Importance of Servicing Evident in NRMLA Board Appointments

Nine new members were added to the board of directors for the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association earlier this month, including two representatives from companies that do not originate reverse mortgages. The two are: Bob Yeary, chairman, Reverse Mortgage Solutions; and John LaRose, CEO, Celink; the latter a servicing company and the former a servicer, aggregator and technology firm.

According to Darryl Hicks at NRMLA, it has been over 10 years since a non-originator served on the board.

“I appreciate this opportunity and the recognition that says, ‘You’re a contributor and player in this industry’,” said RMS’s Yeary, who noted that he would hope to focus during his tenure on the group’s relationship with Ginnie Mae, which securitizes reverse mortgages through its HMBS (HECM Mortgage-backed Securities) program.

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Yeary, whose mortgage career spans nearly 40 years, praised NRMLA for doing “a really good job of focusing on safeguarding seniors, as well as informing legislators so they don’t pass legislation that would be harmful to the program and to seniors. One of the things I like about the reverse mortgage business,” he continued, “is that [practitioners] are genuinely good people and honestly trying to help seniors, which is not always the case in the forward [mortgage] world.”

LaRose said of his board participation: “I am thrilled to be associated with such a fine group of people who are willing to make sacrifices of their time and talent to help move our industry forward.” The association will be well-served, he noted, by the new co-chairs, John Nixon, sales support and integration executive at Bank of America; and Cheryl McNally, national reverse sales manager, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. “I look forward to supporting their efforts any way that I can.”

Other new NRMLA board members include: James Cory, Legacy Home Financing); David Fontanilla, Urban Financial/Knight Capital Group; Dan Harder, 1st Reverse Mortgage USA; Torrey Larsen, Security One Lending; Scott Peters, Generation Mortgage Company; Diana Poulos, Bank of America; and Michele Zachensky, MetLife Bank.

Written by Neil Morse

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  • Neil,

    Are you really so sure Bob and John were appointed? I thought the delegates elected them. I got my email ballot and reluctantly voted for them.

    While servicers should be involved in NRMLA, I had and have strong reservations about non-lenders being on the Board. This came as somewhat an unpleasant surprise although I truly respect each of these gentlemen and believe each of them are personally worthy and capable of sitting on the Board. I just believe they do not respect the interests of lenders.

    • Critic,

      As the way I understand it, servicers are only paid through the revenue stream generated by the loans closed by originators, why do you believe “…they do not represent the interests of lenders”? Do they not share the same risks and rewards as originators for the long-term viability of the reverse mortgage industry?

      I guess I don't get where your concerns with this lie. I don't see any problem with key people in our industry being able to provide input, advice, and opinions on critical industry issues at the board level – regardless of whether they or not they originate loans.

      • Don't misunderstand me, these the best of the best when it comes to servicers. They have great reputations and are leaders in their space.

        BUT using the standard you articulate, why have any lenders on the Board? We could have advisors on the secondary market, software writers, lead generators, partners from law firms, FHA audit consultants, servicers, financial auditors, underwriters, event planners, originator trainers, and so many others on the Board. Everyone of these individuals have a stake in the success of our companies and NRMLA and have something to advise the Board about. The problem is none of them are generating loans in the current environment. None of them are paying lender dues or are incurring the “per file tax” in our marketing campaign.

        What ideas will servicers bring to the table when it comes to finding out why seniors are not acquiring HECMs? What will they provide in ideas on how the NRMLA website should be redesigned to add value to originating and lender members? What about the mix of content that should be presented at conventions? Will Board decisions be colored by the conservative outlook of servicers or will their votes be bound by the opinions of their major clients?

        While I know some may say that we have had at least one servicer on the board recently, that person came onto the Board representing a lender. So at least that person had exposure to a boarder number of lender issues.

        As to servicing issues, the servicers will add much to Board discussions; however, they could have done that as Board advisors. When it comes to other areas, particularly areas of origination and marketing, to put it bluntly those seats might as well be vacant.

      • ReverseGuy,

        I like it.

        Why don't we nominate Admin to the Board. He is for our success and contributes to our understanding every business day.

  • NRMLA serves the interests of originators who happen to be lenders. Those who are part of the shrinking broker population are increasingly being marginalized.

  • Further more, we have seen industry leading servicing specialists serve on the NRMLA BOD for years (including the current EVP of NRMLA).

    I learned quite some time ago that most (if not all) servicing issues start in the origination process. We need servicing experts to be very active industry leaders.

    The addition of professionals like both Bob and John will do nothing but improve composition of the NRMLA BOD.

    I respectfully disagree with the Critic on this issue.

  • Thank you, Joe, for the comments – as I feel they provide some clarity from a NRMLA perspective.

    I find the Critic's responses above shortsighted and myopic. Are we to believe that lenders have all of the answers to the industry challenges and that only their opinion is valuable? While I do originate loans, I certainly don't have all of the answers – do you?

    How many originators, even if their company has an in-house servicing operation, truly understand what issues their borrowers may be facing years after the loan is closed? Couldn't some of that experience and knowledge be valuable to the BOD as they held to guide the direction of our industry in the coming years?

    I applaud NRMLA for including servicing expertise on the BOD.

    As a final note…what is the basis for your question: “Will Board decisions be colored by the conservative outlook of servicers…”? Since when did having a “conservative outlook” become a bad thing?

  • Thank you, Joe, for the comments – as I feel they provide some clarity from a NRMLA perspective. nnI find the Critic’s responses above shortsighted and myopic. Are we to believe that lenders have all of the answers to the industry challenges and that only their opinion is valuable? While I do originate loans, I certainly don’t have all of the answers – do you?nnHow many originators, even if their company has an in-house servicing operation, truly understand what issues their borrowers may be facing years after the loan is closed? Couldn’t some of that experience and knowledge be valuable to the BOD as they held to guide the direction of our industry in the coming years? nnI applaud NRMLA for including servicing expertise on the BOD.nnAs a final note…what is the basis for your question: “Will Board decisions be colored by the conservative outlook of servicers…”? Since when did having a “conservative outlook” become a bad thing?

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