Mass. Face-to-Face Reverse Mortgage Counseling Troubles Continue

Massachusetts reverse mortgage lenders and counseling agencies are continuing to rally support an en effort ensure a face-to-face counseling mandate does not take effect for all prospective reverse mortgage borrowers.

Legislation that would mandate face-to-face counseling for all borrowers has been delayed since 2010, with several hurdles—the most recent of which raised attention this week.

In July, it appeared there would be a delay in the rule after both Massachusetts legislative houses passed an amendment to Gov. Deval Patrick.

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Then in August, instead of signing the bill into effect, Gov. Patrick sent it back to be amended, thus implementing the face-to-face requirement temporarily.

Now, it appears that certain revisions to the legislation could possibly push the delay in the requirement for credit unions only—and not bank and non-bank lenders.

In the meantime, counseling fees have risen as high as $250 per session, one lender tells RMD.

Research presented during the legislative proceedings have indicated a shortage of counseling agencies within close proximity to many of Massachusetts’ western cities and towns; with the majority of counseling agencies located in Greater Boston.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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  • The Face to Face Mandate in Massachusetts is in effect with devastating results over the last 60+ days. In the Central and Western part of the State the overwhelming majority of people have to travel a minimum of a 2 hour round trip and pay up to a $250 counseling fee. The powers that be really blew this one and there’s no end in sight. Counseling Agencies are not increasing their staff and locations and Lenders are not putting a policy in place for those that meet the requirements of the Law that allows for phone counseling. Due to the fact that no-one has any idea if the Law as it reads now will be amended or not.

    • Sounds a lot like North Carolina. Wait until HUD changes some guidelines, and folks need to receive their case number quickly, to avoid the changes. When that happens in North Carolina, wait times for counseling is measured in months, counseling fees increase, folks get up at 6 am because the Counselor that was available is several hundred miles away, and many miss out, because they can’t schedule a session.

      But it’s better for the Consumer … right? Isn’t that why these changes are made?

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