ReverseReview

Appraisal experts: Here’s how you can best prepare your borrower

Set expectations, and if they must appeal, bring solid comps
Borrowers often have considerable expectations when it comes to their home’s estimated value, and navigating these can be tough for both the loan officer and the appraiser. Experts from two appraisal management companies recently discussed how to best prepare a borrower for an appraisal the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association conference in San Diego, and here’s what they said.
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Number of equity-rich properties soars to new high

14.5 million mortgaged properties have 50% or more equity
The number of mortgaged properties in the U.S. that are equity-rich has soared to 14.5 million – a new high, according to the latest report from ATTOM Data Solutions. The report shows that 25.7% of all properties with a lien are equity-rich, meaning the homeowner has at least a 50% equity stake.
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Homeownership investment company Unison expands reach

New partnership makes 5% down program available to more homebuyers
Unison Home Ownership Investors aims to give homeowners and buyers access to cash for the opportunity to share in their home appreciation. In business for more than a decade, the company has been a pioneer in the homeownership investment category. Now, it’s growing into new markets through a new partnership with Goldwater Bank.
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Reverse Mortgage Funding: More financial advisors are recommending HECMs

Lender ramps up education to help partners connect with advisors
The reverse mortgage industry has been working for years to connect with financial advisors to teach them about the valuable role home equity can play in retirement income planning. Now, leading HECM lender Reverse Mortgage Funding says the effort is finally paying off. RMF says it has seen a significant uptick in interest from advisors and its investing sizable resources into helping its originators build this channel of business.
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Resolute Bank returns to grassroots to build HECM business

Builds collaborative corporate culture to promote relationship marketing
It’s been a hard year for the reverse mortgage industry, and like other lenders in the space, Resolute Bank has used the down market to rethink its business strategy. In the wake of program changes, the reverse team at Resolute took a good look at its business structure and decided it was time to return to grassroots.
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Reverse mortgage market closes out October with positive gains

But analyst warns recovery will be slow and uneven
Reverse mortgage volume inched upward last month, continuing its uneven road to recovery after a rough year. According the latest HECM Lenders report from Reverse Market Insight, endorsement volume rose 7.3% in October to 3,091 loans. "We are expecting a very slow and lumpy growth for the foreseeable future in HECM volumes," said RMI President John Lunde.
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Synergy One announces first big move under new management

Company set to acquire BBMC Mortgage
Synergy One Lending is set to acquire certain assets of BBMC Mortgage, significantly expanding its footprint in the Midwest. Synergy One CEO Terry Connealy said the company is excited to expand and serve more customers in the traditional and reverse mortgage markets.
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Cash-out refis haven’t been this prevalent since the financial crisis

But unconcerned experts say borrowers are extracting less equity than before
The volume of cash-out refinance loans hasn’t been this high since 2008, but experts at the Urban Institute say that when put into context, there’s no cause for alarm. “In an environment of home price appreciation, people commonly tap into their home equity,” the authors wrote, adding that the total amount of equity cashed out is well below pre-crisis totals.
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EquiFi to launch shared equity solution for homeowners looking for cash

Product connects homeowners with investors to provide debt-free access to equity
Americans now have an unprecedented $6 trillion-plus in home equity, spurring the creation of products designed to help homeowners leverage this tremendous source of wealth. EquiFi plans to do just that, launching a shared equity product it hopes will transform the way consumers access their housing wealth.
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Proprietary reverse mortgages essential to helping more homeowners access equity

Expert panel predicts more products will emerge to fill HECM's void
Proprietary reverse mortgages are key to helping American homeowners unlock the wealth in their homes, and we'll likely see more of them come to market, said panelists at NRMLA's annual meeting on Monday. "Ultimately, what we're trying to do is create solutions for borrowers and give them flexibility and choice," said Jonathan Scarpati, vice president of wholesale at Finance of America Reverse.
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