Reverse Mortgages: From Boutique to Mainstream Product Says Executive

image Atare E. Agbamu continues his HECM at 20 Series of interviews with Sarah Hulbert, chief executive officer of Senior Financial Corporation by discussing the changes she has seen over her 17 year career in the reverse mortgage industry.

Reading the interview makes you realize how far the industry has come from its inception.  While many complain about today’s cap on the origination fee, when Hulbert entered the business, origination income was limited to $1,800.

In addition, Hulbert says the overall awareness and acceptance of reverse mortgages has improved as a result of industry participants dedicating many years to educating the public.


I remember being asked, time and time again over the years, “Why aren’t any of the large banks offering reverse mortgages?” For obvious reasons, that question is no longer being asked. The product has evolved and matured to the point where banks and other financial institutions who do not offer reverse mortgages find themselves at a competitive disadvantage. They now see the value of offering this product to their client base as part of their efforts to serve their customers throughout the various stages of their lives.

Nice work Atare!

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  • Mr. Atare Agbamu and Mrs. Sarah Hulbert are two of the reasons why this industry has the credibility it currently does.

    In 2007, Mr. Roger Reynolds was working with Mr. Torrey Larsen to see what could be done to bring a wider spectrum of reverse mortgage products to the originators at Security One Lending. One day I got a call from Roger saying they were having some difficulty with getting fixed rate approval with the Bank of New York. He asked me to help.

    I immediately called Mrs. Hulbert. She was on the soccer field taking care of her children. But she stopped, took the time to get the right people helping us, and by her action helped our company get over a major hurdle.

    Any insights an originator can gain from Mrs. Hulbert will be well worth the time and energy spent in acquiring them.

    Atare, thanks for another great interview.

  • Soooooo, why not a Sarah Hurlbert Award of the year to the individual peers deem most deserving for their contribution to the Reverse Mortgage Industry:
    I'd contribute $1,000 to that fund. Award comes with a special feature to allow the recipient to choose where a cash award is donated to some aspect of the Reverse Mortgage Industry. (Yes, Virginia, even NRMLA, although I would prefer a more direct Senior oriented enity.) Just a thought.

  • With over a decade of standing by her side as her husband and partner, I must say that I am so proud of her accomplishments and the plethora of sacrifices she has made to this industry. We must all stand up and give Sarah a huge THANK YOU for her insight and contributions.

  • Thank God for your comment, Todd: You are obviously a loving Husband and Partner in Sarah's life of helping Seniors during the last years of their lives. Most readers here know that I'm 110% for Seniors and for the Industry only when it first and foremost benefits Seniors, who if they didn't exist, there would be no Reverse Mortgage Industry. I've been waiting all day to read any (even one) comment from the “Heavy Hitters” of this Industry who read RMD (even someone from that whizzbang bunch known as NRMLA ) about my suggestion. NOT A PEEP; It looks like either I am the kiss of Death when it comes to suggestions (sorry, Sarah) or if the award isn't in your name, you are not interested. What a bunch of sour grapes. Talk about a bunch of people who personify a lot of smoke but no fire (in Texas I understand they say Big Hat, Small Head Damn, and I had my check made out, too.

  • James — thank you again. I think it's a great idea, but perhaps it would be more appropriate for any check to be made in the name of one of our wonderful borrowers (and their families) who have seen the many benefits a reverse mortgage has to offer? What do the other readers think? Does it make sense to have an award that can be donated to a favorite charity?

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