It is a common belief that one has to have a lot of equity in their home in order to do a reverse mortgage. In reality a reverse mortgage can be done if there are enough proceeds from the reverse mortgage to pay off any current liens. If there aren’t enough reverse mortgage proceeds if the borrower can come up with the difference a reverse mortgage can still be done and benefit them.
The Reverse Mortgage improves cash flow because one doesn’t have to make mortgage payments. Even if the reverse mortgage proceeds are used to pay off current liens the senior’s cash flow will be improved because they will have eliminated their mortgage payment.
For example, Wayne was struggling to make his mortgage payments of $1,200 a month. The reverse mortgage proceeds were just enough to pay off his current liens. While he didn’t have funds available from the reverse mortgage beyond paying off the mortgage, his cash flow improved by $1,200 a month because he no longer had to make the mortgage payments.
When we ran the calculations for Minnesota home owners, Jerry and Dorothy the reverse mortgage proceeds were short $3,000 to pay off their current mortgage. They chose to pull some funds from their savings so they could do the reverse mortgage and eliminate their mortgage payments – a benefit and savings in the long run. (Note that HUD, who insures the most common reverse mortgage, the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) does not allow the difference to be from another loan or credit cards. If the funds are coming from an outside source, not from your own resources, then it must be a gift, not a loan to be repaid.)
If one is having a hard time making the payments and facing foreclosure the revere mortgage may be the solution in saving their home. Because income and credit scores are not considered to qualify for a reverse mortgage, the reverse mortgage may be a solution. If reverse mortgage funds are not enough to pay off the current loan, we work with foreclosure and housing counselors and lenders to receive a short payoff using the reverse mortgage as the funds to pay off the current mortgage.
If one is unable to handle monthly loan payments of their mortgage or credit card payments, a reverse mortgage may be the solution. Or maybe one chooses not to make monthly payments any more. A reverse mortgage may be the solution for this situation also. Once the reverse mortgage pays off one’s current lien(s) or mortgage(s), there are no more monthly payments.
So don’t dismiss the reverse mortgage thinking you don’t have enough equity. Consider the option and see if there is a way that the reverse mortgage may benefit you.
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