New Tools Help Reverse Mortgage Industry Follow HECM Protocol

The Reverse Mortgage Counseling Association (RMCA), a non-profit trade association, is offering a new tool to help streamline the HECM counseling process and increase consumer knowledge about reverse mortgages.

Through ReversePackage.com, consumers, lenders, and counselors have access to new tools that help them effectively follow the new HECM Counseling protocol.  “This new program helps the counselors and clients share required information efficiently and ensures that clients are well prepared for their counseling session,” said RMCA in a statement.

Developed by IBIS Software, the web based tool creates a unique website for potential borrowers to run reverse mortgage scenarios based on their own individual circumstances. If a lender creates a “sandbox”, the website shows the reverse mortgage products offered by that lender. If the sandbox is created by counselors or consumers, they can select from an array of products.

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As part of the new HECM counseling protocol, which starts Sep. 11, 2010, borrowers must receive a large information package that includes individualized loan tables.  Counseling agencies are required to provide this package to clients and ensure they have enough time to review prior to the session.

However, lenders can help clients avoid frustrating delays in counseling by using the system and providing the documents to the borrower directly.  Through the system, the counselor will be able to pull up the clients information and documents.

”Whichever counselor the senior decides to work with, the counselor will be using accurate loan scenarios and will not have to explain confusing differences in figures between what clients have received from a lender and what they hear during the counseling session,” said RMCA in a statement.

Additionally, RMCA released the counseling locator.  The RMCA counselor Locator includes a list of agencies and offices, both RMCA members and non-members, which comply with HUD Mortgage Letter 2009-47. The RMCA Locator software automatically scrapes HUD’s roster of approved HECM counselors.

RMCA has provided RMD readers with their own unique ID to try the software.  To check it out, head over to ReversePackage.com and use the ID “RMD”.  Lenders can also sign up for the service at no cost at the website.

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  • Counselor,rnrnUnfortunately, you confirm the very concerns my comment was attempting to address. rnrnOne significant difference between a counselor and an originator is that we generally deal with the prospect both before and after counseling. Any problems counselors create, we have to live with. Counselors never experience that side to counseling; their responsibility ends with the certificate. They are rarely accountable to anyone for their sessions. rnrnSince we are not permitted to participate in any counseling sessions, your assessment about my attendance in those sessions is correct. However, counselors do not attend sessions of other counselors.rnrnIf your focus is not on the amount of the costs, why not use the RMCA quotes?

  • Critic,nI can only wonder how many counseling sessions you have attended or observed recently. You seem to have a very jaundiced view of what we do. As a matter of fact, counselors spend far more time trying to help the client get a basic understanding of the loan product, than they do discussing “shopping around”. If anything, I think it’s safe to say that most counselors tend to accept whatever lender quotes they see, rather than encouraging the client to keep an open mind and make comparisons. My comment was simply that I would not take the RMCA quotes at face value, and I would not use them as a substitute for my own knowledge of the marketplace.

  • My major concern upon reading this article had more to do with what would happen to the information being input into RMCA’s “reverse package.” Would it be sold to competitors? (I am afraid I have a “sharks in the water” attitude about releasing client information into the world-wide web.) I called the marketing manager at RMCA and was told that safeguards are in place to prevent this from happening. This is not the forum to discuss how easy those safeguards might be to get around. But RMCA itself does not intend to sell the information and that is a relief.nnI agree with the Critic that this represents at least a rapprochement between counselors and lenders who have so often been at odds. Helping the seniors understand the documents they have in front of them instead of shoving new and different paperwork in front of them should be a mutual goal. How the counselor uses the documents is up to the counselor. nnCrusades often trample anyone caught in the middle, but with just a little effort, both the loan originator and the counselor can work together to HELP the homeowner. Hopefully, this is a step in towards what I hope is a mutual goal.

  • Strange, I noticed a similar situation in my test. In a major metropolitan area with lots of reverse mortgage volume, there was just 1 counselor on the list within 50 miles.

  • I sincerely applaud the efforts of the RMCA. This has been done in a spirit of cooperation and an attempt at getting the prospect the information they need to better understand the product.rnrnCounseling and origination were once a cooperative effort to get seniors what they need at a reasonable cost. It was never perfect but it was superior to what we have now. This effort is a great step to return that spirit. rnrnCongratulations to all participants.

  • Counselor,

    You, sir or madam, have hit the nail on the head but not exactly the way you perceive it. Today more than ever before, counselors and originators are at war. You have taken up the counselor standard.

