Monday, April 2, 2012

Regulators shouldn't promote "products”.

Well, the reverse mortgageers are putting on their Eastern regional convention in New York. Some of the online information about the events seems to have shifted since a few weeks ago when I was able to gather these notes about a promised speaker who "...will present evidence of his theory that the current older generation’s decision-making is more emotion-driven than fact-driven and how you can utilize that to separate your company from the pack...." But here's the "preliminary agenda”, and this seems to be the "final agenda".

Found a lovely new phrase on that "final agenda". It's the language introducing a big panel on "Industry Trends: Are We On the Way Back to 100,000 Plus Per Year" [capitalization sic]:
"What is happening in the market now and what is around the corner? Why are fixed-rates outselling ARMs? What will be the affect [sic] of financial assessment? Has the media taken a turn for the better?"
[Tentative answers from yrs truly: crud; more crud; because they're marginally less scary; either unfair selectivity or unaccustomed common sense depending who's interpreting this HUD letter; and I dunno, maybe, if enough of us leave industry-linked business journalism and start asking snarky questions instead.]

Also, per the Final Agenda, quite a few agreeable HUD officials have been over to chat with the mortgageers, including this one, quoted by the Reverse Mortgage Daily:
“There is enthusiasm for the HECM product,” said Karin Hill, director of HUD’s Office of Single Family Program Development. “HUD totally agrees with the importance of this product and we know there are a number of things we need to do to make sure the product is sustainable and is effectively being managed.”
Apparently Ms. Hill was at the conference last year too, because for $45 you can buy a recording of what she said from the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders' Association.

So riddle me this: should a public official be referring to a reverse mortgage as a "product"? As with the 1990s British rage for referring to the public as "customers" of government services, I think the choice of language is a symptom of something wrong.

No comments:

Post a Comment