Reverse Mortgage Funding (RMF) announced Tuesday that it is making changes to its proprietary product Equity Elite, including a reduction in origination fees and borrower closing costs—available through its third-party origination (TPO) broker channel. The company is also integrating Equity Elite through the ReverseVision reverse mortgage software platform.
RMF first eliminated the majority of closing costs with its Equity Elite Zero offering, and is expanding on those efforts by reducing origination fees on most of its standard Equity Elite offerings for the TPO broker channel. Additionally, it is reducing borrower closing costs by implementing lender credits on some Equity Elite loan offerings.
“I see [these changes] as part of the evolution of the product,” said Mark O’Neil, National Wholesale and Correspondent Sales Leader for RMF in a phone call with RMD. “The fact of the matter is that proprietary products have evolved a lot over the past year, and this was just another step in that evolution. We’re always looking to make our product as competitive as possible, and see it as a big benefit to the borrowers, which was the right thing to do.”
Ultimately, these product changes are aimed to enhance RMF’s position in the proprietary reverse mortgage space, O’Neil said.
“The changes we have made, and will continue to make in the future, are always done with an eye towards improving our market appeal,” he said. “You’re likely to see our proprietary market share expand based on these changes. I can tell you we’ve got additional product innovations that we’re working on currently that will continue to expand the market for our brokers, because we’re going to continue to come out with products that have appeal to more borrowers.”
A recently-recorded uptick in jumbo reverse mortgage interest has led to a number of new proprietary products being introduced into the marketplace, including Longbridge Financial’s “Platinum” product, One Reverse Mortgage’s Home Equity Loan Optimizer (HELO) and the HomeSafe product line from Finance of America Reverse (FAR). American Advisors Group (AAG) also originates HomeSafe proprietary reverse mortgages under the name “AAG Advantage.”
In the end, allowing greater degrees of access to more borrowers will only enhance proprietary reverse mortgages for more people, O’Neil shared.
“We want to make reverse mortgages in general appeal to more borrowers, because that’ll benefit all of us in the long-run,” he said.
Equity Elite will also be available via the ReverseVision Exchange (RVX) loan origination system, which will expand availability even further, O’Neil explained.
“Rolling it into RVX is the next logical step in our development, and brings the product to a wider variety of originators since they’re not all in our [proprietary] Tango system,” he said. “Bringing it to more originators will bring it to more end-users, which is obviously very exciting to us.”
The product changes for RMF’s Equity Elite are currently available to TPO partners in 17 states and the District of Columbia, notes a press release on the changes. RMF will be rolling out the new features for the Equity Elite product series and expand it into additional states in “the near future,” according to the press release.
“As anyone who’s been in the reverse mortgage business for more than a few minutes knows, closing costs have always been a barrier to more borrowers,” O’Neil said. “Breaking down that barrier will definitely expand that appeal, and increase opportunity for our brokers.”
RMF-approved originators can also now access the Equity Elite product through both the company’s own loan origination system, Tango Reverse, and ReverseVision RVX in select states.
RMF’s announcement follows a similar product refinement in the proprietary reverse mortgage space from Finance of America Reverse (FAR), which at the end of February announced no origination fee on various versions of that company’s HomeSafe product line. FAR also added the availability of a lender credit allowing options without closing costs through HomeSafe’s middle and upper tier options, with additional availability for brokers.