Reverse Mortgage Critic Offers “Unbiased” Information—for a Price

The website of the self-proclaimed “Reverse Mortgage Critic” recently promoted a reverse mortgage webinar to  financial and elder care professionals titled: Should you recommend a reverse mortgage to your clients?

The webinar, originally priced at $129, is on hold, the Reverse Mortgage Critic told RMD, but its target was predatory lending, and specifically what he says are 60,000 reverse mortgage borrowers who have been deceived into inappropriate reverse mortgages.

Reverse Mortgage Critic’s Lyn Link says on his site that “The Reverse Mortgage Critic was born out of a necessity to provide the public with a source of unbiased, revealing, straight talk about reverse mortgages.”

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As a “pioneer” in the industry who has dedicated more than 22 years help hundreds of seniors safely take advantage of reverse mortgage benefits, he says, he felt compelled to make a mission out of his reverse mortgage critique.

A special paid report on the site says “An estimated 59,880 reverse mortgage borrowers have already been steered into the wrong reverse mortgage product costing them and/or their estate on average an estimated $131,000. Plus, there are an additional 2,000 to 3,000 borrowers who become victims of lender steering each month.”

A consumer study released in 2011 by the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association found more than 90% of reverse mortgage borrowers surveyed reported satisfaction with their loans—an interesting distinction. Link, however, says the steering began after the study subjects got their reverse mortgages.

Link, who aims to provide reverse mortgage information to those who work with seniors, as well as consumers considering reverse mortgages, says “The potential losses to existing reverse mortgage borrowers and their estate during the life of the loan are currently estimated at almost 8 billion dollars.”

The site also advertises professional consultation services to consumers for $79 to discuss whether a reverse mortgage makes sense for their situation, although Link told RMD he is no longer offering those services. Sounds very similar to a counseling session, just not conducted by someone approved by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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  • What does Lyn think he is doing?  No doubt, there has been an irrational percentage of fixed rate HECMs originated in the last few years.  Some of that has to do with the insistence of borrowers due to the natural dislike of any adjustable rate mortgage especially one which can go up by as much 10% from its initial rate during the life of the loan.  Some of it may have something to do with steering borrowers to higher commission products.

    The issues are: how many seniors were steered and what is the real cost?  Where is Lyn getting his numbers from?  Due to the nonrecourse nature of HECMs, calculating cost is not a simple math problem.  

    Could Lyn be angry about the reaction to the rejection of his charitable lead idea?

    Lyn definitely has a very biased view of the number of steered HECMs and the potential loss to them and their estates.  He does not seem adverse to defaming an industry he once participated in.

  •  I wonder if he took the HECM for Purchase into consideration when he calculated his numbers? All of the reverse purchases that I have done have used the fixed rate product.

  • >>The webinar, originally priced at $129,

    Lyn is, and has been, a true Entrepreneur, with lots of interesting ideas.  I’d never be successful doing the stuff he does, because I don’t know how to get enough people to attend a webinar like that.  I don’t see how anyone can make a living with that business model.

    I believe he’s sincere, and wants to help people, and wish him the best.

    • Raymond,

      Many of our detractors are sincere.  Many lawmakers are sincere and make the worst changes to reverse mortgage laws with the best of intentions.

      I am no fan of this new venture.

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