Friday Round-Up: Lenders Optimistic Post-MetLife Exit

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

Lenders responded to MetLife’s reverse mortgage exit. Most seeing the departure as an opportunity, lenders told us how they are gearing up to make gains in the wake of MetLife’s closing shop, and why the exit is a double-edged sword.

A reverse mortgage online course went live for 1 million realtors. The course, available through the National Association of Realtors, is as a continuing education class and is offered online and in person via sponsorships by Security One Lending.


Urban hired former MetLife manager Ken Sawan to lead retail sales. Urban said Sawan will serve as vice president of retail sales and will work toward Urban’s expansion efforts.

Mainstream press covered the MetLife exit… Just another exit, they said. Check out the headlines we gathered from the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg and other national news outlets.

A Senate bill continued the suspension on the number of HECMs allowed. Although there are more than 700,000 FHA reverse mortgages outstanding, the last HECM cap revision places the limit at 275,000. The decision has been suspended several times, with the bill pushing the cap another year through fiscal year 2013.

How will MetLife’s departure impact volume? Reverse Market Insight made new projections this week looking ahead to 2012 and beyond. While the industry may be in for a rough couple of months, RMI says, the overall effect doesn’t look all that bad.

Have a great weekend!

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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  • While the combined loss of Bank of America, Financial Freedom, and Wells Fargo created real opportunity for the other major lenders, the MetLife situation is not the same.  Endorsement losses to the overall industry may exceed the MetLife market share meaning the result will be far more mixed this coming fiscal year than it was in the last two fiscal years.

    My expectation is that some of the Surviving Big Nine will see losses in total endorsements and perhaps even in market share.  Some will also experience just the opposite.  The real test this time will be to increase the bottom line while competing for the MetLife market share.

    What happens at the lender level impacts originators but originators will be hit by reduced volume.  As call centers gain momentum, originations by boots on the ground will wane even worse than they are today.

    I am no Pollyanna but do see a bright future for our industry but not so much I think a prediction of 100,000 endorsements for next fiscal year was based on anything other than irrational exuberance whether MetLife is in the industry or not.  I guess the scotch was flowing pretty deep at the last NRMLA convention or maybe it was that long time drug of the mortgage industry OPM (other people’s money).

    Have a great weekend!!   

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