The rotten-apple approach won't work in non-competitive markets where the general rule is that the information consumers need is not provided. An important example is the HECM reverse mortgage market, which may be the most dysfunctional and least competitive of all the major financial service markets.
The topic of Millennials opting out of homeownership has become a major phenomenon in recent years. There is plenty of research, as well as various theories, as to why this is happening. Wage stagnation, job instability, high debt levels, lack of ability to save for a down payment, and the need for employment mobility are commonly cited causes.
Senior homeowners looking to shop the HECM reverse mortgage market for the best price, meaning the lowest interest rate and origination fee, have a major problem. Unlike the standard mortgage market where price data are available from many sources (including third party multi-lender sites), in the reverse mortgage market prices are hard to find.
Some of the more interesting questions I receive from readers are about unusual situations that may affect their ability to qualify for a mortgage. The rules are not always crystal clear, which is why lenders continue to rely on underwriters whose stock in trade is good judgment. Here are a few illustrations.