The US Department Housing and Urban Developments decision to require reverse mortgage counselors pass an exam is stumping veteran housing specialists says the Post and Courier.
A HUD spokesman said the agency “acknowledges the test is intentionally difficult, but we believe it needs to be so because of the vulnerable population who seek out reverse mortgages.”
So far, 995 counselors have passed the test, which leads HUD to believe the level of difficulty is not so stringent as to limit the number of counselors available said a statement from HUD. However, not all would agree.
Debbie Kidd, head of the Homeowner Resource Center at Family Services Inc. in North Charleston, told the Post and Courier that she failed the online test four times. "It’s humiliating for me," Kidd said. "I’ve done this for 20 years. … Why can’t we pass this test?"
Robert Mitchell of the Trident United Way has taught classes about reverse mortgages to other counselors, yet he, too, did not make a passing score on this first attempt. Asked if he plans to retake the exam, Mitchell quipped: "If I don’t retire before that."
The test is part of HUD’s commitment to improve HECM counseling. The National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association reported that HUD expects to release its new counseling protocol sometime this month.
Included is a new financial interview tool (FIT) that counselors must utilize to help prospective borrowers asses the financial viability of remaining in their home said NRMLA.