HomEquity Bank's reverse mortgage originations up 42% in Q4 2011

Record Set for Annual Originations

TORONTO, Jan. 9, 2012 /CNW/ - HOMEQ Corporation ("HOMEQ") today announced that in the fourth quarter of 2011 its subsidiary, HomEquity Bank, originated a record volume of reverse mortgages of $67.2 million - an increase of 42% over the fourth quarter of 2010.  On an annual basis, originations in 2011 were $239 million, up 16% over the record setting 2010.  As at December 31, 2011, HomEquity Bank's portfolio of reverse mortgages of $1.2 billion was 17% higher than at December 31, 2010.

"Since its inception 25 years ago, HOMEQ Corporation has analyzed the demographic wave of Canadian seniors and how our business can address these trends," said Steven Ranson, President and CEO.  "Now, the wave is here and we are meeting seniors' needs for improved cash flow in retirement.  This tremendous market demand is fuelling our strong growth in originations, while our disciplined approach to operating the business is resulting in healthy net income growth."

HomEquity Bank is the only national provider of reverse mortgages in Canada. Reverse mortgages are offered to Canadian homeowners 55 and older and have no income, credit or health qualifications. Unlike traditional loans, borrowers don't have to service the interest or repay the principal for as long as they own their home and are living in it.

In addition to helping Canadian seniors access home equity through its direct-to-consumer distribution model, HomEquity Bank partners with all of the nationally chartered major Canadian banks, as well as credit unions, mortgage brokers, investment and financial planning firms to offer its reverse mortgage solution.

HOMEQ Corporation expects to release its 2011 audited financial results in early March.

All figures reported in this press release are on an unaudited basis.

Forward Looking Statements

HOMEQ Corporation from time to time makes written and verbal forward-looking statements about business objectives, operations, performance, and financial condition, including the likelihood of HOMEQ's success in developing and expanding its business. These may be included in HOMEQ's and its predecessor's annual reports, regulatory filings, reports to shareholders, press releases, presentations and other communications. These forward-looking statements are based upon a number of assumptions and estimates that are inherently subject to significant uncertainties and contingencies, many of which are beyond the control of HOMEQ. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. HOMEQ does not undertake to update any forward-looking statement, whether written or verbal, that may be made from time to time.

About HOMEQ Corporation

HOMEQ Corporation's wholly owned subsidiary HomEquity Bank is the only national provider of reverse mortgages to homeowners aged 55 and over, Canada's fastest growing demographic segment. HomEquity Bank originates and administers Canada's largest portfolio of reverse mortgages under the CHIP Home Income Plan brand. As of December 31, 2011, the mortgage portfolio comprised approximately 9,000 reverse mortgages with an accrued value of $1.2 billion.

With over a quarter century of experience in the marketplace, HomEquity Bank enjoys a strong financial position with access to diverse and cost-effective funding sources.  With a seasoned management team, product expertise and skillful marketing, the organization is well positioned for market leadership and growth.

HOMEQ's shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol HEQ.  For more information, visit www.homeq.ca.

SOURCE HOMEQ Corporation

For further information:

Steven K. Ranson
President and Chief Executive Officer  
HomEquity Bank
Tel: 416-413-4663     
      Gary Krikler
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
HomEquity Bank
Tel: 416-413-4679


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