Last week, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) sworn in several new members of its Federal Housing Advisory Advisory Committee, including a new representative from the reverse mortgage industry. Carol Dujanovich, Vice President of Operations at Michigan-based 1st Nations Reverse Mortgage and now a member of the committee, joined the latest episode of The RMD Podcast to discuss the implications of her membership for herself, as well as for the industry. in general.
While, like many people, Dujanovich has found his place in the reverse mortgage industry over time, his dedication to the business has only grown over time and is now culminating with this new appointment, an achievement for her as well as the visibility of the reverse mortgage industry. in the eyes of the HUD. Dujanovich also shares that she has had conversations with HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge, which may provide insight into her perspectives on the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) program and offer thoughts on prioritizing the place of aging for HUD and its leaders in the Joe Biden. administration.
Become aware of the potential service of the committee
When asked how she realized the potential she had to serve on the committee, Dujanovich described her desire to get involved as stemming from the importance of advising the reverse mortgage equation to borrowers.
âIn part of HUD’s communications, they sent a request to the mortgage industry, looking for candidates to send a request to the advisory board,â she said. âHousing counseling for reverse mortgages is an integral part of it, and I’ve always been interested in the counseling aspect because I’m involved in the business on a daily basis with every loan that comes in. So I submitted my resume and references, hoping to represent the industry.
An additional element of his desire to join the committee stems from the potential for greater representation of the reverse mortgage industry, which the company has had to strive for in the past, and reverse representation within it. specific committee was limited.
“The council has citizens of the mortgage industry, they also have real estate [industry participants], so someone representing all the different areas. I wanted to represent the mortgage aspect, more precisely the reverse. There was a representative from the reverse industry, and that was on the board side several years ago. But, I’m told that no one has represented reverse mortgages on the committee before. “
In terms of what the committee generally aims to accomplish, making homeownership easier for more people is the name of the game, Dujanovich says.
âIt’s really a way of helping people figure out how to get and keep their property, maintain their homes and, in my case, help age in place,â she says. âTo make sure everyone understands that there are resources if you are faced with an eviction or a foreclosure, that there are resources. And so many times, especially in the current pandemic climate, we have encountered obvious housing issues. “
The coming year has a “rather aggressive schedule,” Dujanovich said, and the committee hopes the general consumer population will understand many of the additional options and services that have become available in the wake of the pandemic.
How reverse mortgages interact with committee work
In addition to the immediate need to address serious issues in the US housing system at this time, the committee’s work could interact with the reverse mortgage industry by allowing more visibility to communicate that reverse options are available to seniors. who may face COVID-induced housing instability. , she says.
âWell, one thing we’re going to pay special attention to is that we have a number of housing initiatives in place right now,â says Dujanovich. âAnd most importantly, we will be working closely with the consulting agencies that exist. As I said, every reverse transaction requires borrowers to attend an counseling session, either face-to-face or [over the] Telephone. Our goal is to educate and make sure everyone understands that there are options. And above all, with HECM advice, there are people they can turn to for help.
HUD Secretary’s Perspectives and How the Committee’s Work Can Now Include the Contribution of Reverse Mortgages
Dujanovich clarified, saying reverse mortgage representation on the committee may be more critical now than it has ever been before.
âThe goal of the whole committee is to keep homeownership going,â she says. âThe reverse industry is a very small segment of mortgages, and I think in my conversations with the secretary [Fudge], [weâve discussed] expand people’s understanding of the reverse industry.
Work already underway includes advice for potential buyers and those facing foreclosure, homeless veterans and many more. However, that leaves a clearly overlooked segment of the population, Dujanovich says.
“[The] segment now that I think has been really overlooked [is the] the primary borrower, âshe said. âSo no one asked for a seat on the committee, but I guess I presented the opportunity to have someone to represent the inverted world. “
When asked explicitly about his interactions with Secretary Fudge, Dujanovich says that access to the secretary provides a unique opportunity for the industry to be heard by an official at the cabinet level of the federal government. Yet Dujanovich also feels a certain degree of receptivity to reverse mortgages on Fudge’s part, she says.
âI think we’re getting a little more attention,â she explains. “I think the [biggest] problem they are facing right now is the housing shortage. So I don’t think we’ll be at the top of the list yet, but I think we’ll get there. With the pandemic, everyone is experiencing a shortage of standard housing [and more] affordable housing. But I think being a member of the committee [will make our industry] a little more in the foreground, it will give us a voice, and I hope I can do that and represent our industry.
Listen to the latest episode of The RMD Podcast for the full interview with Carol Dujanovich.