I’ve heard from borrowers that when they have inquired about reverse mortgages from some lenders they sometimes feel pressured, receiving numerous phone calls, wanting to send them the counseling information and an application before they are ready to make a decision.
I happen to be sitting at the kitchen table with a homeowner informing her about reverse mortgages, providing her with all the details and facts and answering her questions when she received a call from another loan officer. She kindly explained to the caller that she was actually meeting with me face-to-face, a local originator and was not interested in further communication from them, the caller. Before hanging up, even though she had said she was taken care of, the other loan officer said they were still going to call her back. She expressed frustrations that they didn’t listen to her and that she had also received other calls pressuring her before she had heard about me.
As professional reverse mortgage originators we should respect your decisions and not pressure you into making a decision. Those of us who specialize in reverse mortgages and are members of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA) pledge to a Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility. Pledging to serve you with integrity and keep your best interests as our primary consideration, here is the pledge other NRMLA members and I have made that we will:
Know and comply with all State and Federal laws and regulations that protect reverse mortgage borrowers
Present you with the full range of reverse mortgage products available from our company.
Clearly explain the terms, benefits and costs of each product we present.
Inform you of your responsibilities as a reverse mortgage borrower including paying real estate taxes on time, keeping the property properly insured and maintaining the home in sound condition.
Work with you and, if you request, with your family and financial advisors either face-to-face or on the telephone as frequently as you choose to educate you, answer any and all questions and help you assess whether a reverse mortgage might be beneficial to you.
Explain the benefits of and statutory requirement that you have reverse mortgage counseling.
Provide you with a list of HUD-approved independent housing counseling organizations that employ exam qualified counselors to serve you. The choice of the organization is yours and yours alone.
Help you prepare for your counseling session to make it most effective by providing you with questions you might ask and information you should be prepared to provide to the counselor.
Prepare loan comparison projections and an amortization table for the loan being proposed to review at your counseling session.
Not charge any fees prior to the completion of mandatory counseling.
Help you analyze your financial ability to meet your responsibilities under the reverse mortgage.
Recommend that you seek professional advice if you are receiving assistance from SSI, Medicaid or other government programs.
Recommend you seek professional tax advice when appropriate.
Allow you to decide when to close on the reverse mortgage loan and not pressure you to make a decision.
Provide you with opportunities during the loan process to change your mind and not take the loan.
Pay off the existing liens shown of record, verify taxes are paid, and make sure that you have proper insurance upon closing.
Beyond the NRMLA pledge, there is a select group of specialists, the Certified Reverse Mortgage Professionals (CRMP), who have taken the extra step and demonstrated their knowledge and competency in reverse mortgages by having a minimum of two years’ experience, personally closing 50 or more loans, earning 12 hours of continuing education courses specific to reverse mortgages and ethics, passed a rigorous exam as well as a background check. Each year CRMPs must complete an additional 12 hours of continuing education to remain certified. CRMPs are dedicated to upholding the industry high standards of ethical and professional practices.
I am proud to say I have earned the CRMP designation. You can find a list of the other CRMPs on the NRMLA website.
Additionally Reverse Mortgages SIDAC has their own Code of Conduct that we adhere to.
As you explore the reverse mortgage option, make sure you are working with a reverse mortgage specialist who has experience with and knowledge about reverse mortgages, not just the title, one who adheres to the NRMLA Pledge to Reverse Mortgage Borrowers and even more specifically one who is a CRMP as well as one you are comfortable and respects you.
© 2015 Beth Paterson, Beth’s Reverse Mortgage Blog,651-762-9648
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Blog posts’ information is current as of date post published, program is subject to change in in the future. Contact us for current information, 651-762-9648.
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