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Reverse Mortgage Endorsements Trickling Downward, Still at Post-FA Highs

Home Equity Conversion Mortgage endorsements fell by 3.6% from April to May, according to the latest data from Reverse Market Insight.

The Dana Point, Calif.-based research firm counted 4,854 reverse mortgage endorsements among Federal Housing Administration-approved lenders last month, down from 5,036 in April and March’s recent record high of 5,364.

The slow but steady slide may quell rumors of a HECM resurgence for now, and the recent drops also confirmed what RMI founder and president John Lunde told RMD last month: While volumes had been higher recently, the gains could very well have been the result of a released backlog, particularly since Lunde said he hadn’t seen corresponding spikes in FHA case number assignments or demand for counseling sessions.

RMI’s most recent post allows that the May report “paints a picture of gradual decline,” but also notes that the single-month numbers mark a significant improvement over figures in the immediate aftermath of Financial Assessment in 2015.

“For context, it’s also above any other month from September 2015 through February 2017, so still a step above where the industry has been since Financial Assessment was implemented,” RMI wrote.

Finance of America Reverse slipped from the number-two spot in May, ceding the silver medal to Reverse Mortgage Funding; American Advisors Group, predictably, led the pack with 1,028 loans. Live Well Financial also logged an impressive gain, turning in 172 loans for an increase of 29.3% — their strongest month since last September, according to RMI. Nationwide Equities also saw a 19.8% jump from the previous month.

RMI’s “HECM Lenders” report provides a breakdown of loan endorsements from FHA-approved lenders only; the all-encompassing “HECM Originators” list is due later this month.

Written by Alex Spanko