The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development published a final rule which establishes testing standards to qualify HECM counselors in order to provide reverse mortgage counseling to prospective borrowers.
The rule also establishes a new HECM Counseling Roster of eligible counselors who must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Have passed the National HECM Counseling Exam
- Have successfully completed at least one training course related to HECM counseling within the past two years;
- NOT be listed on the General Services Administration’s Excluded Parties List System (EPLS), HUD’s Limited Denial of Participation List (LDP), or HUD’s Credit Alert Interactive Voice Response System (CAIVRS), and
- Be employed by a HUD-approved housing counseling agency.
Other key provisions from the rule include:
- HECM counselors who took and passed the exam on or before October 2, 2009, will automatically be included on the HECM Counseling Roster and remain there for 3 years. After 3 years, a counselor must retake and pass the exam to remain on the Roster.
- Any counselor removed from the roster who wishes to be reinstated must submit written evidence that the deficiencies previously cited by HUD have been corrected.
- Any counselor wishing to be listed on the HECM Counseling Roster cannot be listed on the General Services Administration’s Suspension or Debarment List, HUD’s Limited Denial of Participation List, or HUD’s Credit Alert Interactive Response System.
- Counselors will be given 30 days to submit a written appeal if they have been selected for removal from the Counseling Roster.
- Counselors can be removed from the Counseling Roster for up to 1 year. A complete list of reasons for which a counselor can be removed from the Roster is located on the final page of the rule.
- HUD will display the date when a counselor is added to the Roster.
- HUD’s Office of Single-Family Housing will maintain the HECM Counseling Roster and web site.
- Counselors will be retested every 3 years to remain on the Roster and must meet continuing education requirements.