Who is REALLY responsible for reverse mortgage borrowers facing foreclosure

Reverse Mortgage FinancingStories about seniors losing their homes “because” of a reverse mortgage are hitting the media headlines.  They are painting the picture that the reverse mortgage is a bad option.  We recently received a call from a reverse mortgage borrower, not our borrower but from another lender, who is facing foreclosure.  We’ll call her Mary.

Mary called to see if we could help her.  She took her reverse mortgage out around 10 years ago, on a home valued at $200,000.  Through the years she benefitted form the reverse mortgage by using the proceeds for her needs and wants.

She got behind on her taxes by $20,000. This means she is at least 5 to 6 years behind on paying her taxes if her property taxes were around $3,000 to $4,000 a year, likely for her home value in Minnesota.

The terms of the reverse mortgage, as with any traditional mortgage, require borrowers to pay property taxes and insurance on their property.  Even if one doesn’t have a mortgage, it is the responsibility of homeowners to pay property taxes on their home.

In Mary’s case, as has often been the situation with reverse mortgages, the lender paid the back taxes and reached out to her to work with her to repay the amount they had paid on her behalf.

She said she can only pay $100 a month.  At this rate it would take her 200 months or 16 years to repay this.  And she still has to pay her current taxes.

The terms of reverse mortgages don’t allow for repayments for this length of time.  Therefore the lender is telling her she needs to bring her back taxes current or they need to foreclose.

As a homeowner, who pays your property taxes?  Even if your taxes and insurance are escrowed with your conventional mortgage, you are still paying the property taxes, just processed through the lender.  Paying property taxes are a responsibility of being a homeowner.

Think about reverse mortgageThink about getting behind on your property taxes…eventually the county will foreclose.  With the reverse mortgage, the lender paying the back taxes on the borrower’s behalf, and trying to work out a payment plan, could mean foreclosure doesn’t happen.  In any case the lender paying the back taxes on behalf of the borrower extends the time before foreclosure could happen.

If the borrower works out a payment plan, keeps to it and repays back taxes in a reasonable timeframe and keeps their taxes current, then the loan is not called due and payable.  However, if one isn’t able to find a reasonable payment plan and keep their taxes current, foreclosure will happen, whether by the county or by the lender.

And the reason for the foreclosure is the borrower did not pay their property taxes.  Not because they had a reverse mortgage.  They would be facing foreclosure even if there was no reverse mortgage.

Unfortunately as the conversation showed, Mary doesn’t understand this.  She and the others written about in the media don’t want to take responsibility for their home ownership requirements.  They want someone else to take responsibility or to blame someone else.

Mary doesn’t think it’s reasonable for her to have to pay the back taxes because she can’t afford to pay them.  Her statement was, “I only get $1,000 a month, I can’t afford to more than $100 a month towards taxes.”

When asked about her being behind on her taxes and understanding it is her responsibility to pay them she stated, “The taxes are paid current.”  Then when reiterated they were current because  the lender paid on her behalf she acknowledged “Yes, they paid them.”

However she justifies that it was okay for the lender to pay taxes on her behalf and she shouldn’t have to repay them saying, “Well, the government bailed out the big banks but they don’t bail out the little guy.”

So she doesn’t think the lender should be requiring her to pay the back taxes. Really? Who should be paying her taxes?

The loan agreement on the FHA insured reverse mortgage requires borrowers keep taxes current and insurance on the property.  Mary kept insisting, “They are current, the lender paid the back taxes,” ignoring that it is her responsibility, not the lenders to pay property taxes.

Sadly she didn’t have an answer when asked how she was going to pay her current taxes or going forward.

In summary of the conversation, Mary thought the bank should be eating her debt, covering her responsibility of paying taxes, and she shouldn’t be losing her home because she can’t afford to pay the taxes in the past or going forward.

Educated Reverse Mortgage BorrowersBorrowers should take time to be educated and understand the reverse mortgage, or any mortgage or financial product. With the reverse mortgage they are required to obtain 3rd party counseling where the counselor explains the product and the terms. The loan officer they are working with should also be explaining the features and terms of the reverse mortgage. Borrowers then get to decide whether they choose to proceed. It’s their decision and they should not blame a product they chose for their circumstances.

Starting in 2015, a Financial Assessment is required to determine reverse mortgage borrower’s ability and willingness to pay property taxes and insurance into the future. This consumer safeguard for borrowers, along with other new protections for spouses, help make reverse mortgages more sustainable for seniors who want to remain in their homes. This assessment does take into consideration the occasional life circumstance where one may have been late on a payment.

Blaming the reverse mortgage for one’s lack of taking responsibility of general home ownership duties is misplaced by the media and the homeowners.

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-1mN

Related articles:

Information is current as of date post published, program is subject to change 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’ Foreclosures Should NOT Be Blamed On Reverse Mortgages

HomeownershipWe are seeing articles in the media about seniors with reverse mortgages who are losing their homes to foreclosure.  Is this unfortunate?  Yes!  But let’s look at the reason rather than blaming the product, the reverse mortgage.

