When considering a reverse mortgage, choosing the right lender is important.  You might be familiar with big national or regional banks for regular mortgage loans, but reverse mortgages are a bit different.  Some smaller regional banks offer reverse mortgages, but big names like Wells Fargo, Chase, and Bank of America typically don’t.

If you go to one of these big banks asking about a reverse mortgage, they might direct you to a different loan specialist outside their bank.  Just like with any mortgage, it’s a good idea to look around and find a lender you’re comfortable with, especially one specializing in reverse mortgages.

ARLO explaining about banks that offer reverse mortgages

Banks vs. Non-Bank Lenders

Lenders fall into two categories: banks and non-banks.  Banks take some form of deposit or investment from consumers and lend that money to others.  Non-bank lenders or finance companies are funded in other ways.

One key difference between banks and non-bank finance companies is that banks are subject to more regulation — they also carry some insurance for consumer deposits from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).  Some reverse mortgage lenders fall into both categories: banks and non-banks.

The Shift Away from Reverse Mortgages: Why Major Banks Stepped Back

Historically, some big banks have offered reverse mortgages.  Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Metlife Bank were among some of the largest reverse mortgage lenders at one point in time.

However, after the financial crisis, Bank of America and Wells Fargo Bank discontinued their reverse mortgage operations.  Bank of America announced in February 2011 that it would exit the reverse mortgage business.  Wells Fargo made a similar announcement later that year.  MetLife exited banking entirely, selling their deposit business to GE Capital Retail Bank, FSB.

Wells Fargo originated more than 16,000 reverse mortgages in the prior year.  Bank of America stated that reverse mortgages were not part of the company’s “core” business at the time.  Wells Fargo stated that with home price unpredictability, it took time to determine whether reverse mortgage borrowers could meet their loan obligations.

Continuing the trend, American Advisors Group (AAG), a prominent national reverse mortgage market player, has also sold its servicing portfolio.  This event is part of the broader shift observed among financial institutions in how they approach the reverse mortgage sector, highlighting changes in market conditions, regulatory challenges, and strategic realignments within the industry.

Current Landscape: Banks That Offer Reverse Mortgages Today

There are still many banks that offer reverse mortgages.  They include The Federal Savings Bank, Magnolia Bank, Bank of England, University Bank, Allied First Bank, and others.  Many banks do not offer reverse mortgages but can point you toward a loan originator who can help you learn more.

Top Banks that Offering Reverse Mortgages in 2024

Banking Institution Years in BusinessReverse Mortgages Originated (Last 12 Mo.)Review RatingComplaintsSource
The Federal Savings Bank121014.53/5107Rating Source
Magnolia Bank105533.38/52Review
Source
Bank of England125281.67/518Rating
Source
University Bank2869N/A0Rating
Source
Allied First Bank29324.23/552Rating Source
This table represents a comprehensive directory of banks that have completed reverse mortgage transactions in the past year (As of December 28, 2023). Source: https://www.rminsight.net/wpcontent/uploads/2023/12/Originators_202310.pdf

Evaluating Non-Bank Lenders for Reverse Mortgages: Pros and Cons

There is not.  Reverse mortgages are unlike traditional mortgages, where a lender was known to originate a loan for their portfolio (which very few loans are these days, even with forward or traditional lending).  Most reverse mortgages closed today are the HUD Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), meaning they all follow the same HUD guidelines.

If all the loans follow the same guidelines, it comes down to the pricing and the service you receive from the lender.  So, even if you are a “bank person,” be sure to check the ratings and the services available at All Reverse Mortgage, Inc., and we will be happy to show you how to save more and get better service, all while getting the same loan!

Pros and Cons: Banks, Direct Lenders & Brokers

OptionProsCons
Bank- Familiarity and trust
- Face-to-face service
- Integrated banking services
- Limited mortgage options
- May have stricter qualifications
- Potentially longer processing times
Direct Reverse Mortgage Lender- Specialization in reverse mortgages
- Potentially quicker processing
- Direct communication with the lender
- More flexible qualifications in some cases
- No banking services integration
Mortgage Broker- Access to multiple loan products
- Expertise and advice in mortgage selection
- Good for complex financial situations
- Middleman fees
- Indirect communication with the actual lender
- Quality and expertise can vary
This table outlines the pros and cons of getting a mortgage from a bank, a direct reverse mortgage lender, and a mortgage broker.

