Friday Round-Up: Consolidation Continues, Home Sales Soar

In case you missed it…here’s a recap of reverse mortgage news this week:

Industry consolidation and growth continued. Sun West announced it is launching a retail division with plans to grow and Stay In Home Reverse Mortgage said it is now operating as a division of Bellevue, Wash.-based Axia Financial.

A reverse mortgage borrower group geared up for its debut. A new program that aims to connect reverse mortgage borrowers with one another, and assist in promoting the reverse mortgage industry itself, is being rolled out by the Reverse Mortgage Counseling Association and is slated to launch June 1.

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Home sales were up in 49 states and the District of Columbia. Existing home sales showed an uptick across the nation during the first quarter, due to dire home prices and distressed sales, according to the most recent data from the National Association of Realtors. The only state not to see an increase was Vermont.

Wholesale HECM endorsements fell slightly, with third-party originations by non-FHA originators gaining steam. A recent report from Reverse Market Insight also shows while wholesale saw a 0.7% drop, retail endorsements gained 10.8% during the month.

Zillow said home prices are unlikely to bottom out before 2012. Home prices showed the sharpest decline since 2008 in the first quarter, with negative equity at 28.4%, says the most recent data from online real estate hub Zillow.

And in CFPB news… The agency announced it will begin work to combine the Truth in Lending disclosure and Good Faith Estimate into a single new disclosure form. It also made two hires this week, despite the lack of a director, including Harvard economics professor Sendhil Mullainathan as Assistant Director for Research, and civil rights lawyer Sendhil Mullainathan as Assistant Director for Fair Lending.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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