Memorial Day Round-Up: AARP’s HECM Solution is Obviously Absurd, Apps Down

In case you missed it, here’s what happened in reverse mortgage news this past week…

In the secondary market for reverse mortgages… Ginnie Mae HMBS issuance topped $1 billion during the month of April for the fourth consecutive month, and traders saw a new appetite for HMBS, which has led to a bounceback for the market.

In a plea to Congress, the MBA asked for HECM counseling funding to return. Mortgage Banker’s Association Chairman Michael D. Berman, testified during a Congressional hearing and asked that housing counseling funds be restored to the 2012 budget, including those for HECM counseling.

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HECM applications fell 17% in April. Total HECM applications fell 16.6% in April, to 7,371, down from 8,838 applications in the previous month. Year over year, applications saw a 9.8% decline, and the Saver saw its first monthly decrease (4%).

Home sales rose, while prices showed a downturn. The Census showed a 7.3% rise in home sales from March 2011, while the Federal Housing Finance Administration reported that home prices in the first quarter saw their greatest decline since the fourth quarter of 2008.

In a reply document in the AARP lawsuit against HUD, the housing department said AARP’s suggestion would lead to an “absurd” result. HUD said it does not have authority to alter contracts between lenders and borrowers, and that AARP’s suggestion to open the repayment obligation to any HECM successors would lead to an “obviously absurd” result.

…and in CFPB news… still no director appointment, but Elizabeth Warren made headlines this week when she got into a heated exchange with Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) during a House subcommittee hearing Tuesday. Also this week, the Bureau also talked about its Office of Financial Protection for Older Americans, which aims to help seniors avoid unfair and deceptive practices.

We wish our readers a happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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  • The most disconcerting news is the direction of applications.  RMI commentary last month pointed to expected increases in applications throughout the rest of the year.  This downturn is NOT good news.

    Endorsements can vary all over the place due to delays by lenders and the workload at FHA; however, application numbers are much different.  Very few lenders delay obtaining FHA case numbers as soon as counseling and applications are complete. 

    Endorsement trends are far less reliable when looking at the direction for the industry as application trends.  So where will applications come out for May?  These are tough times.

  • To what extent has the new regulation restricting lenders and brokers from picking up borrowers’ third-party charges limited access to HECMs and reduced applications?  This has definitely had some impact but it’s difficult to tell how much.

    If someone can explain the logic behind this regulation please share it.

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