Friday Round-Up: Reverse Mortgage “Underwriting Guidance” Announced, HUD Shows Support

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

RMD was at the the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association annual conference in Boston, where we heard from lenders, originators, government officials and many others in the industry. Here are a few of the things we learned:

HECM “Limited Underwriting” guidance has been approved. The board of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association approved and announced limited underwriting guidance to prevent tax and insurance default for HECM borrowers. The association encourages, but does not require, its members to conduct the underwriting, it told attendees of the NRMLA national conference in Boston. Find the guidance posted on NRMLA’s website.

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HUD stressed it is not planning to alter HECM loan limits. We repeat: not planning to alter HECM loan limits. “I know there has been some conversation about loan limits for the HECM program,” Acting FHA Commissioner Carol Galante told attendees of the NRMLA conference in Boston. “We don’t have any immediate plans to make any changes with respect to loan limits at this time,” she said.

FHA Chief Galante spoke to the industry, showed support. The program is “critically important” she told NRMLA conference attendees. But, it has gone largely under the radar within HUD, and needs examination, Galante said. Among the most important items on the list: financial assessment for tax and insurance and housing counseling.

NRMLA has launched what it says will be an “aggressive” public affairs campaign. The borrower campaign, coined “Borrow with Confidence,” includes a new consumer-facing website and a media initiative to combat inaccuracies about reverse mortgage products. We’re told it will roll out over the next 10 days. Stay tuned.

In case you didn’t see it at NRMLA…Genworth released a reverse mortgage iPhone and iPad app. It’s a free application that can be used on the go as a reverse mortgage calculator. It can be downloaded from the iTunes store.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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