Written by Sherry B. Apanay, as originally published in The Reverse Review.

Brokers, originators, processors, account executives—we’ve all experienced industry growing pains and we’ve all been challenged in this ever-evolving, increasingly scrutinized business.

Today, there’s the added layer of oversight by the CFPB. The level of industry scrutiny—of not only brokers and lenders, but also of the FHA and HUD—is at an all-time high. Everyone is trying to mitigate risk. This is a good thing for older homeowners, the soundness of the Mutual Mortgage Insurance fund and the long-term vitality of our industry. While this is an especially challenging time, let us not lose sight of the opportunities ahead. The demographics speak for themselves.

At Urban Financial Group, we believe that the reverse mortgage companies and sales professionals who will flourish are those dedicated to “doing the right thing” and prioritizing the best interests of customers over profit. We respect those who take it upon themselves to promptly understand new regulatory rules and implement them as quickly as possible, and we make every effort to be an advocate for those we serve by helping them make informed decisions.

We also have a responsibility to our business partners. This industry was built by local banks, credit unions, field representatives and brokers who were invested in their communities and made a commitment to providing financial solutions for older homeowners. They remain an industry backbone for the personal level of service they provide. We must continue nurturing and supporting these traditional distribution channels.

Brokers, for example, have the least amount of autonomy in this market but are subject to a great amount of oversight. The brokers who will survive and excel are those who embrace and partner with a responsible lender (or two) that really works to help them succeed and epitomizes the local reverse mortgage expert committed to providing solutions for older homeowners.

We're still a small industry, like a "tween" pushing hard to grow up. To get to the next phase in the growth process, a greater level of responsibility is required.