The state of Massachusetts has always taken a very aggressive approach to regulating reverse mortgage products and one of the states top consumer advocates is calling for new ways to protect people from unsolicited loans, high fees for bounced checks, and possible problems with reverse mortgages.
According to an article from Mass Live, Barbara Anthony, undersecretary of consumer affairs and business regulation for Gov. Deval L. Patrick, made a strong pitch for the measures during a legislative hearing on Beacon Hill.
“We all have a self-interest in keeping off the market credit products that are not grounded in a borrower’s ability to repay and which do not provide easily understood and fully disclosed terms and conditions,” Anthony said during an appearance before the Committee on Financial Services.
On reverse mortgages, Anthony urged a requirement for “face to face” counseling sessions before people sign up with a bank or another lender, except when there is an extreme hardship. Most counseling sessions are now done over the phone, she said.
Anthony added that lenders should be banned from pushing products such as annuities or long-term care insurance while offering a reverse mortgage.