Why Are Reverse Mortgages Old School?

0221oldschoollinside_thumb7When it comes to technology, the reverse mortgage industry is definitely “Old School”.  The first step away from the “Old School” was when lenders began to make their origination software web based. While this was a big step, in most systems still lack anything to get to real excited about.  With that being said there are still a few of the “Old School” reverse mortgage lenders that refuse to put their platforms on the web.  Financial Freedom has recently mentioned that they are in the process of building their web based portal, but at the moment they require you to download their software localy.  Surprisingly, after using the software for the past year I’ve been happy with its ease of use and really have no complaints… other than they require me to download updated rates every Tuesday (still, I can live with it). 

None of the reverse mortgage platforms have ever really wow’ed me like some of the forward mortgage platforms have.  As I started to think why I realized that the reverse mortgage industry doesn’t have ANY conformity when it comes to technology.  In the conforming world you have the Fannie Mae format which can be imported into just about any lenders systems easily(for the most part).  It would be nice if lenders systems were able to interact with Encompass, Calyx, or any other program of that nature.  Right now Sun West is the only reverse mortgage lender that provides some streamline ability with those type of systems (let me know if I am wrong on this).

Another area that is lacking in conformity is when it comes to drawing docs for borrowers to sign.  Each lender has their own disclosures and for the most part their own software that is used to draw docs.  I understand proprietary products are going to need a few different documents just like most “niche” forward programs out there but some conformity from all lenders would be nice.  The best disclosure package is from Countrywide… hands down.  If you disagree with me, you obviously have not seen the great little booklet that they provide.  I realized how nice this “little booklet” is after I saw a seniors hand start to physically hurt from signing disclosures.  I told her I was so sorry but she had to sign the rest of the documents… no worries, we took a little breather and she initialed the rest.  

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