In Texas, growing interest in reverse mortgages

A one-third increase in attendance this year at its annual Reverse Mortgage Day, has the Texas Association of Mortgage Bankers sending an optimistic message to the industry at large: There is growing interest in reverse mortgages, especially in the Lone Star State.

The larger turnout at this year’s event – the 9th annual – held earlier this month in Dallas, was a “pleasant surprise,” says W. Scott Norman, TMBA president and MetLife’s area manager for reverse mortgage business. Norman counted 170 people, representing 61 different companies from 23 states at the show. That compares with a turnout of 125 last year, he reports.

Topics of interest centered around the federal government’s new budget year beginning Oct. 1 and what that will bring with it. “People want to know what’s going to happen from a Congressional standpoint,” he says. There also was much talk about secondary market investor interest in reverse mortgages and, closer to home, the fate of the HECM for Purchase program in Texas.

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Surveying the multitudes at this year’s show, Norman recalled the first event when “15 people showed up,” he muses. “That really proves how fast this market has grown in Texas. We’re now the number three state in the country for reverse mortgages,” he boasts, adding that (aggregate) statewide originations “just passed the 35,000 loan mark.”

It has been “interesting to watch reverse mortgages evolve from where no one knew or cared about them to now, where it’s a part of people’s vocabulary,” says Norman, adding: “The growth rate has been rewarding. We’ve just scratched surface of where the industry in Texas will be in the next 10 years,” he predicts.

Next year’s 10th annual Reverse Mortgage Day will take place in Austin in August, possibly a collaboration with NRMLA, according to Norman, who will be, by then, past president of TMBA.

Written by Neil Morse

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