Chicago-based national mortgage lender Guaranteed Rate announced on Monday that company veteran Ryan Ogata has been appointed as EVP of its reverse mortgage lending division.
Ogata first joined the company in 2017 as a regional manager. In 2021 he was tapped to lead Northern California, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. He assumed the role as EVP of reverse mortgage lending in August.
Ogata has worked in the mortgage business for the better part of 20 years. Prior to joining Guaranteed Rate, Ogata worked at Flagstar Bank for seven years; as a branch manager at Residential Pacific Mortgage for over three years and as a senior mortgage consultant for Triton Funding Group for four years.
In a statement, Ogata said that the company is seeing increasing demand for reverse mortgages and that he can help to counter misconceptions about the product category.
“A unique convergence of market forces, including an aging population, resilient home values and a scarcity of inventory, are driving up the demand for reverse mortgages,” said Ogata in a statement. “I’m excited for the opportunity to dispel the misperception that these are simply loans of last resort. Guaranteed Rate has long been the leader when it comes to serving as a financial advisor—not just a one-off loan producer.”
Helping to position the reverse mortgage product as a financial tool seniors can use as part of their overall financial planning strategy will also be an area of focus, Ogata added.
In the announcement of his appointment, Guaranteed Rate said that Ogata will “be tasked with super-charging the lender’s reverse mortgage division.”
This past April, Guaranteed Rate announced an expansion of its reverse mortgage division that included “more systems of support to loan officers,” as well as a specially dedicated training program to bring more loan originators up to speed with the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) for Purchase (H4P) product.
Shortly after that announcement, the company’s EVP of operations Jim Hettinger explained why reverse mortgages were getting more attention at the company.
“This expansion is really something that our VPs of lending have asked for, but it’s also a product that’s becoming more necessary,” Hettinger said in April. “Just earlier in the month, another report came out stating that only 24% of Americans entering that retirement age feel that they have enough [money] to retire comfortably.”
That same report showed a decline in retirement confidence with younger cohorts while senior-held home equity has reached historic levels, Hettinger said.
“The HECM product is something that [has become] a necessary part of the environment we have now, and honestly something I feel should be in every conversation with people when discussing retirement planning,” he said.
The expansion was also in the planning stages well before a series of industry exits and consolidations came into clearer view at the end of 2022, he said.
“We’ve been planning this expansion well before that,” Hettinger explained at the time. “Again, we see the opportunity with HECM to expand and really provide a service to what I feel is an underserved section of the population. And again, […] as the number of Americans reaching retirement age continues to grow, I just feel the need for this product is going to continue to grow. And I want to make sure that we’re there to help fulfill that need.”
Look for more on this expansion and Ryan Ogata soon on RMD.