Massachusetts Consumer Advocate Calls for Additional Reverse Mortgage Protections

image 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.

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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.

Mass. Undersecretary of Consumer Affairs Barbara Anthony asks lawmakers to craft new ways to protect consumers

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  • Requiring face-to-face counseling may pose problems for those who are shut-ins or do not like driving into metropolitan areas.

    How many more requirements are we going to see states add on to HUD counseling? Perhaps we should subject interested borrowers to a psychological evaluation and a blood test. This would insure they are of sound mind and would live long enough to benefit from the reverse mortgage.

    I'm being sarcastic, but seriously we need the states to slow down.

  • If the article expresses the extent of her concerns regarding reverse mortgages, Ms. Anthony seems like a well meaning but slightly misdirected consumer advocate.

    If face-to-face counseling is such a necessity, why should the borrower be required to go to the counselor? We all know seniors for whom leaving their home at all is not just a matter of inconvenience. It seems that like travelling notaries, there could be a core of travelling counselors in Massachusetts. Of course the question then becomes who would pay for the additional cost….

    The cross selling issue is another matter. But Ms. Anthony does not seem as unbalanced on this issue as others. In today's environment, her position seems mild.

  • Requiring face-to-face counseling may pose problems for those who are shut-ins or do not like driving into metropolitan areas.rnrnHow many more requirements are we going to see states add on to HUD counseling? Perhaps we should subject interested borrowers to a psychological evaluation and a blood test. This would insure they are of sound mind and would live long enough to benefit from the reverse mortgage.rnrnI’m being sarcastic, but seriously we need the states to slow down.

  • If the article expresses the extent of her concerns regarding reverse mortgages, Ms. Anthony seems like a well meaning but slightly misdirected consumer advocate. rnrnIf face-to-face counseling is such a necessity, why should the borrower be required to go to the counselor? We all know seniors for whom leaving their home at all is not just a matter of inconvenience. It seems that like travelling notaries, there could be a core of travelling counselors in Massachusetts. Of course the question then becomes who would pay for the additional costu2026. rnrnThe cross selling issue is another matter. But Ms. Anthony does not seem as unbalanced on this issue as others. In today’s environment, her position seems mild.rn

  • Would face to face counseling be more expensive, be a longer process from app to cert, be way more cumbersome for counselors with cancellations etc., and require lots more counselors?

    Maybe the new counseling protocol will include an essay question.

  • Would face to face counseling be more expensive, be a longer process from app to cert, be way more cumbersome for counselors with cancellations etc., and require lots more counselors?rnrnMaybe the new counseling protocol will include an essay question.

  • we dont need more uninformed legislators passing more laws on a subject they know nothing about. The unintended consequence will be that they will drive lenders out of MA and seniors will be the losers.

    I say again, if there is evidence of abuse and fraud, ENFORCE THE LAW !!! Pull the licenses !!! Publicize the names of perpetrators !!!

    If there is no evidence, then stop trying to “fix” the “problem” .

  • we dont need more uninformed legislators passing more laws on a subject they know nothing about. The unintended consequence will be that they will drive lenders out of MA and seniors will be the losers.rnrnI say again, if there is evidence of abuse and fraud, ENFORCE THE LAW !!! Pull the licenses !!! Publicize the names of perpetrators !!! rnrnIf there is no evidence, then stop trying to “fix” the “problem” .

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