It’s been a breakneck couple of weeks in the reverse mortgage world, so in order to get you up to speed, here’s a look back at the top stories on RMD as decided by our readers:
Reverse Mortgage Industry Braces for September Surge — As the industry continues to digest the looming changes to mortgage insurance premiums and principal limit factors, counselors and lenders are preparing for the coming wave of borrowers looking to lock in a higher draw limit and lower upfront fees before the new rules take effect October 2.
What HUD’s New Rules Mean for the Reverse Mortgage Industry — The “floor” is gone. “Ruthlessness” may no longer be rewarded. And originators may increasingly need to compete on rates. Check out RMD’s all-in-one resource for how HUD’s actions will affect the reverse mortgage industry — and in case you need a quick catch-up, read our story laying out the changes themselves.
Reverse Mortgage Pioneer Talks Past, Present, Future of Equity Conversion — Outside of the changes coming to the industry, RMD brought you this Q&A with Yung-Ping “Bing” Chen, one of the reverse mortgage pioneers who first floated the idea of home equity conversion in the 1960s. The retired academic discussed the nascent days of the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage — and gave his outlook for the products going forward.
Washington Post Editorial Board Praises Reverse Mortgage Changes — The Washington Post, which has covered issues with reverse mortgage servicing in recent weeks, applauded HUD’s decision to lower draw limits and increase mortgage premiums, saying the health of the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund is at stake — and accusing the HECM program of impeding the Federal Housing Administration’s ability to serve the more deserving demographic of young, first-time homebuyers.
Former HUD Official ‘Worried’ About Higher Reverse Mortgage Costs — On the other side of the coin, a veteran of George W. Bush’s Department of Housing and Urban Development expressed concern about the new rules’ effects on elderly homeowners and their ability to fund a comfortable retirement through home equity.
The National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association released new tips for dealing with storm-related servicing issues this week, which will be updated as conditions change in Florida. HUD has already issued a 90-day foreclosure moratorium for homeowners in counties under a presidential disaster declaration; HUD estimates that 200,000 homeowners have FHA-insured mortgages in those counties affected by Hurricane Harvey.
HUD will release more information about special storm-related assistance as conditions change. With Hurricane Irma bearing down on the United States as of press time, all of us at RMD send our thoughts to the people of the Caribbean and Florida, and recommend that residents heed local authorities’ evacuation and safety warnings.
Written by Alex Spanko