Too Much Too Soon?

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Reexamining Product Design and Use of Proceeds

reverse mortgage news

The recent overhaul of the HECM program was a watershed event for both the reverse mortgage industry and senior homeowners. The elimination of the Standard Fixed Rate, consolidation to one product, two-tiered upfront FHA premiums and first year distribution restrictions all were born from FHA’s attempt to reign in the HECM program back to its original intent while reducing the risk of defaults and payouts from the MMI fund. The idea was to prevent borowers from using all of their proceeds in the first or early years of the loan which could leave them with little or no financial options once they’ve exhausted all their funds. Also, lower upfront withdrawals and deferred or tenure payments or a line of credit reduce the likelihood that the loan balance would exceed the home’s value in the early years of the loan or when the loan ultimately terminated. Most program changes were spurred by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s report to Congress…