NY Times Prints Lender Response to “Unfair” Reverse Mortgage Article

The New York Times has published a response to a recent article in the same publication that portrayed reverse mortgages in a negative light. In a printed letter to the editor to the Times penned by National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association President and CEO Peter Bell, Bell describes the reverse mortgage as an innovative product that has helped hundreds of thousands of seniors, calling the Times article an “unfair snapshot.” 

The op-ed, titled, “Reverse Mortgages: The Industry Responds, covers recent consumer protections, and describes the product in the greater context of financial challenges faced by many American retirees. 

The letter to the editor writes: 


“Abuse Growing in Loan Option for the Elderly” (front page, Oct. 15), about reverse mortgages, is an unfair snapshot of a financial product that has afforded a better life to more than 700,000 American senior citizens.

Reverse mortgages are an innovative effort to help retirees gain access to the equity they have invested in their homes. The history of the product shows a continuing commitment to improve it for borrowers.

As issues have emerged, federal regulators and lenders have worked together to address them…

The original article sparked discussion of reverse mortgages spanning many publications nationwide

View the full article at NYTimes.com

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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  • Peter took the wise road and ignored the specific false information in the original article and looked at broad positive aspects and actions to refute the prior article.  To do otherwise at this late date would have been to call attention to the claims in the original article.

    The letter does little to undo the damage that the article did.  It seems written more to calm the concerns of the industry than those of the public.  Nonetheless it is well written.

  • As a 70 year old having a 20+ year career in reverse mortgage as a counselor, loan officer, branch manager and now having a reverse of my own I applaud Peter for his response to this article.  It is UNFORTUNATE that so many people don’t understand how these loan work and have chosen not to learn the facts but are quick to write negative articles.  I’ve seen it all in my years in the industry and the benefits FAR outweigh the negatives.  ej

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