The nation's largest reverse mortgage lender had a record-breaking 2004.
Financial Freedom Senior Funding Corp. announced Thursday it funded more than $1.6 billion in loans last year -- a 75% jump over 2003. The volume consisted of a record 19,850 loans closed.
Fourth quarter reverse mortgage originations totaled $514 million -- a growth of 36% from the third quarter, according to the Form 8-K filing by IndyMac Bancorp, the holding company of Financial Freedom parent IndyMac Bank.
With 2,133 loans funded in December, Financial Freedom, which claims to be the country's largest reverse lender, said it broke the previous month's record by 5%.
"These statistics support the ongoing maturation of the industry, namely that a greater number of senior consumers are using reverse mortgages either as a lifestyle enhancement tool or to build a standby cash reserve that they can use at their discretion to pay for future expenses," said Jim Mahoney, chief executive of Financial Freedom, in the announcement.
The key economic drivers of higher demand in reverse loans were a combination of low interest rates and peak home values in many parts of the nation, the Irvine, Calif.-based lender reported.
Financial Freedom said it 52,000 loan servicing portfolio is the largest in the industry.