It’s no secret that government funding for reverse mortgage counseling is a real issue impacting our industry. HUD has set aside $3 million specifically for HECM counseling which goes to support the national intermediaries such as NFCC, MMI and AARP that support HECM counseling and counselor training. The lack of adequate funding to meet the demand has led to borrower and lender paid counseling. There has been concerns over lender paid counseling because many feel the counselors wont be a true independent party if the counselors are relying on lenders to pay for counseling.
Recently, a few borrowers who we have been working with tried to schedule their counseling sessions and they were asked for a “Lender ID number”. When we told them we didn’t have one, the borrowers were told they would have to wait several weeks to receive counseling.
Apparently we weren’t the only ones running into this problem because just a few days later NMRLA issued a announcement to members that
The counseling agencies have been instructed by HUD to schedule all clients as soon as they request the counseling and not to create a two-tier system giving preferential treatment to clients from companies that have a “ID” and are paying for the counseling.
I’m glad that NRMLA spoke with HUD and hopefully this will all get worked out soon. With all the problems in the mortgage industry right now counselors are something that shouldn’t be short of government funding.