Building on Increases in Reverse Mortgage Lending

A recent 17 percent year-over-year increase in reverse mortgage lending has brightened the mood among industry professionals who are exhorting colleagues now to step up their game further. The FHA insured 11,261 HECMs in March – that’s 17 percent higher than the same month last year.  Spurred on by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (a.k.a. the stimulus package), which raised the loan ceiling to $625,000, the industry is confident even in these tough economic times volume should still increase.

Jason Levy, CEO, Guardian First Funding Group, New York cites another reason for growth. “At the end of the day the need [for reverse mortgages] is severe; it’s survival – a harsh reality – but it’s not an act of failure,” Levy points out, “to borrow when you’re in your 60s, 70s and 80s. It’s actually an act of success.” He says that is because seniors have “positioned themselves perfectly to have independence later in life,” utilizing equity in their homes to provide financial support.

That’s right, according to Bart Johnson, Life Stages Financial, Inc., Newport Beach, Calif., “All the conversation we have ought to be around how do we deliver home equity solutions to create liquidity for this massive and rapidly growing population of senior Americans who have no other answers.”


The problem, offers Ralph Rosynek of 1st Reverse Financial Services, Westmont, Ill., is that “the delivery mechanism we have for this product doesn’t work. We’re not seeing the volume we expected because we have an ‘old world’ consideration about how to deliver this product.” That means, he says, that “some of us still believe you sell this product, and we know it really can’t be sold. [So] we have a big education problem,” Rosynek contends.

Neil J. Morse has been a communications professional working in the mortgage finance industry for more than a decade, currently specializing in the reverse mortgage sector. He can be reached at

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  • I can tell you exactly why. Getting into the Reverse mtg industry has been a blessing for me and my company.I feel that this loan is a necessity for 2/3 rd’s of our Senior Population.

    My company went from doing 5 HECM originations per month in 07 and 1/2 of 08 to averaging over 50+ HECM originations in CA only in less than a yr. Most of you would like to know how this occured(?)

    I was determined to revolutionize the sell of the Reverse Mortgage as a lot of Seniors were depriving themselves of the Reverse Mortgage because there Financial Advisors, Accountants, and most of all there greedy children were influencing them not to. While these people live on canned food and only take the medications that keep them alive and not the medications that make them feel well on a daily basis!

    The summer of 09 was unexpected. However, I switched my technic and started going face to face. However, that still wasn’t the answer. I went to 500 homes of Seniors from June through Nov of 09.

    The 1st hundred House Calls i went on i only closed 6 Reverses. The next hundred I closed 18. The next hundred I close 37. The next hundred I closed 56 and by my last hundred I closed 71 Hecm’s. Needless to say I have built 3 branches here in CA and I am managing 30 Reverse Mortgage Originators and we are now in the top 30 Hecm Originators. I came up w/ a way to make Seniors feel comfortable about doing the Reverse Mortgage and i found out that most of them were ashamed to do it. Over 90% of all the Seniors that we visit have more than 5k in credit card debt and have had to take a HELOC in the last 3-4 yrs as the cost of living keeps increasing,they are out living there retirements, and they have lost there 401k, stocks, or investments in the last 6 mos.

    Lets think about it for a sec(?) Most of these people grew up during the Great Depression and are used to being poor and because they did w/ out they want to make sure there children don’t. Ultimately, leaving there children a Free and Clear home.

    Also lets not forget that in there generation they were always taught that it is the traditional and American way to pay off your home and get a 30 yr fixed rate.

    What makes the product difficult to sell besides the family guilt, the shame of having to do a reverse, and the the Financial Advisors influence is the fact that a Reverse is the opposite of paying off your home, most Hecm’s are adjustable and here’s the clincher the loan is fairly expensive. So when you have all of that going against you that makes for the product to be a bit more difficult to sell.

    I was just as flustered as everyone else. It took me over 500 housecalls to figuere out everything that i was doing wrong and I finally figuered out what these clients need to be told and for the most part w/ out giving up any secrets to my success, they need to be brought back to reality. Most of them don’t even know what’s going on in there financial world or they are in denial.

    But lemme tell you once I figuered it out my companies success and growth soared! I would be happy to share w/ you guys what this industry needs to create stimulation. I hope this can help:)

  • Mehran, now that you’ve mastered reverse mortgages maybe you can master spelling.

    You are my hero. I’ll send a 4th grader to work on your writing skills.

  • Congratulations, your sales figures, due to hard work, I’m sure, are impressive. It sounds like the old sales adage, you are “sellin not tellin”.

  • Hey reverseme,

    Spelling was never my thing. However, succes always has been. Why don’t you quit trying to act like a 4th grade teacher and start acting like someone who wants to close reverse mortgages. I can tell by your negativity that your business is suffering.

    Instead of making rude comments why don’t you try seeking some advice so that your employees don’t come looking for a job w/ someone w/ 4th grade spelling skills.

    btw- negativity is cancer and I feel sorry for you and everyone around you!

