Some Lenders Buck March Reverse Mortgage Declines

Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) endorsements fell by 14.1% in the month of March 2020, for a total of 2,905 loans according to the latest HECM Originators report from Reverse Market Insight (RMI). The fall was led by the wholesale endorsement segment of business, which experienced a decrease of 17% that month, while retail levels recorded a smaller decrease of 10.7%.

While the top 10 lenders did better as a collective group than the rest of the industry – dropping by 11.1% compared with the industry’s 14.1% – some lenders maintained very strong performances according to the data. Among the most-improved lenders, HighTechLending saw an endorsement increase of 38.2% to 47 loans, while Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation continued a strong streak from February by rising 31.3% to 197 loans.

Finance of America Reverse (FAR) also recorded a third consecutive 12-month high according to RMI, rising 21.8% to 586 loans.

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The fact that two of the top 10 lenders in the industry have shown such positive levels of performance over the past couple months is an encouraging sign, according to John Lunde, president of RMI.

“Keeping it simple, I’d say the two great stories here are Fairway and FAR both showing several consecutive months of growth in endorsements here,” Lunde tells RMD in an email.

Although the overall percentage figure is nearly identical to RMI’s previous March HECM Lenders report, Lunde previously detailed for RMD that the HECM Originators report is useful in seeing the splits in and health of the retail versus wholesale channels, which helps to illustrate how lenders are doing from a more individualized and channel-specific perspective.

Read the HECM Originators report at RMI for specific breakdowns and more regional performance data.

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