Reverse Mortgage Funding, LLC (RMF) has acquired a portfolio of mortgage servicing rights (MSRs) and other assets from industry-leading lender American Advisors Group (AAG), which consists of more than 75,000 loans totaling $12.1 billion in unpaid principal balance (UPB). This is according to a communication alert the company sent to its partners which was obtained by RMD.
The acquisition is seen as a milestone for RMF, and now positions the company as the top private-sector reverse mortgage servicer in the United States according to the company. Celink will continue to sub-service reverse mortgages in which RMF is the primary servicer. When reached, representatives for RMF declined to comment on the portfolio acquisition. Terms for the deal have not been disclosed.
Representatives for AAG provided some additional insight into the transaction, as well as information for borrowers affected by a potential change.
“Servicing transfers are a common business transaction in the mortgage industry,” an AAG spokesperson told RMD. “The MSR transfer impacts most AAG reverse mortgage loans that funded through May 31, 2021. The transfer does not alter the terms of the loans or interrupt the servicing of those loans. Customers whose loans have been transferred were notified mid-November about the transfer and can call 1-833-801-0680 with any questions.”
Additionally, recently-appointed AAG President and COO Ed Robinson described the transaction as one which will allow the company to make greater investments in the customer experience.
“This transaction will facilitate AAG making disciplined investments into the core of our business, namely: technology, expansion of key initiatives, and the customer experience, as our customers are the heart and soul of what drives us at AAG,” he said.
RMF credits the relationship the company maintains with Starwood Investment Group as a key driver of the company’s investment activity in the reverse mortgage space. In December 2019, RMF parent company Reverse Mortgage Investment Trust (RMIT) announced that it agreed to be acquired by an affiliate of Starwood, a global private investment firm that is focused on real estate investments, and which maintains more than $60 billion of assets under management.
The Starwood affiliate completed the acquisition of RMIT/RMF in January 2021, and it was made clear that Starwood plans to position RMIT and RMF for greater levels of growth. Starwood was encouraged by the increasing prevalence of proprietary reverse mortgage products according to RMIT Chairman and CEO Craig Corn upon the original announcement of the acquisition.
“This is an exciting opportunity for RMIT/RMF, as Starwood can be the catalyst to help accelerate our growth,” Corn said at the time. “Over the last few years, Starwood has been an innovator in non-agency mortgages, helping grow the industry into the success it is today. Starwood believes the private reverse mortgage sector has a similar opportunity for growth and believes RMF is the perfect platform to help expand the market.”
RMF has made several notable reverse mortgage portfolio purchases in the past from other lenders. In late 2018, RMF acquired a $4 billion portfolio from now-defunct reverse mortgage lender Live Well Financial, an acquisition that placed RMF as the owner of the largest Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM)-backed Securities (HMBS) issuance portfolio industry-wide at the time.
More than three years prior to the Live Well purchase, in May 2015, RMF acquired the reverse mortgage portfolio from Sun West Mortgage Company, which consisted of reverse mortgage servicing rights totaling $1.8 billion – the complete portfolio amount of Sun West’s previous holdings, as noted in Ginnie Mae data from earlier that year.