Reverse Mortgage Lender Expands Into Massachusetts

washington-trust-logo Rhode Island based Washington Trust announced the opening of a new mortgage lending office in Sharon, Massachusetts.  It’s the first residential lending office in Massachusetts and includes ten Washington Trust mortgage lending professionals who are both experienced and well-known in the Massachusetts market area.

“This is a great time for Washington Trust to expand into the Greater Boston area with a residential mortgage office,” said Stephen M. Bessette, executive vice president, retail lending. “The residential real estate market is showing signs of recovery and consumers are turning to community banks, like Washington Trust, for traditional mortgage options, trusted advice and personal service.”

According to a company statement it’s the number one reverse mortgage lender in Rhode Island, for the period of July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2009.  Over the last 12 months, Washington Trust has endorsed 58 HECMs according to data from HUD’s Neighborhood Watch.

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Washington Trust has a group of videos produced by MindBlazer to help educate borrowers on reverse mortgages.  You can see the video here.

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  • The ads in this industry are full of myths, like this one. For example,

    • There is no promise anywhere in any reverse mortgage product Washington Trust currently offers that — with no qualification — promises “payments for life.” While that may be true for an annuity, that is not true with any reverse mortgage this company offers.

    • This ad claims that in most cases reverse mortgages are paid off when the last borrower passes away. Really? I would like to see the statistics verifying that part of this script.

    • After Mortgagee Letter 2008-38, this ad is still proclaiming that the borrower can never owe more than the house is worth. The word “never” means never, not “never unless you or your heirs want to keep the house after the loan becomes due and payable….”

    • It is good that they talk about taxes and insurance needing to stay current but then they leave out maintenance.

    • The ad talks about Social Security and Medicare but fails to mention SSI or Medicaid.

    • The ad says the home cannot be taken from you which is true but the loan can be called due which for most people means the same exact thing.

    • There is no statement about maintaining the home as your principal residence or the one year rule.

    • Then the ad states that there are no credit requirements. While it can be said that there are no FICO score minimums, it is entirely false to say there are no credit requirements.

    This ad is another sad example of how reverse mortgages are marketed. It is no wonder that our marketing is under scrutiny.

  • This ad is another example of the myths that members of our industry intentionally perpetrate. For example, rnrnu2022tThere is no promise anywhere in any reverse mortgage product Washington Trust currently offers that — with no qualification — promises u201cpayments for life.u201d While that may be true for an annuity, that is not true with any reverse mortgage this company offers.rnrnu2022tThis ad claims that in most cases reverse mortgages are paid off when the last borrower passes away. Really? I would like to see the statistics verifying that part of this script.rnrnu2022tAfter Mortgagee Letter 2008-38, this ad is still proclaiming that the borrower can never owe more than the house is worth. The word u201cneveru201d means never, not u201cnever unless you or your heirs want to keep the house after the loan becomes due and payable….” rnrnu2022tIt is good that they talk about taxes and insurance needing to stay current but then they leave out maintenance.rnrnu2022tThe ad talks about Social Security and Medicare but fails to warn about SSI or Medicaid.rnrnu2022tAlthough the ad correctly states the home cannot just be taken from borrowers, it fails to discuss the loan becoming due because no borrower has occupied the home as her/his principal residence for over one year rule. Calling the loan due for many borrowers is the same as taking the home away from them and can result in foreclosure.rnrnu2022tThen the ad states that there are no credit requirements. While it can be said that there are no FICO score minimums, it is entirely false to say there are NO credit requirements.rnrnWashington Trust can do better, much better. This ad is another sad example of how reverse mortgages are marketed. It is no wonder that our marketing is under scrutiny. rnrn

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