MetLife Purchases EverBank Reverse Mortgage LLC

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MetLife Bank NA, a subsidiary of MetLife Inc., New York, is purchasing EverBank Reverse Mortgage LLC, Bloomfield, N.J., from EverBank, Jacksonville, Fla. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.The transaction is expected to be finalized by July 31.

It was in March 2007 that EverBank purchased the interest of the Bank of New York in what was then called BNY Mortgage Co. LLC. Prior to that, Bank of New York and EverBank were partners along with the company’s management. In November, BNYMC was renamed EverBank Reverse Mortgage.

Dan DeKeizer, vice president and actuary, MetLife Retirement Strategies Group, said the focus of MetLife Bank is on helping seniors maximize their retirement income, including helping them covert their assets into income to support the lifestyle they want.

A number of these individuals have a need to access their home equity, whether through a home sale or taking out a reverse mortgage. He noted that for many Americans aging in place is important to them and a reverse mortgage is a natural solution.

Met Life Bank entered the reverse mortgage business less than a year ago, Mr. DeKeizer said, and was looking for potential partners for its origination platform. Back then, the company felt BNYMC was the best place for them to outsource to.

Met Life Bank appreciated the talents of the staff at BNYMC as well as their innovative product offerings. Bringing the two together “looked like a natural fit,” he said, adding Met Life was “very impressed with them.” Met Life will not use the reverse mortgage client base to cross-sell investment or annuity products. Its policies do not recommend reverse mortgage proceeds to be used by seniors to purchase annuities or investments, Mr. DeKeizer said. Met Life is the second insurer to purchase a major player in the reverse mortgage space. Last summer, Senior Financial Inc., a subsidiary of Genworth Financial Inc., Richmond, Va., agreed to acquire Liberty Reverse Mortgage Inc., Rancho Cordova, Calif., in a $50 million transaction.

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