Jan/Feb 2022 RMM

In Reverse Ingenuity Drives Reverse Mortgages Forward By Thomas A. Barstow IN THIS FIRST edition of Reverse Mortgage magazine for 2022, we continue with the theme from the last issue of offering articles that discuss where the industry is heading. Industry leaders keep adapting as the times change, and that ingenuity propels the reverse mortgage marketplace ahead. To that end, the cover story focuses on private-label reverse mortgages. The creators of private-label reverse mortgages—what we used to refer to as proprietary reverse mortgages—continue to tweak their products as consumers divulge changing needs. This year, more innovations can be expected, as Joel Berg outlines in, Private-Label Products Examined (p. 18). For example, Mike Kent, president of Liberty Reverse Mortgage, foresees the products being used for second homes. Meanwhile, the push continues to get loan originators in the forward mortgage space to add reverse mortgages to their product mix. Jonathan Scarpati, vice president of wholesale lending for Finance of America Reverse, points out that supplementing product offerings only makes sense. Clients who got a forward mortgage years ago might now be in a position where a reverse mortgage meets new demands and desires, especially after nearly two years into a pandemic that has many people re-evaluating financial plans and wanting to live life to the fullest. Loan officers must understand those changes and then have the expertise to offer solutions. Industry leaders have been developing programs to get newcomers up to speed, as you will see in the cover feature sidebar, Teaching LoanOriginators HowReverseMortgagesWork (p. 22). Kimberly Smith, senior vice president of wholesale lending for AAG, is among the experts who discuss what her company is doing on this education front. When loan originators can see the “big picture,” Smith tells Berg, they listen. Investors are taking notice of the successes in the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) market, and the secondary market to securitize those loans is becoming increasingly robust. That interest has been extending to the private label market. Secondary Market Matures (p. 24) examines some of those trends. We also have a feature in this edition where we discuss alternative equity release products that could help some clients, even though loan officers might not financially benefit. Those services and products include room-sharing services, sale-leaseback deals and equity-sharing products and are discussed in Services, Products Offer Equity Release Options (p. 28). This overview is an effort to continually introduce loan officers to the concept that they might benefit if they become mortgage planners and consultants, rather than merely professionals who sell reverse mortgages. Scott Norman, vice president of field retail and government relations at Finance of America Reverse, provides insights into the big picture in his Board Room column (p. 6). “We as an industry need to educate consumers about how the universe has shifted, so they can be aware of the changes to life. I don’t want to see Americans just endure in retirement, but truly enjoy retirement,” Norman writes. “The new retirement will be not only about expanding our reverse mortgage product lines, but also expanding borrowers’ imagination of what their older years will really require.” REVERSE MORTGAGE / JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2022 3