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It’s Never Been Easy


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A Historical Perspective of Industry Challenges Past & Present

reverse mortgage newsOver the last two years I have heard numerous reverse mortgage professionals say ‘this job isn’t easy’ and I couldn’t agree more. I would add it has never been. Yes, prior to 2010 originating reverse mortgages was less convoluted, confusing and restrictive but it was also no bed of roses either. Just a few things to consider to give us perspective.

Lending limits were a mess. Recall county by county lending limits? I most certainly do. I remember wishing some of my borrowers lived on the other side of a local river which would give them about $75,000 more in their maximum claim amount. Physically moving the home obvisouly was not an option so you marched on that was until HUD made a national lending limit.

Closing times. In the early and mid-2000’s taking a reverse mortgage application was one thing, getting it closed was quite another. Due to a lack of…

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Editor in Chief:
As a prominent commentator and Editor in Chief at, Shannon Hicks has played a pivotal role in reshaping the conversation around reverse mortgages. His unique perspectives and deep understanding of the industry have not only educated countless readers but has also contributed to introducing practical strategies utilizing housing wealth with a reverse mortgage.
Shannon’s journey into the world of reverse mortgages began in 2002 as an originator and his prior work in the financial services industry. Shannon has been covering reverse mortgage news stories since 2008 when he launched the podcast HECMWorld Weekly. Later, in 2010 he began producing the weekly video series The Industry Leader Update and Friday’s Food for Thought.
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  1. Shannon,

    Do you remember trying to understand, let alone explain the servicing fee set aside to each and every prospect? While the LESA may use the TALC life expectancy of the youngest borrower as the period over which the LESA is required to cover, the Servicing Fee Set Aside was calculated to last to age 100.

    Most HECM trainers had no idea how to compute the servicing fee set aside. Most had the strangest descriptions on how this set aside was calculated and had no idea its amortization impacted the so called growth in the available line of credit with some claiming you did not really have to say much and others with a ridiculous and convoluted explanation for amounts to little more than a present value computation.

    Then there was the joy of not being able to offer any fixed rate product.

  2. I recall them not being backed by the government so I did not do them until they were if it was easy every body would be doing it ,,,and it looks like it will be with all the banks getting into the game,,

  3. HomeKeeper! Now there was a quality product. LOL

  4. Shannon Well put and yes times have changed! We will all move on. I am just glad that I made the jump into the reverse mortgage industry 11 years ago as my colleagues in the forward world have it much harder. Live Well from Hawaii!

    • Percy. Thank you & I’m glad we have dedicated and positive-minded folks like yourself in our industry. Aloha!

  5. Remember trying to explain the loss of first Bank of America and then Wells Fargo? Or how about the continuing loss of proprietary (or jumbo) reverse mortgages starting over six years ago? Then there was the fear of the first round of lower principal limit factors back in fiscal 2010 and how it was expected to drive HECM endorsements into the ground.

    Now we have financial assessment!

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