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Reverse Mortgage Endorsements Dip in March, COVID-19 Impact Not Yet Reflected

Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) endorsements decreased by 14% to 2,913 loans for the month of March 2020, continuing the slight dip compared to the prior month. The majority of the top 10 lenders recorded endorsement decreases, while 9 of 10 tracked regions were down, as well. This is according to the March HECM Lenders report compiled by Reverse Market Insight (RMI).

Only one of the tracked regions – the Northwest/Alaska – remained unchanged in its endorsement activity compared with the prior month. While 7 of the top 10 lenders were down overall, three of the top 10 did manage to record volume increases in March. American Advisors Group (AAG) led the pack with an increase of 108 loans to a total of 799 for the month, while Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation recorded a 31% increase to 197 loans.

Rounding out the gains in the top 10 is HighTechLending, recording a unit increase of 38% to 47 loans.

The data for this month is still too recent to reflect much of any recent occurrences related to the global crisis stemming from the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, according to New View Advisors.

“Of course, the current reports barely reflect any impact the coronavirus pandemic will have on reverse mortgage originations starting in mid-March,” New View writes in its HECM Endorsement Analytics Report for March. “Lending activities have stalled, and the secondary market has pulled back for HMBS, HREMIC, and related transactions. Expect materially weaker prints in the coming months.”

According to the data in RMI’s report, One Reverse Mortgage still stands as the number four reverse mortgage lender in the country, and endorsed 164 loans in March. One Reverse halted its reverse mortgage origination operations in mid-February at the direction of its parent company Quicken Loans, and One Reverse personnel were reassigned to other parts of the organization.

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s February Endorsement Snapshot Report as analyzed by New View, Liberty Home Equity Solutions sponsored 595 loans originated by another lender, followed by Finance of America Reverse (FAR) with 399 loans, Reverse Mortgage Funding (RMF) with 236 loans and American Advisors Group (AAG) with 137 loans. Fairway sold 150 loans to a different sponsor, while Ennkar sold 68.

Read the HECM Lenders report at RMI, and the HECM Endorsement Analytics report at New View Advisors.