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Legitimacy In The Reverse Mortgage Industry

The reverse mortgage industry has gained more legitimacy as financial tool, but we still have a long way to go.

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  1. Our view as an industry is rather warped. We are a very small industry seeking recognition from a very much larger and more diverse industry. The very slow turn has started with the right group but the road could be very bumpy. Look at it this way, it has taken over 22 years just to get this far.

    We have had two articles published in the prestigious Journal of Financial Planners, the flagship publication of CFPs but only CFPs. CFPs represent one of the smallest groups of financial advisors with just over 60,000 members. Like most industry publications only a handful read all articles each month and most only “cherry” pick on as needed client need basis.

    Why the road will be bumpy is what occurred with the one CFP spokesperson for our industry lately. Even if that person did nothing wrong, the incident and removal of this person as a reverse mortgage spokesperson will not help our image as an industry when dealing with the financial community.

    Far more encouraging was to see the Journal of Accountancy publish a very positive article not long ago. Its membership is over six times as large as that of CFPs, ninety years older, and is far more prestigious and far reaching. The quality of research done by its contributors is considered high by most respected educational institutions and is often quoted by faculty and students alike.

    Retraining our current core of reverse mortgage salespeople will be arduous. Although experienced at helping the needy will they be adept at addressing the needs of those which some call the “greedy” with their financial advisors? Based on my own experience in finding competency at that level back in 2004, my feelings are much different than those expressed by my colleague at Security One Lending.

    Wells Fargo made an attempt at doing it and then MetLife as well as Genworth. The results are not impressive as reflected in our endorsement numbers. Mr. John Lunde and I both believed in late 2010 that by now Savers would be a significant percentage of our endorsements and Mr. Lunde proclaiming that in the first half of this decade we should see Savers constituting at least half of all endorsements. We are not there and there is little reason to believe we will get there soon. Will we get there? Hopefully long before the next 22 years go by.


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