New Reverse Mortgage Rules May ‘Trim’ Demand, HUD Updates Counselors

ReverseFocusReverse Focus Weekly Podcast Episode #371

In this week’s Reverse Focus podcast, Shannon Hicks discusses recently updated guidance from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regarding Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) counseling. The guidance arrives in the wake of recent HECM program changes this year and updates counselors on a variety of requirements, including mandatory obligations, property charge funding requirements, financial assessment and non-borrowing spouse changes.

Also discussed was the impact of last month’s Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality and its impact on federal housing programs. While agencies nationwide may have had to adjust their policies to accommodate the new law, HUD didn’t have to make any changes. Why? Because the agency already has “baked-in” protections for their policies to all housing programs, including the HECM program, a HUD spokesman confirmed last week.


A recent article from Nasdaq suggests that the appeal of reverse mortgages may be lessened for prospective borrowers as a result of the Financial Assessment, particularly when it comes to funding the set-aside requirements. In the short-term, Nasdaq says these changes could “trim” demand for HECMs.

Lastly discussed in the podcast, Hicks describes a two-tiered mortgage market that has emerged in the U.S., making home buying harder for some, according to a recent article from the L.A. Times. While lending standards have “loosened” since the housing crash, the Times notes that this mostly applies to homebuyers with credit scores of more than 700, and those with minor “credit dings” tend to be those routed toward higher cost FHA mortgages.

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Talking Points:

  • HUD updates counseling guidance in wake of recent HECM changes
  • LGBT protections already addressed in HUD housing programs
  • Nasdaq: New reverse mortgage rules may limit appeal
  • L.A. Times: New mortgage market challenging for some homebuyers

Listen now. Reverse Focus is the ultimate resource for reverse mortgage professionals providing the technology, training and marketing to grow your business. We are your one-stop resource for those committed to taking their business to the next level.”  Editor’s Note: These posts are sponsored by Reverse Focus.

Written by Jason Oliva

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  • We have to be concerned the counseling agencies have been given the in-depth knowledge they need to explain all the changes that have occurred.

    This why we that are dealing with the public on a daily bases in the reverse mortgage space need to be fully knowledgeable and up to date with all these changes that have occurred and will occur.
    I fear there will be a clash between with what we have educated our seniors on compared to the counseling agencies. I am not saying all agencies but many of them fall into my scenario.
    We must be prepared for this, remember, we are being trained by industry leaders in the reverse mortgage space, counselors are being guided as they say by you know who!!
    John A. Smaldone

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