||January 17th, 2008|
Reverse Mortgages . . .
with Laura Strickler
Laura Strickler -
Your Reverse Mortgage Specialist
Reverse Mortgage News
You may be aware that there are changes afoot in the reverse mortgage industry. Because I am a member of the reverse mortgage industry's governing organization, the National Reverse Mortgage Lender's Association (NRMLA), I am able to bring you news of the most recent legislative changes. Following is an outline of what recently transpired in Washington, D.C.
On Friday, December 14, 2007, the FHA Modernization bill (S. 2338) was brought to the floor for debate and consideration by the full Senate. The bill passed by an overwhelming majority of 93 to 1.
The bill offers the following improvements to the existing reverse mortgage, or home equity conversion mortgage (HECM) program:
• Permanently eliminates the cap on the overall number of HECM loans that FHA is authorized to insure.
• Replaces the county-by-county area loan limits with a single national loan limit at the conforming loan limit level, currently $417,000.
• Authorizes HECMs for home purchase.
• Implements a maximum origination fee at 1.5% of the maximum claim amount.
• Requires the Government Accountability Office to undertake a study of the HECM program and report back to Congress.
The House of Representatives passed their own version of the FHA Modernization bill last summer. As far as reverse mortgages are concerned, the Senate bill and the House bill are identical. However, they differ on other provisions. Now the House and the Senate must each appoint "conferees" who will get together to negotiate and reconcile the differences in the two versions. Once a "conference report" is issued, the compromise must be accepted by a vote in each house of Congress. This process has not been completed as yet, but will be forthcoming…hopefully soon.
These changes will result in reduced costs to seniors and higher lending limits. I will stay on top of the changes for you and keep you informed.
Remember to call me if you have any questions about new developments. I am here to help you understand the intricacies of reverse mortgages and which program is best for your personal situation.
Call for free AARP and FNMA informational booklets on reverse mortgages. If you're thinking about a reverse mortgage, get your information from a reliable source. With all the changes in the financial industry, you need to research your options.
Just a quick update on the food drive I sponsored during Christmas. The Hidden Valley Kiwanis members were extremely generous with their food donations…in fact, it took two of them to carry all the canned goods to my car! So thank you to my fellow Kiwanians at the Hidden Valley Kiwanis group! The ladies at the Ocean Hills Country Club Lady's Golf Club also generously donated at their annual Christmas luncheon. All in all, the food drive was a success!
The Angel's Depot is a wonderful organization helping San Diego county seniors who live at or below the poverty level. Each box of food given to a senior who meets the income guidelines provides 21 meals, 3 meals per day for 7 days. If you are interested in helping or know someone who needs help from the Angel's Depot, please visit www.angelsdepot.org
Laura Strickler, CSA
Certified Senior Advisor
Reverse Mortgage Specialist