WASHINGTON (1/6/10)—The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) has issued a regulatory comment call on the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council’s (FFIEC) proposed guidance for reverse mortgages. The guidance will seek to help financial institutions ensure that their risk management and consumer protection practices adequately address the compliance and reputational risk associated with reverse mortgages. A reverse mortgage is a loan against a residence to provide cash to assist with living expenses, typically in the form of a lump sum or fixed monthly disbursement to the borrower. The National Credit Union Administration is one of several financial institution regulators that comprise the FFIEC, and the agency will be applying the guidance to federally insured credit unions. Specifically, the guidance recommends that credit unions and other financial institutions "provide adequate information" and "qualified independent counseling" for consumers that opt to take part in reverse mortgage products. Financial institutions should also "inform borrowers about reverse mortgage alternatives that they already offer," according to the guidance. The guidance also addresses related policies, procedures, and internal controls and third party risk management, and the FFIEC will issue both supervisory guidance to financial institutions and sample disclosures once the guidance is finalized. CUNA has suggested that those who do submit comments provide input on tailoring the FFIEC guidance to credit unions. More generally, CUNA has also asked for suggested additions or deletions to the guidance. Comments are due to CUNA by Feb. 9. Comments solicited to the FFIEC should be submitted by Feb. 16. To view the CUNA comment call, use the link.