HUD sponsored

Housing Counseling 2021 Conference: Addressing the Unique Requirements of the HECM Product


August 11, 2021 | 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EDT



HECM borrowers must meet specific requirements to be eligible for a reverse mortgage. Program eligibility considers the borrower's income and expenses, credit history, and assets as well as the property's value to qualify. In addition to those requirements, some HECM borrowers have unique needs that impact their ability to maintain the requirements outlined when obtaining a HECM loan. This session of the 2021 Office of Housing Counseling (OHC) Community Conference discussed and highlighted the distinctive needs of these borrowers and identified strategies, resources, and best practices to avoid HECM defaults.


  • John Olmstead, Senior Housing Program Officer, Office of Policy and Grant Administration, HUD's Office of Housing Counseling: John Olmstead is a Senior Housing Program Officer for the Office of Policy and Grant Administration with HUD's Office of Housing Counseling. John is a subject matter expert for HECM counseling for OHC. While in the Office of Single Family's Program Support Division and out stationed to the Burlington, Vermont HUD office, he conducted approximately 250 HECM counseling sessions within the State.
  • Sid Alvarado, Lead Housing Counseling Specialist, ICF, TA Provider: Sid Alvarado is a Lead Housing Counseling Specialist with ICF. With significant housing counseling experience, Sid focuses on utilizing educational platforms and economic development strategies to empower vulnerable populations.


  • Kathy L. Conley, Housing Specialist, Greenpath: Kathy Conley is a Housing Specialist at Greenpath Debt Solutions where she specializes in providing exceptional customer service to help people achieve their financial goals.
  • Steve Irwin, President, National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA): Steve Irwin serves as the President of NRMLA and oversees the association's initiatives to serve as an educational resource, policy advocate and public affairs center for consumers, lenders, and related professionals. His background includes experience with strategic planning, organizational design, portfolio acquisition, risk management and quality control. He received his B.A. from Grinnell College and his MBA from the University of San Francisco.
  • Kasey Watson, Program Director of HECM Servicing, HUD: Kasey Watson is the Program Director of HECM Servicing at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
  • Buz Zeman, Executive Director, Housing Options Provided for the Elderly (HOPE): Buz Zeman is the Executive Director of Housing Options Provided for the Elderly (HOPE) and has significant experience managing and supervising programs and services. He is responsible for all operations, administration, and fiscal management of HOPE, as well as supervision of HOPE staff resources.

HUD's Office of Housing Counseling

Tags: Housing Counseling Program

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