CFPB Director: Prioritizing Reverse Mortgage Issues

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) continues to “police” reverse mortgage lenders and monitor consumer complaints in an effort to protect older Americans, CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in prepared remarks this week.

The agency’s Office for Older Americans, he said, is dedicated to addressing issues related to retirement security and elder financial exploitation — two central themes of the White House Conference on Aging, during which Cordray will be speaking on Tuesday.

And reverse mortgage education and regulation are part of ensuring the protection of Americans’ retirement security and the prevention of elder abuse.

In speaking about the former, Cordray referenced the comprehensive report on the reverse mortgage industry that the agency published three years ago.

“We have produced a guide to help consumers assess the pros and cons of this product, and for those who already have a reverse mortgage, we have offered tips on how to plan ahead to avoid financial hardships that may result from certain mortgage terms,” Cordray said. “We have also analyzed our consumer complaints on reverse mortgages, which showed that many older consumers are quite frustrated with loan terms, servicing runarounds and foreclosure problems.”

He added that the CFPB is helping seniors who filed these complaints and that “we are prioritizing these issues for oversight and enforcement.”

The CFPB is also focused on issues of elder justice, taking actions to address illegal reverse mortgage schemes — one of which recently involved reverse mortgage lender All Financial Services.

“We have also begun to police reverse mortgage lenders for advertisements that misstate the costs and risks of these sensitive financial products – advertisements we so often see on late-night television,” Cordray said.

Written by Emily Study

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