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One on One with Leann Lanier, CRMP with Alpha Mortgage

Q: How did you get started in the mortgage industry?
Leann: I got my start in 1992 in an entry level position with a North Carolina based Mortgage company, and my interest grew from there. Over the years I have worked as a processor, a closer, an originator, a trainer, and a relationship manager. By 2015, I knew I wanted to stay in the mortgage business, but I wanted to do something a little bit different. At the time, I was working with Greg Gianoplus at another company, where he headed up the reverse mortgage division. I saw his passion for the reverse mortgage program, and realized it as a nice niche that I could focus on. He allowed me to join his team, and since then with Greg’s guidance, I’ve gone on to earn my designation as a Certified Reverse Mortgage Professional; one of only 146 in the Nation, to date. I’ve also expanded my market reach with licenses in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Florida.

Q: How do you see reverse mortgage programs evolving in the future?
Leann: I think that the HUD will continue to enhance the guidelines, continuing to make reverse mortgage programs even more safe for consumer. Reverse mortgage programs are no longer just for needs-based borrowers. They’re also being used as a retirement planning tool for the affluent mass. I think H4P, the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage for Purchase is gaining attention with builders, realtors, and consumers as well. We’re starting to see more proprietary reverse mortgage products in the industry – those not insured by the FHA – but have some benefits with less restrictive guidelines, and they allow for larger loan amounts.

Q: How do you work with other financial professionals in creating interest for reverse mortgages?
Leann: In addition to providing clients with mortgage solutions, part of my role as a Reverse Mortgage Banker includes educating consumers, industry networking and presentations, and involvement among different professional associations. I work closely with realtors and builders, and with financial planners who are including home equity in their clients’ retirement strategies. We offer those professionals our expertise on reverse mortgage and help them understand how to position the program so that they might offer them to their clients.

Q: What is the first piece of advice you would give to someone who is thinking about a reverse mortgage loan? 
Leann: 
The number one thing I would say is to do your homework. Learn all you can upfront about reverse mortgage programs before you take that big step. Take your questions to a Certified Reverse Mortgage Professional (CRMP). A CRMP is an expert in the industry who demonstrates knowledge and competency in the area of reverse mortgage lending, and a dedication to uphold high standards of ethical and professional behavior. You can visit the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA) website (www.nrmlaonline.org) to get a deeper understanding.

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Please keep in mind that the reverse mortgage industry in constantly changing and some of the information contained on this site may not be current. Please ask a licensed reverse mortgage professional for up-to-date guidelines.