Brokers Buck Falling Reverse Mortgage Endorsement Trend

Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) endorsements took a slight hit in February, but brokers bucked the industry trend, according to the latest Reverse Market Insight report.

While HECM endorsements fell 4.5% in February, brokers’ volume showed an increase of 4.7%, RMI data show. The retail channel declined by 11%.

The HECM endorsement decline wasn’t large enough to be concerning, but one can rule out a decline in refinance endorsements as a cause of the decline in February, says RMI President John Lunde, adding that refinance endorsements rose from 501 in January to 526 loans in February.

“That’s a trend we continue to watch closely as we expect a decline soon given the pretty finite universe of borrowers that the 2014 Principal Limit Factors (PLF) increase and rising home prices helped enough to justify a refinance transaction,” he says.

Also bucking the overall industry decline in February were several lenders, including Live Well Financial, which jumped 40.8% — their highest level in over a year — and One Reverse Mortgage, which grew 8.7% to 500 loans without any help from broker business, notes RMI.

Liberty Home Equity, Reverse Mortgage Funding, and Urban Financial each grew 7% in the month, data show.

“Going forward, I’d expect to see pretty steady endorsement volume through the summer until financial assessment impacts start showing up in endorsement volumes around September,” Lunde says.

Access the latest RMI report here.

Written by Cassandra Dowell

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