In an effort to strengthen reverse mortgage counseling, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development published Mortgagee Letter 2009-47 to implement the HECM Counselor Roster and testing standards used to qualify counselors.
According to ML 09-47, 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 three years. After three years, the counselor must retake and pass the exam to remain on the Roster.
Lenders are required to give every client a list of HECM counseling providers that includes no fewer than nine HUD-approved counseling agencies, with
- Five agencies in the local area and/or state of the prospective borrower
- At least one of the local agencies located within a reasonable driving distance for the purpose of face-to-face counseling, and
- The four national intermediaries that provide telephone counseling
− National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) – 1-866-698-6322
− Money Management International (MMI) – 1-877-908-2227
− National Council on Aging (NCOA) – 1-800-510-0301, and
− Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Atlanta (CCCS of Atlanta) – 1-800-251-2227.
Lenders can obtain a list of these counseling agencies from the HECM Counselor Roster beginning October 2, 2009. Only agencies that appear on the HECM Counselor Roster may be included on the list given to prospective borrowers.