The reverse mortgage market landscape in the state of New York is poised to grow once more, this time with the more direct entry of Longbridge Financial. The lender recently gained approval for its mortgage banker license from the New York Department of Financial Services to originate Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECMs) in the state, expanding its origination footprint to 49 states.
As the reverse mortgage market in New York continues to grow more competitive, Longbridge will aim to differentiate itself in the territory by leaning on its unique technological features.
“We believe that New York consumers and lenders benefit from having additional competition for their business. For example, Longbridge clients benefit from advanced technology, including our servicing website not offered by any other active reverse mortgage lender,” said Longbridge CEO Christopher Mayer in an email to RMD.
Longbridge also points to its pricing and service model, which was only previously available in New York to a certain type of lender before the attainment of this license within the state.
“As well, we offer industry-leading pricing and a unique customer service guarantee. Until now, we could offer this only to New York correspondent lenders, but we can now bring a new level of competitive opportunities to principal agents and brokers,” Mayer added.
In terms of how the company plans on taking advantage of its new license in the short- and long-term, Mayer adds that the market in the state has an abundance of possibilities on multiple levels. The company also plans to bolster its ranks to find people who can help Longbridge take greater advantage of its newly-expanded footprint.
“New York opens up the potential to serve one of the most opportunistic markets for the reverse mortgage program,” Mayer said. “We look forward to expanding our outreach strategies in both our wholesale and retail channels. Additionally, since we are a New Jersey-based lender only a few miles from the New York state border, we will be looking to bring on board additional staff who understand and are familiar with the market to help grow our retail and wholesale channels.”
Longbridge is the latest reverse mortgage lender to gain such a license in the state of New York, announcing that it had done so mere days after a similar announcement was made by competitor Reverse Mortgage Funding (RMF).
So far, the only reverse mortgage lender that can originate both HECMs and private products in New York is Finance of America Reverse, which gained approval for its HomeSafe private product earlier this year. However, Longbridge has immediate plans to get its own proprietary offering available to New York-area borrowers, according to Mayer.
“We have immediately started working on the process to obtain approval to originate Longbridge’s Platinum proprietary reverse mortgage in New York,” he said.
New York’s regulatory climate is among the toughest in the nation, but for Longbridge’s part, it appreciates the scrutiny and attention the state gives to borrower protections.
“New York is known to be a state with an extensive and thorough approval process. We appreciated their careful examination and were thrilled to be approved,” added Mayer.