Written by Lance R. Canada, as originally published in The Reverse Review.

The HECM program certainly has its challenges, but this program is indeed worth fixing, oiling, adjusting and augmenting. It is worth doing whatever is needed to keep this important financial tool available for our seniors and for those of us who continue to champion it. We all know that changes are coming to the HECM program and this industry, and these pending adjustments cannot be ignored. As I write this article a Member Alert email from NRMLA just appeared in my inbox, announcing that Congress has authorized HUD to move forward with program improvements. So, how do we embrace the changes set to come?

When I think of this industry, I can’t help but conjure the image of a pendulum swinging back and forth. As uncomplicated as a pendulum may look, it has been studied, adjusted and improved upon for centuries. It is believed that the earliest use of a pendulum was in the 1st century, but according to history, Galileo Galilei was the first known individual to study the properties of the pendulum in 1602. The first pendulum clock is thought to have been invented in 1656, and until the 1930s this clock was the standard for accurate timekeeping.

The swaying of a pendulum can be soothing, but these clocks will not keep accurate time unless proper adjustments are made to its mechanisms. Periodic cleaning and oiling keeps them moving. Similarly, if our industry is to continue ticking smoothly, we need to make the appropriate adjustments. We, too, need a little tune-up from time to time.

We must, however, keep ourselves moving as these improvements

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take place. The pending changes from HUD are designed to help us do just that. It may be a struggle to maintain day-to-day operations while change is instituted, but I am confident that our resilient industry will get into the swing of things.

When I read about the work that our friends at NRMLA and so many others are doing to preserve this program, it reminds me of the steady hand of a watchmaker making delicate adjustments. Even after

these current concerns are addressed, it is likely that even more adjustments will be needed down the road. After all, how many HUD letters and program adjustments have we received throughout the years?

Even though we will all be affected one way or another by this pending wave of change and any further adjustments needed in the future, the program has to keep on ticking. It’s also important to remember that our attitude toward these changes can surely impact our success. Like a pendulum, we need to keep on moving, swinging to the left and then swinging to the right, and maintaining our sense of purpose and calm. It’s important that we don’t lose focus on the center of

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this program: our seniors. Where would they be without this program? If we remain focused on the people who stand to benefit from our services, we can prevent ourselves from becoming distracted with the grinding of our ungreased gears as we await our next tune-up. It’s not easy to remain focused, but we can stay busy, all the while picturing that pendulum constantly moving.