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Reverse Mortgage Must-Reads: Deceptive Ad Charges, Liberty for Sale

Just in case you missed them the first time around, here’s our weekly roundup of the must-read stories from a very busy week in Home Equity Conversion Mortgages — from a state enforcement action over deceptive advertisements to major industry changes potentially on the horizon.

Washington Charges HighTechLending with Deceptive HECM Advertising — The state of Washington accused HighTechLending of misleading advertising practices dating back to 2013, largely due to the omission of certain key facts about reverse mortgages. The Irvine, Calif.-based company countered by saying the offending ads had been pulled as soon as officials were made aware of the problems.

Ocwen Exploring Sale of Liberty, Reverse Mortgage Assets — Ocwen Financial Corporation (NYSE: OCN) dropped a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission indicating that it’s considering the sale of Liberty Home Equity Solutions, its reverse mortgage lending arm. The West Palm Beach, Fla.-based company has retained the services of Barclays Capital, Inc. to advise on potential alternatives for its HECM business.

Despite Turmoil at Ocwen, Liberty President Upbeat About Reverse Future — Just a day before Ocwen lobbed the potential sale bomb, RMD talked with Liberty president Michael Kent, who emphasized that his company is separate from its troubled corporate parent — and expressed optimism about the HECM for Purchase program after recent rule changes.

Walter Taking Steps Toward Chapter 11, But RMS Spared — Not to be outdone by the ongoing Ocwen-Liberty moves, Walter Investment Management Corporation (NYSE: WAC) announced that it’s planning a prepackaged Chapter 11 filing, though subsidiary Reverse Mortgage Solutions will be spared from the proceedings. 

WSJ: Standby Reverse Mortgage ‘Less Appealing’ After October 2 — Finally, RMD readers checked out a Wall Street Journal article that explored the effects of the new mortgage insurance premiums and principal limit factors on the HECM marketplace — and concluded that the standby reverse mortgage solution might be less popular going forward.

Written by Alex Spanko