Making the decision to do (or not to do) a Reverse Mortgage is a big decision. Any major financial moves a homeowner makes should be done after careful consideration. Your loan officer has a fiduciary responsibility to have your best interest at heart. However, at the end of the day, a loan officer does make money by doing loans, so it’s a good idea to get educated as much as you can via your loan officer, but also to educate yourself by perusing other info provided by a neutral third party that does not benefit from YOU doing a reverse mortgage in California, or any other state for that matter.
That’s what we intend to offer here – resources for you to access that are not affiliated with this site or any particular lender.
Before we do that, here is something else to consider as you forge ahead and educate yourself about reverse mortgages.
Is your loan officer a reverse mortgage / HECM specialist?
Is your loan officer a reverse mortgage / HECM specialist OR do they simply do traditional loans and can potentially do reverse loans? I actually work in a company that mainly focuses on traditional loans. I manage a division within this company that focusses on Reverse Mortgages. My staff only does reverse mortgages. They truly are specialists. Believe me, before I became a specialist (like when I was just doing traditional loans), you would not have wanted to do a reverse with me. I knew the basics, but not much more, but that was 15 years ago. Today, I only do reverse loans and I know them well.
How can I tell if I’m working with someone that is well versed in the HECM product?
Frankly, you may not be able to. Some will tell you that they are well versed in doing them and some will just pretend. There are a couple of things you can do. 1. Check the website for the company your loan officer works for. Does it at least have a dedicated page for reverse loans? If not, the person may not be all that well versed in the reverse loan (naturally, exceptions apply). 2. Look at their resume on the NMLS Consumer Access. All loan officers are required to get licensed through the National Mortgage Licensing System. If you go to NMLS Consumer Access, you can see their resume (which includes their job title, time in the business, time with each company, and a list of states they are licensed in and / or were licensed in). Here is the link; NMLS Consumer Access
The National Council on Aging (aka NCOA):
The National Council on aging is a non-profit organization that was formed in 1950 and is a well-respected national leader that has a website which provides resources geared towards improving the health and economic security of older adults.
Here is a link to the main page for the National Council on Aging.
The NCOA is also a neutral 3rd party. They do not benefit by you doing a reverse mortgage, so it’s a great place to get non-biased info about reverse mortgages. In fact, HUD (Reverse Mortgages are insured by HUD / FHA) requires lenders to send a pamphlet about reverse loans from the NCOA in every proposal a lender, loan officer, broker, or counselor sends you (it’s required that you have this packet from either the lender/broker or counselor before you can do your counseling appointment).
Here is a link to the NCOA Reverse Mortgage Info page.
If you’d like a copy of the free NCOA Booklet about reverse mortgages, please send me an email requesting it at shawnv@ReverseMortgageCalifornia.biz or call (714) 271-8524 (cell phone).
HUD / FHA:
This blog / webpage is not affiliated with HUD / FHA. Reverse Mortgages are neither “endorsed” nor “approved” by the Federal Government. Only a lender and / or broker can originate an FHA loan. The FHA (Federal Housing Administration) simply provides certain insurance benefits for lenders and borrowers in connection with the lender’s HECM loans; the FHA does not make or originate loans. You can find info about the FHA insured Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (Reverse Mortgage) on the HUD portal.
Here is a link for HUD’s Reverse Mortgage Info page.
American Association of Retired Persons (aka AARP):
Like NCOA, AARP is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1958 with the intent to enhance the quality of life for all as they age. AARP is not a Reverse Mortgage lender, and again, they offer un-biased info about Reverse Mortgages.
Here is a link to their main page; AARP
HUD Reverse Mortgage Counseling:
One of the HUD requirements prior to ordering a case number with the intent to move forward with a reverse mortgage is that an interested homeowner get reverse mortgage counseling from a neutral 3rd party that is not affiliated with any lender or loan broker.
It’s simply an effort to help ensure that you know what kind of transaction you’re entering into.
Note: Your loan officer is not permitted to provide you with a specific recommendation. They are simply supposed to provide a list of eligible counselors.
The opposite is also true; your counselor may not recommend any specific lenders. Both of the practices are not allowed by HUD.
HECM counselors from the list below can provide face-to-face and telephone counseling nationally.
|Agency Name and Website||Telephone|
|National Foundation for Credit Counseling||(866) 698-6322|
|Money Management International||(877) 908-2227|
|ClearPoint Financial Solutions||(800) 251-2227|
|Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation||(888) 990-4326|
Shawn Lawrence Vaillancourt
NMLS License # 387151 in CA, CO, VA, MD, WA, OR
I also have a staff of reverse mortgage specialists in virtually every other state in America.
For more in depth info on all Reverse Mortgage subjects, check out