Solving The Reverse Mortgage Puzzle For You

Solving Reverse Mortgage PuzzleI’ve always loved doing puzzles and problem solving whether doing jig saw puzzles or finding resources and solutions to various issues.  Much of this led me to the reverse mortgage industry back in 1999.  Unfortunately, I come across many who still find the reverse mortgage puzzling.  So let me help solve this puzzle for you.

We assisted solving Marion’s puzzle.  Recently widowed, Marion’s income changed because with the passing of her husband she was now only receiving one Social Security check.  Having recently moved to a new home, she did the reverse mortgage to do some updates on her home and improve her cash flow into her future retirement years.

The majority of seniors want to remain in home.  Depending on report, it’s somewhere between 80% and 90+%.  A reverse mortgage is an option to help them remain in their home and have improved cash flow for current or future needs.

A reverse mortgage is a mortgage like any other mortgage where borrowers retain title and borrow against their home equity, but the reverse mortgage offers special terms for seniors home owners 62 and older.

The Home Equity Conversion Mortgage, or HECM, is the most common reverse mortgage and only one available in Minnesota.  The HECM was first insured by FHA in 1989 for the purpose of providing a valuable financing alternative for senior homeowners to help them remain in their home and have access to funds by withdrawing a portion of their home equity.

To determine the Principal Limit or the maximum funds available at closing, HUD’s formula is the age of the youngest borrower or non-borrowing spouse, the Expected Interest Rate, the program chosen and the lower of the home value or FHA Lending Limit, currently $636,150, or in the case of a home purchase or home purchased in the last 12 months, the lower of the appraised value or purchase price.

Borrowers must meet HUD’s Financial Assessment requirements to qualify which means we obtain documentation demonstrating their ability and willingness to pay property taxes and insurance into the future.  In some circumstances a Life Expectancy Set Aside (LESA) may be required to cover the property taxes and insurance.

The net amount available is based on the Principal Limit, less closing costs, paying off any mortgages, liens and/or judgements, and the LESA if required.

If all available funds are used to pay off current mortgages or liens, the borrower’s cash flow will still improve because the monthly mortgage payment is eliminated.

Unlike other mortgages, an advantage for seniors is with the reverse mortgage there are no monthly payment requirements although borrowers are responsible for paying property taxes and insurance.  While monthly payments aren’t required, one can make a payment or payments when and how much they choose.

The interest rate depends on the program chosen and is either adjustable or fixed.  While an adjustable rate often scares people, that is because on a conventional mortgage if the interest goes up, so does one’s payment.  With the reverse mortgage, because monthly mortgage payments are not required, this is not a factor.  It only impacts the amount that needs to be repaid when the loan is due and payable.

Offering more flexibility with the Adjustable Rate option, the funds available can be received in a lump sum, monthly payments, a line of credit or a combination of these.  The monthly payments can be structured as one needs (term) or for life as long as the home is the primary residence (tenure).  Funds in the line of credit grow so more funds can be available in the future.  The line of credit growth rate is a feature that makes the reverse mortgage a tool for financial and long term care planning.

The fixed rate option requires funds to be pulled only as a lump sum draw.  The draw amount is limited to the 60% of the Principal Limit (an additional 10% is available in some circumstances).

Because the closing costs are up-front, they are often perceived as high.  On conventional mortgages people usually focus on the payment and interest rate, not really looking at the closing costs so they don’t realize the costs are comparable.  However, reverse mortgage closing fees are comparable to the traditional closing costs of a conventional loan including an origination fee, appraisal, title fees, title insurance and recording fees.  As a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insured loan, with the HECM borrowers also pay the FHA Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP).

The FHA MIP offer significant benefits for reverse mortgage lenders, investors, as well as the borrowers.

  • The insurance protects the investors against risk and loss.

There are also advantages and increased borrowing power for the borrowers with FHA insuring the reverse mortgage.  These  include:

  • Guaranteeing the funds are available for you, the borrower, during the term of the loan.  With HELOCs the bank/lender can call the loan due and payable if there are changes with the bank, for example they merge with another bank/lender or they close their doors.  Insured by HUD, HECMs are still available even if something happens to the lender.
  • Guaranteeing the reverse mortgage lender against default or shortfalls means the interest rates are lower compared to other mortgages for the benefits one receives with the reverse mortgage.  i.e.,
    • With conventional loans the interest is impacted by one’s credit score.  With the reverse mortgage one’s credit, even if it’s poor, does not impact the interest rate.
    • The FHA insurance on the HECM loans keep the interest rate low and allows more dollars to be loaned than with proprietary programs.  Proprietary reverse mortgage programs have a higher interest rate to cover the lender’s and investor’s risks and loss.
  • Providing a line of credit growth rate (available only with reverse mortgages).  The tenure monthly payment option also has a growth rate factored in when the tenure payment is calculated.
  • As a reverse mortgage it is a non-recourse (no personal liability) loan.  What this means is if the loan balance on the reverse mortgage is higher than what the fair market value is on the home when the loan is due and payable, the FHA MIP will cover the difference to the lender rather than the borrowers or their heirs having to come up with the difference.

When the loan becomes due and payable, generally when the borrowers pass away, sell or move, the repayment amount is the lesser of the loan balance or fair market value of the home.  If there is remaining equity, it goes to the borrowers or their heirs.  As a non-recourse loan there is no personal liability to the borrowers or their estate for repayment.  If an heir wants to keep the home, they can do so by paying off the reverse mortgage loan balance.

Lee who had some credit card debt, and while still working and having some retirement accounts he needed improved cash flow and didn’t want to tap the retirement accounts.  Doing the reverse mortgage allowed him to access cash to pay his credit card debt and do some home improvements.  It also meant he didn’t have to pull funds from his retirement accounts, but leave those for the future, maybe even being able to leave his heirs some funds.  And with the reverse mortgage line of credit, when he does retire, he’ll still have some funds available to replace his income.

Sometimes there are situations that pose puzzles during the process that I face in order to be able to do the loan for borrowers.  Through my experience and knowledge of the product and industry along with my problem solving skills, I work hard to solve the puzzle and will do so if at all possible.

Another puzzle we helped solve was for Marilyn.  During the probate of her mother’s estate, Marilyn wanted to keep the family home.  Sorting through the process of the probate and transferring the home’s title to Marilyn, the reverse mortgage provided the funds to pay her siblings their shares of the estate so she could keep the home and live there as her primary residence.

Reverse Mortgage Puzzle SolvedIf you’d like to improve your retirement cash flow now or for the future and want to solve the reverse mortgage puzzle, contact us if you are in Minnesota.  As your local broker, we work with several lenders and provide free information and facts with no obligation, meeting in person whenever possible.

For other states, contact your local reverse mortgage specialist who is a broker, one who works with several lenders, has their Broker License/NMLS and preferably holds the Certified Reverse Mortgage Professional (CRMP) designation.

© 2017 Beth Paterson, CRMP, Beth’s Reverse Mortgage Blog, 651-762-9648

This material may be re-posted provided it is re-posted in its entirety and without modifications and includes the contact information, copyright information and the following link:  http://wp.me/p4EUZQ-1wA

Related Articles:

Blog posts’ information is current as of date post published, program is subject to change in in the future. Contact us for current information, 651-762-9648.

This site or the information provided is not from, or approved by, HUD, FHA, or any US Government or Agency.

Should you do a HECM Reverse Mortgage or leave an inheritance?

Leaving home as inheritance with reverse mortgage?“I want to leave an inheritance for my kids.”  “I want my son to get my house.”  “The reverse mortgage will eat up my inheritance.”  “The reverse mortgage isn’t good for the kids.”  “The reverse mortgage should only be done with those who don’t have children.” These are statements that are often seen or heard when a reverse mortgage is mentioned.

My questions are, do the children have the money needed to cover the costs of mom’s or dad’s needs today if they don’t have the money and don’t do a reverse mortgage?  Will they have the funds in the future when there are needs?  Do the children even want the house?

Even financial planners helping their clients have funds for planning their long-term needs who suggest exploring a reverse mortgage hear, “I want to leave the house to my children.”

Let me share a story.  As I always do, I have a discussion on the needs and desires of one who is considering a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) or a reverse mortgage.  In this one particular situation, the woman, Chris*, was living off her Social Security income of about $600 a month.  She needed new teeth, new glasses, some new clothes, and her home needed some repairs.  She loved going to plays but couldn’t even afford the community plays for $5 to $10.  Doing a reverse mortgage would help Chris “live with more” so she completed the application.

Son concerned about inheritance with reverse mortgageA few days later she called to say she decided not to proceed. When I inquired why the change, she replied that her son didn’t want her to do it.  After some exploratory questions as to why, she said her son wanted her home after she had passed away so he could rent it out and make money.

How outrageous is this?

Was she really going to do without all the things she needed as basic necessities not to mention just being able to have some money for a few extra things to enjoy life while she’s still alive just so her son could make money off her house after she passed away?

While I was astounded by this response, I kept my tongue in check and calmly asked her if her son was going to provide the money she needed now or was she going to do without the glasses, teeth, clothes, and home repairs so her son could benefit after she passed away.  She said, “Of course not, he doesn’t have the money to help me.”

In another situation, the daughter was living with her parents, Gale and Glen*, helping them around the house and with their care.  The couple decided to do the reverse mortgage to pay off their current mortgage because when something happened to one of them the other could not afford to make the monthly mortgage payments on their current conventional mortgage.

The daughter was concerned about where she’s going to live when both of her parents are no longer in the home as their primary residence.  Even without her parents doing the reverse mortgage, with their current mortgage in place, she would have to figure out a way to pay off that mortgage to remain in the home.

  • Is living from Social Security check to Social Security check just to get by and maybe doing without some of the things in life that give dignity such as having lunch with friends, getting one’s hair done, or having cable TV really a good option over a reverse mortgage? 
  • Maybe you have some savings, funds in retirement plans, is it enough to cover your long-term care needs?
  • Why should one be more concerned about leaving an inheritance than having their independence and control of their life and living comfortably?
  • Why do children think they deserve an inheritance rather than their parents being able to live comfortably, have security, independence, dignity and control of their lives? 
  • Aren’t these the same things every one of us wants? 
  • Why would one deny your parents of living life comfortably?

Even if one’s children are able to help their parents financially today, do their parents really want to be dependent on their children?  What happens if “life happens” to their children, they lose their job, get sick, have to come up with money to pay for their kid’s college, etc. and they no longer have the funds to help their parents?  This can impact everyone!

Reverse Mortgage provides funds for enjoying lifeMaybe one doesn’t have immediate needs for funds as Chris did.  In planning for the future, using the reverse mortgage line of credit that grows over time, could be beneficial to provide funds when those needs arise.  The reverse mortgage funds could mean one doesn’t have to tap their other retirement funds or they could supplement them.

What if one needs home care or has medical expenses?  Why should one do without needed care so they can leave an inheritance?  Why do children think they should receive an inheritance over their parents having the dignity of paying for their own care and expenses?

If one moves into senior housing, whether independent living, assisted living or skilled care, does one really think there will be funds left to leave for an inheritance?  Or will the children have to help pay for the senior housing?  Whether private pay or services paid by Medicaid or other government funds, there may not be an inheritance.

And whose money is it anyway?  Who should benefit from the use of funds or assets that the senior worked so hard for?  Shouldn’t the money and assets be used for whatever one’s parents need or want?

Many seniors say, “My kids are doing better than I am.”  This is often the case but even if this isn’t the case, why should one be concerned about leaving money after their gone?

A reverse mortgage is a loan against one’s home to allow seniors 62 and older to remain in their home with security, independence, dignity and control.  The most common, and only one available in Minnesota, is the FHA insured HECM.  The reverse mortgage offers many benefits including:

  • No monthly mortgage payment requirements (one must abide by the terms of the loan including paying paying property taxes, keeping hazard insurance on the home and abiding by the terms of the loan)
  • Income or credit are not used to qualify for a low interest rate.
  • The loan is due and payable when the home is no longer the primary residence of the borrower(s) or on the 150th birthday of the youngest borrower.
  • As a non-recourse loan, if the loan balance is higher than what the home can be sold for at fair market value, the borrower or their estate are not responsible for the difference.  And the opposite is true too, if the loan balance is lower than what the home is sold for, the borrower or their estate receives the difference.
  • The borrower remains the owner of the home with the title staying in the name of the borrower(s).

In addition, the reverse mortgage has many protections, likely more than any other financial product or service.  To learn what these are read, “You Need To Know Reverse Mortgage Borrowers Are Highly Protected.”

I’m happy to say Chris did proceed with her reverse mortgage.  And for years afterwards I received at least one call, sometimes a couple calls, a year saying she’s so relieved to have the money to meet her needs.  Besides the initial needs, she has had funds to fix her car when it needed some repairs, to cover some medical expenses and she had funds to take a trip to attend a family wedding.  And yes, she’s even enjoying the community plays every now and then.

Once Chris passes away her son will have the opportunity to keep the home by obtaining a conventional mortgage to pay off the reverse mortgage.  If he’s renting the property out, the rent payments he will be receiving will cover the mortgage payment – he could still make money if priced accordingly.  In the meantime Chris is remaining in her home with the security, independence, dignity and control she deserves and enjoying her life.

For Gale and Glen’s daughter when they are no longer in the home, if she wants to stay in that home, she would need financing to pay off her parent’s reverse mortgage.  This may be done by obtaining conventional loan, a reverse mortgage if she qualifies, or from funds as a beneficiary of a life insurance policy or other retirement programs.

So what do you think is better?  Doing without today just so a child can have an inheritance or the senior being able to fulfill one’s needs and wants while they are alive?

Contact us if you are in Minnesota.  As your local broker, we work with several lenders and provide free information and facts with no obligation, meeting in person whenever possible.

When you decide to do a reverse mortgage make sure you work with a local originator or loan officer who specializes in reverse mortgages, has years of experience and knowledge in reverse mortgages in your state, preferably holds the Certified Reverse mortgage Professional (CRMP) designation, licensed in your state, is a broker, working with various lenders, and is willing to meet with you to review the details, before the application, during the application and at closing.

I would caution about working with an originator from another state who is mailing all the documentation, including the application and not “meeting” with you to explain and review what you are signing. (The lenders in another state may send a notary for application and/or closing – they are not licensed mortgage brokers so can NOT answer questions, they are there only to verify your signature.)  Ask for references and find out if the loan originator will be there for you even after the loan has closed.  If you feel pressured, call another originator.  You can find a list of questions to ask an originator at our webite:  www.RMSIDAC.com.

To ensure that borrowers understand reverse mortgages HUD requires anyone doing a reverse mortgage to complete counseling through a third-party.  They will review the program and discuss other options that may be available.

*Borrowers’ situations are real; borrowers’ names changed to protect their identity.

© 2017 Beth Paterson, Beth’s Reverse Mortgage Blog, 651-762-9648

This material may be re-posted provided it is re-posted in its entirety without modifications and includes the contact information, copyright information and the following link:  http://wp.me/p4EUZQ-1ud

Related articles:

Blog posts’ information is current as of date post published, program is subject to change in in the future. Contact us for current information, 651-762-9648.

This site or the information provided is not from, or approved by, HUD, FHA, or any US Government or Agency.

Meet our HECM Reverse Mortgage Borrowers

Couple benefits from eliminating monthly mortgage paymentsThere are numerous ways homeowners use their Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) proceeds.  Meet our borrowers. . .

Eliminate Mortgage Payments:  Lisa and George** had a small mortgage remaining on their home.  It was difficult to make the monthly payments so they did a Reverse Mortgage to eliminate the payments.  There was a balance that they left in a Line of credit for future use.
(Borrowers are still responsible for paying property taxes, insurance, HOA Dues & maintaining home.)

Maintain Lifestyle:  Helen and Harold did a Reverse Mortgage to afford to take their annual trip to Florida during the winter months.  They are thankful they are able to maintain their lifestyle.

Prepare for Emergency:  Earl and Ruth did a Reverse Mortgage to be prepared for an emergency if something were to happen to one of them.

Protect Other Investments:   To have extra spending money without having to cash out their CDs or other investments, Jerry and Carol decided to do a Reverse Mortgage.

Supplement Retirement Income:  Dale and Kevin were two brothers who lived in the home where they were raised.  Being both were over 62 and owners of the property, they were able to do the Reverse Mortgage to supplement their retirement income.

Eliminate Mortgage Payments*, Home Upgrades and Line of Credit:  Dee and Peter did a reverse mortgage to eliminate their current mortgage payment*, take a lump sum for some home upgrades, receive an extra $300 a month in monthly payments to supplement their Social Security, and still have funds in a line of credit for future use.

Purchase a Car:  Bart and Tina wanted to purchase a new car but didn’t have much in the way of savings.  With a Reverse Mortgage they were able to purchase a car.

Purchase Hearing Aide and Home Repairs:  Joe needed a hearing aide but couldn’t afford it with his Social Security benefits.  Rather than taking money from his savings, he did a Reverse Mortgage.  He also used some of the money to put new siding on his home.

Pay Family Caregivers:  Sam and Frances were both in frail health.  Two of their daughters decided to care for their parents rather than hire outside services.  Since they had quit their jobs and it was affecting their family’s financial situation, Sam and Frances decided to do the Reverse Mortgage and use the funds to pay their daughters for the care they were providing.

Reverse Mortgage provides funds for travelingTraveling:  Helen was struggling to meet her living expenses with just her Social Security Benefits.  She also had always dreamed of traveling.  The Reverse Mortgage provided the extra cash she needed and she was able to fulfill her dreams of traveling.

Not Rely on Children:  Nancy had accrued some debt including some credit cards and borrowing from her children.  She did a Reverse Mortgage to pay off those debts and to have a line of credit available for future needs.  She also enjoyed having some extra cash to purchase some things to fix up her home and to go to lunch with friends on occasion.  Because her children had their own expenses and needs, they were relieved that their mother had done the Reverse Mortgage and could live more comfortably without relying on them.

Home Repairs:  Elaine needed some repairs done to her home.  They were more than she could afford on her limited income.  She did the Reverse Mortgage to pay for the repairs and to have extra funds for supplementing her income.

Home Health Care to Stay In Home:  Robert did not want to go to a nursing home, yet he needed long term care.  George, Robert’s son, decided they should do a Reverse Mortgage to pay for the home health care needed to keep Robert at home where he had raised his children.  Robert is happy because he is living where he chooses.  George is happy the family can fulfill Robert’s wishes of staying in his home and still receive the needed care.

Pay Property Taxes:  Dorothy was behind on her property taxes and facing losing her home to the county.  She did the Reverse Mortgage, paying off her back taxes and setting up a Life Expectancy Set Aside (LESA) to pay her future property taxes and insurance.  She was able to live more comfortably, not depending on her children to assist her.

Pay debts and Have Funds for Future:  Bill and Phyllis were preparing for the future.  They did the Reverse Mortgage to pay off their current mortgage*, the credit card debts, and to have money in their line of credit.  With the money in the line of credit when one of them passes away, the other would be able to change the payment plan to receive monthly payments and continue to live the lifestyle they are currently accustomed to, even without the Social Security of their spouse.

Reverse Mortgage provides funds for every day living expensesFunds for Everyday Living Expenses:  Phil became a “new man” since the Reverse Mortgage was done.  He  now goes out to eat with his friends and works in his yard.

Every Day Living Expenses:  Frank and Emma, a vibrant 90 and 86 year old couple, found that each month they were short money to even buy milk.  Their son-in-law and daughter assisted them in obtaining the Reverse Mortgage.  They are so pleased that they now can live more comfortably.  They used the proceeds to receive monthly payments to supplement their Social Security.  They also took out a lump sum to fix up their home and left enough in their line of credit to use as future needs arise.

Payback Family Loan:  Prior to learning about reverse mortgages, when Mabel couldn’t afford her mortgage payments she borrowed money from her son.  When her son needed the money back, once she learned about reverse mortgages she was able to repay him.  With her son paid off, and with no monthly mortgage payments* she was greatly relieved, felt less financial pressure, and had peace of mind knowing she didn’t owe him money and could remain independent.  During the reverse mortgage process she consulted an elder law attorney.  As a result she now has a will, power of attorney, and her health care directives in place.HECM provides funds for home care

Home Health Care: A reverse mortgage allowed Margaret, who had just been released from the rehab center and needed a home health care aide to assist her, have the funds for the care so she could remain in her home.

Purchase a New Home: Mike and Carol decided they needed a 1 level home to fit their changing health needs, they used the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage HECM for Purchase to purchase their new home instead of using conventional financing.

Wouldn't you like to sit back and relax with Security, Independence, Dignity and Control?Wouldn’t you like to sit back and relax with
Security, Independence, Dignity and Control?

Contact us if you are in Minnesota.  As your local broker, we work with several lenders and provide free information and facts with no obligation, meeting in person whenever possible.

When you decide to do a reverse mortgage make sure you work with a local originator or loan officer who specializes in reverse mortgages, has years of experience and knowledge in reverse mortgages in your state, preferably holds the Certified Reverse mortgage Professional (CRMP) designation, licensed in your state, is a broker, working with various lenders, and is willing to meet with you to review the details, before the application, during the application and at closing.

I would caution about working with an originator from another state who is mailing all the documentation, including the application and not “meeting” with you to explain and review what you are signing. (The lenders in another state may send a notary for application and/or closing – they are not licensed mortgage brokers so can NOT answer questions, they are there only to verify your signature.)  Ask for references and find out if the loan originator will be there for you even after the loan has closed.  If you feel pressured, call another originator.  You can find a list of questions to ask an originator at our webite:  www.RMSIDAC.com.

To ensure that borrowers understand reverse mortgages HUD requires anyone doing a reverse mortgage to complete counseling through a third-party.  They will review the program and discuss other options that may be available.

*Borrowers are still responsible for paying property taxes, insurance, HOA Dues & maintaining home.

**Borrowers’ situations are real; borrowers’ names changed to protect their identity.

© 2017 Beth Paterson, Beth’s Reverse Mortgage Blog, 651-762-9648

This material may be re-posted provided it is re-posted in its entirety without modifications and includes the contact information, copyright information and the following link:  http://wp.me/p4EUZQ-1sL

Related articles:

Blog posts’ information is current as of date post published, program is subject to change in in the future. Contact us for current information, 651-762-9648.

This site or the information provided is not from, or approved by, HUD, FHA, or any US Government or Agency.

Senior Homeowners Benefit from Reverse Mortgages

Senior Homeowners Benefit From Reverse MortgagesAre you looking for some funds to supplement your retirement?  Do you need to modify your home to meet your needs?  Are you looking for a way to pay for the home health care you need now or may need in the future?  Do you have a mortgage and find making the payments is a struggle?  Or maybe you want to continue making your trip south during the winter but funds are short to do so.  Are you considering downsizing to move closer to family or want to have a home more suitable to your current lifestyle?

A Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM)  reverse mortgage may be your answer.  A reverse mortgage is a home equity loan with special terms for senior homeowners 62 and older.  Similar to a conventional loan, you continue to own the home.

With the flexibility of making payments toward the loan balance, or NOT making a mortgage payment at all, the HECM reverse mortgage could provide the cash for your immediate needs or future needs. (Borrowers are still responsible for paying property taxes, hazard insurance and maintenance of the home.)

It also offers more flexibility on how you can receive the funds including monthly payments, line of credit, lump sum or a combination of these versus a lump sum with a conventional mortgage.

An additional benefit is funds left in the line of credit grow so more funds become available over time…a great advantage over a HELOC and a great tool for long-term care planning.

There are no limitations on how you spend the funds.  Look at ways the reverse mortgage benefited some seniors:

Eliminate Mortgage Payments, Home Upgrades and Line of Credit:  Dee and Peter did a reverse mortgage to eliminate their current mortgage payment, take a lump sum for some home upgrades, receive an extra $300 a month in monthly payments to supplement their Social Security, and still have funds in a line of credit for future use.

Maintain Lifestyle:  Helen and Harold did a reverse mortgage to afford to take their annual trip to Florida during the winter months.  They are thankful they are able to maintain their lifestyle.

Don't Rely on ChildrenNot Rely on Children:  Nancy had accrued some debt including some credit cards and borrowing from her children.  She did a reverse mortgage to pay off those debts and to have a line of credit available for her future needs.   She also enjoyed having some extra cash to purchase some things to fix up her home and to go to lunch with friends on occasion.  Because her children had their own expenses and needs, they were relieved that their mother had done the reverse mortgage and could live more comfortably without relying on them.

Protect Other Investments:  To have extra spending money without having to cash out their CDs or other investments, Jerry and Carol decided to do a reverse mortgage.  Providing them more freedom and control of their life during retirement.

Line of Credit for future needs:  Janice did the reverse mortgage just for the purpose of having a line of credit to draw on in the future when needs arise.  Because the funds in the line of credit grow more funds become available in the future.  With the line of credit available to her when she needs car repairs, or even a new car, or to cover medical expenses or long term care needs she will have funds in her line of credit to cover these needs.

Purchase a New Home:  Mike and Carol wanted to purchase a new home that fit their needs of a one-level so they used the reverse mortgage rather than a conventional mortgage to finance their new home.  This meant they didn’t have monthly mortgage payments to make and provides them a better cash flow during their retirement years.

The loan becomes due and payable when the home is no longer the primary residence of the borrowers or on their 150th birthday.  Another difference and benefit of the reverse mortgage over a traditional mortgage is that the reverse mortgages are non-recourse loans.  This means there is no personal liability if the loan balance is higher than what the home can be sold, it is paid only from the fair market value of the home.  If the home is sold for more than the loan balance then the borrower(s) or their heirs keep the difference.

As with any mortgage loan there are closing costs.  The closing costs of the reverse mortgage are comparable to a conventional mortgage.  They include the origination fee, appraisal, title and settlement and recording fees.  With the FHA HECM reverse mortgage HUD’s regulations state that only the actual cost may be charged to the borrower, they do not allow mark ups such as processing fees.

As a FHA loan the fees include the FHA Mortgage Insurance Premium – this would be the same if they are doing a Forward FHA loan.  When comparing closing costs side by side to a conventional loan the difference is the up-front FHA Mortgage Insurance Premium.  The benefits of FHA insuring the loan include guaranteed funds, a lower interest and the loan being non-recourse as well as regulating the fees.  “Surprise! Reverse Mortgage Closing Costs Actually Compare to Conventional Mortgage Costs” provides a side-by-side comparison.

When considering whether to do a conventional mortgage, a HELOC or a reverse mortgage you must consider if you can even qualify for a conventional mortgage or HELOC; then if you or your spouse can make the payments over time.  For example, what happens if “life happens,” could you continue making those payments?  Would you be stressed trying to pay living expenses, medical bills, or would you be facing foreclosure? Or could you qualify for the reverse mortgage and have enough funds to pay off your current mortgage?

Will the reverse mortgage be the answer to your financial retirement needs?  Explore the option, get the facts, know what to look for in an originator. You might find it will benefit you as it has benefited hundreds of thousands of other seniors.

Meet Reverse Mortgage Originator in personFor further details on the reverse mortgage contact us if you are in Minnesota.  As your local broker, we work with several lenders and provide free information and facts with no obligation, meeting in person whenever possible.

When you decide to do a reverse mortgage make sure you work with a local originator or loan officer who specializes in reverse mortgages, has years of experience and knowledge in reverse mortgages in your state, preferably holds the Certified Reverse mortgage Professional (CRMP) designation, licensed in your state, is a broker, working with various lenders, and is willing to meet with you to review the details, before the application, during the application and at closing.

I would caution about working with an originator from another state who is mailing all the documentation, including the application and not “meeting” with you to explain and review what you are signing. (The lenders in another state may send a notary for application and/or closing – they are not licensed mortgage brokers so can NOT answer questions, they are there only to verify your signature.)  Ask for references and find out if the loan originator will be there for you even after the loan has closed.  If you feel pressured, call another originator.  You can find a list of questions to ask an originator at our webite:  www.RMSIDAC.com.

To ensure that borrowers understand reverse mortgages HUD requires anyone doing a reverse mortgage to complete counseling through a third-party.  They will review the program and discuss other options that may be available.

© 2017 Beth Paterson, Beth’s Reverse Mortgage Blog, 651-762-9648

This material may be re-posted provided it is re-posted in its entirety without modifications and includes the contact information, copyright information and the following link: http://wp.me/p4EUZQ-1rv

Related articles:

Blog posts’ information is current as of date post published, program is subject to change in in the future. Contact us for current information, 651-762-9648.

This site or the information provided is not from, or approved by, HUD, FHA, or any US Government or Agency.

Basics of Reverse Mortgages You Need to Know

Home Equity Conversion Mortgage BasicsThe Home Equity Conversion Mortgage, or HECM, is the most common reverse mortgage and only one available in Minnesota.  The HECM was first insured by FHA in 1989 for the purpose of providing a valuable financing alternative for senior homeowners to help them remain in their home and have access to funds by withdrawing a portion of their home equity.

A mortgage like any other mortgage where borrowers retain title and borrow against their home equity, the reverse mortgage offers special terms for seniors home owners 62 and older.  One advantage for seniors is with the reverse mortgage there are no monthly payment requirements although borrowers are responsible for paying property taxes and insurance.  While monthly payments aren’t required, one can make a payment or payments when and how much they choose.

The Principal Limit or maximum loan amount is determined by the home value or FHA Lending Limit, currently $636,150, the age of the youngest borrower (the older one is the more they can receive), the Expected Interest Rate, and the program chosen.  Doing the reverse mortgage at a younger age may still be more beneficial than waiting until one is older.

To qualify borrowers must meet a Financial Assessment requirements demonstrating their ability and willingness to pay property taxes and insurance into the future.  In some circumstances a Life Expectancy Set Aside (LESA) may be required to cover the property taxes and insurance.

Reverse Mortgage BasicsWith the Adjustable Rate option, the funds available can be received in a lump sum, monthly payments, a line of credit or a combination of these.  The monthly payments can be structured as one needs or for life as long as the home is the primary residence.  Funds in the line of credit grow so more funds can be available in the future.  The line of credit growth rate is a feature that makes the reverse mortgage a tool for financial and long term care planning.

A fixed rate option is available however only the lump sum draw is available and the draw amount is limited to the 60% of the Principal Limit (an additional 10% is available in some circumstances).

With a reverse mortgage you hold the keys and titleThe borrowers keep the title to the home and are responsible for property taxes, insurance, and maintaining the home.  Unlike a conventional loan the interest accrues, increasing the balance with no mortgage payments due until the home is no longer the primary residence of the borrower(s) or if one has broken the terms of the loan, i.e. didn’t pay property taxes.

Because the closing costs are up-front, they are often perceived as high and often scare people away.  However, the fees are comparable to the traditional closing costs of a conventional loan including an origination fee, appraisal, title fees, title insurance and recording fees.  As a FHA insured loan, with the HECM borrowers also pay the FHA Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP).

The repayment amount is the lesser of the loan balance or fair market value of the home.  If there is remaining equity, it goes to the borrowers or their heirs.  As a non-recourse loan there is no personal liability to the borrowers or their estate for repayment.

Generally the funds are tax-free but one should consult with their tax advisor for their specific situation.

One can have a trust, life estate, or receive Medicaid (Medical Assistance in Minnesota), Elderly Waiver or other public benefits.*  In the case of a couple even if one of the borrowers goes into the nursing home or passes away, the other one can stay in the home and the loan isn’t due until both borrowers are no longer in the home as their primary residence.  Not considered income, Social Security and Medicare are not affected.  *Check with legal advisor for your situation.

Eligible non-borrowing spouses may be able to remain in the home if they meet certain qualifying attributes.  Talk with your local originator and/or HUD approved reverse mortgage counselor for details.

With no limitations on how the funds can be used, through the years hundreds of thousands of seniors have benefitted from the reverse mortgage allowing them to stay in their home and have security, independence, dignity and control.

For further details on the reverse mortgage contact us if you are in Minnesota.  As your local broker, we work with several lenders and provide free information and facts with no obligation, meeting in person whenever possible.  For other states, contact your local reverse mortgage specialist who is a broker, one who works with several lenders, has their Broker License/NMLS and preferably holds the Certified Reverse Mortgage Professional (CRMP) designation.

© 2016-2017 Beth Paterson, CRMP, Beth’s Reverse Mortgage Blog, 651-762-9648

This material may be re-posted provided it is re-posted in its entirety and without modifications and includes the contact information, copyright information and the following link:  http://wp.me/p4EUZQ-1nZ

Related Articles:

Blog posts’ information is current as of date post published, program is subject to change in in the future. Contact us for current information, 651-762-9648.

This site or the information provided is not from, or approved by, HUD, FHA, or any US Government or Agency.

Want Independence? Explore A Reverse Mortgage.

What gives you a sense of independence?  When I think of independence I think of having freedom of choices and not relying on others.  We all want our independence including seniors.  How can seniors  maintain that independence, have freedom of choices and not rely on others, the government or their children?  A reverse mortgage provides independence for home owners 62 and older.

Having one’s own funds for home repairs, going out to lunch with friends, traveling, visiting family across the country, purchasing a new car, paying medical bills or for medications; paying for help with housework, meal preparation, yard work or transportation, whatever is desired can give that feeling of independence.  Being able to pay off a mortgage to improve cash flow to to save one’s home from foreclosure gives one relief and freedoms.  Being able to plan and have funds for the future and long-term care needs as well as protecting other assets and/or delaying taking out Social Security are other ways to have independence.

While some assistance may be needed for seniors to remain in their home, not relying on children or the government for help and being able to choose a home care agency of their choice will give them the sense of independence.  Using the equity in one’s one with a reverse mortgage can provide seniors the funds for their independence.

“Now I have my dignity back and my independence” was what Edna exclaimed after her reverse mortgage was closed.

Another Minnesota reverse mortgage borrower, Bea, said, “With a reverse mortgage you begin to have independence anew and you begin to feel more secure.  Being free from monetary anxiety, you have better control over spending your equity.”  The reverse mortgage allowed Bea to pay off a mortgage, then to travel to family weddings and reunions.  Several years after she initially did her reverse mortgage more recently Bea is using her reverse mortgage funds to pay for home care that is needed to keep her independent and at home.

Ted, age 91 and Anna age 87, Minnesota homeowners, were proud and didn’t want to discuss their financial situation.  However, their son-in-law finally talked to them about doing a reverse mortgage.  When I met them and we started the reverse mortgage process, the children and I were told they were doing the reverse mortgage so they could put new linoleum on their kitchen floor.  Once the loan was closed I was informed by their children that they had indeed put in the new linoleum along with new windows and they bought some new furniture.  The kids were going to Ted and Anna’s and were told, “Don’t pull in the drive way, we just had it blacktopped.”  When Ted and Anna went out to eat with their kids, they could pay for their kid’s meals too making them feel good that they could treat their children to a meal.

Then one day  Anna and her daughter were sitting at the kitchen table and Anna shared that before their reverse mortgage they used to go 3 days at the end of month without food or even milk because they would run out of money from their Social Security.  As they were sitting there and looking at the paper, Anna exclaimed, “Look, Depends are on sale, I can now stock up.”

While Ted and Anna were too proud to let their children know their financial situation initially and they didn’t want to depend on them to assist with their living expenses, once they signed the reverse mortgage documents they kept their independence and had funds for their needs and desires.  This also improved their dignity.

A reverse mortgage insured by FHA, an agency within HUD,  is known as a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage or HECM.  As one of the most protected financial options available for seniors, it allows them to use the equity in their home for whatever they need or want.  With no monthly mortgage payments, cash flow can be improved by receiving money in monthly payments, a line of credit, lump sum or a combination of these.  (Borrowers are still responsible for paying their property taxes and hazard insurance and maintaining the home.)

The title remains in the borrower’s name and the loan is not due until the home is no longer the primary residence, when they die, sell or move or on their 150th birthday. Repaid from the sale of the property, as a non-recourse loan if the loan balance is higher than what the home can be sold at fair market value the borrower or their heirs are not responsible for the difference.  If the home is sold for more than the amount due then the borrower or their heirs keep the difference. 

As you bring out the red, white and blue, hang your flags and MN Reverse Mortgage Borrower Has Independencegather with family to celebrate the independence of this great country of ours, ask what independence means to your loved ones.  What is needed to help them remain independent and in their home, not relying on the government or on you, their children.   Then explore a reverse mortgage, get the facts about them, and see if it might be an option for their situation to maintain their independence.  Happy Independence Day!

© 2011-2016 Beth Paterson, CRMP, Beth’s Reverse Mortgage Blog, 651-762-9648

This material may be re-posted provided it is re-posted in its entirety and without modifications and includes the contact information, copyright information and the following link: http://wp.me/p4EUZQ-1my

Related articles:

Blog posts’ information is current as of date post published, program is subject to change in in the future. Contact us for current information, 651-762-9648.

This site or the information provided is not from, or approved by, HUD, FHA, or any US Government or Agency.

TV Show Discusses Facts & Uses of Reverse Mortgages

Dr. David Johnson discusses Reverse MortgagesAs host of the show Savvy Senior Sources…Talking With Experts, I and my co-host, Deb Nygaard, talk with Dr. David Johnson, Associate Professor of Finance, to help people understand reverse mortgages and some of the benefits, encouraging people to get the facts from a reverse mortgage specialist before making any decisions.

“To not understand or to be misled and think it’s a bad thing is so sad because so many people could benefit from it.” says Dr. Johnson.

Tune in to watch at:  https://youtu.be/GN84e4YRF6Q

© 2015 Beth Paterson, Beth’s Reverse Mortgage Blog, 651-762-9648

This material may be re-posted provided it is re-posted in its entirety without modifications and includes the contact information, copyright information and the following link:  http://wp.me/p4EUZQ-1dq

Related articles:

Blog posts’ information is current as of date post published, program is subject to change in in the future. Contact us for current information, 651-762-9648.

This site or the information provided is not from, or approved by, HUD, FHA, or any US Government or Agency.

Seniors Find Independence With Reverse Mortgages

Reverse Mortgage Borrower Has IndependenceAs we look to celebrating the independence of our county let’s also look at how our seniors can celebrate their own independence.  Defined as “sufficient income for comfortable self-support; a competence” at dictionary.com, independence is important to seniors.

When we talk with our clients we hear they want to be able to enjoy their retirement and maintain their lifestyle which includes having their independence.  So how can they do this if they are living off their Social Security and if they have retirement investments but they have dropped in value?

Even though as one ages some help may be needed, they can still maintain their independence.  A reverse mortgage can help provide this independence.  After Edna did her reverse mortgage she said, “Now I have my dignity back and my independence.”

Some instances where the reverse mortgage can help one remain independent include having funds for home repairs, going out to lunch with friends, traveling, visiting family across the country, purchasing a new car, paying medical bills or for medications; paying for help with housework, meal preparation, yard work or transportation, whatever they desire.  The HECM for Purchase also helps seniors have independence.  Having funds for the future and retirement and long term care planning is another way the reverse mortgage provides independence.

Or if one needs more help to remain in their home they would have the funds to pay for the assistance from a home care agency to do so. While some additional assistance may be needed seniors can still have a sense of independence if they have the funds to get the additional help and choose the agency they wish.

Seniors have sometimes used their credit cards to fund their lifestyle or pay their bills, others have used a conventional home equity mortgage or a line of credit.  And others look for additional cash by applying for a conventional home equity mortgage but don’t qualify.

The reverse mortgage can benefit here too.  Interest rates on credit cards are high.  Having the reverse mortgage can reduce their dependence on their credit cards.  They usually don’t qualify for a conventional mortgage with today’s lending requirements especially since their only income is Social Security.  Even if they do qualify or currently have a home equity mortgage or line of credit, they have to make payments which can be difficult on a fixed income or when “life happens.”

Another Minnesota reverse mortgage borrower said, “With a reverse mortgage you begin to have independence anew and you begin to feel more secure.  Being free from monetary anxiety, you have better control over spending your equity.”

A reverse mortgage is a mortgage with special terms for senior home owners 62 and older to allow them to remain in their home.  The loan amount is determined by the appraised home value (or FHA lending limit), the age of the borrower, and an Expected Interest Rate.  Let’s review the facts of reverse mortgages:

  • The title stays in the borrower’s name same as with any mortgage.  The borrower owns the home, no one else does.
  • Income and credit scores are not used to determine the interest rate for the HUD insured Home Equity Conversion Mortgage or HECM, the most common reverse mortgage.  Interest rate is determined by the margin and the program chosen.
  • The borrower may be able to stay in their home as long as it’s their primary residence or until their 150th birthday.
  • Lower interest rates than other loans – historically the reverse mortgage interest rates have been lower than conventional loans, lines of credit and credit cards.
  • A borrower won’t lose their home because they can’t make a mortgage payment – they don’t have to make monthly payments.  They are however, as with any loan, responsible for taxes, insurance and maintaining the property and abiding by the terms of the loan agreement.
  • The reverse mortgage funds are generally considered tax-free (although if proceeds are used for certain purposes taxes may apply – consult with a tax advisor).
  • The proceeds are not considered income so Social Security and Medicare are not impacted and one may still be able to receive Medicaid.
  • The HECM is government insured and funds are guaranteed to be available for borrowers if something happens to the lender.
  • Allows access to more funds without paying additional closing costs – there is a growth rate with the line of credit and monthly payment options with the adjustable interest rate program.
  • There are no out of pocket costs other than the cost of the appraisal.
  • There are no prepayment penalties.
  • Borrowers or their heirs get to keep any remaining equity after the loan is paid off.
  • The loan is non-recourse which means there is no personal liability to the borrower or their estate.  The repayment amount is determined by the fair market value at the time the loan becomes due.

Paying off a mortgage on her home, Judy stated, “I truly believe in reverse mortgages, especially for someone like me with a limited income.  I received enough from the reverse mortgage to pay off some other bills and still had a little to put into a “line of credit” account.  Some of the bills I am paying are credit card debts which have a very high interest rate.  It’s a good feeling to be able to do that.  It makes bill paying each month less stressful.”  Now this is senior independence!Happy Independence Day!

Have a wonderful time celebrating the independence we have in this wonderful country of ours.  And keep in mind that a reverse mortgage equals independence for seniors.

© 2010-2015 Beth Paterson, Beth’s Reverse Mortgage Blog, 651-762-9648

This material may be re-posted provided it is re-posted in its entirety without modifications and includes the contact information, copyright information and the following link:  http://wp.me/p4EUZQ-1dq

Related articles:

Blog posts’ information is current as of date post published, program is subject to change in in the future. Contact us for current information, 651-762-9648.

This site or the information provided is not from, or approved by, HUD, FHA, or any US Government or Agency.

Savvy Senior Sources…Talking With Experts TV Show Released

I’m excited to announce the release the new TV show, Savvy Senior Sources…Talking With Experts that I host and produce.  The series of TV shows talk with experts for guiding your way through resources A to V in areas that seniors, their families, caregivers, and trusted advisors will find helpful for planning, aging in place with the ability to stay in their homes and remain independent or where to turn if and when going through the transition. The shows give viewers the opportunity to “meet” the trusted providers of senior services before making a phone call to them.

Brought to you from Savvy Senior Sources, LLC, Reverse Mortgages SIDAC and GWG Life, LLC are proud sponsors of the shows.

Please tune in and subscribe to the YouTube Channel Savvy Senior Sources to be notified when the new shows are broadcast. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmgVGVbfY6-RcHkeBc7WmPQ/feed

Enjoy the shows!

© 2015 Beth Paterson, CRMP, Beth’s Reverse Mortgage Blog, 651-762-9648

Blog posts’ information is current as of date post published, program is subject to change in in the future. Contact us for current information, 651-762-9648.

This site or the information provided is not from, or approved by, HUD, FHA, or any US Government or Agency.

Food For Thought to Fulfill Key Roles of Social Workers

Food For Thought For Social Work MonthDuring March we recognize and honor Social Workers for the value they bring to our seniors.

In a variety of roles, with their knowledge and experience in providing resources, social workers assist our seniors. Social Workers are inspiring to improve lives and assisting with problem solving as well as resolving issues that may negatively impact the community. I’d like to offer some food for thought to fulfill their key roles.

Over ninety percent of seniors want to remain in their home. They are comfortable living in the home and community with their memories where they raised their children, know the neighbors, are familiar with the grocery store and the pharmacy. They feel safe and warm in their familiar surroundings. With the home as their identity it gives them comfort being in their long time home. So let’s talk about a couple ways to help fulfill the desires of seniors, improve their lives and help them stay in their home and their community.

Home care services are an option to help seniors who need some assistance to remain in their home. Everything from short time-frames to 24 hour care, including recovery care and respite care or even nursing level of care is available. Home care services can help seniors live at home indefinitely. The one-to-one ratio of care versus 1.5 or more of care per person in a nursing home offers safety.

Their services offer:

  • Companionship and socialization – home care aides can watch TV with them, play cards, do their hobbies, take seniors to the movies or watch them at home, shopping, or even travel with them.
  • Ensuring meals are prepared and eaten even providing someone to talk with during the meal
  • Medication reminders
  • Bathing, housekeeping, running errands
  • Escorting to appointments
  • Anything needed to maintain their life in their home

An assumption is often that one needs to move to assisted living, a nursing home or care center. What is not realized is that rent in assisted living can be $3,000 to $4,000 per month. Additionally home care services are added on to the rent bringing the monthly costs to over $5,000 to $8,000. Nursing home care can run $6,000 to $12,000 a month depending on a single or double room, the facility amenities and level of care.

Wondering how to pay for home care and keep the seniors in their home? A reverse mortgage may be the solution. A reverse mortgage is a home equity loan with special terms for senior homeowners 62 and older. Reverse mortgage facts are:

  • Borrowers own home, no one else does.
  • Seniors can stay in their home as long as it’s their primary residence (in the case of a couple as long as one is still in the home).
  • Borrowers won’t lose their home because of a reverse mortgage if they abide by the terms of the loan – they don’t have to make monthly mortgage payments but do need to pay property taxes, hazard insurance and maintain the property or they may face foreclosure.
  • Funds are generally not considered income for tax purposes.
  • Loan is government insured and guaranteed to be there for them.
  • There is no personal liability to them or their heirs when the loan is repaid, as a non-recourse loan the loan is repaid from the property only.
  • They or their heirs get to keep any remaining equity after the loan is paid off if the home is sold for more than the loan balance.

Consider this…

  • They can access more funds if their mortgage is currently paid off or has a low balance.
  • Their cash flow improves when their current mortgage or lien payment is eliminated.
  • They’ll have extra cash for whatever they need or want!
  • They can still receive Medical Assistance, Elderly Waiver or other public benefits and do a reverse mortgage.

I have often heard how seniors and their families have benefited from using a reverse mortgage to pay for home care. “Once we realized that we could only relieve the stress on us by contracting 24-hour [at home] nursing care for grandma, a reverse mortgage was the only way to do it.” Liz wrote me. Another borrower, Robert, did not want to go to a nursing home, yet he needed long term care. George, Robert’s son, decided they should do a reverse mortgage to pay for the home health care needed to keep Robert at home where he had raised his children. Robert is happy because he is living where he chooses. George is happy the family can fulfill Robert’s wishes of staying in his home and still receive the needed care.

Ruth had ALS and wanted to stay in her home until she passed.  Working with her Social Worker and home care company she did a reverse mortgage. Last week I received a call from her daughter telling me her mom had passed away in her home as she desired.  The reverse mortgage had helped her fulfill the dream of her staying in her home and receiving the 24-hour care she needed.

Giving seniors the freedom to stay in their home fulfills their desires of remaining in their home close to their memories and familiar surroundings. Social Workers offering home care and reverse mortgage options fulfill the Social Workers role of inspiring to improve lives, assisting with problem solving and resolving issues as well as having a positive impact on the community.
Happy Social Work Month to all our social workers!

Originally posted in 2010, Updated 2015
© 2010-2015 Beth Paterson, Beth’s Reverse Mortgage Blog, 651-762-9648

This material may be re-posted provided it is re-posted in its entirety without modifications and includes the contact information, copyright information and the following link:  http://wp.me/p4EUZQ-1c5

Related Articles:

Blog posts’ information is current as of date post published, program is subject to change in in the future. Contact us for current information, 651-762-9648.

This site or the information provided is not from, or approved by, HUD, FHA, or any US Government or Agency.