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Reverse Mortgage Giant AAG Planning to Launch Forward Division

American Advisors Group is set to launch a forward mortgage division in October, according to an online job listing.

“AAG is changing the nation’s view of a reverse mortgage, and now launching the forward mortgage option,” the Indeed.com posting for a “Forward Mortgage Inside Sales” position at AAG reads.

“Due to this exciting launch, we are looking to hire 10 forward mortgage inside sales representatives to start with us early October,” the post continues.

The Orange, Calif.-based lender consistently leads the industry in reverse mortgage originations, and has played an instrumental role in introducing the products to the general public through commercials starring famous pitchmen such as Fred Thompson and Tom Selleck. But an attempt to enter the forward market would mark a major evolution for the firm, founded in 2004 by current CEO Reza Jahangiri as a reverse-focused lender.

The posting advertises a full-time position with opportunities for National Mortgage Licensing System approval and licensure in up to six states, as well as other training.

An AAG spokesperson said the company has no formal announcement at this time, but noted that AAG has its eyes on other industries.

“AAG is currently exploring ways we can help more seniors live more comfortably in retirement,” the spokesperson told RMD in an e-mail. “That includes testing demand for traditional mortgages, home equity lines of credit, and helping seniors sell their homes and relocate if reverse mortgages aren’t appropriate for them.”

The spokesperson also pointed to a recent Orange County Register profile of AAG and Jahangiri, which described preliminary plans for expansion into traditional mortgage products.

“We want to be agnostic from a product standpoint,” Jahangiri told the Register. “We want to be more of a solutions business versus a single-product business.”

Just last week, RMD reported on a website for AAG Residential Services, a real estate brokerage aimed at matching seniors looking to downsize with agents who have experience working with clients aged 55 and older.

In a pitch to brokers, AAG notes that it receives 50,000 inquiries from older consumers each month, including those who don’t end up wanting a reverse mortgage but might be interested in downsizing or receiving in-home assistance.

“AAG gets thousands of calls each day from seniors wanting to make a change — many wanting to sell their home,” the site reads.

As with the new forward operation, AAG did not directly comment on the real estate brokerage to RMD.

Only about 9,000 of the half-million people who called the lender in 2016 ended up signing on the dotted line for a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage, according to a recent Forbes profile of AAG and Jahangiri, and these moves together may indicate an attempt by AAG to capitalize on their vast quantity of leads by offering other products and services.

And AAG wouldn’t be alone: Multiple lenders and real estate brokers in recent months have recognized the potential for partnerships in a push toward “generational lending,” or the idea that one lender can provide loan products for all phases of a borrower’s life.

For instance, Reverse Mortgage Funding rolled out new software to target forward brokers interested in HECMs; California’s largest mortgage broker, C2 Financial, developed a reverse mortgage training program with the assistance of RMF and Finance of America Reverse; and forward lenders such as Skyline Financial and Starkey Mortgage have expanded into HECMs.

Written by Alex Spanko