NRMLA Announces Fee Structure and More Details on Professional Designation

Another byproduct of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association Annual Conference in San Diego was the release of additional details regarding the Certified Reverse Mortgage Professional (CRMP) designation. 

At the conference, the Independent Certification Committee (ICC) approved a passing score for the exam, the Code of Ethics that every applicant must adhere to, the manual of policies and procedures, and the fee structure for the CRMP designation.

The fee structure for the CRMP will be as follows:

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  • Application Fee = $250
  • If applicant meets eligibility requirements, Background Check   < $100
  • If pass exam, $450 Exam Fee before receive CRMP (can be paid upfront or over 3 years)
  • If fail exam, $195 for each additional exam administration (can take two additional times)
  • Overall cost: $800 – $1190

NRMLA hopes to award the first CRMP designations this spring, in conjunction with the NRMLA regional meetings. The revised candidate handbook and Code of Ethics have been posted on the NRMLA site, while the application will be posted “shortly.”

Write to Reva Minkoff

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  • The fees seem steep. Are there discounts for NRMLA members versus nonmembers? With SAFE licensing what is the need of a background for such licensees? What about renewal fees?

  • I'll go out on a limb here (lol) and guess that less than 100 will complete this designation with in the first year. What senior has ever asked you what your designations are?!?!?!? I know of a guy who hangs his hat on his CSA designation, with little to no advantage overall. Good Luck NRMLA. You'll never get a grand out of me for something as useless as this designation that will do nothing except further your bank account.

  • What a bunch of Peter (…)(……)Bell CRAP. The first person to pay the FINE FOR WORKING should be Peter (…)(……)Bell himself. These guys have NO clue! Quit hiring young people who have no real interest in Seniors other than
    their money might be a better start.

  • It sounds like a money-maker for NRMLA. I sure it will make a lot of people feel good about themselves like the ridiculous CSA (Certified Senior Advisor) designation did for insurance/annuity salesmen. It will make the senior homeowner feel safe. With all the talk of decieving Seniors, it seems like putting a lit on designations should be looked at before the RM.

  • This in addition to the SAFE Act licensing? Really?

    The CRMP would have some value if it was adopted by several states as a model of educational requirements for originating HECMs. That never did or would happen. The government wants their money.

    At a time when originators are struggling to stay afloat financially and already have to pay out to meet SAFE act requirements the CRMP will remain alphabet soup behind someone's name.

  • Very few reverse mortgage specialists with experience will sign up for this unless their employer pays for it.
    TThe senior cares very little about your professional designation and a lot about how you relate to them.

  • Make the fee resonable & I might be interested! How many times do we need a background check–already been checked & fingerprinted for a mere $300 for NMLS! Another way to get “fees” out of us.
    If you need to flash a designation in front of a senior in order for them to do business with you–you have other major creditability issues!

    What’s next?

  • You have to give Peter Bell credit for creative thinking. I wonder how many of the big boys on the NRMLA board are going to shell out a grand to get their “designation”. Even if some of the States as aneducational requirement,NRMLA shouldn't be involved. Maybe NRMLA could follow SAFE ACT precedence and exempt the federal banks?

  • One of the longer-winded posters on this blog, who is also very active with NRMLA and has a CPA designation after his name, has been pushing for this. I never saw the purpose of it. I think it would be more useful if handled through NMLS as a license.

    • mama1945,

      I am active in NRMLA, have pushed for the designation for several years, and by many accounts am “longer-winded.”

      One reason for promoting the NRMLA credential went away earlier this year with the implementation of the SAFE licensing rules. Since early 2006 It was my hope that the exam developed by NRMLA for its designation program, would be adopted by the states as the exam for licensing reverse mortgage originators. If you are advocating that the NMLS provide a separate license for reverse mortgage origination using the NRMLA exam, I agree.

      There were two other significant reasons for supporting the designation. In the middle part of this decade, I met a few convicted felons who were originating reverse mortgages; some were very, very successful. The felonies were old and had to do with drinking and drugs, not financial crimes; however, that caused some concern about other originators who might have been convicted of financial felonies against seniors. At the time there were many new originators in the industry and the quality of information provided by originators varied greatly. The designation would at least provide limited assurance that the holder was not a felon and actually had attained a qualifying level of tested knowledge.

