Friday Round-Up: Reverse Mortgage Lender’s HUD Ban, HECM vs. HELOC

Before you cruise off into another precious summer weekend, catch up on what you may have missed while following the continuing political drama in Washington — whether your preference was e-mails, health care, or a mixture of the two.

This week brought two Home Equity Conversion Mortgage stories from Washington, courtesy of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as some new perspective on the ongoing HECM-versus-home equity line of credit debate.

HUD Suspends Small Reverse Mortgage Lender Over Fraud Charges — Seckel Capital had only just entered the reverse mortgage market in 2016 and generated a small quantity of loans, but RMD readers tuned into this story about HUD’s decision to strip its Federal Housing Administration origination and underwriting privileges. HUD claims that the Pennsylvania-based Seckel — which also operates insurance and financial advisory arms — lied on certain disclosures filed with the FHA.

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One More Essential Reverse Mortgage v. HELOC Resource — In the same week that Reverse Mortgage Funding rolled out a new ad campaign that plays on the subject, retirement blogger Tom Davison offered a detailed breakdown of the benefits that a reverse mortgage line of credit could potentially bring over a home equity line of credit.

HUD Softens Reverse Mortgage Ban in Some AZ Towns — In this follow-up to a story that RMD first reported in March, we told you about how HUD quietly lifted restrictions on FHA-based lending in certain 55-and-older communities that impose shared recreation fees — but only for condos, and without detailed guidance on the complicated issue.

Fox Business Presents Handy Reverse Mortgage Q&A — Fox Business presented a Q&A about HECM basics this week, and though some RMD readers rightfully objected to the way certain aspects of the loan were presented, the article serves as a 40,000-foot overview of the program for curious potential borrowers.

LendingTree Looks at the End of a Reverse Mortgage Loan — Following in NRMLA’s footsteps, consumer mortgage comparison site LendingTree provides a helpful look at the end-of-loan process, one of the largest sources of confusion and consternation for borrowers and their families.

Calling All Compliance Departments

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a variety of new Home Mortgage Disclosure Act guidance this week, including a technology preview and updated filing instructions for data collected this year and next. Check it all out at the CFPB’s website.

More Reverse Mortgage News from Down Under

Like a boomerang, news about reverse mortgages in Australia and New Zealand just keeps coming back. First up, CIO New Zealand profiled Jeff Greenslade, the CEO of Heartland Bank — the island nation’s largest reverse mortgage lender. Then the Sydney Morning Herald chimed in with a column on how borrowers in Australia can use reverse mortgages to pay for health care costs in older age. Though the products are naturally different from the American HECM, both discuss concepts that translate across the oceans, from the concept of “asset rich, cash-poor” retirees who could benefit from a reverse mortgage, to the need for a personal, upfront touch when working with clients.

Written by Alex Spanko