In this small and ever-changing industry, the leadership of longtime reverse professionals has helped guide us through the program’s evolution. For insight into the direction of the market, we reached out to leaders in companies across the space, asking them to weigh in on the future of the program and what we can do as an industry to collectively advance the product.
Michael Hild Live Well Financial Chairman and CEO
To help advance the product, reverse originators can treat customers like they would treat their mom or dad. You have to be willing to walk away from a transaction if it isn’t in the best interests of the consumer.
In five years, I think the HECM program will have a better reputation than it has in the past. With the benefit of five years for Financial Assessment to have time to play out, my hope is that the reputation of the product is elevated.
The biggest challenge for the industry right now is the need for Ginnie Mae to make some badly needed changes to the HMBS structure. As it stands, the security has way too many drawbacks and it discourages companies from wanting to continue to securitize after the honeymoon period is over and their portfolios age.
Industry growth is dependent upon HUD’s factor table for principal limits. An enormous number of people want a reverse mortgage but do not qualify because they are short proceeds to pay off their existing first mortgage.
I believe in the future success of this program because it meets a fundamental need that folks have and it enables seniors to age in place.
Kristen Sieffert Finance of America Reverse President
To help advance the product, reverse originators can continue to work on becoming trusted advisors, and make sure doing the right thing is always at the forefront.
In five years, I think the HECM program will finally be understood and appreciated for its benefits in the mainstream. Much of the headline risk driven in part by the pre-Financial Assessment, full-draw fixed rate product, should be behind us, allowing the industry to focus more on strategic uses of reverse mortgages and less on fighting the negative stigma many still hold about the product.
The biggest challenge for the industry right now is appealing on a larger scale to a non-needs based borrower.
Industry growth is dependent upon continued focus on ethical and responsible lending, additional investments in education and promoting awareness by the large lenders in the space, and continued enhancements of non-government products that can appeal to a different segment of retirees.
I believe in the future success of this program because the program is finally structured in a way that is sustainable and truly supports a borrower’s ability to age in place. Thanks to Financial Assessment there is much less risk of default and associated foreclosure. The fixed-rate, full-draw product put a lot of seniors in precarious positions, where their equity was diminished rather quickly and oftentimes was depleted when they still had 10-plus years of retirement ahead of them. FA and the lending caps, although challenging to implement, were a long overdue blessing for the industry.
Scott Gordon Open Mortgage President and CEO
To help advance the product, reverse originators can make their own education and the educating of others an important part of their work week. The market for our products already exists and is growing rapidly. What is missing is a broader understanding of all of the strategies around, and uses of, the reverse mortgage.
In five years, I think the HECM program will be bigger than ever. The market is growing and additional financial planners and Realtors are becoming advocates every day.
The biggest challenge for the industry right now is bringing additional originators into our market and teaching them to fish in the right ponds. We need to grow the ranks of originators and get them tied in with partners who understand reverse and can drive business.
Industry growth is dependent upon moving away from the idea that the needs-based model of reverse mortgage is the main, the only, or the best use of a reverse mortgage.
I believe in the future success of this program because I see the market growing, I see the need growing and I see resistance to the product falling.
Paul Fiore AAG Executive VP of Retail Lending
To help advance the product, reverse originators can continue to educate consumers and make sure the reverse mortgage fits the needs of the consumer.
In five years, I think the HECM program will look different than it does today. History tells us that change is constant in our industry.
The biggest challenge for the industry right now is to absorb and implement all of the recent changes while continuing to attempt to reach the audience that is served by the HECM.
Industry growth is dependent upon innovation and risk-taking.
I believe in the future success of this program because the senior population is grossly underserved by financial products tailored specifically to their needs and demographic trends suggest that these needs will only continue to grow.
Sherry Apanay Finance of America Reverse Chief Sales Officer
To help advance the product, reverse originators can pay attention, know the details that matter and become a resource for seniors and senior advocates.
In five years, I think the HECM program will be thriving. It just should.
The biggest challenge for the industry right now is fatigue. The business is much harder than it used to be and the scrutiny and regulations just seem to keep coming.
Industry growth is dependent upon bringing in new lenders.
I believe in the future success of this program because it’s still a great product with a growing demographic with a valid need to meet!