Hopes of seeing the Department of Housing and Urban Development release a new technology platform to power the Federal Housing Administration’s reverse mortgage program anytime soon continue to fade away.
After announcing it was delaying the release of HERMIT, the agency notified the industry that it’s committed to finishing the $32 million contract awarded in 2009 to upgrade the Insurance Accounting Collection Systems (IACS). Developed in 1989, IACS was originally created to manage the initial HECM pilot program and has been used ever since.
The new system will be a huge step forward for the program and people serving the industry. Built using the STORM platform, a web based servicing system developed by Reverse Mortgage Solutions, the technology can support the growing number of reverse mortgages insured by FHA.
According to a email sent out to people involved in the process obtained by RMD, a new project manager is leading the technology upgrade and HUD stressed its goals have not changed. “The team is currently focused on revising the project schedule and milestones and devising a data conversion strategy,” they said. The new system will provide a new end to end solution that will replace IACS, provide case level details and transactional history as well automate the claims process and provide timely and accurate data.
HUD claims they want to ensure it takes every measure to make the system functionally appropriate for all business areas supporting the HECM program. Instead of launching with fewer features, HUD continues to delay the launch in order to define additional business requirements and conduct extensive testing to ensure HERMIT’s launch goes smoothly.
A report from Federal Computer Week shows that HUD is well known for being slow to release technology upgrades but with a new CIO, there is hope its reputation might improve.
So when will the new system be rolled out? A spokesperson from HUD wouldn’t comment on a release date but from our sources it could take some time.