The head of a national organization for reverse mortgage lenders says complaints about shady operators are overblown. President Peter Bell of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association admits counseling of consumers is an important safeguard. He says it is what separates reverse mortgages from all other business models.
Bell tells a U-S Senate committee hearing in University City people who get reverse mortgages have substantial amounts of money available that could attract swindlers. He says those are problems of society, not problems of the reverse mortgage industry.
Bell says the federal housing agency has plans to improve the industry with a roster of trained counselors and more oversight of the problem. He says a new federal requirement will have counselors review clients’ recurring financial obligations to help them decide if they can stay in their home, even with a reverse mortgage.
He says studies show abuses in the reverse mortgage industry are few and far between….and are more a societal problem than an industry problem.
Bell says his polls of Attorneys General, state bank regulators, and the Federal Trade Commission show incidents of complaints against reverse mortgage lenders are "minimal to non-existent."