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OneWest Bank exits reverse mortgage lending

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OneWest Bank will exit the reverse mortgage lending business, a spokesperson for the bank confirmed Tuesday. The Financial Freedom department it purchased from the failed bank Indymac in 2009 originated a total of $1.4 billion, making it the third largest reverse-mortgage lender that year. A reverse or Home Equity Conversion Mortgage allows the borrower, who must be at least 62 years old, to convert a portion of the equity in the home for cash. No repayment is required until the borrower no longer uses the home as a principal residence or does not meet the obligations of the loan, often in the event of death. OneWest isn't the only bank leaving the business. In February, Bank of America (BAC) ceased making these loans, and Wells Fargo (WFC) moved its reverse lending away from its wholesale or broker channel. Write to Jon Prior. Follow him on Twitter @JonAPrior.

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