    Rather than working in an atmosphere of cooperation to help the senior understand the process, u201cu2026in my opinion, this will in no way replace the estimates that I will provide myself.u201d

    We have found counselors using their forms and cost structures. Many are telling those being counseled that u201cin my opinionu201d title and other costs are overstated based on as little as $300. Yet no counselor provides a loan or any of those services. The trust issue becomes all about the counselor, not the product or the process.

    We agree that seniors should shop to obtain lower costs; however, the goal of the counseling process should not be to place distrust in the current loan originator. It should be to get the senior the product they need even if it costs slightly more with one originator over another.

    Counseling is a mockery of what it once was. Some counselors seem happier with the idea that the senior not get a reverse mortgage than incur $300 more in costs. HUD and counselors, counseling is not helping seniors understand the process, it is becoming whatever the counselor wants it to be. It seems more of a social and shopping service than a safeguard. Its mission is mixed and the results will be disastrous.

  • As a counselor, I think it would be useful to be able to pull up the Ibis estimates based on what a lender has offered to my client, since clients often forget to bring their lender quotes with them. However, in my opinion, this will in no way replace the estimates that I will provide myself.nnAs for the counselor list, I am not impressed. I don’t know what algorithm they use to select counselors, but it’s not very good. In the example I tried, where there are four counseling agencies with roster-qualified counselors within 10 miles of the zipcode I put in, the RMCA list came up with 5 agencies, only one of which was in the same city, another was more than 100 miles away, another about 30 miles away, and the other two were in a different state. Not very helpful for the person who needs or wants to get face-to-face counseling.

  • Counselor,rnrnUnfortunately, you confirm the very concerns my comment was attempting to address. rnrnOne significant difference between a counselor and an originator is that we generally deal with the prospect both before and after counseling. Any problems counselors create, we have to live with. Counselors never experience that side to counseling; their responsibility ends with the certificate. They are rarely accountable to anyone for their sessions. rnrnSince we are not permitted to participate in any counseling sessions, your assessment about my attendance in those sessions is correct. However, counselors do not attend sessions of other counselors.rnrnIf your focus is not on the amount of the costs, why not use the RMCA quotes?

  • Critic,nI can only wonder how many counseling sessions you have attended or observed recently. You seem to have a very jaundiced view of what we do. As a matter of fact, counselors spend far more time trying to help the client get a basic understanding of the loan product, than they do discussing “shopping around”. If anything, I think it’s safe to say that most counselors tend to accept whatever lender quotes they see, rather than encouraging the client to keep an open mind and make comparisons. My comment was simply that I would not take the RMCA quotes at face value, and I would not use them as a substitute for my own knowledge of the marketplace.

  • My major concern upon reading this article had more to do with what would happen to the information being input into RMCA’s “reverse package.” Would it be sold to competitors? (I am afraid I have a “sharks in the water” attitude about releasing client information into the world-wide web.) I called the marketing manager at RMCA and was told that safeguards are in place to prevent this from happening. This is not the forum to discuss how easy those safeguards might be to get around. But RMCA itself does not intend to sell the information and that is a relief.nnI agree with the Critic that this represents at least a rapprochement between counselors and lenders who have so often been at odds. Helping the seniors understand the documents they have in front of them instead of shoving new and different paperwork in front of them should be a mutual goal. How the counselor uses the documents is up to the counselor. nnCrusades often trample anyone caught in the middle, but with just a little effort, both the loan originator and the counselor can work together to HELP the homeowner. Hopefully, this is a step in towards what I hope is a mutual goal.

  • Strange, I noticed a similar situation in my test. In a major metropolitan area with lots of reverse mortgage volume, there was just 1 counselor on the list within 50 miles.

  • I sincerely applaud the efforts of the RMCA. This has been done in a spirit of cooperation and an attempt at getting the prospect the information they need to better understand the product.rnrnCounseling and origination were once a cooperative effort to get seniors what they need at a reasonable cost. It was never perfect but it was superior to what we have now. This effort is a great step to return that spirit. rnrnCongratulations to all participants.

  • Counselor,

    You, sir or madam, have hit the nail on the head but not exactly the way you perceive it. Today more than ever before, counselors and originators are at war. You have taken up the counselor standard.

    Rather than working in an atmosphere of cooperation to help the senior understand the process, u201cu2026in my opinion, this will in no way replace the estimates that I will provide myself.u201d

    We have found counselors using their forms and cost structures. Many are telling those being counseled that u201cin my opinionu201d title and other costs are overstated based on as little as $300. Yet no counselor provides a loan or any of those services. The trust issue becomes all about the counselor, not the product or the process.

    We agree that seniors should shop to obtain lower costs; however, the goal of the counseling process should not be to place distrust in the current loan originator. It should be to get the senior the product they need even if it costs slightly more with one originator over another.

