Wells Fargo Wholesale Lending has decided to discontinue offering its Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) and reverse mortgage programs to the wholesale channel. Wells Fargo will be accepting reverse mortgage applications through close of business on Friday, March 18, and its wholesale reverse pipeline must fund by Saturday, April 30. This announcement comes on the heels of Wells Fargo leading the reverse mortgage market with a 23.1 percent market share based on early January numbers reported by Reverse Market Insight. “This move allows us to focus on forward mortgages and our other products and programs, while proving stellar customer service,” said Kathleen Vaughan, executive vice president of Wells Fargo Wholesale Lending in a statement. This move by Wells Fargo comes on the heels of an early February announcement from Bank of America that they too are exiting the reverse mortgage business. “Wells Fargo is retreating from the broker business because they perceive it as too risky,” said Atare E. Agbamu, president of ThinkReverse LLC and author of Think Reverse!: The Complete Guide to Marketing and Originating Reverse Mortgages for Mortgage Professionals and Financial Advisors. The Wells Fargo Reverse Broker’s First Web site will remain open through March 18, 2011. According to the January Reverse Market Insight first Wholesale Leaders report of 2011, Wells Fargo’s 23.1 percent share of the market was ahead of Bank of America with an 18.2 percent market share and MetLife Bank with a 14.4 percent share. For more information, visit www.wellsfargo.com.