July’s Biggest Wholesale Reverse Mortgage Winners

Growth in the wholesale reverse mortgage channel continued for the second consecutive month in July, contributing to sizeable gains for some of the industry’s top lenders.

On an industry-wide basis, total Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) endorsements fell 5.1% in July to 5,025 loans, dragged down by a 9.3% decline in the retail channel, according to the latest industry data compiled by Reverse Market Insight.

But while retail took a dive following nearly 20% growth in the prior month, the wholesale channel also experienced a stark comedown, though still seeing some modest growth in July—increasing just 0.3% during the month, following a 29.6% gain in June.

As the industry awaits the true impact of the Financial Assessment on endorsement volume, in the meantime several top-10 reverse mortgage lenders have seen substantial growth in their wholesale channels in July over the past 12 months.

In terms of wholesale unit growth, Reverse Mortgage Funding (RMF) leads the way with 1,994 more loans reported in the 12 months trailing July than the company posted for the same period a year ago.

With 128 active wholesale brokers as of July, RMF’s overall HECM endorsement volume totaled 3,300 loans over the course of the past 12 months from August 2014 through July 2015. Of this total amount, the company’s wholesale production represented 2,423 loans during this time period.

July was also a big month for Live Well Financial, which saw its wholesale production rocket 164.4% compared to its 12-month trailing total in July 2014. Live Well’s total in July of 1,758 wholesale loans was 1,093 units higher than the 665 unit tally the company reported in July 2014.

American Advisors Group (AAG), the largest reverse lender by volume overall, also posted significant growth in the wholesale channel.

The company, whose volume mix leans heavily on the retail side (76%), reported wholesale volume of 3,478 units through July, up 23.2% compared to a year ago. This tally is the third-largest among the top-10 lenders—behind Urban’s 5,088 wholesale volume and Liberty’s 3,643 unit count—and represents an increase of 654 loans in this channel compared to the prior 12-month trailing period following July 2014.

Seeing some of the largest wholesale growth in July among the top-10 lenders was Home Point Financial Corp., whose 645 loan count through July was 207.1% higher (435 loans) than the 210 loans the company did under the Maverick Funding Corp. banner.

Written by Jason Oliva

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