HUD Postpones Reverse Mortgage Technology Upgrade, Training

The Department of Housing and Urban Development sent an email to its HECM business partners last week informing them that servicer training for its Home Equity Reverse Mortgage Information Technology (HERMIT) system will be postponed, again.

The postponement is another in a series of delays that have taken place in the development of the technology, which was initially scheduled to launch in November as a second generation to the antiquated Insurance Accounting Collection Systems (IACS), which was developed in 1989 and has been used since by servicers.

In a follow up email from the Federal Housing Administration’s Gerald Kifer, director of its Home Valuation Policy Division, FHA provided an update on the HERMIT project and an explanation of why the training had been canceled.

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Kifer cited numerous changes and ongoing revisions to the HERMIT system during its development as reasons for the delay. “It would have been premature to train servicers on a system that is still being developed and tested,” he wrote. “Unfortunately, this became most evident at the last moment when we became involved in detailed User Acceptance Testing.”

The project will be reorganized under a new timeline, according to the email, pending new development and testing. FHA plans to schedule conference calls and contacts and acknowledged the need for more lead time and information with regard to upgrades and planning.

Development of the HERMIT system falls under a $32 million contract awarded in by HUD in 2009. A new project manager was assigned to the development in January, at which time the completion date for the project was still unknown.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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