Friday Round-Up: Wells Fargo Closes Reverse Mortgage Retail Business

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

Wells Fargo announced it is shutting down its retail reverse mortgage channel. The company, which has long been the country’s largest reverse mortgage lender, said the decision was based on today’s unpredictable home values along with the restrictions associated with reverse mortgages that make it difficult to determine seniors’ abilities to meet the obligations of homeownership and their reverse mortgage, e.g., payment of property taxes and homeowners’ insurance. The government’s HECM or reverse mortgage program was designed in a different economic time.

In investor news, MetLife made a play for two Lehman Brothers reverse mortgage portfolios. In a potential deal valued at upwards of $43 million, MetLife Bank would purchase reverse mortgage assets owned by the former Lehman Brothers empire.

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HUD’s Vicki Bott announced she would leave the Department this month. Bott, who has consistently supported the HECM program during her tenure at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, said she will leave her post on June 24.

A report showed the number of senior households will grow 35% by 2020. The number of 65+ households is projected to increase by 35% in 2020 according to a recent Harvard University housing report. The Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) says in The State of the Nation’s Housing Report that baby boomers will continue to have a huge effect on the housing market as they approach retirement age.

The CFPB announced it is ready to begin oversight of banks. A top bank supervisor at the new regulating agency told American Bankers Association members that the CFPB is “all engines ready to go,” according to a report from Bloomberg News.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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