FAR Creates Online Portal for Reverse Mortgage CE Courses
Leading reverse mortgage lender Finance of America Reverse (FAR) has rolled out a new online portal for its wholesale partners offering credits toward the Certified Reverse Mortgage Professional (CRMP) designation offered by the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA).
The designation aims to conform to certification best practices found in other financial services industries and is overseen by a governing body with its own dedicated policies and procedures that drive all decisions related to the awarding of a certification. While there are several ways to earn CRMP-specific continuing education (CE) credits needed to achieve or maintain designation status, FAR’s partner offering provides access to a suite of courses at any time and from any web browser.
Several NRMLA member companies are equipped to offer CE credits for the CRMP designation and actively do so, as long as the courses are submitted to the independent CRMP certification board. The committee ultimately makes decisions about approval, making suggestions or improvements to courses, or not approving them, according to NRMLA President Steve Irwin.
Designation and FAR certification process
In the case of this new portal, the courses offered by FAR have already been approved by the certification committee, and the company has taken the initiative to simply offer these existing and pre-approved courses in a new online environment. FAR is one of the two major lenders that offer the most CRMP CE courses – the other being Reverse Mortgage Financing (RMF) – and is currently licensed to offer 12 credit-eligible courses.
FAR currently has 11 employees with the CRMP designation and covers costs for those who seek it according to Sherry Apanay, director of development at the lender, who adds that the company has been offering CRMP courses on credit since 2015. By creating this portal, the company displays its commitment to the designation and the value it projects to potential customers, she says.
“I think it’s evident with the number of approved CRMP courses we offer that FAR is a strong supporter and we encourage every eligible licensed loan originator to earn the CRMP designation,” Apanay told RMD. “To be eligible, you must have funded at least 50 reverse mortgages or have at least three years of reverse mortgage experience.”
Courses are offered in “basic” and “advanced” categories. Basic courses are largely for those looking to meet the initial requirements to qualify for a CRMP, while existing Certified Professionals are limited to “advanced” level courses only to meet the requirements continues from CE.
FAR’s portal offers eight courses in the “basic” category and four more in the “advanced” category, all accessible at any time. All classes offered last 60 minutes. At the end, the student takes a quiz and if a score of at least 80% is registered, then a CRMP credit is awarded after transmission and approval by NRMLA. FAR wholesale partners are invited to take their courses via the “Xcelerate” portal.
Individuals must also submit eight CE credits each year to keep their certification current, she says, and these can be earned by taking online courses or attending NRMLA conferences.
“Especially in the current environment of the traditional mortgage market, we know there is a shift towards buying loans and there will be fewer refinances, so we think now is a great opportunity for initiators to expand their offerings and become familiar with a solution that could help their future customers,” says Apanay.
Landscape of Education in the Reverse Mortgage Industry.
As the primary certification available to members of the reverse mortgage industry, FAR places great importance on the support of the CRMP program and the professional association, explains Apanay.
“FAR is a strong supporter of the NRMLA and we greatly value the partnership,” she says. “We will continue to champion the CRMP title and add CRMP courses each year. Next month, FAR has two CRMP courses on the schedule that might be of interest to those pursuing continuing education credits: Financial Safeguards for Reverse Mortgage Borrowers and Insights into Understanding Our Aging Population. In particular, these continuing education programs and CRMP training are accessible to everyone, not just FAR employees and partners.
In terms of the broader educational landscape in the industry, Apanay believes having a standardized educational metric is beneficial, and CRMP is one such tool to help achieve a level of understanding of reverse mortgages, she says. .
“We want to make sure that those interacting with potential borrowers, partners and other stakeholders truly understand how reverse mortgages work and the guidelines associated with the different products available in the market today,” she said. declared to RMD. “If more lenders encouraged the CRMP designation, we could mitigate some of the risks we’ve seen with misinformation and help better dispel misconceptions about products and the industry.”
This is the latest evolution of FAR’s broader industry education initiatives. Last summer, the company announced the development of a new reverse mortgage education platform designed to equip its wholesale partners with relevant and customizable educational resources and materials that can expand product knowledge and provide better service potential to customers. Finance of America University (FAU), launched alongside additional offerings including the introduction of an enhanced Policies and Procedures (P&P) document center on its wholesale portal “Xcelerate”.
Visit FAR’s CRMP wholesale gate.