Reverse Mortgage Education Week is April 24-28

NRMLA’s second-ever week dedicated to raising awareness about reverse mortgages as a beneficial financial tool for senior homeowners is scheduled for April 24–28! This year, Reverse Mortgage Education Week coincides with Financial Literacy Month, making it the perfect time to explain home equity and tools for incorporating housing wealth into an overall financial plan for retirement.

Online educational sessions during Education Week will help professionals who work with seniors understand how a reverse mortgage works and how it could fit into a client’s plans for aging in place.

In 2016, NRMLA’s Education Week events reached more than 2,000 professionals from around the country. Let’s work together to boost participation in 2017! As webinar details and registration links become available, please notify your business partners of these learning opportunities.

Stay tuned to the Reverse Mortgage Education Week page on nrmlaonline.org and NRMLA’s LinkedIn group for more details!

NRMLA West Goes on Sale Registration is open for NRMLA’s Western Regional Meeting, May 16-17, in Huntington Beach, California. The meeting theme, Reverse Mortgages in a Time of Change, reflects a period of transition. We have a new HECM rule, a new president and a new incoming management team at HUD.

The Western Regional Meeting provides a forum to discuss these changes and other marketplace issues and trends, as well as opportunities to network with hundreds of other loan officers, business owners, wholesalers and other potential business partners.

If you’re pursuing the Certified Reverse Mortgage Professional (CRMP) designation, NRMLA will offer the ethics workshop on Wednesday, May 17, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. This course is a mandatory requirement for all candidates and for existing designees who need to recertify. Registration details can be found at nrmlaonline.org.

Carson Confirmed as Next HUD Secretary On March 2, by a vote of 58 to 41, the Senate confirmed retired neurosurgeon and former Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson as the next Secretary of HUD.

NRMLA President & CEO Peter Bell issued the following statement: “The National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association congratulates Dr. Ben Carson on his confirmation to serve as the 17th Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. His lifelong commitment to improving the well-being of children and families offers Secretary Carson a unique perspective on the housing programs he will oversee in his new position, including FHA’s Home Equity Conversion Mortgage program. For nearly three decades, FHA has insured HECM reverse mortgage loans for homeowners aged 62 and older, and helped more than a million seniors to age in place. We look forward to working with the Secretary and his new leadership team in support of the program.”

The Trump administration must still nominate a Deputy Assistant Secretary for Housing, who will serve as Secretary Carson’s second in command, and Assistant Secretary for Housing/Federal Housing Administration Commissioner, who will oversee FHA’s single-family loan programs, including HECM.

NAR H4P Webcast Available to Share A recent webcast on HECM for Purchase, coordinated by NRMLA and hosted by the National Association of Realtors, can be watched on nrmlaonline.org and shared with your Realtor friends.

NRMLA collaborated with NAR to develop a webcast for Realtors that featured Scott Trembley, CEO of The Trembley Group, a real estate firm based in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and loan originator Frank McInerney of Reverse Mortgage Funding LLC. The two shared their insights on how HECM for Purchase works and offered practical advice for introducing this valuable tool to buyers.

Building Acceptance of Reverse Mortgages Improving reverse mortgage financial literacy, reducing borrowing costs and expanding product options are among the recommendations put forth by the Urban Institute to help ease barriers to home equity extraction in new study titled “What’s Stopping Seniors From Accessing the Wealth Stored in Their Home Equity?

“Seniors are sitting on a mountain of housing wealth. Homeowners ages 65 and older could access more than $3 trillion in extractable primary residence home equity, but only 6 percent of senior homeowners are interested in tapping into their home equity to help meet retirement financial needs,” note authors Karan Kaul and Laurie Goodman, the latter of which discussed some of her initial findings at NRMLA’s 2016 Annual Meeting in Chicago. “At the same time, nearly 37 percent of senior homeowners are concerned about their financial situation in retirement.”

Aversion to debt and continued improvements to health and medicine are allowing more seniors to work and earn well into old age, reducing the need to depend on home equity extraction, the authors added. To help reverse the trend, the Urban Institute proposed improving reverse mortgage financial literacy by introducing the product to people at a younger age.

“This could be achieved by incorporating housing wealth and reverse mortgages into retirement planning,” said the study. “Reverse mortgage literacy might also be improved through enhancements to the Federal Housing Administration’s HECM counseling efforts, via customizing counseling based on the potential borrower’s characteristics and financial needs, and by starting counseling earlier in the borrowing process.”

NRMLA Submits Comments on Form HUD-92800.5B In response to a 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection published on December 20 by HUD, NRMLA submitted comments on ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of information collected on Form HUD-92800.5B—Conditional Commitment.  

NRMLA proposed that the form be reduced from six pages to two and that certain technical wording changes be made.

At or before closing, lenders must provide to loan applicants either a completed copy of form HUD-92800.5B or a copy of the completed appraisal report. Form HUD 92800.5B serves as the mortgagee's conditional commitment/direct endorsement statement of value of FHA mortgage insurance on the property. HUD uses the information only to determine the eligibility of a property for mortgage insurance.

In addition to these comments, NRMLA submitted a separate letter to HUD on January 30 that provided additional input on how existing HECM loan documents should be amended to take into account recent regulatory changes, such as financial assessment and non-borrowing spouse protections.

Preparing for FHA’s Loan Review System To help mortgagees better understand the features and functions of the upcoming Loan Review System (LRS), FHA created an information page on hud.gov, archived the January 26th webinar that introduced mortgagees to LRS and organized a second webinar on March 15.

LRS will provide an electronic platform for FHA’s Title II Single Family quality control functions. FHA is in the final stages of technology development and will announce the implementation date soon. As we first reported in the January 12th Weekly Report, the HECM statute, section 255 of the National Housing Act (codified at 12 USC 1715z-20), falls within Title II.

California Workshops to Help HECM Borrowers Reverse mortgage professionals who are located or licensed in California are reminded that the HOPE NOW Alliance and ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions will be co-sponsoring a free educational seminar in Compton, California, on April 27 for families with reverse mortgages to help with concerns and questions. A similar seminar was help in in Garden Grove, California, on March 11.

The seminars are the first in a series that will be held in California throughout 2017 by HOPE NOW and ClearPoint. Reverse mortgage borrowers who are in technical default and need assistance, or who have questions about their loans, can speak directly with HUD-approved HECM counselors.

For more information to share with your clients, visit hopenow.com. Further updates will be provided as more seminars are scheduled.

Congratulations Scott Harmes NRMLA congratulates Scott Harmes of C2 Financial Corporation, based in San Diego, California, for earning the CRMP designation.

Harmes is the Director of the Reverse Mortgage Division of C2 Financial, the largest mortgage broker in California and second-largest nationally. Harmes has 34 years of experience in the mortgage business, the last six specializing in reverse mortgages. Over the last five years, Harmes has partnered with his daughter, Christina, who works with him at C2 as assistant director of the reverse division, where they are commonly called “the Harmes father/daughter team!"