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New HUD Handbook Brings HECM Counseling Protocol Update

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is in the process of updating the online version of its Handbook 7610.1: Housing Counseling Program.  The update incorporates Mortgagee Letters 2010-37 and 2011-09 and includes a specific change to the agency’s HECM counseling protocol.

According to the announcement, if a lender provides a HECM client with the required information packet, it must provide a copy of the loan print outs to the counselor prior to the client’s session.  As part of the new HECM counseling protocol, borrowers must receive a large information package that includes individualized loan tables.

The easiest way for lenders to remain compliant is to utilize tools from Reverse Vision and IBIS Software to provide counselors the documents.  Both Reversepackage.com and Counselingdocs.org will provide counselors with documents tailored to individual borrower details without violating any of HUD’s guidelines.

A member of HUD’s team confirmed with RMD that the lender can also fax or email a copy of what was given to the borrower once a counselor has been selected by the client.  By ensuring counselors are using the same estimate provided by lenders, the less confusion for the prospective reverse mortgage borrower they said.