How some are surviving or thriving in a down HECM market
“It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future”, said baseball great Yogi Berra. Prognostications as how the reverse mortgage industry will recover and grow are often fall flat. An Industry initiative called “The Extreme Summit” set their sights high aiming to increase annual HECM endorsements from 50,000 to 300,000 units by 2018. The group was comprised of several industry CEO’s, many who in a secret ballot committed to financially back the effort investing $30-150 million over five years. While this was a laudable goal the initiative could never anticipate the headwinds that would soon befall the industry. Despite these challenges one wind of change blows at our backs and could help increase adoption of the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage in the years to come.
Last Thursday USA Today reported that more seniors 75 and older are carrying debt into retirement. This is a far cry from the borrowers many of us met with a decade ago who typically had few if any debts, yet found themselves house-rich and cash-poor. “We’ve seen instances of seniors foregoing required medications … because they can’t afford it,” said Lori Lucas, president and CEO of the Employee Benefit Research Institute. “More seniors are carrying debt into retirement than ever before.” While lower than their younger counterparts, the median debt carried by those 75 and older is $20,900. The Employee Benefit Research Institute reports that nearly half of retirees in this group have outstanding loans. The most significant increases of those carrying debt are among the lower-income seniors.
This trend comes as no surprise as our oldest Americans find themselves squeezed between the forces of…