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Friday Round-Up: New Blood, Reverse Mortgages at the Kitchen Table

As February turned to March, readers turned to an opinion piece by RMD founder John Yedinak about the state of the industry in 2017, a breakdown of how the “kitchen table” approach to reverse mortgage lending is evolving, and regulatory uncertainty amid the ongoing presidential transition.

Here’s a recap of the top five stories on RMD this week:

Reverse Mortgages in 2017: Has the Industry Hit a Breaking Point? — John Yedinak writes about his experience at ReverseVision’s UserCon event in San Diego last month, where he saw relatively few familiar faces and a surprising number of “forward” lenders looking to learn more about Home Equity Conversion Mortgages as a supplement to their existing businesses. Yedinak calls on the industry to welcome these newcomers but also ensure they get the proper reverse mortgage education.

Reverse Mortgages Start at the Kitchen Table, But Scaling Proves Hard — Reverse mortgage marketing has always been an intimate, personal affair, often starting over a kitchen table with potential lenders and their families. But as companies seek to boost their volume, this method can prove costly and time-consuming — and the appeal of the call-center model becomes clearer.

CFPB Uncertainty Reigns in Reverse Mortgages and Beyond — With the Trump administration promising big-league (bigly?) regulatory rollbacks,  RMD talked to a lawyer who specializes in Consumer Financial Protection Bureau cases. The verdict? Change will come, but not as quickly as the new administration might hope.

Despite Latest HUD Ruling, H4P Hurdles Remain — HECM for purchase might be the biggest puzzle in the reverse mortgage industry today, as originators struggle to find ways to market the loans to both homebuyers and real estate professionals. RMD spoke with multiple players in the industry for their insights, with the obstacles ranging from onerous rules to a lack of education.

Urban Institute Study: Why Aren’t Seniors Getting Reverse Mortgages? — A pair of researchers from the Urban Institute, a Washington, D.C. think tank, explored the reasons why seniors are reluctant to tap into their home equity with HECMs and other products. Their findings include both predictable reasons — fear of scams, general squeamishness about debt — and discussions of deeper issues with the structure of the HECM program itself.

Reverse Mortgages Around the Web

Are You Ever Too Old for a Reverse Mortgage? — The answer is no according this piece from Bankrate, which quotes a reverse mortgage specialist who’s set up a HECM for a 101-year-old woman. Bankrate’s article also includes a standard breakdown of how reverse mortgages work, and some tips on how to make sure older seniors really understand what they’re signing.

Quontic Bank Gives Back

Quontic Bank donated $3,500 to the family of its Indianapolis reverse mortgage sales manager,  Matt Wollak, whose wife was diagnosed with ALS shortly after the birth of their daughter.

Written by Alex Spanko