A HUD news release, dated July 15: David Stevens Sworn in as HUD Assistant Secretary for Housing and FHA Commissioner: HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said, "David's knowledge in real estate, housing and the mortgage industry will help us overcome the current challenges we face, he will implement changes that protect FHA and will enhance its risk management capabilities to protect its future viability." (www.hud.gov/content/releases/pr09-120.cfm)
► Norwich Bulletin, posted on July 20: Making Cents: Creative Uses for Reverse Mortgages ... Affluent homeowners are using reverse mortgages for advance planning, i.e. to buy and fix up second homes in the distressed Sunbelt, to purchase life insurance, to put into an irrevocable trust, and to purchase long term care insurance.
► The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve press release, dated July 23, 2009, proposed major changes to Regulation Z (Truth-in-Lending Act) that would, among other things, prohibit lenders from paying yield spread premiums.
► Sacramento Bee posted on July 20: Troubled Bank Industry Continues California Lobbying ... The bank lobby has focused its attention on Senate Bill 660 and Assembly Bill 329, bills that would provide more disclosure and protection for seniors taking out reverse mortgages. Bills that started out with tough consumer protection language were rewritten after running into fire from financial industry lobbyists.
► The Wall Street Journal posted on July 10: Baby Boomers to Kids: Kiss Your Inheritance Goodbye ... While the bulk of the article was about different types of annuities the author waxed philosophically at the end with “Wiping out your wealth when you go -- "filing Chapter Heaven," as it were -- might sound like a scorched-Earth plan. The cynical might even suggest it fits well with the locust-like financial behavior of the Baby Boomers, who consumed a golden legacy and have left their successors trillions in extra national debt.”
► Reverse Mortgage Wire posting on July 22: Bill Would Lower Reverse Mortgage Principle Limits ... A House of Representatives appropriations bill would require the Department of Housing & Urban Development to reduce the amount of home equity a borrower could receive through a reverse mortgage to ensure that the government program operates without a subsidy. However, the bill also appears to extend the $625,500 maximum lending limit through fiscal year 2010.
► A Reverse Mortgage Wire posting on July 29: Darkening Days for Reverse Mortgage Lenders ... 1st Reverse Financial Services and World Alliance Financial, two leading reverse mortgage lenders are ending business, but lead executives with both companies are optimistic that investors will help them start up again.
► ReverseMortgageDaily posting on July 21: Ginnie Mae Addresses Reverse Mortgage Capacity Rumors ... A Ginnie Mae spokesperson adds emphatically: “We do not have a limit on the level of HMBS securities we will issue for the year, nor is there a limit on new issuers we will accept.” Total HMBS issuance for FY’08 was $1,159,221,127, she said. Thus far, in this fiscal year (October 2008–June 2009) that issuance amount already has been higher, at $1,602,761,822.
► A posting on July 10: MMI Offers Free Reverse Mortgage Counseling ... Money Management International (MMI) announced that as of July 1, 2009 it’s no longer charging clients for reverse mortgage counseling. According to a company statement, MMI believes it has sufficient grant funds to cover expenses until at least October 2009, at which time new HUD grant funds will become available.
► BrokerUniverse posted on July 30: Subcommittee Approves Federal Housing Administration Funding ... "It provides funds to start modernizing its technology systems in order to track its mortgages and obligations, which-I regret to tell you-it cannot do right now," said Sen. Christopher Bond (R-MO).
A former AARP-certified reverse mortgage counselor with five years of experience, Jean Ross is now a mortgage planner with AdvisorNet Mortgage LLC. Jean specializes in reverse mortgages, and is most interested in getting accurate and useful information on reverse mortgage to seniors, their families and professionals who work with them.