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2014 Presents Challenge & Opportunity for HECM Industry
The classic Bob Seger song laments, “Against the wind. I’m older now but still running against the wind.” Both retirees and our industry are pressing against the resistance of retirement funding and a more restrictive product for us to offer. The good news is that the reverse mortgage industry and the HECM product have proven their staying power having endured one of the worst housing crashes in history, an economic crash and numerous product changes. Also increasing home values have buoyed production with an increase of 15% through November.
The next headwind will be felt once HUD enacts the financial assessment in it’s effort to reduce risks of borrower defaults and subsequent claims against FHA’s insurance fund. But are some of these recent developments a blessing in disguise? Columnist Phil Hall in the National Mortgage Professional Magazine says yes. Hall says, “A new oversight regimen may finally help to erase the lingering doubts surrounding the product.” If we look at the true obstacle for market growth it’s not the 15% reduction in principal limits, the elimination of the Standard Fixed rate or increased insurance premiums. It’s our industry’s reputational woes. Hall cites one originators experience…