All homeowners regardless of age are responsible for paying their property taxes and keeping insurance on their home or risk losing it to foreclosure or not having funds to rebuild after damage to the home from a storm.  This is true whether one has a reverse mortgage, a traditional loan, a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC), or no mortgage.  Blaming the reverse mortgage for one’s lack of taking responsibility of general homeownership duties is misplaced by the media and the homeowners.

Several years ago I talked with a woman who was behind on her property taxes and the county was foreclosing on her.  She could have qualified for a reverse mortgage, paid the back taxes, improved her cash flow with funds in a line of credit (or for others paying off a current mortgage and eliminating the monthly mortgage payment) and have funds to pay future property taxes and keep insurance on her home.  Instead she listened to her brother who said reverse mortgages are bad, even though he had no basis for the statement and wouldn’t get the facts before making a decision.  By listening to her brother and not doing the reverse mortgage, the county foreclosed on her property.  She lost $280,000 in equity because she didn’t do the reverse mortgage and pay off the back taxes.

Stories about the county foreclosing on properties because one has not paid back taxes do not make the news…why?

Reverse mortgage maintains lifestyleThe reverse mortgage can, and has, helped those 62 and older have the funds to pay their property taxes and insurance along with other homeowner responsibilities.  More times than not we hear the stories on how the reverse mortgage has made a difference in the lives of seniors.  How it has given them funds to cover their needs, maintain or improve their lifestyle, plan for their future long-term care needs or purchase a new home so they can downsize, move closer to their children or buy their dream home.  See below links to articles on these uses.

The reverse mortgage lenders have reached out and worked with many borrowers who were delinquent in their property taxes and insurance to find a solution to help them get caught up on their late payments.  Some used reverse mortgage proceeds, others worked out a payment plan.  Because they have worked out a plan, these reverse mortgage borrowers are not facing the foreclosures.  Only those who did not respond to lenders’ and/or work out a repayment plan are facing the foreclosures.

As of April 2015 a Financial Assessment is required to determine reverse mortgage borrowers’ ability and willingness to pay property taxes and insurance into the future.  This consumer protection for borrowers helps make reverse mortgages more sustainable for seniors who want to remain in their homes.  This assessment does take into consideration the occasional life circumstance where one may have been late on a payment.

Be educated about reverse mortgagesBorrowers should take time to be educated and understand the reverse mortgage, as they should with any mortgage or financial product.  With the reverse mortgage they are required to obtain 3rd party counseling where the counselor explains the product.  The loan officer they are working with should also be explaining the features and terms of the reverse mortgage.  Borrowers then get to decide whether they choose to proceed.  It’s their decision and they should not blame a product they chose for their circumstances that likely benefited them over time.

© 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 without modifications and includes the contact information, copyright information and the following link:  http://wp.me/p4EUZQ-1lv

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

What You Need To Know When A Reverse Mortgage is Due and Payable – Respond Quickly

Reverse Mortgages provide benefits for homeowners 62 and older

A reverse mortgage can be very beneficial to homeowners who are 62 or older, giving them the opportunity to live in their home with improved cash flow and with no monthly payment (they are still responsible for property taxes, hazard insurance, maintenance, as well as flood insurance and HOA dues if applicable).  During the term of the loan borrowers use their proceeds for everyday living expenses, retirement planning, long term care, purchasing a new home, fulfilling dreams and wishes and needs of retirement.

Unlike a traditional mortgage, the loan is not due until the borrower is no longer in their home as their primary residence.  The due date on the mortgage is actually the 150th birthday of the youngest borrower.  Of course this all depends on the terms of the loan being followed.  As a non-recourse loan there is no personal liability, the loan is only repaid from the property, not from other assets.  If the home is sold for more than the loan balance the borrower or estate keeps the difference.

The reverse mortgage does not automatically become property of the lender or bank nor do they automatically start foreclosure.  Foreclosure is the last resort HUD and the loan servicers want to take.

One of the more common questions we as loan originators get is, “How long do I or my children have to pay off the reverse mortgage?”  So what happens when the borrowers are no longer in their home?

Obviously it is nearly impossible to repay the loan the day it becomes due (the date of death or moving out of the home or not abiding by the terms).  But there are some important details that need to be addressed right away.  HUD has some pretty tight requirements the lender’s servicers must follow when it comes to satisfying the reverse mortgage repayment.  (Not always the same as the lender, servicers are companies lenders contract with to handle the servicing of the loan.  These are the companies who have mailed the monthly statements, release the line of credit funds or monthly payments, etc. during the term of the loan.)

Communication, communication, communication and more communication with the servicer is of the utmost important when a reverse mortgage borrower is no longer in their home.   The borrower or their estate must move quickly in contacting the servicer so they can make use of the maximum time that can be allowed by HUD for satisfying the loan. And it must happen quickly after one is no longer in their home.

Following is an outline of the steps that must be taken when the reverse mortgage becomes due and payable.

  • Call Servicer right awayThe servicer must be notified within the 1st 30 days of the borrower being out of the home by death or moving, etc.  Note it is based on the actual date of death or move out date, it is not based on the date the servicer is notified.  This can be done over the phone followed up with written documentation.
  • Condolence/demand letter mailed from the servicer.  This letter may seem harsh and insensitive but the wording is required to stress the importance of the loan being due and the time frames required to satisfy the loan.
  • Options are provided to satisfy the loan:
    • Paying it off via sale of the home to a third party.
    • A family member finding financing if they choose to keep the home.
    • If it looks like the home value is less than the loan balance, contact the servicer to make arrangements to pay the loan at 95% of the appraised value.  The servicer will order an FHA appraisal within 30 days.
      • The borrower or estate must be prepared for this and allow this by providing a contact to allow an appraiser access to the home.  With the full appraisal, it can be used for a short-sale.  If a full appraisal is not completed and they only do a “drive-by” one, another appraisal will have to be obtained for the short-sale.
    • The borrower or the estate has the option to do a Deed In Lieu of Foreclosure.  This is taking all personal property and “broom sweeping,” cleaning out debris and trash from the property then turn the marketable title over to the servicer.
    • Walking away and allowing the lender to foreclose.
  • Within 30 days of receipt of the demand letter borrowers or their estate must respond to the letter and return a written “intent to satisfy the loan” document.
  • Within 60 days the servicer must receive copies of death certificate; copies of probate proceedings, appointment of executor, administrator or personal representative of the borrower’s estate; copies of the trust, Life Estate or Transfer on Death Deed if applicable.
  • Within 60 days the home has to be on the market documenting the intention of satisfying the loan.  This documentation must be sent to the servicer immediately.
  • If intention is to not sell the home, documentation of financing to pay off the loan must be provided within 60 days.

IT IS IMPORTANT TO PROVIDE AND DOCUMENT THE INTENTION OF SATISFYING THE LOAN QUICKLY!

If the communication with the servicer is happening and necessary documentation is provided to the servicer in their time lines then the borrower or their estate are provided 6 months to satisfy the loan.  It may be possible to receive up to two 3-month extensions.  But this is where the communication is important.  One must NOT assume they have this time.  If the servicer does not receive the communication and documentation according to their time lines, they will start the foreclosure proceedings according to HUD’s requirements.

And what happens if one doesn’t notify the servicer or follow these time lines?  

If one doesn’t notify the servicer or follow these times lines then a letter of demand will be resent.  If no response to the demand letter is received the servicer will refer to an attorney to start foreclosure to collect the debt.  The 1st action to start the foreclosure will begin within 180 days by the foreclosure attorney.

If the last surviving borrower passes and the servicer is not notified within 30 days of the death, a notice of foreclosure is sent and attorney contacted.  The more time that passes the less time the estate has to satisfy the loan and avoid foreclosure.

Foreclosure of the reverse mortgage follows the laws of each state.  There may be time to satisfy the loan even after the foreclosure has started however extra fees will be added to the loan balance.

Borrowers’ Responsibilities

Paying taxes, keeping hazard insurance on the property and if applicable, flood insurance, maintaining the property and not changing title are all borrower’s responsibilities under the terms of the loan.

Borrowers are responsible for providing the following information to servicers:

  • Complete required repairs according to timeline outlined at closing.
    Responding to and returning the letters of occupancy that are mailed to borrowers on the anniversary of their reverse mortgage closing.
  • Providing proof that property taxes have been currently paid on an annual basis.
  • Changes to any of your insurances with the updated information, i.e. if you change from one insurance company to another letting them know who the new provider is.
  • If you are out of the home for extended period of times, i.e. for hospital or rehab stays or long term travel.

Open your Mail from reverse mortgage lender/servicerBe sure to timely open and review mail from lenders and servicers to ensure you are taking care of your responsibilities and responding to their communications.

If the servicer does not receive this information they will make attempts to obtain it.  If they are unsuccessful in obtaining it they are required to notify HUD who will likely require the foreclosure process begin to meet their deadlines.

Default for Not Paying Property Taxes, Insurance, Abiding by Terms of Loan

If the loan has become due and payable due to lack of payment of taxes and/or insurance or not occupying the property according to the terms of the loan, HUD has the right to foreclose on the property.  And this may happen!  When this does happen, the borrowers are not losing their home due to the reverse mortgage but because they didn’t abide by the terms of the loan.  If one doesn’t pay property taxes the county can, and does, foreclose whether there is a traditional mortgage, reverse mortgage or no mortgage.

When one is in default due to one of the terms of the loan not being adhered to the demand letter for repayment is sent.  There may be options to cure the default so one should reach out to their servicer to see if they can qualify for one of these.

