There hasn’t been much change at the top of the reverse mortgage leaderboard in recent years. But a drop-off in overall originations and diminished performance from some established lenders has allowed a couple of new players to make entry.
Here are the top 10 Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-approved lenders in the reverse mortgage industry for the calendar year 2022, based on data compiled by Reverse Market Insight (RMI).
|Rank||Company in 2022||Company in 2021||2022 Rank Change|
|2||Mutual of Omaha||RMF||Mutual +3|
|4||FAR||Liberty Reverse||FAR -1|
|5||RMF||Mutual of Omaha||RMF -3|
|7||Fairway||Open Mortgage||Fairway +1|
|8||Open Mortgage||Fairway||Open -1|
|9||Premium Security/Homecision||HighTechLending||Premium +8|
|10||Cherry Creek Mortgage||Advisors Mortgage Group||Cherry Creek +3|
A reshuffling of the top 5
American Advisors Group (AAG) held onto its leading position as the top reverse mortgage lender in the country. It did so after a rocky back-half of 2022, as reduced business and several rounds of layoffs saw its market share drop from nearly a third of all reverse mortgage business in 2021 to just over 25% in 2022.
There was a small reshuffling among the top five. Mutual of Omaha grew its market share by nearly three percentage points to 9.8%, overtaking several other established players to become the second-largest player in the space. Longbridge Financial also climbed the ranks, growing its market share from 5.2% to 9%. Longbridge had a busy year – it launched a field sales division and was acquired by investment firm Ellington Financial.
Finance of America Reverse (FAR) lost ground in 2022 on the leaderboard, but maintained its 2021 market share level of 8.7%. While its parent company decided to exit the traditional mortgage business entirely, corporate leadership consistently lauded the performance of FAR in earnings presentations throughout the year, which culminated in the announcement that FAR would acquire the direct-to-consumer retail channel of AAG in a deal expected to close later this year pending regulatory approvals.
Reverse Mortgage Funding (RMF) dropped to number five in 2022. The lender, owned by affiliates of Starwood Capital Group, lost market share and suffered from a liquidity crisis that culminated in it ceasing originations and declaring bankruptcy in November.
New entrants in 6-10
While Liberty Reverse Mortgage lost ground in 2022, its overall market share only fell by less than a percentage point. Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp. and Open Mortgage switched places in 2022.
Two new companies entered the top 10 lenders in 2022, with Premium Security Inc. — dba Homecision — rising to just under 1,000 reverse mortgage endorsements for the year and the ninth overall position in the industry.
Longtime player Cherry Creek Mortgage jumped from 13th to 10th place in 2022, on the heels of an expansion of its reverse division and the hiring of two seasoned industry veterans to further develop the business across retail, wholesale and closed loan production.
Looking ahead to 2023 reverse mortgage business
It’s a certainty that there will be some industry shakeups in 2023, according to John Lunde, president of RMI.
“I’d say we’ve seen a relatively normal amount of movement in 2022 top 10 rankings, but given the RMF and AAG announcements recently we expect a much larger shakeup in 2023,” he said. “I expect to see at least three new top 10 lenders in the 2023 report compared to 2022.”
Business will likely improve in 2023, but there will need to be a period of adjustment, he added.
“Everyone knows the industry is tough right now but if people are committed to the product and space, I have no doubt there are brighter days ahead,” Lunde said. “But it’s also true that the current volumes won’t support the same number of professionals in the industry and we’ll continue to lose talent until volume and revenue pick up.”
Industry executives including Kristen Sieffert of FAR, Don Currie of HighTechLending and Scott Gordon of Open Mortgage previously told RMD that they expect business will improve as the year goes on. But their optimism isn’t universal.
Several originators who spoke to RMD expressed concern about a lack of reverse mortgage refinancings and the general tumult in the industry.