Reverse Mortgages Really Aren’t That Funny

Most successful blogs are infused with a little humor. Parenting blogs are funny. Kids say the darndest things. Other blogs are designed to enrage you. Sometimes I don’t know if I should laugh or cry at the political ones. However, other blogs are designed to educate, inform, and explain. Mine would fall into that category. If you read my book, or read my blog on a weekly basis, you know that any sense of humor I might possess is lost in my writing.

Those who have heard me speak will know that I will occasionally try to add humor to my presentations. There was one (a broker, a borrower, and a compliance officer walk into a bar) that was pretty funny to those in my field.  And then another (a borrower and a loan officer met with a palm reader to determine product suitability) that got a few laughs.

LaughingCoupleI’ve learned, however, that home equity conversion is really not that funny. Here are a few reasons why:

What we do is misunderstood

My daughter has a great sense of humor and likes to mimic me in a deep voice, saying “I give you money, you give me house.” Of course she knows better, and just to be clear, I give people a LOT of money, and they get to KEEP title to their home. It is a common misconception, however, that somehow the bank gets the home now, or when the homeowners die. This is not the case, and of course, it’s no laughing matter.

What we do is somewhat complicated

After having spent several years counseling, originating, and training, I spent much of 2014 reviewing the Code of Federal Regulations, multiple HUD handbooks, and every FHA letter. This was done not only to make sure I understand one of the most highly-regulated financial tools well enough to write a book called “Understanding Reverse,” but also to better assist loan officers and older homeowners with a better understanding of the product. Once again, no chuckles.

What we do is serious

Some older homeowners are faced with losing their homes. This can be tragic, and as a counselor I’ve cried with many of them. I have been able to prevent this by using reverse mortgages to pay off delinquent forward mortgages, tax liens, delinquent property taxes, and judgments that affect title to their homes. I recently closed a loan that paid all four of these items in time to avert a pending foreclosure. Because of negotiated payoffs, the homeowner now has an additional $100k in equity and no monthly payment. Without it, they would have lost their home. That’s serious.

To reverse mortgage professionals, the premise of a broker and a borrower walking into a bar with a compliance officer is funny enough without a punchline, and has probably never happened before. For those of you who want to know about the palm reader? She saw a love line, a long life line, and a large line of credit in the borrower’s future. However, she informed the loan officer, with outstretched palms, that because of federal regulations she was also required to look at the ARMs.

See… Not that funny 🙂

Dan Hultquist