      Unfortunately because it could not be acted upon quickly enough, the NRMLA CRMP does not seem as necessary or as valuable. It still has meaning and could yet have considerable value but only if it is highly promoted by NRMLA.

      To avoid receiving the title “longest winded,” I will stop here.

  • The 'complainers' are missing the point: the objective of certification is to raise the professionalism and quality of service of the industry as a whole, providing a standard of competence that is too often missed by industry corporate participants' spotty (generous!) attempts at education and training. That said, I'll reserve judgement on the reasonableness of the cost until I see the curriculum and materials offered in support of obtaining the CRMP designation.

  • I just had a thought: This sounds like pretty easy money. Maybe I'll start my own certification program; I'll call it CRUM–Certified Reverse Ultimate Mortgage designation. $5.00 Application Fee; Client Testimonial Letters in place of a Background Check: $2.00 readership Fee; 10 Question Exam (Sample question–Do you have the wherewithall to point out to a Senior where to sign on a “highlited” line on the Application?) $18.00 There should be no failures since all questions require a yes or no answer. Let's see now: $25.00 times 1,000 lucky sales people equals $25,000; why that's
    about 10% of what some of these Company Bigwigs make while never having to dirty their fingernails actually meeting Seniors in their homes. Probably
    10% or or less what Peter (…)(……)Bell makes every year off the backs of Seniors via Loan Originators. Such a deal!

  • The “complainer” point is having NRMLA present us with a designation is like the rooster in the henhouse charging to certify the hens are qualified to lay eggs.

  • There are a lot of P.O. people on this blog. I personally think the issue it the fee. $1000 seems excessive to say the least especially at a time when people are broke. I would have guessed maybe $199 and the ability to pass the test. I personally would like to have the designation, but it is just too expensive so I will do without.

    My feeling is the same as comment #1. There will be few people who have the knowledge to pass the exam and the desire to hand NRMLA $1,000 🙂

  • RevGuyJim,

    If “the objective of certification is to raise the professionalism and quality of service of the industry as a whole, providing a standard of competence that is too often missed by industry corporate participants' spotty (generous!) attempts at education and training.”, wouldn't you think that this would be as affordable as possible, or even subsidized or free from NRMLA? Aren't they interested in making sure that ALL RM LO's are properly trained? Or are they interested in finding another income source? It's one or the other-not both.

    • Again, I'm reserving judgement until I see the quality of their curriculum and materials. I would gladly pay $1000 for outstanding and current materials, not available elsewhere, that would truly enhance my ability to serve my senior clients as well as better educate my reluctant referral partners in financial services. Witness the College for Financial Planning and their CFP designation. If it turns out to be 'pay for the paper,' then shame on NRMLA.

  • Wow, I can't believe the negativity! I agree that the suggested fee is too high, but what did you expect when NRMLA charges $25 for the lunch & learns that are only available to its members anyway? Pretty much everyone I know who has a CSA says that it was a waste of money. I'm not sure what the value will be with a CRMP.

  • Wow, this subject raised some attention. What surprises me more is the semi-consensus that P.Bell and NRMLA are pretty self-serving. I guess Mr.Bell has learned from his buddy Barney Frank and expects us to just bend over and take it. The bottom line is we can just get on with life and business and vote with our wallets.

  • Let me first say that I like the idea of a “reverse mortgage knowldege” designation. It will be helpful when responding to all the criticism coming from the media and other agencies. The message from NRMLA, a respected organization in our market, will be that the public should look to those that have earned the designation.

    The part that I don't like is the CE credits are currently limited. They are pushing for you to attend the NRMLA conferences. When you add in the cost of attending the conferences, you're looking at a much higher cost for the designation.

    • It is your comment that dashes the hopes of those who want to find better materials and more education through the program. BUT you are exactly right.

      I have heard from members of the original groups which considered this designation that there were serious discussions about lots of education requirements outside the meetings for NRMLA conventions and regional meetings. It really sounded interesting in those days. Then along came the ICC and the education requirements flew right out ye olde window.

