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Friday Round-Up: Bad Reverse Mortgage Advice, Mr. Cooper’s Big Debut

Ah, the first week of May brings such glad tidings: Cinco de Mayo parties, Star Wars Day, and the annual reappearance of the Justin Timberlake meme that will never die. This time of year also usually brings warm weather, but we’re still bundled up against the cold here in RMD’s hometown of Chicago — on a day when even Minneapolis has sunny skies and temperatures in the 70s.

In case you were too busy fighting through the spring tundra or trying to figure just how much your health insurance premiums could rise under Trumpcare, here’s a look at the biggest stories from this week in reverse mortgages, from a curious court decision in Massachusetts and an even curiouser name change for one of the industry’s biggest servicers.

Judge: Contract Trumps Banker’s Bad Reverse Mortgage Advice — Boston resident John Consolo trusted a Bank of America employee who told him that his status as a “remainderman” on his mother’s reverse mortgage paperwork meant he could literally “remain” in the house after she died. That employee was mistaken, and Consolo took both Bank of America and Nationstar Mortgage Holdings, Inc. to court when they attempted to foreclose on the property after his mother’s passing. But a federal judge threw out Consolo’s case, ruling that it was his prerogative to read all of the paperwork closely — and that as long as the bank officer didn’t physically prevent him from reading the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage rules and regulations, he only had himself to blame.

Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper: Nationstar to Change Name in August — No, ‘90s sitcom actor Mark Curry didn’t pull a surprise coup over at Nationstar — the Coppell, Texas-based mortgage servicer announced a summer rollout date for its transformation into Mr. Cooper, its new corporate identity. According to its marketing department and CEO Jay Bray, Nationstar plans make mortgage servicing a friendlier business by personifying its operations, citing focus-group research in which borrowers consistently pointed to specific people — realtors, brokers, bank employees — as the best parts of their loan experiences.

Aging in Place with a Reverse Mortgage: Challenges and Opportunities — As the American population ages and more and more people want to stay at home, reverse mortgages could be a solution for seniors who need money to trick out their houses with ramps, grab bars, and other accessibility modifications. This article generated lively conversation in RMD’s always-active comment section, with some hailing the conversation as an overdue marketing angle — and others saying it’s the same old song that’s been performed since the days of Reagan without any movement.

Rewards Outweigh Challenges in the Post-Financial Assessment World — Financial Assessment added a variety of extra steps to the origination process, and for independent brokers, the time investment has been staggering. But a variety of voices told RMD that the extra work is worth all the extra aggravation if it helps a senior access funds he or she needs.

RMF Targets Smaller, New Brokers with Reverse Mortgage Processing Service — Speaking of independent brokers and time constraints, Reverse Mortgage Funding introduced a new back-end processing service this month, allowing originators to use its team of employees to run credit reports, pull ownership paperwork, and order appraisals — all with the goal of giving brokers more time at the kitchen table. RMF also told RMD that the service could help expand the industry as a whole, pitching the program to “forward” lenders who need help navigating the unique world of HECM processing.

Reverse mortgages around the web 

Reverse Mortgages on Fox Business — Josh Shein, friend of RMD and senior director of reverse lending at Home Point Financial Corporation in Owings Mills, Md., tells us that Fox Business host Bob Massi will feature reverse mortgages — and an appearance from Shein — on tonight’s episode of “The Property Man.” Check out a preview of the show, which airs at 8:30 p.m. EDT, over on Bob Massi’s Facebook page.

Written by Alex Spanko