Reverse mortgage trainers offer informational resources for industry professionals

In response to loan originators asking about good sources of information to rely upon, a group of trainers focused on helpful resources at a recent industry event

Reverse mortgage industry professionals who wish to keep informational resources at their fingertips have a variety of options, from servicing companies to the industry trade association down to informational departments at the lenders themselves. This is according to a presentation from three experienced reverse mortgage industry trainers at the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Associaton (NRMLA) Western Regional Meeting in Irvine this month.

Jim McMinn of Longbridge Financial, Jud Lyman of Liberty Reverse Mortgage and Sue Haviland of Finance of America Reverse (FAR) presented a series of resources that originators could call upon to clear up concerns or misconceptions borrowers could have about post-closing issues, as well as resources available through NRMLA and the lenders themselves.

Servicing information

Post-closing and servicing information sessions are always very well-attended at reverse mortgage industry conferences. Recognizing that there may be misconceptions about servicing issues among certain industry professionals, the trainers pointed to online informational resources from Celink, the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) servicing contractor for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

On Celink’s reverse mortgage borrower portal, it maintains a page dedicated to some of the most commonly-asked questions related to a reverse mortgage loan once it’s moved into the purview of servicing.

“We hear often from people saying that there are no resources, [asking] where do [we] get the resources,” McMinn said. “Well, this is one of those really good ones [regarding] what happens afterward. Going out and taking a look at that huge part of the reverse mortgage lifecycle [helps in] building a relationship and trust with your borrower. This comes from being knowledgeable regarding all aspects of the reverse mortgage, [and] Celink is a valuable resource that assists you with answers to common reverse mortgage questions.”

Reverse mortgage education and servicing professionals have often touted the importance of the originator having a well-established knowledge base related to the servicing landscape, primarily because of the more interpersonal nature of the reverse mortgage business.

Because a borrower may be in contact with their originator for an extended period of time after the loan closes, the originator is often seen as an authority and reliable purveyor of information for the borrower who may need help navigating some of the post-closing elements of a reverse mortgage loan.

Industry resources

The trainers also touted industry resources that could assist them with finding information they may need, including from NRMLA itself and several of the industry’s leading lenders.

NRMLA itself maintains a consumer-facing reverse mortgage informational website, and manages an industry professional Certified Reverse Mortgage Professional (CRMP) designation program that relies on holders to continuously stay up-to-speed with policy changes and continuing education (CE) classes and materials.

On top of the association, the lenders themselves are also leading sources of information for front-lines originators and other industry professionals, but some in the business may not think to look for or ask for those kinds of resources, the trainers said.

“At Liberty, we have what I consider a fairly full suite of education material available through our website,” Lyman said. “Everything is available free of charge. But in addition to that, recently, we’ve added a certification course. We know what’s going on in the industry. We know there are people coming in, but even those that have been in for a while, again, learning should be a consistent process.”

The certification program, launched this past March, is in collaboration with the National Association of Mortgage Brokers (NAMB). It established a Certified Reverse Mortgage Specialist certification program (CREV). The program features classes by NAMB and Liberty, with the first classes having launched in April.

Lyman offered some additional details about how the lender is making best use of the program, saying it’s primarily designed for people finding a way to break into the reverse mortgage industry. However, existing industry professionals could also find the program useful he explained.

“We offer, virtually, that same information in a one-day intensive class that can be gone through [NAMB],” he said. “And then we also have a course submitted with the Certified Financial Planner board to offer CFP credit to […] planners for taking our course,” he said. “So, that’s something that we’ll be able to announce once that gets through their process and approve and that’s something that can certainly help with the networking aspect of all of our jobs.”

Other lender resources, collaboration

At FAR and Longbridge, both lenders offer their own informational resources designed to keep their professionals up-to-speed with the longstanding and changing realities of the reverse mortgage business. Haviland highlighted an ongoing series of live training and webinars offered by FAR, which includes content focused on systems, sales and specific product variations including FAR’s proprietary product suite.

FAR also offers resources for CFPs to get information from the company’s retirement strategies division, and the company has also added additional resources for professional development training, she said.

Something that the industry should keep in mind, McMinn added, is that all the trainers talk to each other about ways to improve, even if they’re from different companies.

“What’s really neat, though, you see the three trainers up here from three different companies,” he said. “We share resources, we talk about things. Our goal is really to get that material out to you.”

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