Live Well Financial has halted fundings for new reverse mortgage loans and some loans in process, RMD has learned from wholesale account executives within the company. Some sources indicate the company will cease operations entirely.
Several reverse mortgage wholesale account executives with the Richmond, Va.-based mortgage company informed their accounts Thursday and Friday via phone and email.
“Effective May 3, 2019, LiveWell Financial [will] no longer be in operation,” said an email from a Live Well account executive as first reported by Rob Chrisman. “Live Well Financial will not accept any new submissions or take in locks effective immediately.”
A former employee, who requested to remain unnamed, confirmed to RMD that employees were informed Thursday that the company would cease operations as of Friday, May 3 including the discontinuation of fundings and loans in process. Employees were not provided with advance notice of the closure, the employee said.
Wholesale partners were informed through their account executives, multiple sources shared with RMD.
“My account executive told me this morning. We had around 13 forward loans in with them so it was a surprise to say the least,” said Michael Mazursky, owner of iReverse Home Loans based in Carlsbad, Calif. “I thought it would’ve only been for reverse. I was told they won’t even close the pipeline. Typically in a situation like this they give notice and will close whatever you have in the pipeline but they aren’t doing that. It’s going to be difficult to tell our borrowers what happened, but we will find them another lender to get the loans closed.”
Additionally, an originator with an active loan in process, also requesting to remain unnamed, was told that the company would be shutting down operations before being advised to submit anything still in process to another lender.
Live Well executives did not respond to multiple requests for comment from RMD.
The company has long held a position among the top reverse mortgage lenders by volume, ranking in the top 10 by both retail and wholesale volume. The company recorded 122 reverse mortgage endorsements in February, according to data analysis by Reverse Market Insight.
Recently, company executives expressed their initiatives to build Live Well’s presence as a reverse mortgage and forward lender, along with the launch of a proprietary technology platform.
Late last year, Live Well sold the majority of its Home Equity Conversion Mortgage-backed securities (HMBS) issuance portfolio – $4 billion worth – to Reverse Mortgage Funding, LLC (RMF), according to GNMA data released at the time. Upon news of the sale, Live Well EVP Bruce Barnes told RMD that the company would continue to actively aggregate and trade volume of both reverse mortgage and forward mortgage-backed securities.
In mid-2018, Live Well began rapidly expanding its offerings in the forward mortgage space, citing a weakened reverse mortgage market and changes to principal limit factors as catalysts for a more strategic expansion of forward mortgage business.