Friday Round-Up: AAG’s Boots on the Ground, Realtors Talk Reverse Mortgages

Coming off the long Presidents Day weekend, RMD’s readers flocked to a story about reverse mortgage titan American Advisors Group’s efforts to expand its field origination team, as well as a National Association of Realtors event designed to educate real estate professionals about the home equity conversion mortgage for purchase transaction.

Here’s a recap of the top five stories from RMD this past week.

AAG Continues to Build Reverse Mortgage Ground Game — AAG executives Paul Fiore and Jesse Allen talked to RMD about their company’s long-term plans to supplement its formidable call center model with boots on the ground across the country — and how its ground game could hold the key to educating more consumers about the company’s HECM for purchase options.

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Realtor Panel Presents “Power” of Reverse Mortgage for Purchase — The National Association of Realtors held a webinar to educate its million-plus members about HECM for purchase transactions. A South Carolina Realtor and a reverse mortgage professional from New Jersey fielded common questions from the remote audience, and in the process proved that many players on both sides of the equations still have a lot to learn about H4P.

New Data Shows Financial Assessment Reduces Reverse Mortgage Defaults — New View Advisors released new data this week showing that tax and insurance defaults on HECM loans dropped significantly in the months after Financial Assessment rules were implemented in April 2015 — perhaps proving that the regulations are having the intended effect of weeding out less-qualified applicants..

Ocwen to Pay $25M, Forgive Nearly $200M in California Settlement — Ocwen Financial Corporation reached an agreement with the state of California over lingering regulatory issues, shedding itself of a mandated auditor and gaining the ability to begin acquiring mortgage servicing rights in the state again. 

Pfau Advocates for Reverse Mortgages in Forbes — HECM advocate Wade Pfau took to Forbes to explain how reverse mortgages can fit into the average person’s overall retirement plan, continuing a streak of positive coverage on reverse mortgages in the publication; Forbes gave space to fellow HECM researcher Mark Warshawsky two weeks ago.

New Hire at Liberty

Liberty Home Equity Solutions, Inc. added mortgage professional Sonny Pham as a divisional retail sales manager this week. Pham — who has spent 15 years in the lending industry with stints at Citibank, Wells Fargo Home Loans, and Bank of America — will lead the Rancho Cordova, Calif.-based HECM lender’s Southwest retail field offices.

Reverse Mortgages Around the Web

Outrageous — Reverse Mortgage Horror Story — After teasing viewers with a breathless promo promising a reverse mortgage nightmare, Mobile, Ala. NBC affiliate WPMI delivered the full story of a Mobile woman who faced a potential HECM foreclosure action by Reverse Mortgage Solutions. While her tale was truly regrettable, it’s a good example of how local media still use the term “reverse mortgages” to scare viewers, and any explanation as to how the loans actually work is relegated to a few bullet points at the end of the segment. Hat tip to reader Danny Phillips of Southchase Mortgage in Foley, Ala., who saw the segment and forwarded the link to RMD — but not before contacting the station to complain about the one-sided report on HECMs.

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