A Lehman Brothers Bank subsidiary announced it continues to remain the top reverse mortgage lender after reaching milestone loan production in 2003.
Financial Freedom Senior Funding Corp. said it originated a record 13,800 loans totaling $957.2 million during the past year. The total is more than double the $417.0 million volume in 2002 -- which the company previously reported was an industry record.
The Irvine, Calif.-lender estimated its year-end servicing portfolio at $2.8 billion, up 46% from the prior year.
In the announcement, company executive Jim Mahoney said factors that contributed to the growth include an ongoing educational campaign to raise awareness of reverse products, low interest rates, and peak home values in various parts of the country. He added that the reverse industry will further prosper from new legislation, such as the recently announced higher loan limits, as well as, new products and evolution of financial solutions for seniors.
"As consumers learn more about the product, more players become involved and greater distribution is created, it's not unrealistic to expect 40,000 loans for the industry next year," said Mahoney.
During the fourth quarter, fundings were $286.0 million, up 14% from the third quarter and 120% from the fourth quarter in 2002, Financial Freedom said.