Written by Marty Bell, as originally published in The Reverse Review.

HUD Officials Provide Updates on FA and Non-Borrowing Spouses
At a meeting for the executive committee of NRMLA’s Board of Directors, Deputy Assistant Secretary Charles Coulter reported that HUD intends to issue a Mortgagee Letter clarifying the non-borrowing spouse issue, soon to be followed by another Mortgagee Letter on the implementation of Financial Assessment.

The first ML will essentially require that in the case of a non-borrowing spouse, the age of the younger member of the couple will be utilized to determine the appropriate PLF. HUD will be modifying the PLF tables to cover ages below 62 for this purpose.

The second ML on Financial Assessment is expected to call for implementation 90 days after the issuance. HUD is modifying the originally proposed FA requirements based on comments from NRMLA and others.

Hill Promoted; McClune Replaces Her
Coulter informed the executive committee that Karin Hill, who accompanied him to the meeting, has been promoted from director of the office of single-family program development to senior advisor in the office of the deputy assistant secretary for single-family housing. Hill will continue to be the primary point person for HECM policy issues and will also have more direct interaction with the deputy assistant secretary, as well as some broader responsibilities in other areas. Patricia McClune will replace Hill in her current position.

On behalf of the NRMLA membership, we congratulate Karin Hill on her promotion and thank her for her thoughtful leadership and dedication to the HECM program.

Federal Appropriations Bill Extends HECM Cap
In January, both houses of Congress passed a $1.1 trillion appropriations bill that keeps the federal government running, authorizes FHA to keep insuring HECMs through September 30 and extends the suspension of the loan volume cap.

As originally enacted in 1987, the HECM statute contained a volume cap of 2,500 loans. The cap was increased incrementally over time until it reached 275,000 loans in 2006. Since that time, the cap has not increased but has been temporarily suspended numerous times when Congress passes a new continuing resolution.

In the Press: December Trends Positively
Press coverage of the reverse mortgage industry and the HECM program continued to trend extremely positively throughout the country in December. For the month, we found a total of 24 stories, 21 of which were positive.

As part of the Extreme Summit effort, NRMLA has been tracking press coverage of reverse mortgages throughout the United States. Since we began daily tracking in August, the total ratio of positive to negative stories is 85-to-30, but in the first two months of 2013, following announcement of the first set of program changes, that ratio has been 49-to-8.

In addition to story count, we calculate potential impressions (i.e., how many consumers view the media coverage) based on the circulation of newspapers and magazines, television ratings and website visitors. For example, a story that appears in USA Today would have 1.7 million potential impressions since that is the paper’s daily circulation.

In the past few months, more positive stories have been appearing in the more popular outlets, boosting the ratio of positive to negative impressions:

  • Positive to negative impressions in December: 4,519,162-to-220,704
  • Total positive to negative impressions from August through December: 21,126,166-to-4,872,297
  • Ratio of positive to negative impressions August through December: 4.33:1 (Up from 3.57:1 as of November 30)

December’s positive impressions were bolstered by Amy Hoak’s story on the Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch site (“Reverse Mortgages Growing in Popularity,” Dec. 17), which was picked up by many other publications and sites.

There was very little coverage in the larger markets this month, except for one positive entry in the Dallas Morning News (272,860 impressions). Another positive piece appeared in the Deseret News (151,422 impressions) in Utah.

The one negative piece in the 100,000-plus impression area was a piece titled “Don’t Get Ripped Off by Common Mortgage Scams” by Marion Franke on the site. Among her five scams, Franke included a paragraph on straw buying and stealing of reverse mortgage proceeds.

All of these numbers preceded the publication of Jerry Wagner’s “6% Rule Piece” in the December issue of the Journal of Financial Planning, as well as the new research from Evensky and Salter out of Texas Tech. We expect both of these will soon generate some additional good press, and this

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should quickly be followed by announcement of Financial Assessment.

Ginnie Mae SVP to Address NRMLA New York Conference
NRMLA is honored to announce that John F. Getchis, senior vice president of the Office of Capital Markets at Ginnie Mae, will be a featured speaker at our unique 2-in-1 conference—an Eastern Regional Meeting & Investor Forum at the Intercontinental Time Square in New York on March 18 and 19.

In his current role, Getchis, who served previously as COO at Ally Securities, is responsible for overseeing the performance and execution of Ginnie Mae’s multiclass securities program, which allows the private sector to combine and restructure cash flows from Ginnie Mae MBS into securities that meet unique investor needs.

Join us at New HECM, New York: Educating Consumers & Investors, the one occasion each year when Wall Street, Washington and the reverse mortgage community come together to discuss presenting the “new HECM” to aging Americans and their children, as well as to investors and traders.

Twelve Members Achieve CRMP Status
NRMLA congratulates the following individuals for achieving the status of Certified Reverse Mortgage Professional (CRMP), bringing the current total to 81:

  • Harlon Accola, Moneywise Mortgage, Marshfield, Wisconsin
  • Mark Clark, North American Savings Bank, Kansas City, Missouri
  • Ellen Connors, Direct Finance Corporation, Hanover, Massachusetts
  • Jaime Girard, Reverse Mortgage Funding, Melville, New York
  • Robert Charles Jayne, Vanguard Funding LLC, Garden City, New York
  • Brett Kirkpatrick, Harbor Mortgage Solutions, Braintree, Massachusetts
  • Robert Mills, Greenleaf Financial LLC, Portland, Oregon
  • Lisa Nass, Gershman Mortgage, Clayton, Missouri
  • Tim Nelson, V.I.P. Mortgage, Inc., Scottsdale, Arizona
  • Karen Rayfield, Southern Trust Mortgage, Virginia Beach, Virginia
  • Donnell Seacrease, Liberty Home Equity Solutions, Sacramento, California
  • Philip Stevenson, PSI Financial Services, LLC, Miami, Florida

Consumer Site Traffic Jumps 25 Percent
Approximately 27,257 unique consumers visited NRMLA’s consumer site,, in January, compared to 21,601 visitors in December.

One of the popular features of the website is the “Find a Lender” locator, which consumers use to find reverse mortgage lenders close to them. There is also a special section that summarizes the HECM program changes announced by FHA last September, which will be updated when the Mortgagee Letter on Financial Assessment is published later this month.

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