HUD to Survey Reverse Mortgage Borrowers to Determine Quality of Counseling

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has launched an effort to survey all reverse mortgage borrowers who have gone through counseling, in an aim to determine its effectiveness.

The survey will be distributed shortly by either mail or email, when email is available, and HUD is calling for all comments to be submitted by June 18, according to a notice in the Federal Register.

In its description of the survey and its purpose, HUD states that the feedback could be used for potential policy change in the future.

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“It provides valuable feedback to HUD regarding customer service and counseling quality provided by the HECM counseling agency being reviewed,” the Federal Register notice says. “HUD uses this information to evaluate the counseling agency and, further, to make any policy or procedural changes as necessary.”

Most recently, HUD counseling protocols were changed in 2010 with the introduction of the Financial Interview Tool (FIT) and Benefits Check-Up.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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  • ALL of them?  Is that what I’m reading?  Not a representative sample?  This is not scientific methodology, relying on the recipient to respond with no compelling reason to do so.  Which category is more likely to respond?  Those who loved it or those who hated it?

    • beaches21,

      Why not all borrowers?  

      HOWEVER, It really should include all counselees including those who do not receive a certificate if it is too any real value when it comes to counseling.  Information from just borrowers alone seems far too limited and distorted if the goal is to understand the problems with counseling.

      Where can we view the proposed survey?

  • I am glad that HUD is doing this.  I encourage all of the people I counsel that they should make comments to HUD, both good and bad.  Sometimes the negative comments are more helpful in correcting my own mistakes than anything else.  On follow up calls to see if they have taken a reverse mortgage, I always ask if there was anything they felt I missed during counseling.  That was how I learned very early on that I needed to focus more on budgeting with people.

    Frank J. Kautz, II
    Staff Attorney

    Community Service Network, Inc.
    52 Broadway
    Stoneham, MA 02180
    (781) 438-1977
    (781) 438-6037 fax
    FrankKautz@csninc.org –work
    Frank@Kautzlaw.com –private

  • There is no incentive for the senior to send the survey back, unless it’s the borrower that their loan was denied for whatever reason and wants to blame someone and that’s going to potenitally shape policy in the future?

    Frank, if you are telling the senior to call HUD with “comments”, that just boggs down the system. I don’t think the senior should call HUD for anything that comes to mind (good or bad.) That’s what the counseling agency and the lender are there to facilitate and resolve at the local level. If it’s something you can’t solve then help escalate it.

    • PolicyPolice,

      How can a borrower be someone who had their loan denied?  First, a borrower is some who gets a loan and second, it is not “their loan” until it is closed.  Talk about overreacting….  Stop the caffeine already!!!

      Frank is right.  Counselees should feel free to contact HUD with any comments about counseling.  

      “If it’s something you can’t solve then help escalate it.”  How is contacting HUD with comments “escalating” anything?  

    • Sorry, but I disagree.  HUD needs to know, good and bad, what counselors are doing.  If our clients don’t call in, if we remain so quiet as to be unnoticed, then we are forgotten entirely and that is bad.  Further, handling things on the “local level” is a great way to sweep things under the rug and keep them from ever getting the attention they deserve.  I really don’t want bad lenders handled on the local level, and, quite frankly, if I am screwing up I want HUD to call me on it so I can fix it.

      Sorry, but I disagree with it bogging down the system.  The system is in place to make sure that the senior gets the best counseling possible, if the senior cannot comment, good or bad, then the system will not work properly.

      Frank J. Kautz, II
      Staff Attorney

      Community Service Network, Inc.
      52 Broadway
      Stoneham, MA 02180
      (781) 438-1977
      (781) 438-6037 fax
      FrankKautz@csninc.org –work
      Frank@Kautzlaw.com –private

  • The_Critic has a very good point here.  If we just go with surveying those who took their HECM, we will never know why those who didn’t, did not.  It could be the counseling session (I have had more than a few where people did not take a HECM, but I like to think that was because they didn’t want it after the counseling), it could be the sales technique, or it could be myths.  Knowing is far better.

    Frank J. Kautz, II
    Staff Attorney

    Community Service Network, Inc.
    52 Broadway
    Stoneham, MA 02180
    (781) 438-1977
    (781) 438-6037 fax
    FrankKautz@csninc.org –work
    Frank@Kautzlaw.com –private

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