Reverse Mortgage Must Reads: Expansion Down Under, Mutual of Omaha

In case you missed them the first time around, reset your industry knowledge with a look at the top stories from the last seven days — including a peek at reverse mortgages down under, and the blockbuster entrance of a new player into the space.

Australian Government Rolls Out Universal Reverse Mortgage Plan — In a bold step that contradicted earlier efforts to encourage senior downsizing, the Australian government last week unveiled a plan to offer a reverse mortgage to any homeowner aged 65 and older — a that comes as part of a larger package to help seniors in the country age in place.

Mutual of Omaha Bank Enters Reverse with Synergy One Acquisition — The reverse mortgage industry welcomed a new entrant late last week with the arrival of Mutual of Omaha Bank, a well-known lender that acquired Synergy One Lending — along with its Retirement Funding Solutions brand for Home Equity Conversion Mortgage loans. The two brands will continue to operate separately from their new corporate parent, and retain their shared headquarters in San Diego.

Seniors Increasingly Comfortable with Carrying Debt into Retirement — A new survey shows that — for better or for worse — seniors’ attitudes toward holding debt are changing, as the mortgage-averse Greatest Generation gives way to the baby boom set, who have fewer compunctions about debt in their retirement.

New York State Cracks Down on Reverse Mortgage Foreclosures — New York State enacted a law that will require reverse mortgage lenders to alert homeowners in danger of default 90 days before starting any formal legal actions, with a mandatory informational warning letter that lays out all the ways the borrowers can potentially remain in their homes.

Exploring Home Equity Amid Stock Market Uncertainty — As the stock market cools off, some originators may be tempted to promote the reverse mortgage as a smart retirement hedge — though some in the industry say the potential short-term success could backfire on professionals.

Written by Alex Spanko

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