As reverse mortgages become more mainstream, it will become increasingly important for mortgage brokers to master their intricacies. To assist in that, HomEquity Bank has launched a new reverse mortgage certification.
The Mortgage Broker Direct program is a no-fee certification process that provides approved brokers with:
- a professional designation as a Certified Reverse Mortgage Specialist
- 2.5 continuing education (CE) credits, and
- specialized marketing support.
Certified brokers will have two products available to them: HomEquity’s classic CHIP Reverse Mortgage and the Income Advantage (which is the more flexible of the two). HomEquity Bank says more than 500 brokers have already been certified in the program, and it expects another 500 will earn the designation by the end of October.
“Being a HomEquity Bank Certified Reverse Mortgage Specialist gives clients the confidence that their mortgage broker is presenting all options to them,” said Fiona Campbell, Partnership Director, HomEquity Bank. Other potential options (reverse mortgage alternatives) include HELOCs, taking on a renter, asset liquidation and/or downsizing, but each of these has their own pros and cons.
Perhaps the most enticing part for brokers is that certification lets them earn referral fees that are on par with selling a standard 5-year fixed mortgage. That’s a significant pay increase versus HomEquity’s old model. Moreover, brokers who sell these products enjoy virtually no rate competition (or buydown concerns) since HomEquity Bank has no major competitors. In exchange, certified brokers are expected to submit applications directly to the bank via D+H Expert, versus the simpler referral process of old.
HomEquity has been slowly but surely increasing its market penetration. Earlier this year it increased its maximum loan-to-value on reverse mortgages to 55%, and in some cases slightly more. This latest initiative should further pad the company’s annual originations, which rose 23% to $309 million in 2014.
Interested brokers can learn more about the company’s certification program here.