Reverse mortgage counseling remains steady, indicates data from Ibis Software Corporation, released in February. The data, which tracks monthly RMA counseling, applications and endorsements (see chart) shows the number of people receiving counseling using Ibis’s software has leveled above 10,000 per month, with an average of roughly 11,500 over the past six months.
“In counseling, there’s definitely an uptrend,” says Ibis CEO Jerry Wagner. However, says Wagner, there is no real trend in applications or in endorsements, especially when considering the surge in applications in September prompted by the close of HUD’s fiscal year in that month.
The industry can see the trend as a positive one as counseling has gained recent attention with new HUD requirements and use of the Financial Interview Tool (FIT), introduced last year. In Massachusetts, there has been ongoing talk of a changing law that would include new opt-in procedures for seniors seeking reverse mortgages as well as mandatory face-to-face counseling for those who fall below a set income threshold. Nationwide, HUD lifted the counseling fee cap after counseling sessions became more in-depth with use of the FIT.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker