RMD Review: Updated Reverse Mortgage Book Breaks Down New Landscape

A new book on reverse mortgages seeks to explain the products in an even more concise fashion to average potential borrowers — while also explaining the new reverse mortgage math.

Author Dan Hultquist released “Understanding Reverse — 2018” at the start of the new year, providing an update of his regular series of educational books on Home Equity Conversion Mortgages.

This time around, the book includes updated information about principal limit factors in the post-October 2 world, with an increased emphasis on brevity and layman’s-terms explanations. The book’s 43 chapters are each just two pages long, presented in a question-and answer format: For instance, “What Are the Advantages of Making Payments?” provides several answers in short sections, such as potential tax benefits and increases in line-of-credit access for adjustable-rate loans

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The book represents a more direct approach by design: Despite the fact that most buyers come from the industry, Hultquist said copies frequently end up in the hands of people who might be considering taking out a HECM loan.

“The books will circulate. They tend to move,” Hultquist, director of learning and development at the San Diego-based software firm ReverseVision, told RMD. 

For instance, he’s heard stories of financial planners who give copies to potential applicants, who in turn leave the books at local churches or senior centers.

“Now you’ve got these books floating around, and if they don’t know who gave it — or ultimately where it came from — they call me,” Hultquist said.

As a result, lenders and brokers have increasingly put stickers with their contact information inside bulk-ordered copies of the book, Hultquist said, ensuring that curious readers can eventually make contact with an active originator of HECMs.

Even though this new edition, currently available on Amazon and through Hultquist’s website, contains updated information about principal limit factors and mortgage insurance premiums, it’s actually shorter than previous versions. The goal, Hultquist said, is to provide a succinct question-and-anaswer format for end users — so instead of including references to regulatory language straight from the Code of Federal Regulations directly in the text, Hultquist moved that information to separate footnotes.

“The end user doesn’t care. They just want to know — is it a regulation? Can you document it somewhere?” he said.

Written by Alex Spanko