Reverse Mortgage Lenders Pick Up the Slack, Volume Remains Steady

Reverse mortgage lenders picked up the slack of Wells Fargo’s exit in November, with endorsements remaining steady against the previous month after a double-digit drop in volume, according to Reverse Market Insight’s HECM Lenders November 2011 newsletter.

There were 4,654 home equity conversion mortgage (HECM) endorsements in the month, one more than in October.

“The lack of change in industry overall volume is remarkable considering the second shoe dropped on Wells Fargo’s expected volume decline,” says RMI.

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October endorsements dropped 16.8%, shows RMI data, which included volume decline from Wells as well as a drop in aggregate lender volume.

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However, lenders were able to take on open market share in November rather than letting Wells Fargo’s volume disappear. This is partially due to 14 additional lenders appearing in the rankings compared to October, a 5.9% increase, RMI data shows, and these lenders contributed 59 loans.

“Undoubtedly the industry [is] taking the Wells decline in stride, and the disparate lender performances are mirrored in the geographic perspective,” says the newsletter.

Regions that didn’t have a good month include Northwest/Alaska, Pacific/Hawaii, and Midwest, which had respective declines of 24.1%, 14.5%, and 12.4%. However, the Rocky Mountain region saw a 50% jump after a big loss in October, and Southwest and New York/New Jersey also saw double-digit increases of 19.1% and 10.5%, respectively, according to RMI data.

Overall, regional performance was split with five regions seeing positive monthly growth and the remaining five losing endorsement volume.

Number two MetLife was the only top-five lender with a positive monthly performance, with a nearly 40% surge in endorsements. Genworth, American Advisors Group, and Reverse Mortgage USA are the only other top-ten lenders whose endorsement volume grew in November.

Wells Fargo’s volume went from 787 loans to to 24, and November was the first month in which Bank of America had no reverse mortgage endorsements.

View the HECM Lenders November 2011 newsletter here.

Written by Alyssa Gerace

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  • Endorsements are not like case number assignments.  While lenders have some control when their files arrive at HUD, they have much less control as to when HUD will endorse the loans. 

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