Friday Round-Up: MetLife Ditches Financial Assessment

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

MetLife pulled the plug on its borrower financial assessment … for now. The company was the first to publicly introduce a financial assessment for borrowers in an effort to prevent tax and insurance defaults. Citing the lack of other lenders to implement such a policy as well as borrower confusion caused by multiple standards in the marketplace, MetLife announced Wednesday it is suspending its assessment but remains committed to the concept.

Then Urban Financial released a proposed assessment of its own… Urban sent proposed guidance in an effort to gather feedback from its industry partners but has not set any time frame for implementing a financial assessment.

FirstBank announced its new reverse mortgage division, staffed with 21 former MetLife and Wells Fargo employees. The Tennessee-based bank said it is gearing up for growth and projects to build volume in 2012 with a goal of 60 reverse mortgage loans per month.

HUD spoke on Lender Insurance changes to avoid excess FHA risk. The new “LI” rules are intended to “provide greater clarity regarding our expectations for our LI lending partners, as well as actions we will take to prevent losses when those standards are not met,” said the FHA’s acting commissioner, Carol Galante, in a January 23 letter.

A GAO report found that the home appraisal system needs work. The effectiveness of home appraisal regulation under Title XI is limited by several factors, a January Government Accountability Office report found, with numerous points of gray area when it comes to policy and enforcement. Read about what needs to change.

CFPB Director Richard Cordray survived his first Capitol Hill hearing as director. Cordray fielded questions from members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform targeting Cordray’s controversial recess appointment, his plans for enforcement, and bulking up the bureau’s staff in the coming weeks. He also alluded to an earlier comment to the effect that a two-tiered system may be beneficial in pardoning small community banks from some of the bureau’s regulations.

As always, we’d like to hear your company news. Send tips to: Elizabeth Ecker

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