NRMLA Urges MA Lawmaker to Support Telephone/Video Counseling

NRMLA Urges MA Lawmaker to Support Telephone/Video Counseling

NRMLA President Steve Irwin submitted a letter to the President of the Massachusetts Senate, state Senator Karen Spilka, urging her to support legislative efforts to allow borrowers to receive reverse mortgage counseling via a synchronous real-time video conference, or by telephone, on a permanent basis.

The ability to offer telephone/video counseling expires on March 31, 2023.

The Massachusetts House of Representatives unanimously passed an appropriations bill recently that included language to permanently allow for telephone/video counseling.

However, the counseling language was removed by the Senate, and unless lawmakers can agree to add it back into the final spending bill that’s sent to the governor, borrowers must be counseled in-person starting on April 1.

Irwin noted in his letter to Senator Spilka that there are only five full-time counselors and one part-time counselor in the entire commonwealth.

This, he said, is not enough to effectively provide in-person counseling to all Massachusetts seniors who may want to obtain a reverse mortgage. Furthermore, “seniors are still at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and so should not be forced to leave there homes to receive in-person counseling (from a limited number of approved counselors) in order to obtain a reverse mortgage,” he added.

Read the full letter by logging into the Comment Letters section of NRMLA will continue its advocacy efforts and report any developments to the membership.

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Darryl Hicks

Darryl Hicks is Vice President of Communications for the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association. In this capacity, Hicks writes for NRMLA's publications, manages the association's web sites and social media accounts, assists committees and the Board of Directors, and manages the Certified Reverse Mortgage Professional designation. Prior to joining NRMLA in 1999, Hicks spent three years in the Washington, D.C. bureau for National Mortgage News.