Mahwah, N.J.-based reverse mortgage lender Longbridge Financial has announced a new addition to its fixed proprietary reverse mortgage product suite. “Platinum Ultimate” adds a new, higher loan-to-value (LTV) variation to the existing proprietary Platinum product line, maintaining many of the existing features of current Platinum products.
The company also announced expanded availability of its recently-launched Platinum line of credit (LOC) product to the state of Florida, along with a new initiative aimed at enhancing the company’s relationships with its wholesale partners.
“Platinum Ultimate” raises LTVs, proceeds
“This new product has all the attractive features of the current Platinum program, such as low upfront costs, but offers the highest LTVs with the most available cash,” Longbridge said in a statement announcing the new product. “At a slightly higher rate, Platinum Ultimate provides more proceeds than any Platinum product and is perfect for clients looking to maximize their loan proceeds.”
Part of the motivation for the introduction of Platinum Ultimate came from direct input from clients, according to Longbridge VP of Products and Strategic Accounts Peter Sciandra.
“It is not unusual to receive requests from borrowers who are looking for something specific that better meets their needs, such as an increase in loan proceeds,” Sciandra said in an email to RMD. “We took this into account with the new Platinum Ultimate, and are now able to offer higher proceeds to those borrowers, at a slightly higher rate.
Observances of other proprietary reverse mortgages also helped to shape the form of Platinum Ultimate, Sciandra shared.
“Since the inception of proprietary products within the market, we’ve seen the LTVs slowly increasing to meet borrower requests and competitive demands,” he said. “We remain especially committed to developing the very best products for seniors, ensuring we’re providing them with the most viable and robust options in a market that’s full of alternative home equity options.”
Platinum LOC expands to Florida
Longbridge is also expanding the availability of its Platinum line of credit (LOC) product to a second territory in the state of Florida, after making it initially available in California. Platinum LOC will also be available in more states in “the coming weeks,” according to a Longbridge statement. There will also be two new additions to the Platinum LOC offering.
“[Platinum LOC] is also now being offered with two new margin options allowing more choices for clients looking for a reverse mortgage with a line of credit feature,” Longbridge says.
Florida has consistently ranked among the top two states in terms of Platinum loan performance, only behind California. That, coupled with the high population of seniors residing there along with a concentration of condominiums makes the state ideal for a roll-out of the Platinum LOC product, Sciandra said.
“Florida is the ideal state for Platinum originations since the program has less restrictive eligibility requirements when compared to the HECM,” he said. “We expect continued success of the Platinum LOC program in Florida as we’ve seen with all the other Platinum fixed products thus far.”
In terms of how the Platinum LOC loan has been performing since its introduction late last year, it has been exceptionally well received and has accounted for a “large share” of overall Platinum volume, said Sciandra.
“This is a testament to the way in which Platinum LOC (PLOC) compares favorably to a HELOC offering more flexibility to better meet the financial needs of a large portion of senior borrowers,” he said. “Our plan is to continue the expansion of the LOC program into all the 24 states in which the Platinum Fixed program is currently offered, with further expansion throughout the country being considered as well.”
Wholesale partner relationships, future plans
The company has also announced a new initiative designed to improve Longbridge’s relationship with its wholesale partners on additional product options.
“We recognize that there are different situations and financial goals for different borrowers. Some borrowers are looking for a low rate with less proceeds while others are looking to make the most of their borrowing potential,” said Sciandra in an announcement press release. “Our goal is to provide other product possibilities to allow more qualified clients access to the many benefits of a Platinum reverse mortgage. That means we will work with our partners depending on the circumstance.”
New or existing clients are encouraged to reach out to their current account executive for more information.
In terms of what the future holds for the Platinum product catalog, Longbridge is formulating what future forms it will take based on internal discussions and inbound feedback received from existing clients, said Sciandra.
“We’ve spent extensive time listening to our borrowers as well as those individuals who chose to seek other products in guiding us to make our Platinum program better aligned to meet the needs of today’s borrowers,” he said. “We take all feedback into consideration and remain committed to implementing additional solutions where we see an opportunity to help senior borrowers.”
Longbridge introduced its first Platinum proprietary reverse mortgage in August of 2018. The initial product targeted seniors with higher value homes like many proprietary reverse mortgages, but was also aimed at seniors who have found the Federal Housing Administration’s HECM for Purchase program too restrictive when seeking to buy a home with a reverse mortgage.
In November of 2019, Longbridge first announced the availability of the Platinum LOC product in California, positioned as an alternative option to a HELOC according to Longbridge CEO Chris Mayer.
“Our new Platinum Line of Credit product is designed specifically to provide seniors the same flexibility, interest rates, and relatively low cost origination that comes with a HELOC, but has reverse mortgage benefits that are more aligned with a borrower’s financial needs during their retirement years,” Mayer told RMD in November.