Some small banks in New York are pushing reverse mortgages offered by Transamerica Corp.
The Community Bankers Association of New York State endorsed Transamerica in June as a provider of reverse mortgages, and five banks have agreed to market the loans.
One participant, Columbia Federal Savings Bank, has already received some applications, said Linda Hubbard, vice president of communications at San Francisco-based Transamerica.
The other New York banks offering the loans are Roslyn Savings Bank, Ulster Savings Bank, Warwick Savings Bank, and Country Bank, a commercial bank based in Carmel.
Offering reverse mortgages through community banks is fairly new. Community banks are likely to see the arrangement as a way to provide service to their existing customers, Ms. Hubbard said.
Transamerica has been in the reverse mortgage business since 1993 and saw the trade-association relationship as an opportunity to expand distribution beyond its sales force, she said.
In a reverse mortgage, the borrower usually receives the proceeds of the loan in monthly installments and makes no payments. Interest accrues on the balance, which is paid when the house is sold. The mortgages are designed for senior citizens who may need monthly income and who have equity in their homes.
Transamerica offers several kinds of reverse mortgages. One it announced recently is the HouseMoney Cash Account. This lets the borrower draw money a little as a time, as needed, rather than getting monthly payments.
Transamerica will underwrite and service the loans.
The HouseMoney Cash Account is available to homeowners 65 and older whose home equity is at least $100,000. The Cash Account minimum is $500 and is available in California, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.
Transamerica is talking to financial institutions in other states to set up similar arrangements, but is not talking to any other banking associations.