Say these two affirmations

“I am relentless.”

“I embrace uncertainty. “


John A. Smaldone April 24, 2020 at 7:55 am

Thanks Shannon,

Good advise during these trying times!

Take care,

John A. Smaldone

Shannon Hicks April 24, 2020 at 9:07 am

Thank you my friend.

JIm Davidson April 24, 2020 at 8:28 am

Great show Shannon … thanks for all you do.

Shannon Hicks April 24, 2020 at 9:07 am

Much appreciated Jim. Have a fantastic weekend!

The Cynic April 24, 2020 at 3:06 pm

This industry is once again trying to turn things around by feeding itself a lot of exaggerations. The first nineteen years of this century should have taught us a lot of lessons about growth in reverse mortgages. Apparently we have learned few of those lessons. When you hear terms in THIS industry like “inquiries are like never before” and other inconsequential superlatives, realize that our peers are ignoring facts and trying to make both them and us feel good. Inquiries are not of the same quality in the seventh month of this fiscal year like they were in fiscal 2004 when we had just experienced 18,097 HECM endorsements in fiscal 2003 only to see HECM endorsements grow by a rate of 109% to reach their all time high (as of 9/30/2004) of 37,829 HECM endorsements in fiscal 2004.

Who is predicting even 37,829 HECM endorsements for fiscal 2020 when we just had 31,274 HECM endorsements in fiscal 2019? No one seems to want to be held accountable for their exaggerations about inquiries. Yet with all of these superlative exaggerations of “meaningful inquiries,” it would seem that a growth rate of just 20.9% in a fiscal year that saw an actual increase of 20.5% in the HECMs endorsed in the first half of that fiscal year (fiscal 2020) over the first half of fiscal 2019 would all but be automatic. Why have we not heard such cries to date? Are the inquiries of the quality that turned initial consumer contacts back in Fiscal 2004 into a phenomenal growth rate of 109% in HECM endorsements, NOT of the same quality today? The bar of what the industry referred to as meaningful inquiries has dropped considerably to where it is today. We are EVEN expecting to see reductions in the number of proprietary reverse mortgage closings in last of this fiscal year when compared to such closing in the first half of this fiscal year.

Learn the lessons of the past!! Understand that trying to will things better may be helpful to our psyche but rarely changes things. Imagine the preachers who went around the prairie states during the Great American Dust Bowls of the 1930s and claimed that by saying that they as farmers were relentless and they as farmers EMBRACED uncertainty, things would turn around. Were their prophecies fulfilled? When did the crops come back? Most historians agree that it took almost three decades for the hardest hit areas of the dust bowls to return to full production. Let us hope we will see 114,000 HECM endorsements for a single fiscal year before we reach fiscal year 2039!!!! But also beware of getting ahead of ourselves by accepting exaggeration as fact.

The Positive Realist April 26, 2020 at 5:00 pm

The Cynic,

While I generally agree with your comments, it should be pointed that as of Friday evening April 24, 2020, HUD finally posted HECM case number assignments for the month of March 2020. Much to my own pleasant surprise, HECM case number assignments for March 2020 were the highest since September 2017 at 5,657. From June 2015 to September 2017, inclusively, there was only one month with a lower case number assignment total and that was January, 2016 with 5,237 case number assignments.

In the HECM case number assessment history for the last 14 fiscal years, a month with case number assignments as low as 5,657 has meant more than it does right now. It has been 30 months since we have seen any monthly HECM case number assignment total larger!!! Two questions pop up. Will this be the start of a positive trend? What percentage of these HECM applications will get endorsed, i.e., pulled through?

While March 2020 was hardly a banner month for HECM monthly case number assignment totals, this is the best that we have had in a quarter of a decade. This may only be the cause for a mini celebration but nonetheless, a celebration it must be.

Congratulations to all who are fighting to keep this industry going in the midst of a pandemic Hopefully, the coming months will have even more cause of celebrate. Cynic, I hope you feel the same. Here’s to the summer of 2020.


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