Friday Round-Up: Wells Volume Dries Up, Senate OKs HUD Counseling Funds

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

Wells Fargo volume started to fall off a cliff. In the October endorsement report, HECM volume fell more than 16%—the result of Wells Fargo volume beginning to fall off the books, said Reverse Market Insight. More alarming, though, was the fact that other lenders didn’t swoop in to pick up the lost market share. MetLife assumed the top spot in the absence of Wells.

A Financial Planning article stirred reverse mortgage conversation. The article, appearing in Financial Planning, an online publication, advised its readers to consider reverse mortgages now, before home values decline any further, or the industry makes changes to its product offerings.

The Senate passed a spending bill including HECM counseling. The $182 billion “minibus” deal included restoration of funding for HUD’s housing counseling programs. The Senate bill and House bill (which lacks the funding) should be up for considering in the next two weeks, according to sources in Washington.

FHA suspended Allied Mortgage Corp. for millions in branch violations. Allied, formerly one of the largest FHA lenders (and also a HECM lender), was suspended due to numerous branch violations and covering up those violations through false documentation.

HUD informed HECM counselors of upcoming underwriting changes. The changes could vary by lender, HUD said in email correspondence to housing counselors, referencing an early October letter from a senior FHA official specifying that underwriting for tax and insurance is permitted under the program guidelines.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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