If an arrangement cannot be made to cure the default, the foreclosure process may begin and an attorney contacted.

Servicers Check Public Records

The servicers are regularly checking public records and will send the demand letter for repayment if they learn the last surviving borrower is no longer in the home or a borrower hasn’t paid property taxes, kept insurance on the home or maintained the property.

Funds Frozen

Once a loan payoff is requested the funds from one’s line of credit and/or monthly payments will be frozen.  If you, the borrower, are thinking funds will be needed for the move, fixing the home for sale, etc. make sure funds are requested prior to the move and payoff request.  The heirs, because they are not borrowers, cannot request funds.

Responsibilities continue

Until the loan is actually paid off, the borrowers or the estate are responsible for maintaining the property, paying property taxes, utilities, maintaining hazard insurance, flood insurance if applicable, on the property, etc.  Interest and the FHA Mortgage Insurance Premium will accrue as well as a servicing fee if one was on the loan.

Keep reverse mortgage information with other important documents

I strongly encourage you to have your reverse mortgage information, lender, servicer contact information with your other important documentation so your estate can notify the servicer timely.  Remember if the servicer is not notified timely and communication not continued, they are missing opportunities to have the time to satisfy the loan.

Some borrowers choose not to tell their children they are doing or have done a reverse mortgage.  This is their right.  Doing a reverse mortgage is their own personal financial decision.  If this is your choice it is even more important to have your reverse mortgage information with your other important documents so they have the opportunity to respond timely.

Non-borrowing Spouse

This article does not address non-borrowing spouse situation.  If you are a non-borrowing spouse and the borrowing spouse has passed, contact the servicer immediately.  HUD has made provisions for non-borrowing spouses to possibly remain in the home but the servicer must be contacted immediately and additional documentation must be provided to determine one will qualify for this option.

I’m here to assistance my borrowers

I, as a broker and loan originator, do not have access to the servicing information, however I am available even after the loan has closed to answer borrower’s questions and guide them through the process.  I welcome the opportunity to guide and advise my borrowers on the steps they need to take and referring them to the servicer timely.  Other reverse mortgage brokers also welcome the calls so while you ultimately need to talk with the servicer, don’t hesitate to reach out to your broker loan originator for some guidance.

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

Thanks to Ryan LaRose from Celink for assistance by providing information.

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-1kJ

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.

Reverse Mortgage Borrowers Have Responsibilities Or They’ll Pay the Consequences

Signing Reverse Mortgage ApplicationWhen loan documents are signed at closing, borrowers agree to the terms of the loan, whether a conventional loan for refinance or purchase; a home equity line of credit (HELOC); or a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), the reverse mortgage insured by HUD; or a proprietary (private) reverse mortgage.  As with any home loan, with the reverse mortgage borrowers are using the equity in their home and the title of the home remains in the borrower’s name; the lender is using the home for collateral.  With any mortgage, conventional or reverse, the bank does not own the home, nor do they want t.

The reverse mortgage has helped seniors 62 and older remain in their home with their security, independence, dignity and control but not without responsibilities to adhere to the terms of the loan.  The main responsibilities are to not violate terms of the loan, generally these include:

  • Paying property taxes
  • Keeping hazard insurance on the property
  • Maintaining the property
  • Paying association dues if applicable
  • Not changing/transferring the title

Paying property taxes means keeping up with the county property taxes, paying them on time.  If one doesn’t pay property taxes, with or without a loan, the county could start tax forfeiture or foreclosure.

Keeping hazard insurance on the property helps protect the homeowner, with or without a mortgage.  If one doesn’t have insurance on their property and a storm comes along and damages the home they wouldn’t have funds to repair or rebuild the home.  With a mortgage (reverse or traditional) on the home, lenders require hazard insurance be kept on the property to protect the homeowner and lender if there is any damage to the property.  Being the lenders are invested in the property by lending money based on the home equity, they require the insurance so their investment is protected if there is damage.  For example if a tree falls on the home and damages the roof, the hazard insurance will cover the replacement of the roof and bring the home back to the condition required for lender’s investment.

Maintaining the property is required to protect the lender’s investment in the property and includes keeping the home in good condition including not letting the property become run down.  Keeping the roof in good repair, insuring the siding and trim do not have chipped or bare wood but are protected against the elements.  Ensuring against safety issues such as automatic garage doors will rise if something is under them, railings are in place and stable on stairs and decks rotten boards are replaced.  Interior maintenance is also important, for example having heating, electricity, plumbing, water in working order as well as safety issues such as railings on stairs.

If one is in a condo or town home and association dues are required, loans require that the association dues are kept current.  If they are not kept current then the association has the right to force the homeowner from the property.

What are the consequences if the requirements of the reverse mortgage loan terms are not abided by? If terms of the loan agreement are not followed, the lenders have the right to call the loan due and payable or foreclose.