Top FAQs

Q.

Which banks currently offer reverse mortgages?

Currently, there is a multitude of banks that offer reverse mortgages.  Those include The Federal Savings Bank, Magnolia Bank, Bank of England, University Bank, and Allied First Bank.
Q.

Does Chase Bank offer reverse mortgages?

As of January 2024, Chase Bank does not offer reverse mortgages.
Q.

Why don’t big banks offer reverse mortgages?

It has yet to be fully known why the big banks do not offer reverse mortgages at this time.  Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and Metlife Bank previously offered reverse mortgages but ceased all Originations of reverse mortgages many years ago.  It is widely speculated that the absence of financial requirements related to credit and income from HUD as a requirement to get a reverse mortgage led to the larger banks’ withdrawal from offering the program.  HUD did not implement any financial assessment guidelines until 2015, many years after the big banks exited the industry.
Q.

Is there an advantage to working with a bank over a mortgage lender?

Approximately 90% or more of reverse mortgages completed are under the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) insured by HUD.  The parameters and requirements for HECMs are the same for banks and mortgage lenders.  There is usually an advantage to working with a bank over a mortgage lender if that bank has a proprietary product that a lender does not have.  However, if your goal is the HUD HECM loan, there is no benefit to using a more expensive bank than a HUD-approved reverse mortgage lender.
Q.

Are there any proprietary reverse mortgages that banks offer that mortgage lenders do not?

As of January 2024, no bank offers exclusively proprietary or jumbo products.  All proprietary products in existence at this time were developed by mortgage lenders.
Q.

Does the bank take your home with a Reverse Mortgage?

No.  The reverse mortgage is just a loan on your home, and the title to your home remains with you, the homeowner.  You can sell your property or pay off the reverse mortgage anytime.

Q.

How can I be sure I’m choosing the right reverse mortgage company?

The best approach is to thoroughly research your decision and ensure you’re doing everything possible to keep the loan process moving smoothly without causing delays.  When researching lenders, check their online reviews on the Better Business Bureau and other unbiased rating sites.  Be wary of “rating agencies” owned by private entities funded by the lenders they’re reviewing, as these won’t provide a genuine, unbiased rating.  It’s important to remember that lenders can’t control everything, such as the appraisal process or appraised value.  Delays are inevitable in areas where FHA appraisers are backlogged.  However, good communication from your lender during these times is key.  All lenders must meet HUD requirements for the HECM program.  While there’s flexibility in how they meet these requirements, the core aspects of what they ask from you and the amount you receive, determined by HUD, will be nearly identical across lenders.  The only variation comes from interest rates and fees.  Therefore, you shouldn’t have to pay more or receive inferior service from one lender over another.  Start by getting several estimates from different lenders and compare the entire package, not just one or two fees.  Lastly, avoid being swayed by lenders claiming they service their loans.  The reverse mortgage servicing market is small, and servicing rights can be sold at any time, despite any claims made at the outset.  In the history of reverse mortgages, even the largest companies have sold their servicing portfolios at some point.  This includes AAG, Financial Freedom, Wells Fargo Bank, MetLife Financial, and Bank of America, all exiting the reverse mortgage servicing business.  Paying more for a loan based on servicing promises offers no additional benefits due to the HUD guarantees that come with all HECM loans.  Always choose what’s best for you, not the lender.

Summary

  • Lenders fall into two categories: Banks and non-banking lending institutions.
  • Since FHA insures nearly 99% of reverse mortgages available today, there is no advantage in using a bank to secure a reverse mortgage over a non-bank reverse mortgage lender or broker.
  • Large national banks exited the reverse mortgage space in 2012, citing difficulties with the regulatory environment (Dodd-Frank) and the inability to create underwriting overlays.  (Before HUD created financial assessment guidelines.)
  • Small banks still exclusively offer reverse mortgage loans, usually as a correspondent through larger reverse mortgage wholesale lenders.

Where can I get more information about reverse mortgages?

Try All Reverse Mortgage’s Calculator, which offers real-time interest rates and expert program recommendations.  If you have questions or comments about these banks, comment below or call our experts at (800) 565-1722.