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Calif. Reverse Mortgage Bill Amended, No Longer Requires In-Person Counseling

A California assembly bill that previously made a push for mandatory face-to-face reverse mortgage counseling throughout the state has been amended to make the face-to-face stipulation optional for all people attending the counseling.

The bill, introduced in March by Assembly member Susan Bonilla (D-Calif.), follows Department of Housing and Urban Development guidelines, but previously went a step further to require that reverse mortgage counseling is conducted in person.

The bill was amended April 23 to remove the face-to-face requirement.

“This bill would require the prospective borrower to receive that reverse mortgage counseling in person, unless the borrower elects to receive the counseling in another manner,” the bill now states.

A law with a similar requirement has been passed in Massachusetts to require some reverse mortgage borrowers to receive in-person counseling. Scheduled to go into effect in August, lenders and counseling agencies have spoken against the change, arguing that it will cause additional stress on borrowers, a majority of whom prefer phone counseling.

The California legislation is scheduled for a committee hearing on April 30.

View the amended bill.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker