Despite some “disappointing” poll data suggesting the Financial Assessment may be impacting reverse mortgage volume more than originally anticipated, counseling volume paints a slightly different picture, says Jerry Wagner, president of Ibis Software Corporation.
In fact, counseling volume over the most recent four weeks is down only 12%, when using the average of the 21 weeks from that ending Aug. 9, 2014, to the week ending Dec. 27, 2014, as a baseline, he says.
On the contrary, among the 190 respondents to a recent RMD poll, a majority, or 54%, of reverse mortgage professionals reported more than 15% volume decline. Among those respondents, 15% said the decline is more than 50%.
While counseling volume took a dive in the five weeks following the implementation of the Financial Assessment on April 27, it has since recovered and stabilized over the last four weeks, Wagner says.
Ibis used the aforementioned baseline period to establish a volume benchmark on which to compare current data with more normalized data that doesn’t account for the swings in counseling sessions.
Immediately following the FA’s implementation, volume dropped to as low as 68% of that benchmark.
However, from the week ending June 6 to the week ending June 27, counseling volume ticked back up to 90% of the benchmark in one week, and averaged 88% over those four weeks — thus, counseling volume has only dipped an average of 12% in the past month.
While counseling volume and reverse mortgage volume can’t be definitively compared, the Ibis data does suggest a more optimistic view of the Financial Assessment’s impact.
Written by Emily Study