    Counseling is a mockery of what it once was. Some counselors seem happier with the idea that the senior not get a reverse mortgage than incur $300 more in costs. HUD and counselors, counseling is not helping seniors understand the process, it is becoming whatever the counselor wants it to be. It seems more of a social and shopping service than a safeguard. Its mission is mixed and the results will be disastrous.

  • As a counselor, I think it would be useful to be able to pull up the Ibis estimates based on what a lender has offered to my client, since clients often forget to bring their lender quotes with them. However, in my opinion, this will in no way replace the estimates that I will provide myself.nnAs for the counselor list, I am not impressed. I don’t know what algorithm they use to select counselors, but it’s not very good. In the example I tried, where there are four counseling agencies with roster-qualified counselors within 10 miles of the zipcode I put in, the RMCA list came up with 5 agencies, only one of which was in the same city, another was more than 100 miles away, another about 30 miles away, and the other two were in a different state. Not very helpful for the person who needs or wants to get face-to-face counseling.

  • Counselor,rnrnUnfortunately, you confirm the very concerns my comment was attempting to address. rnrnOne significant difference between a counselor and an originator is that we generally deal with the prospect both before and after counseling. Any problems counselors create, we have to live with. Counselors never experience that side to counseling; their responsibility ends with the certificate. They are rarely accountable to anyone for their sessions. rnrnSince we are not permitted to participate in any counseling sessions, your assessment about my attendance in those sessions is correct. However, counselors do not attend sessions of other counselors.rnrnIf your focus is not on the amount of the costs, why not use the RMCA quotes?

  • Critic,nI can only wonder how many counseling sessions you have attended or observed recently. You seem to have a very jaundiced view of what we do. As a matter of fact, counselors spend far more time trying to help the client get a basic understanding of the loan product, than they do discussing “shopping around”. If anything, I think it’s safe to say that most counselors tend to accept whatever lender quotes they see, rather than encouraging the client to keep an open mind and make comparisons. My comment was simply that I would not take the RMCA quotes at face value, and I would not use them as a substitute for my own knowledge of the marketplace.

  • My major concern upon reading this article had more to do with what would happen to the information being input into RMCA’s “reverse package.” Would it be sold to competitors? (I am afraid I have a “sharks in the water” attitude about releasing client information into the world-wide web.) I called the marketing manager at RMCA and was told that safeguards are in place to prevent this from happening. This is not the forum to discuss how easy those safeguards might be to get around. But RMCA itself does not intend to sell the information and that is a relief.nnI agree with the Critic that this represents at least a rapprochement between counselors and lenders who have so often been at odds. Helping the seniors understand the documents they have in front of them instead of shoving new and different paperwork in front of them should be a mutual goal. How the counselor uses the documents is up to the counselor. nnCrusades often trample anyone caught in the middle, but with just a little effort, both the loan originator and the counselor can work together to HELP the homeowner. Hopefully, this is a step in towards what I hope is a mutual goal.

  • Strange, I noticed a similar situation in my test. In a major metropolitan area with lots of reverse mortgage volume, there was just 1 counselor on the list within 50 miles.

  • I sincerely applaud the efforts of the RMCA. This has been done in a spirit of cooperation and an attempt at getting the prospect the information they need to better understand the product.rnrnCounseling and origination were once a cooperative effort to get seniors what they need at a reasonable cost. It was never perfect but it was superior to what we have now. This effort is a great step to return that spirit. rnrnCongratulations to all participants.

  • Counselor,

    You, sir or madam, have hit the nail on the head but not exactly the way you perceive it. Today more than ever before, counselors and originators are at war. You have taken up the counselor standard.

    Rather than working in an atmosphere of cooperation to help the senior understand the process, u201cu2026in my opinion, this will in no way replace the estimates that I will provide myself.u201d

    We have found counselors using their forms and cost structures. Many are telling those being counseled that u201cin my opinionu201d title and other costs are overstated based on as little as $300. Yet no counselor provides a loan or any of those services. The trust issue becomes all about the counselor, not the product or the process.

    We agree that seniors should shop to obtain lower costs; however, the goal of the counseling process should not be to place distrust in the current loan originator. It should be to get the senior the product they need even if it costs slightly more with one originator over another.

    Counseling is a mockery of what it once was. Some counselors seem happier with the idea that the senior not get a reverse mortgage than incur $300 more in costs. HUD and counselors, counseling is not helping seniors understand the process, it is becoming whatever the counselor wants it to be. It seems more of a social and shopping service than a safeguard. Its mission is mixed and the results will be disastrous.

  • As a counselor, I think it would be useful to be able to pull up the Ibis estimates based on what a lender has offered to my client, since clients often forget to bring their lender quotes with them. However, in my opinion, this will in no way replace the estimates that I will provide myself.nnAs for the counselor list, I am not impressed. I don’t know what algorithm they use to select counselors, but it’s not very good. In the example I tried, where there are four counseling agencies with roster-qualified counselors within 10 miles of the zipcode I put in, the RMCA list came up with 5 agencies, only one of which was in the same city, another was more than 100 miles away, another about 30 miles away, and the other two were in a different state. Not very helpful for the person who needs or wants to get face-to-face counseling.

  • As a counselor, I think it would be useful to be able to pull up the Ibis estimates based on what a lender has offered to my client, since clients often forget to bring their lender quotes with them. However, in my opinion, this will in no way replace the estimates that I will provide myself.nnAs for the counselor list, I am not impressed. I don’t know what algorithm they use to select counselors, but it’s not very good. In the example I tried, where there are four counseling agencies with roster-qualified counselors within 10 miles of the zipcode I put in, the RMCA list came up with 5 agencies, only one of which was in the same city, another was more than 100 miles away, another about 30 miles away, and the other two were in a different state. Not very helpful for the person who needs or wants to get face-to-face counseling.

    • Counselor,rnrnYou, sir or madam, have hit the nail on the head but not exactly the way you perceive it. Today more than ever before, counselors and originators are at war. You have taken up the counselor standard.rnrnRather than working in an atmosphere of cooperation to help the senior understand the process, u201cu2026in my opinion, this will in no way replace the estimates that I will provide myself.u201drnrnWe have found counselors using their forms and cost structures. Many are telling them that u201cin my opinionu201d title and other costs are overstated based on as little as $300. Yet no counselor provides a loan or any of those services. The trust issue becomes all about the counselor, not the product or the process.rnrnWe agree that seniors should shop to obtain lower costs; however, the goal of the counseling process should not be to place distrust in the current loan originator. It should be to get the senior the product they need even if it costs slightly more with one originator over another.rnrnCounseling is a mockery of what it once was. Some counselors seem happier with the idea that the senior not get a reverse mortgage than incur $300 more in costs. HUD and counselors, counseling is not helping seniors understand the process, it is becoming whatever the counselor wants it to be. It seems more of a social and shopping service than a safeguard. Its mission is mixed and the results will be disastrous. rn

  • I sincerely applaud the efforts of the RMCA. This has been done in a spirit of cooperation and an attempt at getting the prospect the information they need to better understand the product.rnrnCounseling and origination were once a cooperative effort to get seniors what they need at a reasonable cost. It was never perfect but it was superior to what we have now. This effort is a great step to return that spirit. rnrnCongratulations to all participants.

  • Strange, I noticed a similar situation in my test. In a major metropolitan area with lots of reverse mortgage volume, there was just 1 counselor on the list within 50 miles.

  • My major concern upon reading this article had more to do with what would happen to the information being input into RMCA’s “reverse package.” Would it be sold to competitors? (I am afraid I have a “sharks in the water” attitude about releasing client information into the world-wide web.) I called the marketing manager at RMCA and was told that safeguards are in place to prevent this from happening. This is not the forum to discuss how easy those safeguards might be to get around. But RMCA itself does not intend to sell the information and that is a relief.nnI agree with the Critic that this represents at least a rapprochement between counselors and lenders who have so often been at odds. Helping the seniors understand the documents they have in front of them instead of shoving new and different paperwork in front of them should be a mutual goal. How the counselor uses the documents is up to the counselor. nnCrusades often trample anyone caught in the middle, but with just a little effort, both the loan originator and the counselor can work together to HELP the homeowner. Hopefully, this is a step in towards what I hope is a mutual goal.

  • Critic,nI can only wonder how many counseling sessions you have attended or observed recently. You seem to have a very jaundiced view of what we do. As a matter of fact, counselors spend far more time trying to help the client get a basic understanding of the loan product, than they do discussing “shopping around”. If anything, I think it’s safe to say that most counselors tend to accept whatever lender quotes they see, rather than encouraging the client to keep an open mind and make comparisons. My comment was simply that I would not take the RMCA quotes at face value, and I would not use them as a substitute for my own knowledge of the marketplace.

    • Counselor,rnrnUnfortunately, you confirm the very concerns my comment was attempting to address. rnrnOne significant difference between a counselor and an originator is that we generally deal with the prospect both before and after counseling. Any problems counselors create, we have to live with. Counselors never experience that side to counseling; their responsibility ends with the certificate. They are rarely accountable to anyone for their sessions. rnrnSince we are not permitted to participate in any counseling sessions, your assessment about my attendance in those sessions is correct. However, counselors do not attend sessions of other counselors.rnrnIf your focus is not on the amount of the costs, why not use the RMCA quotes?

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