Reverse Mortgage Endorsements Fall Again After Months of Growth

After experiencing a couple months of growth, reverse mortgage endorsements from Federal Housing Administration-approved lenders have dropped back to their lows of earlier this summer.

Reverse Market Insight’s latest data shows HECM endorsements down 9.9% with 2,880 loans in September.

RMI president John Lunde told RMD that month-to-month endorsement data is bumpy by nature, and he expects it to be this way for at least a year.

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“In general, it’s going to be painful for awhile,” he said.

All but one region experienced the lag. New York/New Jersey was the only one of RMI’s 10 regions that saw endorsement growth, rising 6.6% with a bump to 193 loans, up from 181 in August. Of the other nine regions that weathered drops, the Southeast/Caribbean suffered the least at 2.5% and a total of 585 loans — a 15 endorsement drop from the previous month.

As for lenders, two of the top 10 gained traction last month. HighTechLending generated 55 loans for 7.8% growth, and Longbridge grew 7.4% with 58 loans. Leader AAG fell from 839 loans in August to 778 in September. In second place was Finance of America Reverse with 256 loans, down from 324 in August.

January marked the height of endorsements since last October’s HECM changes, as lenders were still working through their pre-October 2 pipeline. Because last year’s changes had more of an impact on the industry than program modifications seen in the past, recovery is going to take longer, Lunde said.

“I’d be really surprised if we were talking in a year and we were at the volume we were at a year ago,” he said.

This “HECM Lenders” data only includes FHA-approved lenders. RMI releases complete data featuring both FHA and non-FHA approved originators separately.

Written by Maggie Callahan

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  • I find the headline somewhat misleading. The claim is endorsements have been rising for “months.” Well, the endorsement count for June 2018 was the lowest for fiscal 2018 and September the second lowest and ended up just 42 endorsements higher than the June 2018 total.

    July and August may seem like months but they were just 2 months. Neither of those month total endorsements exceed the April 2018 endorsement total that RMI declared on June 6 was the likely nadir in endorsements following the 10/2/2017 changes. So, in fact, July was the third worst month for endorsements in fiscal 2018 and August, the fourth worst month. So the four worst months for endorsements for fiscal 2018 came AFTER RMI stated that April 2018 was the nadir for endorsements in fiscal 2018.

    The desperation of the industry for good news on the endorsement front seems to distort common sense in reporting on those monthly totals. So again by order of lowest to the highest HECM endorsements monthly totals for the last four months, June was the worst; September was the second worst; July was the third worst; and August, the fourth worst.

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