Financial Freedom: We didn't sell that reverse mortgage

A company slammed in a Senate hearing on Wednesday says: "It wasn't us"

Published December 14, 2007 4:59PM (EST)

As reported in Salon on Thursday, harsh words were directed towards the "reverse mortgage specialist" company Financial Freedom at Wednesday's Senate Special Committee on Aging hearing by at least one Senator and panel witness Carol Anthony, who testified that the company had wheedled her aging mother into an expensive and utterly unsuitable loan. On Friday, a representative of Financial Freedom contacted Salon, asserting that the company referred to during the testimony was not Financial Freedom. Here is Financial Freedom's statement in full:

Statement on U.S. Senate Special Committee On Aging Testimony Given By Carol Anthony

By: Joel A. Schiffman Senior Vice President/General Counsel Financial Freedom Senior Funding Corporation (Financial Freedom)

This morning, the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging heard testimony concerning reverse mortgages and the use of the proceeds of reverse mortgages for the sale of annuities. Applicable privacy laws preclude us from providing a detailed response to the specific allegations asserted against Financial Freedom by Carol Anthony at the hearing, but we feel compelled to provide some important background.

First, contrary to the allegation made during the hearing, Financial Freedom did not make the loan that was the subject of Ms. Anthony's testimony. Second, Financial Freedom fervently denies the allegations that have been made and we are comfortable that Financial Freedom acted properly at all times.

For the record, Financial Freedom simply purchased the loan after it had been closed by the original lender, Senior Freedom Corporation Funding and referred to in Ms. Anthony’s testimony as Senior Financial Freedom (which in no way is affiliated with Financial Freedom). Regretfully, the similarity between names has caused unwarranted focus on Financial Freedom. Moreover, it is the policy of Financial Freedom to require each purchased loan file to contain certification that the borrower received counseling from a HUD-approved counseling agency before the original loan was closed.

Financial Freedom representatives have volunteered to go the Washington after the first of the year to meet in person with the senators on the committee and theirs staffs, and this idea has been favorably received. We look forward to working with the committee on these important issues.

By Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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