WSJ Video: Reverse Mortgages and the Housing Debate

The Wall Street Journal’s James Freeman sought answers on the Federal Housing Administration’s role in the reverse mortgage industry in a video segment this week. In an interview with the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association president and CEO Peter Bell, Freeman explored details of the program, FHA’s role, and whether the private market may make a comeback for reverse mortgages.

“The government plays a lot of roles,” Bell said. “It provides a credit enhancement…it gives clients the assurance that what they’re doing is something somebody has thought through.”

Freeman asked whether reverse mortgages fall into the same debate as other areas of housing.

“If people are in more house than they can afford, doesn’t it make sense that they sell the house and move to an apartment?” he asked.

Bell further defended the program and the lack of options for many seniors who don’t have the retirement income they expected they might have.

“In many cases, [moving] is just not an option for them,” he said.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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