Despite improvements, Secretary Carson pushes for 3 key changes
While we’ve seen no official mortgagee letter or Congressional action on recently-proposed reforms to the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage- some key changes were restated last week in HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s written remarks to the House Financial Services Committee. Legislative proposals such as the elimination of a national lending limit and the removal of the HECM from FHA’s Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund may hinge on next month’s Actuarial report to Congress. The report details the financial health of the program. However, the potential elimination of HECM-to-HECM refinances could be enacted outside of Congress by the FHA as an administrative change that doesn’t require Congressional approval. While opposed by key industry stakeholders, such a change could be held forth to lawmakers as confirmation of the agency’s continued commitment to the stewardship of the program should next month’s report reveal increasing financial liabilities.
The water is not quite under the bridge
Truth be told, recent fiscal year insurance claims provide little if any insight as to how effective previous policy changes may have been. Think of the reverse mortgage program’s financial liabilities as a large river. Notable incidents upstream will not be felt