NRMLA sent a letter to 18 lawmakers in Pennsylvania who have co-sponsored legislation (House Bill 2316) that would implement new counseling requirements.
While NRMLA is generally supportive of the bill, the association identified several issues that need to be fixed. Among them, the bill would require prospective borrowers to be counseled by a HUD-approved counseling agency domiciled in Pennsylvania. At the moment, there are only five HUD-approved HECM counseling agencies in the commonwealth.
NRMLA commented that under the HECM program, lenders must provide prospective senior applicants with a list of HUD-approved counseling agencies, including national intermediaries that provide counseling services over the phone and can be located anywhere in the country. NRMLA added that in some cases, the nearest counseling agency could be located in an adjoining state. For these reasons,
NRMLA has asked the lawmakers to remove the requirement that the counseling agency must be based in Pennsylvania.
HB 2316 would also require that the borrower’s phone number be included on the counseling certificate. In its letter, NRMLA explained that there is no data field for a person’s phone number and, for privacy reasons, some borrowers may not want to disclose it. NRMLA will continue to work with the bill’s sponsors on these issues and alert the membership of any important developments.