Face to Face Meeting or Not

Michael Borba (President Borba Investments, Inc. dba MLS Reverse Mortgage)

Some companies would like you to believe that these specialized loans are so intricate and confusing that Seniors can’t decide what to do without having their hands held. What am I referring to?

In recent past, I heard a couple of radio hosts discussing reverse mortgages on a very popular radio station. While I believe that it is very important to note that these particular radio host are representing a respected company in our industry, listeners need to be aware that they are on the radio because they have crowned themselves experts and purchased this time to promote themselves and their company. But, what have they said for me to write this article? Well, here it is; they boast that they are specialist in the industry and that reverse mortgages are the only thing or product that they sell. Furthermore, they promote that they only write mortgages if they visit you in person and give you the details. They tell you not to deal with any other company if they do not follow their same philosophy. These guys would like you believe that you are not capable of comprehending this seemingly complex product without them.

I say “bologna”. I own a very respected mortgage company as well. We are not a very large company owned by a very large nation wide insurance company working under a different name and poising a small local company. We are a family owned company and we pride ourselves on being very professional and courteous. We earn the respect of our clients. We cannot afford to represent one product only, nor would we. We believe that having all product types available are for the best of all of our clients. In fact, what if the reverse mortgage wasn’t the best choice for our client, we could offer our client the best financial product for their needs. I wonder if the other companies having only one product to offer would refer their client to another Broker if the reverse really wasn’t the best product or would they find it necessary to tip the scale their way and convince that client that the product they sell was in fact best for them so as not to loss a commission. It is also important to note that HUD/FHA do promote “no cross selling”, however, they reference is in regards to cross selling other non mortgage related products such as insurance annuities.

Next, lets discuss face to face visits. Certainly a face to face visit with one our clients is fun and informative. We value our clients and being in a position to see them face to face is sometimes beneficial for them, however, I do not believe that a face to face visit is imperative for them to learn. Seniors are not ignorant nor should they be treated as if they were children. When reverse mortgages were still a new product on the market HUD/FHA made it mandatory that originators had to have face to face visits with prospective Borrowers. About 1 1/2 years ago, HUD determined that the market has become so increasingly knowledgeable about these types of loans that they removed that requirement from our laws. Do not feel compelled to have someone show up at your home or be inconvenienced by having to go to someone’s office because it just isn’t necessary. If you are dealing with a Broker such as myself, you can communicate with me anytime by picking up a phone. I or any of our professional staff are available within seconds. If you or our professionals determine that you need additional informational and believe that a in home or face to face visit would make you feel more comfortable, we’ll be there. The most important reason certain Brokers push for in home visits is truly not for your benefit. Most will actively try to put themselves in front of you because they believe that once you have met them face to face, it will be more difficult for you to tell them “no”.

Please keep in mind that only HUD approved Brokers and Lenders can sell you an FHA approved reverse mortgage. We must all abide by the same rules and qualifications, so, there no real differences there. When interviewing for a reverse mortgage originator, be sure to feel comfortable with the individuals knowledge of reverse mortgages, their ability to educate you whether it be in person or via the telephone and try to ascertain if they are truly looking out for your best interest. One additional thought and I am aware that the original company I referred to in this article as well as my company are members of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA). NRMLA members do adhere to a standard of ethics which are necessary for providing Seniors fair and honest services.