FHA Updates Reverse Mortgage HERMIT Software for COVID-19 Extensions

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced on Thursday that the Home Equity Reverse Mortgage Information Technology (HERMIT) system has received a software update, which will allow reverse mortgage servicers to submit extensions under the provisions of the presidentially-declared national emergency stemming from the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Issued in conjunction with the most recent extension to a moratorium on foreclosures and evictions which was detailed in Mortgagee Letter (ML) 2020-27, the latest version of HERMIT is version 6.1 and contains the necessary updates to fulfill the new provisions related to Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECMs), according to FHA INFO #20-66.

“Servicers are required to use the COVID-19 extensions for HECMs per the details in HERMIT System Changes – Release 6.1 immediately,” FHA advises in an INFO notice related to the software update. “In addition, stakeholders should review the HERMIT User Guide and the HERMIT System & Resources [documents] for more information.”

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The new INFO notice also detailed the publication of ML 2020-30, which is designed to inform mortgagees of underwriting guidelines for homeowners who were granted a mortgage forbearance due to the COVID-19 emergency, though its provisions apply to forward mortgages only according to the text of the ML.

HERMIT was launched by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in October of 2012 after a protracted development cycle. Its creation aimed to improve the processes associated with the endorsement of HECMs, as well as the processing of servicing and claims within HUD.

HERMIT was developed through a contract with Reverse Mortgage Solutions, which partnered with QSSI on creating a service provider platform. Reverse Technology Group (RTG) acquired the software in early 2017.

Read FHA INFO #20-66 at HUD.

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