Lawmakers in Massachusetts are considering a housing security bill (S. 2621) that protects renters and homeowners from eviction and foreclosure during the COVID-19 pandemic, and also permits real-time video conferencing for reverse mortgage applicants.
Massachusetts is currently the only state that requires in-person counseling for reverse mortgage borrowers. However, all counseling agencies in Massachusetts that are approved to counsel reverse mortgage borrowers have suspended in-person counseling sessions.
The bill’s protections would remain in place for 90 days following the bill’s passage, or until the COVID-19 emergency is terminated, whichever is sooner.
The Senate Ways and Means Committee unanimously approved S. 2621 on Tuesday, March 31. As Weekly Report was headed to press, the full Senate had not yet convened to debate the bill.
“While the outcome is still uncertain, we are fortunate and deeply appreciative for the advocacy of the Massachusetts Mortgage Bankers Association and the skill of their political director,” says Brett Kirkpatrick, CRMP, of Harbor Mortgage Solutions, Braintree, MA. “While NRMLA’s support has continued to be invaluable and unwavering, this is another reminder for our members that ‘politics is local’ and when issues hit the state or municipal level, industry participants need to be active and recognizable within their professional, civic, and political circles for swift and effective advocacy and action.”
In addition to the legislation, NRMLA, and our Massachusetts members, have contacted the Division of Banks and the Executive Office of Elder Affairs and requested temporary relief from in-person reverse mortgage counseling.
NRMLA will continue to monitor the situation and alert the membership of any important updates. We also wish to extend our appreciation to Kirkpatrick and Harbor Mortgage Solutions Founder George Downey, CRMP, for their assistance in these matters.