognition. It should mandate some type of screening including a criminal background check.

    In the accounting industry if the AICPA had not established the CPA as the gold standard then it would be lost among so many credentials like EA, CMA, CIA, etc. Fortunately although these are great credentials, the public as a whole, look to the CPA as the most meaningful. If all of the credentials had equal respect among the public as a whole, most people would not know whose assistance to seek.

    Whether we have a strong originators’ credential program offered through NRMLA or MBA is not the issue. We need one and only one to gain ascendancy so that it can be marketed and recognized as the credential of prominence in our industry. Having other credentials and credential programs is fine but dealing with the general public, originators need a single mark of excellence not just in our own eyes but most importantly, in those of the general public.

  • Regina Lowrie and John Courson have been recognized as leaders in the mortgage banking business for years, and the MBA has significant influence. Any efforts to improve the industry made by individuals with knowledge and influence is very welcome!

  • I wonder why they don’t partner with NRMLA – we don’t need two organizations doing the same thing. Uniting as a single organization working towards the same common goals is way better then “they’ve been saying it for a while and they’re too slow so we’re going to do it ourselves”.

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