Mainstream News Reports: Government Watchdog On Reverse Mortgages

The publication of a 200-plus-page Consumer Financial Protection Bureau report on the reverse mortgage industry has garnered ongoing interest from mainstream media outlets from the Wall Street Journal to the L.A. Times and American Banker, to name a few. 

Mainly pointing to the report’s highlights rather than showcasing the CFPB’s headline, the reports covered the agency’s concerns as well as some recommendations and statements from industry groups and consumer advocates. 

RMD gathered a few headlines spanning financial press and beyond:

New York Times: Report Highlights a Rise in Reverse Mortgages. The NY Times coverage focuses on the number of reverse mortgages currently being done. “A growing portion of reverse-mortgage consumers are taking the proceeds in a lump sum, rather than in a stream of payments. And they often are using the proceeds to pay off other debt — a troubling trend, the bureau said in the report, which was undertaken as required under the Dodd-Frank regulatory law.”

The Wall Street Journal: Reverse Mortgages Worry Regulator. WSJ focuses its coverage on some concerns noted by the CFPB including deceptive marketing practices, complicated loan terms and misleading marketing materials—as well as the potential for the industry to grow as tens of millions of baby boomers retire. 

Associated Press: Gov’t Watchdog: Reverse Mortgages Confuse Elderly. The government’s consumer finance watchdog says the growing reverse mortgage market is getting confusing, AP writes. That could mean costing seniors extra cash or their homes

Dow JonesConsumer Bureau Issues Warning on Reverse Mortgages. A financial regulatory is warning new rules may be needed to address hidden dangers in reverse mortgages, the special loans that enable cash-strapped seniors to borrow against the equity in their homes, Dow Jones newswires writes. 

American BankerCFPB Finds Larger Loans and Younger Borrowers in Reverse Mortgage Study. The AB coverage cites particular findings of the CFPB, including the high proportion of borrowers who opt for a lump sum payment. 

L.A. Times: Consumer Bureau, Interest Groups Offer Tips on Reverse Mortgages. Taking a more advice-based angle, the L.A. Times coverage focuses on industry groups and consumer protection groups that have offered advice geared toward improvement of the reverse mortgage program. 

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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