Friday Round-Up: FHA Says Reverse Mortgage Change is On The Way

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

The New York Times slammed reverse mortgages. In a front page story that appeared in print and on the publication’s website, the New York Times wrote about reverse mortgages and the risks involved, namely the ability to lose one’s home. Other points included aggressive marketing, rising defaults and non-borrowing spouses. The article failed to note protections recently implemented such as a requirement that non-borrowing spouses attend reverse mortgage counseling. 

…spinoff articles and mentions followed. From CBS News’ Gayle King to AARP, the NY Times story made media waves. AARP took the opportunity to bring up a recent, yet unresolved lawsuit filed against HUD targeting the non-borrowing spouse issue. 

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FHA said reverse mortgage program changes are coming. During the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association annual conference in San Antonio, Texas, FHA Deputy Assistant Secretary Charles Coulter told attendees the time for change is now, and that within six months, the industry can expect changes toward preventing borrower default. 

The fiscal cliff raised questions about housing. Experts say the home market being in such dire straits may actually stand to buffer the impact of the fiscal cliff, should it become a reality on January 1. What it means for Americans, though, could be more than enough of a negative impact to offset the minor housing blows.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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