If we look back at the year 2013 10 years from now, I think we will realize it was a pivotal year for our industry. I believe we are finally facing the music and Bob Dylan’s tune “The Times They Are A-Changin’” is playing on vinyl.
Historically, the HECM program has never been a hot topic with broad understanding on Capitol Hill, but that is not necessarily the case today. Last October’s actuarial report and the current mood of the housing and banking committees in Congress have changed the dynamics.
As I write this piece, we are in the midst of historical financial reform with ingredients of legislation being thrown in the pot in both houses of Congress. In both the House and Senate proposals, Fannie and Freddie will no longer exist, at least in their current forms. Additionally, FHA will have to tighten its scope, limiting access for many borrowers who currently participate in its programs. Even though the issues at hand are of historic magnitude with trillions in the balance, our boutique industry has somehow made its way into the congressional cookbook.
How did we get here? Is it warranted? Well, it is too late for that. We should be thankful that FHA now has the administrative authority to promulgate the changes it has been contemplating for several years now. These will both be preventive and curative, helping to avoid deep PLF cuts and ensure the long-term sustainability of our program.
So brace yourself, because medicine is being served. What may taste a little bitter today will help improve our long-term health.