As part of its mission to help seniors borrow with confidence, the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA) presented a free Webinar for members on Jan. 12 in which a panel of experts presented specific examples of unacceptable advertising. The panel included Volky Garcia, deputy director of the FHA’s Quality Assurance Division, who kicked off the discussion with examples of phrases that can lead to investigation and potential punitive actions.
The FHA representative was joined on the panel by Jean Noble, a reverse mortgage industry marketing specialist; attorney Arthur Axelson from ReedSmith; Rick Peters, a marketing consultant for MetLife; and NRMLA president Peter Bell. Half a dozen ads containing misleading or inappropriate language were scrolled on the participating viewers’ computer screens and the panel criticized the copy. Included were ads falsely designed to look like official government documents, a definite “no-no” and cause for fine or suspension of license or worse. Exaggerated promises (“No monthly payments,” “Stay in your house forever”) were also pointed out.
The session was the first in a series of four free webinars NRMLA is presenting between now and early March to advocate best practices on Hot Button topics--areas of the business that are frequently criticized. “We want seniors as well as politicians and the press to be aware we are policing from within,” says Bell. “Our membership is a fervent advocate of senior consumer protection. And we will continually educate them on responsible lending practices.”
Future Hot Button topics include:
► Jan. 26—Managing Appraisals
► Feb. 10—Ethical Pricing
► March 2—Comprehensive Counseling
For more information, visit www.reversemortgage.org.