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Initial Impact & Slow Turnaround


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Taking the long view despite short term impact of Assessment

reverse mortgage news

The reverse mortgage industry is relatively small compared to the traditional lending marketplace yet the recent financial assessment has changed our collective world.

It comes as no surprise that the financial assessment is a game-changer for the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage program. We saw a rush of applications prior to the April 27th deadline and the subsequent trailing endorsement volume reflected a push by lenders and borrowers to forgo the requirements of the assessment. Now that the pre-assessment rush is behind us we can begin to measure the true impact of the new financial guidelines as reflected in the recent top 100 HECM lenders report from Reverse Market Insight…


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  1. Unlike prognosticators at either RMI or Reverse Vision, there has been no time since April 26, 2015 one can find from public information released by HUD where there is even a glimmer of hope of quick recovery as to endorsed HECMs subject to financial assessment.

    As we all know case number assignment must occur before a HECM can be endorsed. Also we are still on a diminishing downward trend in the fiscal year end conversion rate. To appreciate the effect of the overall downward trend let us look at how many endorsements we produced for every 1,000 applications with case number assigned for the following fiscal years:

    Year —– Endorsements

    2004 —— 907

    2005 —— 797

    2006 —— 841

    2007 —— 975

    2008 —— 796

    2009 —— 730

    2010 —— 729

    2011 —— 695

    2012 —— 639

    2013 —— 642

    2014 —— 631

    2015 —— 594

    For the three months ended August 31, 2015, total case numbers assigned totaled about 18,640. We will see most of the endorsements coming out of this cohort during the three month period ended December 31, 2015 based on the four month industry rule of thumb rule..

    Based on a conversion rate of about 60%, we should see about 11,200 endorsements in the last quarter of this calendar year. The industry has not experienced such a low endorsement total for that same three month period since December 31, 2004.

    Also there is nothing yet showing that the kind words being spoken by more and more financial advisors about HECMs are materializing into endorsements. One place that would show up is in the conversion rate. Although anecdotal, generally referrals that turn into applications with case number assignment have a greater tendency to be endorsed than applications from non-referral sources. As of yet the conversion rate is still on an overall downward trend.

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