Changing or transferring titles may mean the loan becomes due and payable.  For example if one decides to add a person to the title of the property (depending on who the person is), implement a Life Estate, or sell the property this may change who the lender’s have invested their interests.  If the property is going to be put in a trust it will not mean the loan will be come due and payable however the lender will need to review the trust to ensure that it meets the requirements of their investors and in the case of the HUD insured HECM, the trust must meet HUD’s guidelines.  Check with your lender before making any changes to the title to make sure it won’t impact your loan.

The area that has caused the biggest problem is when borrowers don’t pay their the property taxes and hazard insurance.  Therefore, FHA, the arm of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) who insures the majority of reverse mortgages, will soon require a Financial Assessment to stabilize the HECM and determine borrowers’ ability and willingness (based on payment & debt history) to pay property taxes and insurance.

With conventional mortgages, if taxes and insurance are not paid, the lenders will start an escrow account, requiring more money from borrowers in their monthly payments for the escrow account.  The lenders then make the tax and insurance payments on behalf of the borrower from their escrow accounts.

With the implementation of the Financial Assessment depending on borrower’s income, assets and debt history, for some a partial or full set aside will be created to pay the homeowners property taxes and insurance into the future.  Others won’t have to have a set aside created if there is a positive history of payments of taxes, debts, hazard insurance and income and disposable assets document their ability to pay taxes and insurance in the future.  Credit scores will still not be utilized to determine qualifying nor impact the interest rate.  (The Financial Assessment is a requirement as of April 2015.)

After the HECM is in place if borrowers do not have the capacity to pay the taxes and insurances they owe, the servicer will be forced to foreclose on the property per HUD’s requirements.  (Note that reverse mortgage lenders and servicing companies are required to abide by HUD’s requirements.)

Having reverse mortgage terms and responsibilities explained

Having reverse mortgage terms and responsibilities explained

While the originators, counselors and loan documents spell out these requirements, borrowers must take their responsibilities seriously.  It is also their responsibility to be sure to look at their budget and have a plan to be able to pay their property taxes, hazard insurance as well as maintaining the property.  Then they can remain in their home and enjoy the many benefits of the reverse mortgage.

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-1b5

Related articles on Reverse Mortgages in Minnesota:

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.

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Reverse Mortgage Features and Terms Summary

Reviewing Reverse Mortgage DocumentsThere are many loan documents with the reverse mortgage (all mortgages actually) and it’s hard to remember all the details through the life of the loan.  To help you have a better understanding initially as well as be a reference in the future, this article summarizes the reverse mortgage features and terms.

  • A reverse mortgage is a mortgage or lien against your property allowing you to use the equity in your home.
  • Monthly mortgage payments are not required however you are responsible for property taxes and hazard insurance.
  • Through FHA, the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) is a government insured program and regulated by HUD.
  • As a loan against your property, the funds are not considered income so Social Security and Medicare are not affected; and generally SSI and other public benefits are not affected; Medicaid can also be received under certain situations – consult with legal services for your situation.
  • Generally the funds received are considered tax free – consult your tax advisor regarding your situation.

Who Owns Your Home  

  • You retain title and remain a vested owner of your property.
  • You retain all rights and responsibilities of home ownership, including property maintenance, tax and insurance payments, etc.

Borrower Protection

  • Should the lender default, FHA will assume the responsibilities of the lender and guarantees funds are available to borrowers according to terms of the loan.
  • As FHA loan, interest rates are lower than they otherwise would be on a reverse mortgage.
  • Non-recourse: Borrower/Homeowner or the estate will never be obligated for more than the fair market value of the property.

Adjustable Interest Rate – HECMs

    • If you have selected an adjustable rate product, your interest rate may change over the life of the loan.
    • There is a lifetime cap on the rate; for the monthly adjustable rate it is 5 or10 points (depending on the lender) and for the annual rate it is 5 points over the initial rate at the time of closing.
    • The interest rate may adjust annually (maximum of 2 points with each annual change) or monthly. The current and future rates will be provided on your monthly statement.
    • The rate is based on the LIBOR index.

Interest is charged against your loan balance only. Unused line of credit and/or unused term/tenure payments will not accrue interest.

Fixed Interest – HECMs    

  • If you have selected a fixed rate product, your interest rate is fixed and will not change over the life of the loan.

Ongoing Costs

  • Interest accrues only on amounts borrowed.
  • Monthly charge for FHA Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP) –  .5% (1.25% on loans closed prior to 10/2/2017) per year on loan balance (added to loan balance).
  • All costs, charges, and accrued interest are added to loan balance.
  • Essentially you are borrowing these funds each month because you are not paying them monthly; this is why the loan balance increases over time.

Line of Credit (if applicable)    

  • Available credit of unused portion of line of credit grows over time at the current applied interest rate plus .5% (1.25% on loans closed prior to 10/2/2017).  This is not interest, but a growth rate.
  • Interest is not charged on unused portion of line of credit.
  • Line of credit funds advances must be requested in writing from the lender/servicer.  Lender has 5 business days to process your request.

Term/Tenure Payments (if applicable)

  • If you have selected monthly Term or Tenure Payments, these monthly advances will be paid to you on the first business day of each month beginning the month after loan closing.
  • Interest is not charged on un-advanced monthly term/tenure funds.

Prepayment

  • Although monthly or periodic mortgage payments are not required, you may make full or partial payments at any time.
  • Please contact the lender/servicer for payment address and information.
  • Partial payments reduce the loan balance due.
  • Partial payments on adjustable rate HECM’s will create or increase the line of credit and these payments can be borrowed in the future.
  • Payments on fixed rate HECM’s are permanent payments.
  • Payment in full will terminate the loan and eliminate any available term/tenure payments and/or line of credit.

Due and Payable

  • No payment is required until/unless one of the following occurs:
    • Borrower(s) no longer occupy the home as a primary residence.
    • Borrower(s) no longer owns the home.
    • All borrowers have passed away.
    • Property taxes are not kept current.
    • Homeowner’s/Hazard insurance is not kept current.
    • Flood Insurance (if applicable) is not kept current.
    • HOA dues (if applicable) are not kept current.
    • Required repairs are not completed.
    • Property is not properly maintained.
    • Title vesting changes are made.

Upon Death of Borrower(s)

  • If there is a surviving borrower(s) continuing to occupy the home, the reverse mortgage continues without any changes.  If a sole borrower dies or there are no surviving borrowers or a non-borrowing spouse, the reverse mortgage becomes due and payable in full. (Non-borrowing spouses see HUD Mortgagee Letter 2015-15 and check with the servicer regarding their rights)
  • Heirs/estate should contact the lender/servicer within 30 days to provide notice of the death.
  • A reverse mortgage is not transferrable to the heirs or estate.
  • The loan may be repaid from sale of property.
  • If heirs wish to keep the home, they may satisfy the debt by paying the lesser of the mortgage balance or 95% of the FHA appraised value of the home at that time.
  • Most lenders are allowing up to six months for heirs to settle the estate and repay the reverse mortgage (but timely communication with the servicer is required).  Where justified, HUD, who regulates the HECM,  may approve extensions beyond this time up to a total of 12 months.

Your Responsibilities

  • Pay property taxes.
  • Maintain homeowners insurance on property.
  • Maintain flood insurance (if applicable) on property.
  • Pay HOA dues (if applicable).
  • Complete required repairs timely.
  • Maintain property.
  • Not make changes to title vesting.
  • Return the annual occupancy certificate to lender.
  • Provide proof your property taxes have been paid annually.
  • Provide proof your property insurance has been paid.

When To Notify Your Lender

  • If you change your insurance provider.
  • If you change your bank for direct deposits.
  • If you are putting the property into a Trust.
  • Any other changes to the property.
  • If there is a claim from your property insurance.
  • When a Power of Attorney (POA) is being implemented to make decisions on your behalf.

©2013-2015 Beth Paterson and Greenleaf Financial, LLC, 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-Cr

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.

Have Senior Homeowners With Reverse Mortgages And Tax Defaults Really Gone Into Foreclosure and Lost Their Homes? You Are In For A Surprise!

Headlines give misinformation about HECM Reverse MortgagesWith all the media hype that seniors are losing their homes because they have a reverse mortgage and have tax defaults, the latest data shows the homework wasn’t done before reporting their stories.  Trying to paint a negative of reverse mortgages is widespread without the data to back it up.

The fact is rather than foreclose, reverse mortgage servicers made advancements on behalf of borrowers for their insurance and property taxes defaults.  And since January 2011 when FHA introduced loss mitigation tools the servicers have been working with the borrowers who were delinquent on their property taxes and insurance.  As a result, 20% of those in these situations have been repaid.  Another 60% of the defaulted borrowers have begun making repayments.

According to HUD’s Director of Single Family Program Development, Karin Hill, the default rate for the more recent Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECMs) is lower than the loans done previously with the worst performing being from 2007 and 2008 which account for just under 40% of all those in default.

The first four years after origination the probability of default increases then slowly declines over time noted Hill.  Younger borrowers (62 to 65) are the most likely to default however they are making more repayments than older borrowers.

While we haven’t received data on those who have not made repayments, servicers and HUD remain committed to assist senior homeowners to remain in their home.  It shouldn’t be assumed that reverse mortgage borrowers have gone into foreclosure.  It’s important to remember that even without a reverse mortgage in place, these homeowners who haven’t paid their property taxes face foreclosure or tax forfeiture through the county.  The reverse mortgage is not the reason senior homeowners go into foreclosure.

While the headlines report senior homeowners are losing their homes because of a reverse mortgage and tax defaults, the data shows otherwise; it’s just more myths about reverse mortgages.

Resource: The National Reverse Mortgages Lenders Association (NRMLA); data presented at the 2012 Annual Meeting & Expo by senior HECM managers.

©2012 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-C6

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.

Are Reverse Mortgage Property Tax Defaults Really Due To The Reverse Mortgage? …They Are Not The Only Reason Seniors Lose Their Home

Reverse mortgages are not the reason for tax defaultsThere is a lot of talk about the issues of reverse mortgage defaults causing borrowers to go into foreclosure and lose their homes because of not paying their taxes and insurance… claiming that the tax defaults are a reason one should not do a reverse mortgage.  The media and so-called senior advocates are pushing this point hard.  Are you aware that anyone who doesn’t pay property taxes on one’s property can face foreclosure?

If one has a conventional mortgage and doesn’t pay their taxes, the lender will pay the taxes on behalf of their borrower and increase the homeowners mortgage payments to cover the taxes.  If they let their homeowners insurance drop, the lender will place “forced” insurance on the property and pass the costs along to the borrower.

Even if one doesn’t have a mortgage, a reverse or conventional, one can lose their home for not paying their taxes – the counties foreclose on them.  Here in Minnesota the county claims the property as a tax forfeiture.

Ann, a 65 year old woman called me inquiring about a reverse mortgage stating she owed over $20,000 in back taxes and was facing tax forfeiture in just a few short months.  Ann had no other debt and her home was worth more than $300,000.  Based on her situation, she wouldn’t qualify for a conventional or “forward” mortgage.  Someone had suggested the reverse mortgage a solution to her situation.

I explained the details of the reverse mortgage: A reverse mortgage is a loan with special terms for those 62 and older.  As an FHA insured loan HUD oversees the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage or HECM providing protections like no other financial option.  With the HECM there are no income or credit score qualifications* and no monthly payment requirements.  The home would remain hers with the title in her name.  And the reverse mortgage funds could pay off her tax debt and she could leave the remaining funds in a Line of Credit with a growth rate for future needs including paying her property taxes going forward.  Or if she chose she could receive monthly payments, a lump sum or a combination of these options.

The loan would be due and payable when the home was no longer her primary residence or on her 150th birthday.  If at the time the loan was due and payable and the home was sold for more than the loan balance she or her estate would receive the difference in funds.  Or if the loan balance was higher than what the home could be sold for, as a non-recourse loan she or her estate would not have to come up with the difference, the FHA Mortgage Insurance covers the difference to the lender.

In her situation she would have had a large line of credit that would allow her funds to pay her taxes and insurance going forward… and some other life necessities or a little extra here and there to maintain or improve the quality of her life.

There are many homeowners who lose their home for not paying their property taxes.  When one gets behind on their taxes, they also reduce their option of qualifying for a conventional mortgage, especially with the tighter credit and income qualifications.

And think about it, if one doesn’t have insurance on their home and there is a fire or a storm that destroys the home, the homeowner loses their home and they don’t have money to rebuild.

Another consideration regarding reverse mortgage defaults is they are minimal compared to conventional or “forward” mortgage default foreclosures.  I’m sure some of the forward foreclosures included seniors who had been sold a mortgage without consideration on whether they would be able to make payments in the future.  In fact I know of an 80+ year old woman who did a 30-year mortgage… what was the likelihood she would be able to make mortgage payments for 30 years?  A reverse mortgage would have been a better loan choice for her.

When the senior homeowners with forward mortgages have had “life happen” and they couldn’t make the payments, they also didn’t qualify for a reverse mortgage because they owed more than the reverse mortgage proceeds, they went into foreclosure.  (We often receive calls from seniors in this situation and have to say we can’t do the reverse mortgage for them.)  If these seniors had done the reverse mortgage initially instead of doing the forward mortgage, they would be benefitting from no mortgage payments and having funds to pay their taxes and insurance as well as for their other needs.Reverse Mortgages Make Positive Difference in Seniors' Lives

Reverse mortgages make a huge positive difference in the life of senior homeowners; the majority of reverse mortgage borrowers are satisfied with their reverse mortgage.  Reverse mortgages shouldn’t be discounted because a small percentage are in default.

When reverse mortgage borrowers haven’t paid their taxes the lenders/servicers work with the borrowers to find ways to help them including sending them to counselors who  work with borrowers to find a way to assist them address the issue.

Unfortunately, Ann’s brother had told her reverse mortgages are bad and she shouldn’t do one and she listened to him.   Consequently the county foreclosed on her.  She not only lost her home and a place to live, she lost the $280,000+ in equity.  Whereas a reverse mortgage could have saved her home from foreclosure and she would have been able to pay her taxes and remain in her home with funds for other needs or desires including paying her future taxes and insurance.

So you see, reverse mortgage tax defaults are really defaults on taxes with a reverse mortgage in place and are not the only reason seniors can lose their home – they happen with conventional or no mortgages at all as well.  The media and politicians should stop attacking the reverse mortgage industry as the bad guys and gals – counties across the country are foreclosing on seniors’ homes too.

*To address the issue of tax and insurance defaults, in the near future we anticipate financial assessments with the reverse mortgage to determine if the borrowers are able to pay property taxes and insurance into the future.

©2012 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-YU

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.

A Reverse Mortgage Doesn’t Leave An Inheritance. But How Are You Going To Meet Mom’s Needs Today?

A reverse mortgage provides for Mom's needs today“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 question is, do you, the children, have the money needed to cover the costs of mom or dad’s needs today if they don’t have the money and don’t do a reverse mortgage?

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.

A 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.”

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?  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 you deny your parents?

Even if one’s children are able to help their parents 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!

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, and no income or credit requirements 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.”

A reverse mortgage provides security, independence, dignity and controlI’m happy to say Chris did proceed with her reverse mortgage.  And for the last six years I’ve 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.

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?

© 2012 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-yv

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 Hope and Opportunity With Reverse Mortgages

Seniors find hope and opportunity with reverse mortgagesIt’s the season of hope and new growth and opportunity.  Flowers are blooming, trees are budding, the grass is growing.  As with the season, seniors can find this hope, new growth and have new opportunities that they can remain in their home with security, independence, dignity and control.  And like the many types of flowers, buds and new growth, the variety of how the reverse mortgage funds are used and numerous, basically endless.  Here are some of the ways seniors have found hope and opportunity with their reverse mortgage.

  • Stay in one’s home where they may have raised their family, are familiar with the neighborhood and their neighbors and where they usually want to remain.
  • Pay off a current mortgage to eliminate the monthly mortgage payments.
  • Save one’s home when faced with foreclosure or tax forfeiture.
  • Have improved cash flow with no monthly mortgage payments.
  •  Have funds for making home improvements or home modifications.
  •  Retire and not feeling like you have to work just to have money to pay the bills.
  •  Have cash flow to be able to pay taxes.
  •  Have funds to pay for home health care.
  •  Have funds for some assistance with home care or companion services.
  •  Have funds for adult day services.
  •  Have funds for medical expenses and prescriptions.Seniors find hope and opportunity with reverse mortgages
  •  Afford going to the dentist.
  •  Afford new eye glasses.
  •  Have funds for the needed hearing aid.
  •  Have funds to cover long term care expenses.
  •  Cover everyday living expenses.
  •  Not rely on credit cards.
  •  Not rely on children.
  •  Have funds for the little extras in life, like:
    • getting one’s hair done,
    • having cable TV,
    • buying groceries,
    • going to lunch with friends,
    • treating their children to dinner,
    • going to community plays or the theater or a concert,
    • taking the grandchildren to the zoo or a movie,
    • Depends (I had a client say with their reverse mortgage they could now afford to buy Depends),
    • being able to do hobbies.
  • Purchase a more dependable car
  • Afford transportation if one can no longer drive.
  • Afford the travel for the family wedding or reunion.
  • Take the vacation they have dreamed of all their life.
  • Protect some of their other retirement funds or investments where there might be taxes or penalties on withdrawals.
  • Purchase a new home to downsize and/or  move closer to family
  • Have funds for emergencies.
  • Reduce financial stress.
  • Have funds to full fill needs and goals.
  • To live with security, independence, dignity and control.

Seniors find hope and opportunity with reverse mortgagesIt’s fulfilling to me to be able to help seniors find hope, growth, and opportunity with  reverse mortgage (visit the links below for some stories).  A reverse mortgage has given hope and opportunity to thousands of Minnesota seniors so they can remain in their home with security, independence, dignity and control even during trying times.  If you know a senior who is looking for hope and opportunity, a reverse mortgage may be their answer.

To determine if a reverse mortgage is right for one’s situation, talk with an experienced licensed reverse mortgage expert to get the facts.  Learn some of the facts at our website: www.RMSIDAC.com.  “What to Consider When Talking With Reverse Mortgage Lenders” will help you determine questions to ask when choosing your originator.

© 2012 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-y9

Related articles of stories on how seniors have used the reverse mortgage and how it’s made a difference in their lives:

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.

Reverse Mortgages Receive Some Good PR Coverage

Couple Getting Reverse Mortgage InfoWhile the media often feeds into the myths and misconceptions about reverse mortgages, the past two weeks there were two pieces that provided accurate and good information about this finance option for seniors.

First was a post in the New York Times on March15th titled, “More Homeowners Seek Reverse Mortgages At Earlier Age”  http://bucks.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/15/more-homeowners-seek-reverse-mortgages-at-earlier-age/

And on March 21, NBC Today Money 911 panelists provided a good answer to a daughter who thinks she should get an inheritance rather than her mother having done the reverse mortgage.  http://www.finishrich.com/blog/nbcs-today-show-money-911-march-21-2012/

The reverse mortgage provides funds for the senior’s needs and wants.  It helps them have money for their security, independence, dignity and control… no matter what their age.

It’s good to see the media catching on and providing facts for a change.

© 2012 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-xX

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.