A fast-growing Florida-based firm is enticing some reverse mortgage recruits with signing bonuses, while a reverse mortgage trade group wants to recognize well qualified originators with a new designation. A reverse mortgage lender in Delaware claims it is the biggest in the state, and two reverse originators are among the nation’s best mortgage brokers.
Value Financial Mortgage Service Inc., which said in September 2008 that it planned to add 175 positions during the following 12 months, is sweetening the pot for 50 reverse mortgage specialists it plans to immediately recruit, an April 10 statement said. The new hires will receive “top commissions” and access to health insurance. In addition, under certain circumstances, the Miami-based firm is offering signing bonuses.
Value, which claims to be a “top twenty” retail originator of reverse mortgages, reported $100 million in production last year, falling from $125 million in 2007.
An April 8 news release from Value touted its ability to close wholesale and retail reverse mortgages for home purchases. Value said the program went into effect on Jan. 1 but has been hampered by a confusion in program terms.
The National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association plans to establish a Certified Reverse Mortgage Professional-Loan Originator designation, a recent statement said. Before taking the exam, applicants need two years’ experience originating reverse loans, 12 hours of continuing education and a track record of at least 50 closed loans. They also must submit to a background check.
The exam and accreditation process were created over the past year by a committee of 12 industry professionals and lawyers, NRMLA said. The trade group noted that it made a significant financial investment to get input from representatives across the country.
WSFS Financial Corp. announced on April 1 that it ranked as the No. 1 reverse mortgage lender in Delaware based on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Home Equity Conversion Mortgage Endorsement Report. The Wilmington-based firm said it ascended to a leading position in the state a little over a year ago.
“When customers meet with one of our Reverse Mortgage Loan Officers, they feel a sense of commitment right from the start,” WSFS executive Trish Kauker explained in the statement. “We go to their home, meet with the customer and their family members, and educate them on how a reverse mortgage can help them stay in their home.”
A ranking of the 10 best U.S. mortgage brokers by Goldline Research included Reverse Mortgages USA Prime Source Mortgage. The Scottsdale, Ariz.-based firm, founded in 1983, claims to be nationally recognized for its customer service.
Also on the list was Tammy Engel of Mortgage Advisor in Tehachapi, Calif. Among Engel’s offerings are reverse mortgages.
HUD named the National Council on Aging as one of just five reverse mortgage counselors in the country, a press release this month said. The Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit group says it hopes to “make the reverse mortgage market work better for vulnerable seniors.”
An April 14 press release from reverse mortgage broker Golden Gateway Financial said an increasing number of reverse mortgages are being used to increase retirement cash flow or avoid financial troubles. The San Jose, Calif.-based firm noted that reverse mortgages, which were created through the Housing and Community Development Act of 1987, are an excellent way to avoid foreclosure.