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Today's Headlines: HUD Changes Reverse Mortgage Rules


Something Had to Change

Reverse mortgages are a popular way for seniors to access needed funds. In a reverse mortgage, you are, in essence, incrementally selling your home back to a lender with the proceeds set up as a line of credit. You can use that line of credit right away, or you can allow that credit to ride for more challenging times down the road.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) backs reverse mortgages through the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) program. Thanks to the HECM program, you can never owe more on your reverse mortgage than your home is worth. In addition, as long as you meet loan obligations such as paying property taxes and properly maintaining your home, you can defer payments on the reverse mortgage until you die or move out.

Those are great features for senior consumers – but terrible ones for insurers. Tack on a rise in foreclosures and interest rate concerns that raise volatility, and the HECM program becomes a money-losing proposition for the government (and therefore, eventually, for taxpayers).

Government cracks down on home refinancing scheme targeting veterans

Officials at the Government National Mortgage Association, better known as Ginnie Mae, say some veterans are being flooded with misleading refi offers and are signing up without assessing the costs and benefits. Some properties are being refinanced multiple times a year, thanks to “poaching” by lenders who aggressively solicit competitors’ recent borrowers to refi them again and roll the fees into a new loan balance, officials say.

The costs to the veterans can far outweigh the relatively modest reductions in monthly payments. In an analysis of questionable refinancings, Ginnie Mae found “many” examples where the borrowers were persuaded to switch from a long-term fixed interest rate to a lower-rate short-term adjustable but saw the principal amount owed to the lender jump by thousands of dollars. In an average fixed-rate to adjustable-rate refi, according to data provided for this column, borrowers added $12,000 to their debt in order to reduce their monthly payment by $165. Just to break even on that deal would take more than six years, according to Ginnie Mae, and could push unsuspecting borrowers into negative equity.

What's the best way for me to become a Mortgage Broker in CT?

I have been a Loan Originator for a year now, but I'd like to become a mortgage broker. This way, I can shop around to different lenders to help close more loans.


You can try Countrywide, but honestly...your current position is the safer bet of the two. Mortgage Brokers and getting the short end of the stick lately and banks (like Wichovia) are no longer even dealing with them.