Effective April 1st., Money Management International or MMI, will be offering free HUD counseling for seniors that wish to apply for a Reverse Mortgage. The funds are only temporary and could be quickly exhausted by the demand for their services.
Here is an article that provides additional information for this opportunity.
MMI To Reintroduce Free Reverse Mortgage Counseling on April 1
March 28th, 2012 | by Elizabeth Ecker Published in Counseling, News, Reverse Mortgage
As a result of newly awarded grant funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and an additional private grant, housing and credit counseling agency Money Management International will reintroduce free reverse mortgage counseling beginning April 1.
The counseling will be available free of charge by phone and in person across the 20-plus states in which it operates.
“We are delighted to reintroduce free counseling,” said Daniel Fenton, MMI’s Senior Housing Director. “Thanks to generous private support and HUD efforts to get their grants out quickly, we can remove the financial burden of a counseling fee for seniors.”
Prior to the new funding being made available, MMI charged a fee for the counseling after funding for the program was cut from the HUD budget. The new funding and the much shorter time frame for making grants available led to the shift away from that fee.
“Counseling in an environment with no HUD subsidies forced us to really focus on the cost effectiveness of the counseling process,” Fenton said. “The changes we have made mean that we can deliver more than 4,400 sessions free of charge before October 1.”
Wait times are expected to remain very short, MMI says.
Once funds are exhausted, MMI will reconsider the pricing, but anticipates the counseling industry overall to be able to support free counseling until October 1, when new government funding is expected to become available.
Other counseling agencies such as CredAbility, GreenPath and National Counsel on Aging have also said they will be able to offer free reverse mortgage counseling as a result of the funding, which totaled $4 million specifically for reverse mortgage counseling.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker
In the sincere desire to protect seniors from predatory lending, a new Bill has been proposed in Sacramento that will require seniors to meet personally at the office of a HUD approved agency to complete their counseling, prior to applying for the federally regulated Reverse loan.
HUD requires seniors who are applying for a Reverse loan to complete counseling through an approved counseling agency in order to determine if the federal loan program is a viable solution and if it will provide them benefit in lieu of selling their home. The process is done over the telephone and takes approximately one hour to complete as the counselor proceeds through a uniform procedure, answering the client’s questions and determining whether or not they may qualify for other government programs.
AB 2010 is a new Bill that has been introduced in Sacramento that would mandate face-to-face counseling on all senior reverse mortgage loan applicants without exception or regard to a senior’s particular situation. This will create an unnecessary hardship, as many are unable to drive to appointments and will end up creating delays and additional hardship for a senior and most likely, the cost of the counseling fee will increase as well.
The “intent” of this Bill is sincere, as it’s looking out for the “seniors” but is a redundancy in the extreme. There are already a multitude of laws and disclosures in place to protect them from financial abuse and this will only create a burden and another hurdle for them to over come.
Just my 2 Cents. I hope it does not get passed.