New Reverse Mortgage Training Bible Launches, Could Be Regulatory Fix

The brainchild of reverse mortgage consultancy Wendover Consulting and training and technology provider Reverse Focus (formerly Reverse Fortunes), a new reverse mortgage training product is now available to serve as an official reverse mortgage education tool for originators in the space, as well as those looking to enter it.

Developed in part by Wendover’s Ken Kanady, former learning and development manager for reverse mortgage training at Wells Fargo along with a technology platform provided with the help of Reverse Focus, the creators see this new program, Reverse Basics, as having a widespread impact on the industry’s education and continuing education.

“It is the only reverse mortgage learning resource that is an online tool in the industry,” Wendover Founder Jeff Taylor told RMD. “You’ve heard: ‘the next best thing since sliced bread?’ Well this is sliced bread. There’s nothing like this that exists.”


The program will provide subscription-based access to companies as well as individuals who can take an online course, receiving a “certification” when they have completed it, says Shannon Hicks, vice president of product development for Reverse Focus. It will consist of a series of slides with quizzes and checkpoints the student must pass in order to complete the course, which covers roughly three hours of content. The cost varies depending on the number of employees a company signs on.

“This is not so much a training event but more of a learning tool,” Hicks says. “It will be updated on a monthly basis, as our industry is ever changing. Students will have access up to a year at a time. Even for the seasoned professional, it’s a nice place to go.”

With regulators such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau seeking specifics from lenders when it comes to their reverse mortgage training and continuing education, the launch of Reverse Basics coincides with a more stringent regulatory environment. It is not an “official” certification, but can serve as an unofficial one that regulators can recognize as a consistent tool within reverse mortgages.

“Particularly with increasing regulation and compliance, we know when mortgage companies are audited, regulators want to know about your training program,” Taylor says. “Ginnie Mae wants to know that now, too.”

For companies in the forward space exploring the reverse mortgage product as well as companies that have existed in the space for years, the program can be useful for originators of varying experience levels as well as companies of different sizes, the founders say.

“We think this is going to be the secret sauce,” Taylor says. “If you have 10 loan officers, this is wonderful. If you have 500 loan officers, this is better. Everyone is put through the same process.”

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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  • It is good to see Ken involved in the creation of this software.  It is important that the good training and continuing education provided at Wells Fargo is somehow passed on.  This is a good means to start that process.

  • What encourages government regulation is listless and passive
    resistance. It’s great to see this new thrust in the Reverse Mortgage industry
    because it is the only way (up- to-now) LOs can present credentials and fight
    for respect against government intervention in an industry they mostly don’t
    understand and will not address except to squeeze the life out of it.

    The CFPB consumerism has resulted from the passive mortgage
    industry who have been maligned and ignored. As long as loan officers are seen
    as greedy and underhanded manipulators of the vulnerable senior population,
    progress in this industry will be slow to mature.

    NMLS has done little to equip Reverse Mortgage professionals
    except to provide ineffective and expensive systems of of training regulation
    based on the primary mortgage industry which the reverse mortgage is not. What
    use is studying material that fits another industry except to regulate against
    those trying to get into the RM industry. Requiring entrants to study such unrelated
    material is regulation at its worst.

    This new effort to provide uniform expertise is a great
    defense against government strangulation.

    A salute to Shannon Hicks, who now has the opportunity to
    champion for the RM industry. I hope RM players will support it by bringing
    their people in masse into it. That way, government loses one of its big
    hammers, to divide and thus strangle the industry.

    This is a start, but this unifying first effort should
    develop into RM credentials which can lead a positive thrust in the future
    against the growing mindless regulation we see now. No question, that among all
    the different issues in this industry, there is one common theme – RMs will
    survive in the marketplace.

    This effort raises awareness that this industry will be
    professional and mature as it advances. Government will not be needed to keep
    it on course as a major plank in the retirement field.

    Thanks Shannon Hicks for giving us hope in a never ending
    battle for credibility in the reverse mortgage industry. Knowledge is the power
    to be acknowledged.


    • Mr. Strycker,

      It seems to you all government is wrong, only harms the program and is to be feared.  First the CFPB has done little more when it comes to our segment of the industry than issue a report which reflects more of the views of our detractors than our own but only marginally so.  The CFPB certainly is no enemy of reverse mortgages.

      HUD has done some things we as an industry do not appreciate but it also has done many, many more things to make the program feasible and healthy.  For example, if HUD had not shifted funds from other segments of the MMI Fund to the HECM portion, we as an industry would have had few if any endorsements in the last two fiscal years.  Or what about their increasing principal limits factors at the expected interest rate floor just two years ago?

      We have a viable industry because another segment of HUD made the HMBS outlet possible, Ginnie Mae.  HUD also recanted early last year and gave the estates, trusts, and heirs of borrowers a reasonable purchase policy on HECM collateral when the balance due is greater than the value of that collateral.

      You seem to believe that the best way to work with government bodies is to only focus on the negative.  Forgive me for promoting the concept that such focus does far more harm than good.  This is not to say that we should not speak up when HUD or other government units are considering or have implemented poor decisions but to harp on that all of the time is counterproductive.

      While I appreciate what Reverse Focus has done and is doing, a three hour course on reverse mortgages by itself will not ward off government criticism.  That does not mean it will not be a great benefit to the industry.  It will be because of the proven ability of the providers to not only to inform but also to educate.  Knowledge is not just available information; it is information which has been retained.

  • With a flip of the switch, sir, and without knowledge or interest in what I do in this industry, this government can take away my right to support my family by assuming without knowledge that what I do is unprofessional. That, my friend, is something to fear. It’s good to know you are beyond that fear. I hope you will never be threatened without reason as I have by this government. Acknowlegement of our work might be more effective than power in creating my respect and industry recognition for professional knowledge gives me a defense against these assumptions. Salute to Reverse Focus for what defense they give me against tyranny like this and to the power of freedom to say so. The government has not shown me it cares one bit how I survive in the field with senior people I pledge my best work to. As it has been posted already on these pages, a government that doesn’t count incoming information from the borrowers isn’t being fair and balanced. I doubt that the government pays much attention to what people out here in the field have experienced in this industry. It is pretty clear to me they don’t care much either.

    • Mr. Strycker,

      We see the same problems but choose to deal with them differently.  That is true for many things in life.  I wish you the best.

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