Former NY Life Team Plans New Reverse Mortgage Company Launch

A group led by former New York Life employees is in the planning stages of a standalone reverse mortgage business that will ultimately offer both Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) and proprietary reverse mortgage products in a “socially responsible” way. 

“We are thinking about the reverse mortgage as part of an overall financial plan,” says Michael Gordon, founder and managing partner for the new company, Longbridge Investments LLC. “Americans should be thinking about their house as an asset.”

Gordon, who most recently served as head of new business ventures for New York Life Enterprises, which included developing Home Equity Income Solutions LLC., a startup designed to originate and securitize HECMs and proprietary reverse mortgage loans, is working together with a team including former New York Life employees Manjiang Xu, John Curran and Ben Woloshin, as well as economist Christopher Mayer and former MetLife manager Melissa Macerato. 

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The New York City-based company is in the early stages of funding its business with plans to hire and origination team in the coming months. 

“We learned a lot from our experiences at New York Life that will help us,” Gordon says. “We see this as an opportunity and as something that is underutilized by retirees.”

Longbridge plans to grow a team of licensed loan officers for a phone origination team as well as a team of face-to-face originators. The company will begin offering HECM loans with the goal of offering proprietary products in the future. 

“The key will be having a product choice so we can have the right product for the right person,” Gordon says. 

Gordon declined to comment on whether the company was looking into acquisition possibilities. 

With respect to the recent research from the financial planning industry indicating reverse mortgages may be a viable retirement option not only for those who truly need to tap their home equity but also those who do have retirement savings, Gordon says Longbridge is open to working with borrowers of this type. 

“We are interested in doing research on incorporating alternative assets into portfolios,” he said. “There is no question this asset should be adding value to retirement portfolios.”

New York Life was rumored to have been planning a reverse mortgage entry earlier this year, but to no avail. 

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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  • Our market is crazy.  If someone shows up at a Convention they are the next one in.  If a company forms a unit to look to probe our industry we declare they are in.  

    The reaction of the industry reminds one of the person who wants to get married so bad that when anyone asks for a date, the person asking must be interested in marriage.  Get over it!!!  The last time our industry grew was three fiscal years ago.  Who wants to invest in what appears to be a dying industry.What major player is going to move into this marketplace until FHA makes it policy clear on how to handle borrower defaults particularly those related to nonpayment of property charges.

    While lenders are rejoicing that their market share is growing, the value of their firms have stagnated and will not go up for some time.

  • Our market is crazy.  If employees of a company show up at a reverse mortgage convention the employer will definitely be the next lender to come into the industry.  If a company forms a unit to probe the prospects of entering into our industry we declare they are in.  

    The reaction of the industry reminds one of the person who wants to get married so bad that when anyone asks for a date, the person asking must be interested in marriage.  Get over it!!!  The last time our industry grew in the way of endorsements was three fiscal years ago.  

    But who wants to invest in what appears to be a dying industry?  What major player is going to move into this marketplace until FHA makes its policy clear on how to handle borrower defaults particularly those related to nonpayment of property charges and provides us with better screening procedures to mitigate such defaults?

    While lenders are rejoicing that their market share is growing, the value of their firms have stagnated and will not go up for some time.

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