New York Life and AARP to Team Up on Reverse Mortgage Initiative?

New York Life has yet to make any official move into reverse mortgages, but more information has surfaced suggesting that the insurance powerhouse plans to work with AARP when it does.

A new position posted on New York Life’s website shows the company is looking for a Senior Strategy Officer who will be responsible for developing new lines of business, one of which includes a new reverse mortgage product. While RMD reported in January on a different position to oversee financial reporting for new business, the newest opportunity would be for New York Life’s AARP division.

Several people have told RMD the company plans to utilize its relationship with AARP to market a new private reverse mortgage product designed to compete with the Federal Housing Administration’s Home Equity Conversion Mortgage. The latest job opening seems to confirm it plans on moving forward in that direction.

New York Life doesn’t comment on rumors or speculation, but said that it’s always looking at new business opportunities. When asked about its plans with New York Life, a spokesperson for AARP didn’t rule out the possibility, but said it didn’t have anything in the works as of today.

“We are looking at the retirement security space and a number of options but have made no decisions and have not even initiated any kind of product development,” said David Allen of AARP in an email to RMD.

Last year, AARP filed a lawsuit against the Department of Housing and Urban Development for its alleged abandonment of federal protections for surviving spouses of reverse mortgage borrowers. While the court eventually threw out the lawsuit, it did get HUD to rescind guidance issued in 2008 that was used to clarify its non-recourse policy for loans backed by FHA. During the lawsuit, AARP never took any issues with the reverse mortgage product, just the way that HUD managed the product.

If New York Life does enter the reverse mortgage business, it would join other insurance powerhouses MetLife and Genworth Financial, which both operate lenders in the space.

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