      I wonder if the larger lenders thought that they would have to pay for some or all of the CRMP and overruled the original groups including Peter Bell. The way I heard it, Peter Bell wanted a high quality designation. Well, members of the ICC — this AIN'T it.

  • NRMLA Designations

    Please, Please, Please! We must understand that NRMLA is a Non-Profit Organization. They have had a rough year financially just as the rest of us in the Industry. The fees for Certified Reverse Mortgage Professional (CRMP) are needed to financially assist them as a Non-Profit Business. Remember – Non-Profit Organizations survive by donations! They exist on membership fees, etc.

    If we want this Certification, why won’t NRMLA let us send letters to NRMLA from our Clients, Client’s Families, Estate Attorneys, Financial Planners, Senior Organizations, Legal Services, etc. and get our CRMP certification mailed to us for maybe $10.00, – OK, OK, maybe – $15.00?

    The certification means nothing to the majority of seniors we assist and will continue to assist. The Relationship with our senior clients, their family and Professional Individuals is our “Certification” as the Professional in the Reverse Mortgage Industry. This relationship, not a certification, means everything to those we serve.

    As others have mentioned we see many certifications flying about us, CSA, SRES, RMS, GRI, LL.M., RMP, CRS, RMC, LMFT, FC, etc., they mean nothing to the majority of our clients. We all know people with designations and no commitment to their clients.

    My personal opinion, Designations are Designations only and will not provide relationship assets or fiduciary obligations to our clients. We, in the Industry, provide the attitude and professional relationship to our clients. Designations are just Designations! Some are beneficial to us and some are just Designations. The ability to build a relationship is primary. Without this ability, your future in the reverse mortgage industry and others are limited.

    By the way, the code of ethics set by the companies we work for and contract with may exceed NRMLA’s Code of Ethics. Violating a code of ethics does not mean a Law was violated. Violating a Law violates all codes of ethics.

  • Holy designation Batman! The Joker, Mr. Bell, (and I'm picturing Barney Frank as the Penquin) has pulled a practical on us. Just when you thought NRMLA could get it right, it takes a page from the administration and tacks on a huge fee for this designation. The comments here seem to reflect dismay at the cost, question its necessity and show a disdain for the program to the extent they will not seek designation. I hereby throw my name into that hat. I concur.

  • This blog generally recognizes that the proposed NRMLA CRMP fees are excessive and the designation may be of dubious benefit. Much of NRMLA’s offering falls into this category. In June 2008 my company dropped its NRMLA membership after a 7-year association. In seven years, with over 200 HECMs closed, we never identified a single applicant that came to us as a result of being listed on the NRMLA site. And we do ask our customers how they find us.

    During those seven years, it seemed that NRMLA pursued goals more in tune with big lenders… not small independents. Example: 1) Elimination of the requirement for the borrower to sit face-to-face with either the counselor or the loan officer. This opened the floodgates for mail order, out-of-area lenders who could not provide the handholding, personal attention so many seniors require. 2) The HECM Advisor Program – with all the problems that surfaced later. 3) NRMLA’s position on cross selling, for years, seemed to support not limiting such matters by Congress. NRMLA represents only the reverse mortgage industry. I could never understand why NRMLA had any concern for the financial planning or insurance industries.

    Add to the above the fact that NRMLA’s dues are extraordinarily regressive. Lenders doing less than 50 loans per year incur higher cost per closed loan than lenders closing more than 50 loans. For small lenders this cost can run between $35 and $70 per loan – depending on your volume. That is expensive for small businesses. It does not seem right that membership should be based on your business volume. NRMLA’s dues are structured now just as they were ten years ago (unless there has been a change since 2008). Perhaps at that time, with start up membership, the higher dues might have been necessary. Industry growth now, however, should make room for change.

    It seems that NRMLA could better serve the reverse mortgage industry by making available quality training and reasonably priced membership to all those seeking to improve their knowledge. Dues should be more in line with other trade organizations and not be so high as to dissuade the average originator. Bring in four or five times as many members as present and, perhaps, fees would not need to be so high.

