HECM Counselors Must Pass HUD-Approved Exam
November 16th, 2009
- Housing Counselors Have Tough Time Passing Reverse Mortgage Exam
- HECM Can Supplement Your Income
- What to expect from reverse mortgage counseling
- What to Expect from Reverse Mortgage Counseling
- Reverse Mortgage Counseling
Reverse mortgage counselors must pass a HUD-approved exam approved on the agency’s list of Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) counselors. The Department of Housing and Urban Development set up the HECM list due to complaints that some housing counselors were not knowledgeable about reverse mortgages.
Requirements for HECM Counselors
If you get an HECM reverse mortgage you must receive counseling. Reverse mortgage counselors must be employed by a HUD-approved housing counseling agency, by an affiliate of a HUD-approved intermediary, or by a state housing finance agency. Counselors also must:
- Successfully pass a standardized HECM exam administered by HUD.
- Complete training related to HECMs within the previous two years.
- Have access to technology that allows HUD to track the results of counseling to clients.
- Retake the HECM exam every three years.
What to Expect from Reverse Mortgage Counseling
You can search for an HECM counselor on the HUD Web site. The reverse mortgage counselor can help you learn more about these loans and what they can and cannot do for your situation. Your counseling session, which can be done in person or by phone, may even convince you that an HECM is not the most appropriate solution to your financial puzzle.
When you meet with a reverse mortgage counselor you can go over your current financial situation to determine where a reverse mortgage may or may not fit into the picture. Prepare a list of reverse mortgage questions so that you can get as much information as possible about the pros and cons of getting a reverse loan. Ask about the different types of mortgages and how your age and home value affect how large of a loan you can get. It’s also important to ask about the agency’s fees and whether free counseling is available.