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Retail HECM Originators See Biggest Decline

The ongoing decline in reverse mortgage production was evenly distributed among retail and wholesale originators during September compared to a month earlier. But when compared to a year earlier, retail lenders have taken the hardest hit. The biggest reverse mortgage lender during the latest month is under contract to be sold.

Out of the 3,683 home-equity conversion mortgages endorsed by the Federal Housing Administration during September, 2,147 were retail originations. Retail business dropped off from August, when volume amounted to 2,415.

Business has diminished significantly from September 2011, when retail HECM production totaled 3,612. The year-earlier figure reflects activity from Wells Fargo, N.A., and MetLife Bank, N.A. — both which have since disappeared from the reverse lending landscape.

The production data, which was reported by Reverse Market Insight, indicated that retail originations totaled 23,050 during the first three quarters of 2012.

On the wholesale side, new business also slowed — with third parties generating 1,536 reverse mortgage orginations. Production dropped from 1,705 a month earlier and 1,972 a year earlier.

So far this year, wholesale HECM endorsements add up to 17,754.

When factoring in both government-insured and proprietary programs, Genworth Financial Home Equity Access Inc. was the biggest reverse mortgage originator during September with 688 loans closed. Genworth moved up from No. 2 in August, when 562 reverse mortgages were originated.

Home-equity conversion mortgages, which are insured by the Federal Housing Administration, accounted for 443 of Genworth’s September originations, while proprietary programs generated 245 closings.

Genworth’s parent, Genworth Financial Corp., has agreed to sell the reverse lending unit to Ocwen Financial Corp. The $22 million dollar deal is expected to close during the first-quarter 2013.

September’s No. 2 reverse mortgage originator was Urban Financial Group, where 491 reverse mortgages were funded. Urban lost its No. 1 standing in August, when it originated 655 units. The most-recent month consisted of 282 HECMs and 209 non-FHA loans.

American Advisors Group followed with 411 units originated in September, then 367 at Generation Mortgage Co. and 365 at One Reverse Mortgage LLC.

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