    I wish NRMLA well with their CRMP program. But as for me, if I must pay $1750 dues, +/- $1000 CRMP certification, and attend expensive NRMLA conferences – I will pass on this designation.

  • This blog generally recognizes that the proposed NRMLA CRMP fees are excessive and the designation may be of dubious benefit. Much of NRMLA’s offering falls into this category. In June 2008 my company dropped its NRMLA membership after a 7-year association. In seven years, with over 200 HECMs closed, we never identified a single applicant that came to us as a result of being listed on the NRMLA site. And we do ask our customers how they find us.

    During those seven years, it seemed that NRMLA pursued goals more in tune with big lenders… not small independents. Example: 1) Elimination of the requirement for the borrower to sit face-to-face with either the counselor or the loan officer. This opened the floodgates for mail order, out-of-area lenders who could not provide the handholding, personal attention so many seniors require. 2) The HECM Advisor Program – with all the problems that surfaced later. 3) NRMLA’s position on cross selling, for years, seemed to support not limiting such matters by Congress. NRMLA represents only the reverse mortgage industry. I could never understand why NRMLA had any concern for the financial planning or insurance industries.

    Add to the above the fact that NRMLA’s dues are extraordinarily regressive. Lenders doing less than 50 loans per year incur higher cost per closed loan than lenders closing more than 50 loans. For small lenders this cost can run between $35 and $70 per loan – depending on your volume. That is expensive for small businesses. It does not seem right that membership should be based on your business volume. NRMLA’s dues are structured now just as they were ten years ago (unless there has been a change since 2008). Perhaps at that time, with start up membership, the higher dues might have been necessary. Industry growth now, however, should make room for change.

    It seems that NRMLA could better serve the reverse mortgage industry by making available quality training and reasonably priced membership to all those seeking to improve their knowledge. Dues should be more in line with other trade organizations and not be so high as to dissuade the average originator. Bring in four or five times as many members as present and, perhaps, fees would not need to be so high.

    I wish NRMLA well with their CRMP program. But as for me, if I must pay $1750 dues, +/- $1000 CRMP certification, and attend expensive NRMLA conferences – I will pass on this designation.

  • This blog generally recognizes that the proposed NRMLA CRMP fees are excessive and the designation may be of dubious benefit. Much of NRMLAu2019s offering falls into this category. In June 2008 my company dropped its NRMLA membership after a 7-year association. In seven years, with over 200 HECMs closed, we never identified a single applicant that came to us as a result of being listed on the NRMLA site. And we do ask our customers how they find us.rnrnDuring those seven years, it seemed that NRMLA pursued goals more in tune with big lendersu2026 not small independents. Example: 1) Elimination of the requirement for the borrower to sit face-to-face with either the counselor or the loan officer. This opened the floodgates for mail order, out-of-area lenders who could not provide the handholding, personal attention so many seniors require. 2) The HECM Advisor Program u2013 with all the problems that surfaced later. 3) NRMLAu2019s position on cross selling, for years, seemed to support not limiting such matters by Congress. NRMLA represents only the reverse mortgage industry. I could never understand why NRMLA had any concern for the financial planning or insurance industries.rnrnAdd to the above the fact that NRMLAu2019s dues are extraordinarily regressive. Lenders doing less than 50 loans per year incur higher cost per closed loan than lenders closing more than 50 loans. For small lenders this cost can run between $35 and $70 per loan u2013 depending on your volume. That is expensive for small businesses. It does not seem right that membership should be based on your business volume. NRMLAu2019s dues are structured now just as they were ten years ago (unless there has been a change since 2008). Perhaps at that time, with start up membership, the higher dues might have been necessary. Industry growth now, however, should make room for change. rnrnIt seems that NRMLA could better serve the reverse mortgage industry by making available quality training and reasonably priced membership to all those seeking to improve their knowledge. Dues should be more in line with other trade organizations and not be so high as to dissuade the average originator. Bring in four or five times as many members as present and, perhaps, fees would not need to be so high.rnrnI wish NRMLA well with their CRMP program. But as for me, if I must pay $1750 dues, +/- $1000 CRMP certification, and attend expensive NRMLA conferences u2013 I will pass on this designation.rnrnrn

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