Once the stalwart leader of the reverse mortgage industry, after many months of declining production, Financial Freedom announced plans to close all reverse mortgage origination channels. In a letter to business partners, CEO Michelle Minier cited the regulatory environment and the oft use phrase "focus on the bank's core businesses" to describe the the closure.
The company has been in virtual free fall in the past two years from a peak of over 2,000 endorsed loans in January of 2009 to 779 in January of 2010, and most recently down to 114 in January of 2011.
Undoubtedly, their downfall was hastened by the failure of parent company IndyMac and subsequent acquisition by OneWest Bank in 2009. Based upon their activity in the market, it has appeared as though this action has been brewing for some time.
Financial Freedom has given partners until March 31, 2011 to complete application submissions and until May 20, 2011 to complete all fundings. The company noted their intention to continue servicing loans held by Financial Freedom's portfolio.