Save the Date: NRMLA’s Annual Meeting & Expo
Join your colleagues at the historic Palace Hotel in San Francisco, November 13-15, for the largest annual gathering of reverse mortgage professionals, NRMLA’s Annual Meeting & Expo.
Hear from HECM subject matter experts. Get your CRMP continuing education credits. Meet new professional contacts and network with friends and colleagues. Get more information at nrmlaonline.org.
Recap and Recordings: Reverse Mortgage Education Week
With a mission of raising awareness and acceptance of reverse mortgage loans among related professionals and consumers, NRMLA’s second annual Reverse Mortgage Education Week was a success on every level.
Held April 24-28, NRMLA’s widely promoted webinar series attracted more than 1,300 registrants, including financial planners, in-home care professionals and executives, real estate agents, staff from social service agencies and local governments, and mortgage professionals.
Education Week introduced new audiences to a versatile financial tool that can help their clients pay for home care and modifications, buy a new home or buy out an ex-spouse, and generally support their desire to age in place. And because the webinars are recorded and posted to nrmlaonline.org, you can continue to share Education Week resources with the professionals in your network who want to learn more about reverse mortgages.
Omnibus Funding Bill Extends HECM Insuring Authority
President Donald Trump signed a $1.07 trillion omnibus spending bill on May 4 that funds the federal government through September 30 and authorizes FHA to continue insuring HECMs.
The U.S. House of Representatives approved the spending bill by a vote of 309-118, while the Senate voted 79-18 in favor of passage, before it was sent to the president’s desk.
Combating Isolation and Loneliness
The Senate Select Committee on Aging held a hearing on April 27 that examined the consequences of isolation and loneliness among America’s aging population and explored programs and resources for at-risk adults.
“The consequences of isolation and loneliness are severe: negative health outcomes, higher health care costs and even death. The root problem is one that we can solve by helping seniors keep connected with communities,” said Committee Chairwoman Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine). “Just as we did when we made a national commitment to cut smoking rates in this country, we should explore approaches to reducing isolation and loneliness. Each has a real impact on the health and well-being of our seniors.”
Witnesses included a professor of psychology at Brigham Young University; a professor of Social Work and director of the Center on Aging at the University of Maine; and representatives from private sector organizations that assist the elderly. The Senate Special Committee on Aging does not write legislation, but it can offer policy recommendations. View the webcast at aging.senate.gov.
Age Out Loud: Older Americans Month 2017
Each May, the Administration for Community Living (ACL) leads our nation’s celebration of Older Americans Month (OAM). ACL designed the 2017 OAM theme, Age Out Loud, to give aging a new voice—one that reflects what today’s older adults have to say.
This theme shines a light on many important trends. More than ever before, older Americans are working longer, trying new things and engaging in their communities. They’re taking charge, striving for wellness, focusing on independence and advocating for themselves and others. What it means to age has changed, and OAM 2017 is a perfect opportunity to recognize and celebrate what getting older looks like today.
You can help celebrate Older Americans Month in your community, or with your clients, by downloading and sharing resources and materials from oam.acl.gov.
Reverse Mortgages in the News
- In a leadup to its 2017 Retirement Income Summit held in Chicago, April 30-May 1, InvestmentNews interviewed nationally recognized retirement experts Wade Pfau and Jamie Hopkins of the American College of Financial Services about the role of reverse mortgages and home equity when devising a retirement strategy. “There are a number of ways that advisers and consumers can use home equity and reverse mortgages in strategic ways,” said Hopkins during a video segment titled, “Reverse Mortgages: Are They Right for Your Clients?” “One of them is a bridge for Social Security, where you set up a reverse mortgage for that gap between the ages of 62 and 70 to generate funds to meet your needs and defer going on Social Security.” Pfau and Hopkins were joined by San Francisco-based tax attorney Barry Sacks for a discussion about strategic uses of reverse mortgages and home equity during the summit.
