AAG Unveils New Selleck Ad to ‘Set Reverse Mortgage Record Straight’

American Advisors Group (AAG), the largest reverse mortgage lender in the United States according to the most recent endorsement data, has enlisted their core spokesperson in the creation of a new television ad with the apparent aim to allay the fears of those who have misgivings about the legitimacy of the reverse mortgage product.

The ad, titled “Reverse Your Thinking,” begins with actor and AAG spokesman Tom Selleck addressing the audience to reassure them that his involvement with AAG would not be a reality if reverse mortgage products represented a threat to older Americans.

“This spot represents a bold new tone for AAG, with Tom Selleck setting the record straight about reverse mortgage loans,” an AAG spokesperson told RMD.

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The actor’s dialogue in the ad reflects this attitude and intent.

“This isn’t my first rodeo,” Selleck says as the ad begins. “And let me tell you something: I wouldn’t be here if I thought reverse mortgages took advantage of any American senior. Or worse, that it was some way to take your home. It’s just a loan designed for older homeowners, and it’s helped over a million Americans.”

In the latest AAG TV ad, spokesman Tom Selleck reassures seniors that a reverse mortgage is “a loan like any other.”

Debuting in limited test markets on July 8, the ad has outperformed the company’s current creative marketing according to an AAG spokesperson. The ad is currently running nationally as of this week on Fox News Channel, History, Inspiration Network, METV and TV Land Classic. It will also be running during this Wednesday’s episode of game show “The Price is Right” on broadcast network CBS.

The release of this ad follows recently renewed media scrutiny relating to reverse mortgage foreclosures published last month by major media outlet USA Today. In an investigative article, the outlet linked reverse mortgage foreclosures to the eviction of older borrowers and described such occurrences as a “stealth aftershock of the Great Recession.”

The article’s publication prompted a direct response by the reverse mortgage industry trade association that was also published in USA Today, along with rebukes from originators and commentators across the reverse mortgage industry, who contended that much of the article’s information was either out-of-date or incomplete.

“A reverse mortgage loan isn’t some kind of trick to take your home,” Selleck says in the ad. “It’s a loan like any other. The big difference is how you pay it back.”

Selleck became AAG’s primary spokesperson in 2016, a hiring that took place following the death of previous spokesperson and former Republican Senator from Tennessee Fred Thompson the prior November.

“Our research reinforced the widespread recognition and respect that Tom Selleck has garnered among Americans and crosses generations,” said AAG executive producer and former Chief Creative Officer Teague McGrath after Selleck’s appointment was announced. “We believe he is the best candidate for the job and we’re thrilled to have him on board.”

Watch the full ad at AAG’s YouTube channel or on the company’s website.

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  • Huge kudos to AAG for being the first major lender in the industry to actually “defend” our noble industry!
    While everyone else is apologizing, AAG used its very powerful platform to make a statement!
    Way to go Reza!!!!

  • AAG, did a great job with this new advertisement and Tom Selleck was at his best!

    I agree 100% with Michael Banner, “While everyone else is apologizing, AAG used its very powerful platform to make a statement”!

    That statement is so very true, great quote Michael. What else this advertisement does is give our entire industry an uplift, originators and seniors alike.

    Very good AAG, keep it going.

    John A. Smaldone
    http://www.hanover-financial.com

  • Still so many misunderstandings of reverse mortgage in the media and general public. I applaud AAG and Tom Selleck for bringing reality back into the mix. This spot will likely open up some minds to finding out more.

  • There may be a need for a self cleaning of the industry. I just finished a horrible experience with champion mortgage. Mileading information, inability to speak with someone who could answer questions. A call center with no answers, no replies to emails in their own portal.

  • The negative image associated with HECMs will persist as long as the back end issues are not addressed – before origination. LESA thinned out some of the mid-term problems going forward but at best pushed the day of reckoning out a few years.

    Selleck says in the ad. “It’s a loan like any other. The big difference is how you pay it back.”

    And there’s the catch Mr. Selleck. It’s usually by selling, deed-in-lieu, or foreclosure. Paying off the loan is rarely an option for the families I’ve dealt with. In the minds of the family members it’s the same as the bank forcing them to sell or they’ll take the house.

    I was with two clients this week, both in tears over “what their parents had done”. What do you think they’ll say when the topic of reverse mortgages comes up?

    A loan rep I know encourages her clients to set up a life insurance policy along with the HECM if the kids are planning to keep the home. Not sure what the economics of this are but it sounded like an interesting approach.

  • I really like the message in this ad, well done AAG!

    Lawrence – buying life insurance at 62+ isn’t really viable for most clients. The cost isn’t worth it at that age, if they can even obtain a policy. Think about it from the perspective of an insurance company as they’d be paying out 10 times out of 10 in your scenario.

    What is your suggestion at origination to address the negative amortization feature of these loans? There’s no easy solution, because you can’t ask each adult child to sign off on the transaction on the front end. How is that fair to the client if they have a child focused more on their inheritance than their parents quality of life? Some of the clients I work with do not want their children involved in their financial affairs. Maybe we should get that in writing, so it can be shown to the children when they are looking for someone to blame.

    Now if you want to talk about adult children that are living with the borrower and are a non-borrowing occupant, I think more could be done there. It would be a good idea to get something on video or in writing from them. They need to acknowledge the consequences of their family member taking out the loan, whether they are on title to the property or not. I hope that’s what you are talking about, because I don’t really feel sorry for adult children that own their own homes. Their parents choose to spend down the equity in their home and benefited from being able to do so.

    • Matt –

      I agree that the life insurance policy doesn’t appear to make sense at this age and will need to quiz the rep on the details. Perhaps it was enough for the down payment on a forward loan to pay off the RM.

      Some of the suggestions I make to minimize the back-end shock: use the line of credit RM and make the minimum draws and only when necessary. The money is only a few days away so there is no need to draw early and pay interest while earning zero in the bank.

      If there are adults sharing the home, they should be sending a check for the interest to the servicer if they expect to take over the home. You can guess how often this advice is taken even when I show the amortization chart.

      Transfer of title. A trust, life estate, transfer on death deed, or other means to convey ownership should be discussed. I don’t mind doing RM probates in foreclosure, but the family is usually upset with the cost and stress and wants to know why this wasn’t taken care of when mom was “sold” the RM.

      No POA, no problem, right? “My next home is the cemetery” Mr. Borrower says. I tell him it’s more likely he’ll take a fall, go into rehab and lose capacity. Meanwhile RM is in default and the kids complain the servicer won’t talk to them. Conservatorship is expensive, get a POA.

      There are a few more items, but you get the idea. As for having all the “kids” sign off on the RM, I agree this is unrealistic. I just put the info out there for discussion and hope that in 10 years they are still happy with their decision and don’t feel they’ve been done wrong by the evil RM Company (something I hear regularly).

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