Friday Round-Up: Frank Challenges Mortgage “Revolt,” Counseling Funds Gain Ground

In case you missed it, here’s what happened in reverse mortgage news this week…

HECM counseling funds saw a chance at making a comeback. The Senate Appropriations Committee approved $125 million of funding to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, in a move that will help HUD-approved counseling agencies to continue providing their services to reverse mortgage-seeking seniors at little to no cost. The funding is pending negotiations with the House.

Analysis showed reverse mortgage opportunity in a few surprising states. There is opportunity for reverse mortgage lenders in states with low penetration and relatively few lenders per household, such as North Carolina, North and South Dakota, Reverse Market Insight reports.

One counseling agency went high-tech and brought its borrower education online. With the future of HUD counseling funding uncertain, Money Management International is taking the early education process online and to the phone before counseling takes place. This, it says, will make for more efficiency and a more affordable counseling process overall.

HECM applications rose 3.9% with with steady Saver growth. Applications rose in August to 7,940, marking an 18% year-over-year decline when compared with August 2010, the latest Federal Housing Administration Outlook from the Department of Housing and Urban Development shows. Saver endorsements rose more than 8% during the month, from 496 in July to 536 in August.

Rep. Barney Frank called regulatory push back a mortgage “revolt.” On regulations designed to keep lenders from making risky loans to borrowers, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said Tuesday that mortgage lenders must not oppose the new rules to protect borrowers.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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