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Friday Round-Up: Reverse Mortgage Industry Gathers, FHA Audit Drops a Bomb

A lot has happened in the past week. The largest annual gathering of reverse mortgage professionals took place in Chicago, during which the Federal Housing Administration released the results of its latest actuarial review of its Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund, revealing  substantial losses in the economic value of the agency’s reverse mortgage book of business.

In case you missed them, here are the most popular reverse mortgage news stories that grabbed the attention of RMD readers this week:

[Update] FHA Financial Picture Improves, Despite Reverse Mortgage Losses—The financial condition of the Federal Housing Administration’s Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund improved in fiscal year 2016, despite reverse mortgage volatility that dragged on its portfolio. The forward mortgage portfolio is valued at approximately $35 billion, while the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage portfolio was valued at negative $7.7 billion, according to the independent actuarial review of the FHA’s insurance fund released in a report this week.

Longevity: The Disruptor of The Reverse Mortgage Industry—Americans are living longer than ever before, and in the years to come, increasing longevity will challenge the U.S. and nearly every industry that serves older adults. This includes reverse mortgage professionals, according to one expert on aging who spoke during the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association’s Annual Meeting & Expo in Chicago this week.

TIME Money: Don’t Be Afraid of Reverse Mortgages—Reverse mortgages have cultivated an aura of mistrust and skepticism over the years, mostly as a result of a generally misinformed public. But knowing how these financial products can play a vital role in retirement income planning can alleviate the most common fears about reverse mortgages, according to a recent TIME Money video segment.

Why Today’s Seniors Are Primed to Tap Home Equity for Retirement—Rising household wealth held by older adults in recent years have put today’s seniors in a better position to tap home equity for retirement purposes. But increasing housing debt among this population could hinder their ability to use home equity to improve retirement security in the future, according to new research published by the Urban Institute.

Better Borrower Experience Critical to Reverse Mortgage Industry Growth—There have been many efforts in recent years to increase education and make reverse mortgages more palatable to seniors and their influencers, but the biggest growth opportunity for the HECM product depends upon improving the borrower experience, industry experts agree.

Written by Jason Oliva