  • Right me an email, my address is above. I wrote this letter at 1 am last night after I got done w/ a 17 hr day. Again I am not an Ivy League Grad. I am a Serial businessman and Entrepeneur and I have to get back to work right now.

    Again please send me an email if you want advice. I will not be giving advice publicly!

  • I also wanted to add in here that I am seeing that most people want to pick apart my spelling skills and criticize my help. No wonder why you guys are having so much trouble closing these loans. None of you look at the big picture! You guys are all about nit-picking someones imperfections.

    Here’s a word of advice take a look at the big pic and the big pic is getting these Seniors to come in by droves and not to just be giving these Seniors free education but to close these Seniors on a life style not a loan. We are not doing charity work here! Believe me if we were I can think of ways that are much more exciting than free education to Seniors on Reverse Mortgages!

    We are the creators of this industry and we need to be leaders because there is no one to follow. This is not the subprime bubble where success will happen by default. The quote that the strong survive, is nothing less than the truth when it comes to being successful w/ Reverse Mortgages and being successful in this market!

    Wells Fargo is the leader, but lets be frank they have 6,000 branches and they are closing 2,000 loans per month. That is 1 loan for every 3 branches. Pathetic, if you ask my opinion!

    Start thinking outside the box everyone, I would not have had the success and growth w/ my company if I would have kept things vanilla. When it comes to selling the Reverse Mortgage you need to figuere out how to fit a square peg into a round hole.

    Again, if you need my help please email me. I have been able to give light to a lot of folks this morning. There is enough business out there for all of us to tackle, it just needs to be approached in a correct matter…

  • Gee, once again, I wish to congratulate you. This time it is your amazing improvement in writing/spelling skills from the first to the last post.

  • Cynic,

    Go ahead and be skeptical. Fyi- writing skills have NOTHING to do w/ closing a client on a Reverse. That’s why I have an assisstant. I believe that you let genious do his/her work best. Again the close has nothing to do with punctuation and grammar and if your perception is that it does then it doesn’t surprise me why you are seeking help.

    The close is an art and it involves everything from subliminal linguistics, body language, tone matching, and most important your presentation and client control. Our presentation is strategically broken down into 10 different parts over 3 hrs and ends w/ the client signing there pkg and them getting on the phone to schedule there counceling after we leave. That Cynic, is called the art of closing. Not the art of puncuation and grammar.

    If your asking me to unveil the secrets to my success(?) I will tell you that you will have better luck pounding sand! Unless you work for me the only thing I can offer is advice and you can email me for that.

    I invested over 1 million dollars and 1 yr of my time revolutionizing this sell and unless I have a vested financial interest w/ you then I cannot help you the way that you would like for me to.

    No offence it’s business!

  • Wow. You sound like a complete idiot.

    A 3 hour presenation? You don’t understand the first thing about this sale, or you’re a crook. More likely you’re just lying to us.

    It’s NOT about the presentation. The reverse mortgage is a SOLUTION sale. It’s about uncovering the person’s NEEDS. Period.

    Body language and tone matching. Come on you zero. I’ll show you some body language!

  • Well it is official now, reverse mortgages have hit the big time. We have “coaches” and “secrete closing techniques”.

    Here is some secrete sauce: work hard, make and return all calls, learn to use a database management system like ACT or Goldmine so you can stay in regular contact with prospects. Get involved in your community business organizations and don’t just show up once and expect referrals, it may take years. Buy leads while you build your referral network. Read all you can to understand this loan and attend the conferences. Work REAL hard, and always do what is right by the client and you might make it.

  • mehran is a shmuck. you couldn’t come up w/ anything better than that? Lemme ask you this how many Reverses have you closed?

    Your probably one of those people that think solutions are better than problems. FYI-You need a problem to create a solution and that goes w/ out saying!

    Most Reverse Mortgage agents convey the misconceptions and I bet your one of them. Again show me the numbers. My solution has allowed us to grow volume by 10% per month for the last yr. Which means that we have got to help over 1,000 seniors see the light. What’s your track record besides talking crap?

    Fyi- When your done breast feeding from mommy tonight I suggest you ask her to write your next blog. Until then I suggest you get back to work!

  • Mehran,

    You are a complete idiot. Most people here will tell you that by the time a senior consents to letting you into their home, they are ready to do the reverse. If you had only 6 reverses in your first 100 house calls, you must have learned to shower before your appointments, they must have been kicking you out because you stunk like a diaper!

    Most of the people I know in this industry have a “conversion ratio” of well above 50% once they have set an in home appointment.

    You have invested over 1 million dollars to learn what even the worst of originators already know. If people are struggling to make ends meet and it took you 500 house calls to figure out how to close them effectively, what kind of moron are you?

    I think people have better things to do than email a complete schmuck for advice on how to succeed.

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