Julienne J. Joseph, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Single Family Housing, Federal Housing Authority (FHA), has made her debut since her appointment. announced The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) last week described to the reverse mortgage practitioner the importance it attaches to the program, given her direct experience with it, and her willingness to work with the reverse mortgage industry on an ongoing basis.
This was announced by DAS Joseph herself, speaking during the keynote speech at the virtual summer meeting of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA). Unbeknownst to NRMLA President Steve Irwin and many of the attendees prior to her speech, DAS Joseph described how she herself created home equity mortgage loans (HECMs) as a “past life” initiator, she said.
This first-hand experience with the product, as well as early interactions with the elderly couple and their family who were helped by the HECM product, gave DAS Joseph high praise for the HECM program and the role it can play in providing stability for retired seniors, she explained.
Early experience with HECM
Previously, Joseph served as Deputy Director of Public Housing Programs and Member Recruitment for the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). Joseph already had experience with the NRMLA and its members. However, she also expressed appreciation for the HECM product in her opening remarks, revealing that she herself created HECM while working as a mortgage source for companies including SunTrust and First Horizon National Corporation, according to Joseph’s LinkedIn profile. … …
“I understand the meaning not only as a person whose parents are elderly people, but also because I myself was born [reverse mortgages] me, ”DAS Joseph told the NRMLA attendees.
She then shared with the participants about her experience, which opened up a scenario for her that illustrated for her how HECM can affect the lives of older people based on her past career experiences.
“Earlier in my career, I heard about an African American couple living in Tidewater, Virginia – where I’m from, I’m from Virginia Beach – and they paid for their house, but they needed a little extra boost in their retirement income,” she explained. she is. “And they needed a little help to stay in their home and continue to live independent, self-sufficient lives.”
According to Joseph, this assistance came in the form of the HECM, a decision made after an initial consultation with a housing consultant. She explained that the couple was eligible for the loan, applied and eventually got it, and Joseph saw how their lives were progressing after that moment.
“They were both able to stay in their home and grow old during the golden years of their lives, which is what we all strive for,” she said. “But then, when they made the decision, the outstanding balance of HECM was cleared, and there was still a small amount of capital left over that was passed on to their adult children. So in my opinion, this is what makes HECM just a good option for seniors who can use equity in their home to allow them to stay in. [those homes]… “
Illustrative scenario of current policy
Joseph then turned to current HECM cases, describing how this scenario fits with HUD and White House leadership in using public housing programs specifically to help vulnerable populations, including the elderly and people of color, she explained.
“In this case, he also noted two of [Biden] The main goals of the administration: the first, which is one of the most vulnerable segments of the country’s population, has helped to continue to provide opportunities for elderly spouses at home, ”she said. “And secondly, it allowed them to pass on wealth to their children. It’s not over yet. HUD continues to improve the HECM program based in part on feedback from organizations such as [NRMLA]which helps many more elderly people age on the spot. “
HUD executives, including Department Secretary Marcia Fudge, stressed that HUD programs must both work as intended and work well, Joseph said to DAS.
“[Our programs must remain] are effective, and they must work to achieve greater equity in home ownership for underserved groups, ”said Joseph. “This includes those who are now homeowners but would have less opportunity to stay in their homes without the HECM program. This is the cornerstone of the existence of the HECM program. In the past year, on-site aging has become even more important as older people strive to protect themselves and their families from COVID-19. At HUD, on an ongoing basis and the entire team is focused on ensuring that the millions of people who have struggled over COVID receive the financial assistance they need. ”
This includes a $ 10 billion homeowner assistance fund that is part of the recently adopted 2021 American Rescue Plan and which was previously provided by HUD staff. described for RMD as the most legally applicable form of relief for reverse mortgage borrowers. Joseph explained that in addition to disbursing funds under this legislation, HUD remains focused on preventing foreclosures for vulnerable populations where possible, including seniors who are HECM borrowers.
“We are also actively involved in providing assistance to the best of our ability, under our own leadership,” she said. “And in our single family insurance programs under the new administration, we have expanded and expanded the mortgage benefits for both our forward mortgage program and the HECM program. The last thing any of us want is for our seniors to lose their homes because it’s terrible. We do not want this to happen to anyone, but especially our seniors during a pandemic, especially because they cannot pay taxes and insurance benefits. This is not a sufficient reason for our elderly people not to leave their homes. “
To reaffirm the Department’s commitment to this mission, DAS Joseph reiterated to the reverse mortgage audience the existence of various reverse mortgage assistance programs. including extension of the divestiture and eviction moratorium for borrowers with FHA-insured single-family mortgages for an additional period until July 31, 2021, and further extension of the start date of the original mortgage with COVID-19 waiver and equity capital conversion (HECM) Expansion to provide additional COVID-19 and HECM abstinence measures for selected borrowers.