Upon the request of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association this week sent a reminder of reverse mortgage counseling safeguards and protocols that apply to all HUD-approved counseling agencies.
The reminder is timed with an anticipated influx of counseling sessions leading up to reverse mortgage program changes that are expected from HUD in the coming weeks and notes that the changes do not justify emergency counseling.
“HUD anticipates that counseling agencies will see a short term increase in request for counseling sessions,” the HUD notice states. “….Counselors cannot use the anticipated program changes as justification for conducting emergency counseling.”
The reminder also notes the Financial Interview Tool, Benefits Check Up, and expected 60 to 90 minutes a counseling session should require, at no less than one hour. Additionally, it reiterates the counseling protocol including anti-steering specifications.
“As counselors are aware, lenders are not permitted to have direct contact with counselors on behalf of the client,” HUD states.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker