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Everything is figureoutable



The art of problem-solving

We all have problems. The heater in your home quit during a cold snap. Your office internet provider seems more unreliable by the day. Your recent applicants are considering canceling after reflecting on how large their lifetime expectancy set aside will be.

A good reminder courtesy of Thomas Edison

The question isn’t how to avoid problems but how we will handle them. Several years ago my wife bought me a paperweight that sits on my desk today. It reads, “I haven’t failed. I just found 10,000 ways that won’t work“. That quote is attributed to the venerable American inventor Thomas Edison.

Perhaps the best mindset can be found in the title of author and entrepreneur Marie Forleo’s book ‘Everything is Figureoutable”. Is there such a word? There is now. Here are some of her best quotations.


“The most powerful words in the universe are the words you say to yourself.”

“I win or I learn, but I never lose.”

“Insight without action is worthless. Taking action is the only path to change.”

There’s a certain pragmatism in her writing that warrants careful consideration and perhaps application for each of us working in the trade of reverse mortgage lending.

However, if we’re honest not every problem may have a solution. That’s a fact elected officials and policymakers often forget. Instead, some problems require us to go around the obstacle to find another path.

The best problems to address are those we have control over. Each problem should be examined, held up close, and scrutinized. Is it something I can influence? Is there another way? Is the obstacle that stands in front of me the path to a win? Do I hack my way through the bramble or find a path around it?

Life and business are chaotic in their very nature. A principle military planners have embraced in their training practicing chaos. Reverse mortgagee professionals have had ample practice in the last several years. The question is if everything is figureoutable?


Editor in Chief: HECMWorld.com
As a prominent commentator and Editor in Chief at HECMWorld.com, 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.
Readers wishing to submit stories or interview requests can reach our team at: info@hecmworld.com.

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  1. I have been originating mortgages for 26 years and HECMs for more than a decade. The complaints I receive concerning HECM servicing are at least 100 times the complaint rate on forward mortgages. The complaints range from false foreclosures, false force place insurance claims, and other false claims by servicers. FHA and the servicers are notoriously unresponsive to borrower complaints. The most recent case, this month, involved a borrower who could not stop his monthly payment without my help. I’m happy to help but it’s one more case of the servicer not caring about the borrower. My conclusion is that neither FHA nor the servicers understand these borrowers and their limitations. As people age from 62 to 102 and beyond, some have difficulty dealing with the changing technology. Some have physical and mental limitations that get worse with time. In some cases, issues were resolved only after a complaint to CFPB or an ADA complaint. It should be easier to resolve the issues borrowers have. In one case, I talked to a customer service representative that could not even identify the correct loan. He had no chance of resolving any issue when he could not understand the paperwork that he had. I see bad servicing as the biggest issue holding the industry back.

  2. I recently had a Reverse Mortgage client that did not pay her property taxes on time. But soon after the due date did pay the property taxes. Her loan went into default. And the foreclosure process was started. She is an Asian with limited English language skills. Through a third-party proof of payment was submitted. After repeated communications with the servicer and foreclosure attorney, with no reversal of the foreclosure proceedings.
    She chose to sell her property that go through foreclosure. This should not have happened. There definitely a need for reform.

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