- Oversimplified, a “deed in lieu” is exactly how it sounds—it is a deed in lieu (instead) of a foreclosure. “You give the title back to the lender. In some cases, and depending on the facts, you will not have to pay anything,” wrote Washington, D.C.-based attorney and syndicated housing columnist Benny Kass in his response to a question submitted by a daughter who is trying to pay off her mother’s reverse mortgage and doesn’t want to incur more costs while the servicer takes possession. Kass, who consulted with NRMLA Executive Vice President Steve Irwin for his article, “What’s the Difference Between Foreclosure and ‘Deed in Lieu’?,” advised the daughter to continue paying property taxes and insurance on her mother’s home until the reverse mortgage is paid off.
- With more baby boomers moving into retirement every day, the wealth locked up in their homes seems ripe for the picking. And a relatively new way to put that wealth to work—the standby reverse mortgage strategy—is garnering increasing attention, according to Rachel Sheedy, Editor of Kiplinger’s Retirement Report. In her article, “How Retirees Can Use Their Home’s Wealth as an Emergency Fund,” Sheedy wrote the “standby (line of credit) strategy puts to use some of the reverse mortgage’s quirky features to provide a flexible pot of money to help manage cash flow.” Experts applaud the way a standby reverse mortgage strategy can provide retirees the flexibility to handle emergency costs. “The concept is to use it judiciously,” she quoted NRMLA President Peter Bell.
- “In years past, many financial advisers discouraged older homeowners from taking out reverse mortgages, because the industry was rife with unscrupulous types,” wrote Next Avenue Managing Editor Richard Eisenberg in his article for forbes.com (and later republished in MarketWatch) titled, “The Answers to Common Reverse Mortgage Questions.” These days, wrote Eisenberg, advisers often recommend reverse mortgages for older Americans with home equity who are looking to supplement their retirement income, largely because the mortgages and lenders are better regulated. Eisenberg summarized his Q&A session with NRMLA President & CEO Peter Bell, Certified Reverse Mortgage Professionals Lance Canada and Phil Stevenson, and servicer Tera Guy during a webinar for consumers commemorating Reverse Mortgage Education Week. He included links to the webinar recording, NRMLA’s consumer guides and Reverse Mortgage Calculator. Next Avenue, public television’s website for Americans aged 50-plus, has served more than 40 million people on its site over the past five years and millions more through its platforms and partnerships.
Fixing America’s Broken Retirement System
When nearly half of all Americans don’t participate in a retirement plan, and many Americans who do have 401(k)s have depleted their savings because of emergencies, now is the time to take a fresh look at new strategies for improving access to America’s retirement system, according to Michael Molinski, a New York-based economist.
Molinski contributed an article to USA Today titled “Analysis: How to Fix America’s Broken Retirement System,” that proposes eliminating the 10 percent IRS penalty on early withdrawals from a 401(k) or IRA, or even replacing the 401(k) altogether with a Guaranteed Retirement Account for everyone who has a job.
The concept of the GRA—devised by Theresa Ghilarducci, a professor of economics at The New School, and Hamilton James, president at Blackstone—would be mandatory, managed by a government-appointed board, and everyone would contribute 1.5 percent of their salary and another 1.5 percent would be contributed by their employer. Others have even suggested it’s time to resurrect pensions as a retirement tool.
NRMLA Consumer Site Gets Facelift
Finding a reverse mortgage lender or Certified Reverse Mortgage Professional—and accessing NRMLA’s consumer guides, loan calculator and other reverse mortgage information—just got easier.
Visit NRMLA’s consumer website, reversemortgage.org, to view the new home page, which includes more infographics to help guide consumers who want information about reverse mortgages.
Reversemortgage.org attracts 30,000 unique visitors every month, so don’t forget to check that your lender listings are correct. If you need to make changes, contact Darryl Hicks at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CRMP Committee Launched
On April 17 NRMLA’s newest committee, the CRMP Committee, had its first meeting, which was attended by more than 100 Certified Reverse Mortgage Professionals. A working group was formed to develop a mission and vision, while much of the 60-minute call was spent sharing ideas and developing a list of initiatives to focus on for the balance of the year.
NRMLA welcomes our newest members:
- American Senior Lending, based in Delray Beach, Florida
- America’s Mortgage Resource, based in Metairie, Louisiana
- Berkshire Bank, based in Tewksbury, Massachusetts
- Financial Asset Services, Inc., based in Irvine, California
- Peoples Home Equity, Inc., based in Alcoa, Tennessee