Project will provide immediate help to reverse mortgage borrowers in default, while assessing the services most likely to keep them in their homes
Washington, D.C. – January 7, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is conducting a pilot project in collaboration with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA) to help reverse mortgage borrowers who are struggling to pay property taxes and homeowners insurance.
“While reverse mortgages can help seniors to stay at home, these funds may be depleted over time,” said Barbara Stucki, vice president for home equity initiatives at NCOA. “With economic conditions putting pressure on many of these borrowers, we want to assess the services and supports to help them remedy their delinquencies and stay at home.”
By partnering with senior service agencies in Miami, Houston, Detroit, and Los Angeles, NCOA, HUD and NRMLA will identify ways to assist seniors with reverse mortgages who are most at-risk for foreclosure by not keeping up with their borrower obligations.
Case managers from the community partner agencies will work with reverse mortgage borrowers to pursue local tax relief options and identify other financial, legal, and housing solutions to resolve delinquencies. If appropriate, case managers will also help borrowers who need to move to other housing options, such as affordable-housing or supportive-housing developments.
All loans and solutions will be reviewed by NCOA and NRMLA experts to develop a set of recommendations on how best to assist reverse mortgage borrowers who are not meeting their borrower obligations.
Borrowers who receive a letter informing them about their delinquency should contact their loan servicer immediately and are eligible to receive free counseling from NCOA and other select HUD approved counseling agencies.
“This problem is primarily a result of a faltering economy—lowering home values and losses in retirement savings—and our members feel a strong responsibility to help guide those in need through this rough time,” says NRMLA president Peter Bell. “With the issuance of HUD’s new guidelines this week, we have a level-headed, clear road map to launch this process.”
Funding for the pilot program has been provided by seven NRMLA members including Bank of America, Celink, Generation Mortgage, Genworth Financial, MetLife, Urban Financial and Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. This pilot program will run through at least mid-2011.
HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes; utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. For more information, visit www.hud.gov.
National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA) is the national voice of the reverse mortgage industry, serving as an educational resource, policy advocate and public affairs center for lenders and related professionals. NRMLA was established in 1997 to enhance the professionalism of the reverse mortgage business. Our mission is to educate consumers about the pros and cons of reverse mortgages, to train lenders to be sensitive to clients’ needs, to enforce our Code of Conduct and Best Practices, and to promote reverse mortgages in the news media. For more information, visit www.nrmlaonline.org.
About the National Council on Aging
The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is a non-profit service and advocacy organization headquartered in Washington, DC. NCOA is a national voice for older Americans – especially those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged – and the community organizations that serve them. It brings together non-profit organizations, businesses and government to develop creative solutions that improve the lives of all older adults. NCOA works with thousands of organizations across the country to help seniors find jobs and benefits, improve their health, live independently and remain active in their communities. For more information, please visit www.ncoa.org.
Barbara Stucki, Vice President, Home Equity
Ken Schwartz, Director, Marketing & Communications