Titus and Others Ask for Reverse Mortgage Protections in Wall Street Reform

More members of Congress are joining Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) in asking the conference committee responsible for merging the House and Senate versions of Wall Street reform to include what they believe will provide necessary consumer safeguards for the reverse mortgage industry.

The Wall Street reform bill which passed the House included an amendment proposed by Rep. Representative Dina Titus (D-Nev) and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) meant to regulate the reverse mortgage industry.  Last week, Titus along with 15 of her colleagues sent a letter to Chairman Barney Frank and Chairman Christopher Dodd, asking them to ensure that the language of the amendment is included in the final conference report. 

“While this financial product can be appropriate for some, it is important that the reverse mortgage lending industry be subject to appropriate regulation to promote transparency and sufficient consumer protections,” said Titus in a letter to President Barack Obama expressing the need to include the amendment in the bill.

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As passed in the House, the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) is required to issue regulations regarding reverse mortgages within one year of enactment.  The bill also calls for the agency to provide model disclosures for reverse mortgage transactions.  “Our amendment requires the CFPA to ensure that all disclosures relating to reverse mortgages are just as clear and easy to understand as all other mortgage products,” said Titus.

The Senate’s version doesn’t include a reverse mortgage amendment and is why Titus is lobbying to ensure it’s included in the final conference report.  “I believe it is important that the CFPA have the necessary power and responsibility to protect our nation’s seniors,” she said.

Members of the committee are expected to meet again on Tuesday to negotiate the final version of the bill, which Democrats hope to deliver to Obama by July 4.

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  • It just goes to show you that Titus has no idea that mortgage disclosures have not been made easier to understand by any law makers.In fact, it would be nice if disclosures for all financial transactions were easy to understand but they usually are not and no matter how much you regulate an industry, you are not going to “dumb-down” financial disclosures to a third grade reading level. Seriously, do the lawmakers actually read any of the disclosures we use? Can they site a specific document that is not easy to understand or a particular sentence in one of the disclosures that needs more explanation. (Please don't even say GFE, here.) I would be a supporter of a system that is easier to understand but none of my borrowers EVER tell me they don't understand the documents or that they need more clarification. Mostly they complain about having to execute 35 signatures on a 100+ page application. When is enough going to be enough? Didn't the national, real estate, market value crisis take enough of these loans off the books yet? How long are lawmakers going to perpetuate this crisis?

    • There are false impressions in the U.S. about the political parties and their impact on society and the economy. For example, today on CNBC, Erin Burnett presented statistics on job creation divided by the party of the President then sitting from JFK to now. 22 years of those years Democrats controlled the White House and 28 years, Republicans. When asked to guess which party produced more jobs, Mark Haines guessed Democrats due to increased government and the economic growth of the Clinton administration; my guess was the same. The answer is, they are dead even.

      Many have believed that having Democratic control of the White House and Congress would mean better days for HECMs. That assumption has proven false. In fact the propensity of Democrats to proliferate regulations because of concerns about potential HECM abuses has made the HECM program like the wildlife in the Gulf, endangered.

      Some may think I am supporting Republicans over Democrats but that is not the purpose of this comment. What I am purporting is that we get involved with our Representatives and Senators individually and support those who actually support the concept of allowing seniors to help themselves through HECMs. We, as an industry, need to get past biases and actually understand the positions of individual candidates and not just the perceived “leanings” of their parties.

      Up until Obama, I believed Democrats saw the value of the program and would help bring it to more seniors even if that meant providing subsidies. Until HERA, it seemed like Republicans were too satisfied with the status quo. Now it is clearer than ever, we need to find those politicians who support this program whether they are Democrat or Republican.

  • There are false impressions in the U.S. about the political parties and their impact on society and the economy. For example, today on CNBC, Erin Burnett presented statistics on job creation divided by the party of the President then sitting from JFK to now. 22 years of those years Democrats controlled the White House and 28 years, Republicans. When asked to guess which party produced more jobs, Mark Haines guessed Democrats due to increased government and the economic growth of the Clinton administration; my guess was the same. The answer is, they are dead even.rnrnMany have believed that having Democratic control of the White House and Congress would mean better days for HECMs. That assumption has proven false. In fact the propensity of Democrats to proliferate regulations because of concerns about potential HECM abuses has made the HECM program like the wildlife in the Gulf, endangered.rnrnSome may think I am supporting Republicans over Democrats but that is not the purpose of this comment. What I am purporting is that we get involved with our Representatives and Senators individually and support those who actually support the concept of allowing seniors to help themselves through HECMs. We, as an industry, need to get past biases and actually understand the positions of individual candidates and not just the perceived u201cleaningsu201d of their parties.rnrnUp until Obama, I believed Democrats saw the value of the program and would help bring it to more seniors even if that meant providing subsidies. Until HERA, it seemed like Republicans were too satisfied with the status quo. Now it is clearer than ever, we need to find those politicians who support this program whether they are Democrat or Republican. rn

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