Multi-channel mortgage lender CrossCountry Mortgage, LLC has announced the creation of a new educational partnership with the Society of Financial Service Professionals (FSP), an association made up of CPAs, attorneys, insurance experts, and financial advisors from many disciplines. The partnership is specifically designed to educate FSP members on the reverse mortgage product category, specifically the Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-sponsored Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) program.
CrossCountry is joining FSP’s corporate affiliate program, and will serve as a reverse mortgage information resource to assist members with learning about the potential benefits of reverse mortgage loans, communicating how they may be able to help interdisciplinary clients leverage their housing wealth when formulating a retirement income plan.
CrossCountry Mortgage houses a dedicated HECM origination team led by Susan A. Pomfret, whom the lender describes as one of the first HECM loan officers. In 1989, she originated her first reverse mortgage loan as part of a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) pilot program.
“Flexible financial options are very important as seniors navigate retirement,” Pomfret said in an announcement about the new partnership. “Their lives change as they get older, and many will need to have a safety net for unexpected events and to minimize retirement risks. Our industry has been plagued with misconceptions for too many years. Seeing the need for incorporating housing wealth early in retirement income planning was one of the reasons I decided to get my Retirement Income Certified Professional (RICP®) Designation from The American College of Financial Services.”
In 2014, when the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) updated its definitions regarding reverse mortgage loans by no longer defining them as a “loan of last resort,” the organization acknowledged some of the then-recent changes that the federal government had made to the HECM program that helped to enhance the safety and stability of reverse mortgage loans.
This was an occurrence that helped to further evolve the perception of reverse mortgages, but much work remains according to Pomfret and David M. Maola, JD, MBA, and CEO of FSP.
“Our mission is to empower our members to deliver the highest level of ethical service to their clients,” said Maola in the partnership announcement. “We do this by promoting mutually beneficial, multidisciplinary relationships and providing high-level, top-quality educational opportunities in conjunction with industry experts and thought leaders. We recognize CCM’s leadership in this area and their commitment to educating advisors about HECMs and the reverse mortgage industry.”
Based in Brecksville, Ohio, CrossCountry Mortgage has originated 59 reverse mortgage loans between January and November 2020, an increase of 59% from a full-year total of 37 loans recorded in calendar 2019. This has placed them at number 44 on a list of the top 100 reverse mortgage lenders, according to data compiled by Reverse Market Insight (RMI).