My previous article outlined how the media attempts to paint reverse mortgages as the villain when a senior is defrauded by an unethical individual - even if the loan itself had nothing to do with it.
I’m not saying that there aren’t some bad reverse mortgage loan officers out there – every profession has bad eggs and reverse mortgages are no different. There are unscrupulous lawyers, plumbers, financial advisors (Madoff, anyone?), politicians, teachers, CPAs, police officers, etc.
Yes, there are reverse mortgage lenders who use high pressure sales tactics and deceptive advertising that looks like it is coming from the government. Yes, there are those who convince seniors to use their reverse mortgage money to buy investments or annuities that aren’t right for their situation. That doesn’t make the loan itself bad and it shouldn’t taint those in the industry who are conducting business the right way.
In situations where these tactics are used or an unethical person used a reverse mortgage as part of their ploy to defraud seniors, let’s place the blame where it belongs – on the person, not the loan.
If a contractor does a lousy job on your house, you blame the contractor - not the hammer he used. The same holds true with the reverse mortgage - don’t blame the tool, blame the person using it.
As a consumer, it is ALWAYS important to understand what you are investing in. It is ALWAYS wise to walk away from a high pressure salesperson – regardless of what they are selling. You should ALWAYS seek advice from your trusted advisors (family, friends, professionals, etc.). This is sound advice no matter what you are buying and is not unique to reverse mortgages.
All legitimate reverse mortgage lenders want to eliminate unscrupulous people from the industry. This is our livelihood and we are very protective of the older adults that we serve. We don’t need disingenuous people giving a good product a bad name.
So as you come across an article or TV segment about how a reverse mortgage was somehow involved in a scam, ask yourself if the reverse mortgage loan is the bad guy or if, well, the bad guy is the bad guy….
Mark Schmidt has been a reverse mortgage specialist since 2004. In that time, he has guided hundreds of seniors through the reverse mortgage process. He is a veteran in the industry at a time when many others are “jumping on the bandwagon” of reverse mortgages.
A graduate of the University of Illinois, Mark also has an MBA from Loyola University and twelve years as a financial analyst with Merrill Lynch and Bank of America. To understand the needs of his clientele better, he was designated a Certified Senior Advisor in 2007 by completing additional studies of the social, physical, and financial aspects of aging.
Mark is the reverse mortgage expert for www.caregiverlist.com and is the author of “Reverse Mortgages: Facts and FAQs” which was in Amazon.com’s top five list for reverse mortgage books before selling out.
For more information, call Mark Schmidt at 773-504-9633 or email Mark Schmidt directly.