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.

Choosing between A HELOC and A HECM Reverse Mortgage

Choosing between HELOC and HECMPeople often look at Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOC) to give them extra cash.  These can be a good option.  However, for those 62 and older, a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) Line of Credit may be more advantageous.  Let’s compare the two.

 

Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) Reverse Mortgage Line of Credit
Borrow against equity in home Yes Yes
Uses of funds There may be stipulations that funds can only be used for certain things, i.e. remodel, adding an addition. No restrictions.
Draw Period, time during which you can access funds/Repayment Period, time when you make payments to repay the loan Draw Period is usually 5 to 10 years; when draw period ends you can no longer access funds.

 

 

 

Repayment period is usually 10 or 20 year terms; Some may require a payment of the full balance at one time at the end of the draw period.

Longer term: Draw period is as long as the home is your primary residence and you abide by the terms of the loan and there are funds available in your line of credit.

 

Repayment is due when the home is no longer the primary residence, usually when borrower dies, sells or moves.  Due date on mortgage document is 150th birthday of youngest borrower.

Payment Requirement Yes – requires a minimum monthly payment of interest during Draw Period; eventually increasing to include principal to pay entire loan balance during Repayment Period. No – Offers flexible option; No monthly mortgage payment required but can choose to pay as little or as much as you want or NOT at all.
Responsible for Property Taxes, Insurance, maintaining property; paying HOA dues if applicable Yes Yes
Interest Rates Most are Adjustable Rate; as interest rate rises payments will also rise.

 

 

Generally no cap on the size of the adjustments.  Lifetime caps may be available for a shorter term HELOC.  May vary by State law.

Adjustable Rate.  Interest added to loan balance, only impacting loan balance at end.  (See Non-recourse Loan.)

 

Adjustable Rate Options have a lifetime cap on the rate; for the monthly adjustable rate it is10 points and for the annual rate it is 5 points over the initial rate at the time of closing.

Fixed rate option is available but does not offer Line of Credit option, all available funds must be drawn at closing.

Called due or Freezing Funds Banks can call the loan due or freeze funds not yet used or cut the Line of Credit if they find adverse information about the borrower’s credit or as the market changes as was done when home values declined. Line of Credit cannot be frozen as long as you meet terms of the loan.  Because FHA insures the loan it’s guaranteed to be there for you during term of the loan.
Line of Credit Growth Rate No Unused Line of Credit grows so more funds become available in future with Adjustable Rate Option.
Re-borrow LOC Funds Yes Yes; If loan payment(s) made, reduces loan balance and funds can be re-borrowed in future with Adjustable Rate option.  Line of Credit is not available with the Fixed Rate Option so funds cannot be re-borrowed.
Non-recourse Loan – The loan can only be repaid with the value of the home. There is no personal liability to repay the loan from the borrower or their heirs. No Yes
Qualifying Lenders look at income, credit worthiness including credit scores, and ability to make HELCO payments.  Regulatory requirements and restrictions may prevent some seniors qualifying. 62 and older, meet 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 may be required to cover the property taxes and insurance.
Planning for future Short term loans limit use in future when one might need long-term care. Longer term loan offers options for planning and potentially having funds for long-term care needs in the future.

If you are looking for funds for a short period of time, you can afford to make payments and you qualify, a HELOC may be the best option for your situation.*

Happy they decided on HECM Reverse Mortgage over HELCO

For those 62 and older, generally the HECM is more advantageous over a HELOC. 

With the flexibility of making payments toward the loan balance, or NOT making a mortgage payment at all, the HECM reverse mortgage line of credit could be part of your plan for when life changes.
(Borrowers are still responsible for paying property taxes, hazard insurance and maintenance of the home.)

The HECM Line of Credit funds, which have a growth rate on unused funds, can provide some safeguards if one’s situation changes such as loss of job, Social Security or pension reduced because of the loss of a spouse, or changed or reduced of financial assets.  Or if “life happens” with funds in a HECM line of credit you could cover your long-term care needs.

Additionally one can change their payment plan option to receive tenure or term monthly payments; this can benefit them as their needs change.

*If you do a HELOC then later decide to do a HECM, there is a 12 month seasoning requirement, have to wait 12 months, after taking out the HELOC and drawing $500 or more.  Doing the HECM initially may make more sense.

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.

© 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-1qE

Related articles:

Blog posts’ 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.

Refinancing A Reverse Mortgage – Should you?

Receiving Letters to Refinance Reverse MortgageCurrent reverse mortgage borrowers are receiving letters encouraging them to refinance.  While refinancing a reverse mortgage is an option, let’s explore whether it should be considered.

Just like refinancing a conventional, or what we call a forward, mortgage, borrowers consider refinancing a reverse mortgage when they need more money.  But just like a forward mortgage, one needs to make sure they are going to receive a benefit when they refinance.  And just like a forward mortgage, when refinancing the closing costs are part of the transaction.

When I receive the calls from my borrowers who have received the letters or encouragement on their statements I start with these questions:

  • How long ago did you take out your reverse mortgage?
  • What was the value of your home at that time?
  • What is the value of your home now?
  • What is your current loan balance on your reverse mortgage?
  • Are you receiving monthly payments?
  • Do you have funds in a Line of Credit?
  • Why would you want to refinancing?

These questions are pertinent in helping one decide if it makes sense to consider refinancing.

Keep in mind the factors used to determine the amount a senior can receive from their reverse mortgage include:  the interest rate of the program chosen, the age of the borrower (the older one is the more funds one can receive), and the home value based on an FHA appraisal or the FHA Lending Limit.

The first three questions are important in determining if you will be able receive more money when refinancing.  As one aged during the time home vales were increasing refinancing made more sense because borrowers were more likely to be able to receive additional funds.

As you know, during the housing crash home values decreased.  Now while home values have started to increase, we often find that the borrowers will still not receive additional funds from refinancing their reverse mortgage. (However some states the values have increased faster and higher than others.  In MN, while increasing, the values have not increased enough to warrant refinancing in many situations.)

If, however, the initial reverse mortgage was taken when there was a lower lending limit, i.e. $251,750 and the current home value is, say $400,000, then refinancing may be considered.

For many years the FHA Lending Limit was based on the county in which one lived.  In 2008 the Lending Limit was changed to a national limit of $417,000.  In 2009 and through the end of 2016, the national limit was $625,500.  January 1st through December 31, 2017 the FHA Lending Limit for reverse mortgages has been increased to $636,150.

Is refinancing a good idea just because the Lending Limit has increased?  Not necessarily, especially if one’s home value isn’t in the higher valued range.

The current loan balance is important because when refinancing the reverse mortgage, the current reverse mortgage needs to be repaid.  If there aren’t enough proceeds to pay off the current mortgage and to receive additional money then refinancing doesn’t make sense.

The next two questions, whether they are receiving monthly payments or have funds in a line of credit, are important because most likely it doesn’t make sense to refinance a reverse mortgage if they still have funds available to them that will last them for a few more years.

With a forward mortgage sometimes refinancing is done to reduce the interest rate.  With the reverse mortgage generally it doesn’t make sense to refinance for the interest rate.  Remember one isn’t making payments with a reverse mortgage so the interest rate doesn’t impact their monthly cash flow, it only impacts the amount that will be repaid when the loan becomes due and payable.

It is important to note that the reverse mortgage is non-recourse which means there is no personal liability to the borrower or their heirs if the loan balance is higher than what the home can be sold for.

The funds available to borrowers are determined by the age of the youngest borrower, the Expected Interest Rate and the program chosen.  If the Expected Interest Rate is higher, less funds will be available.

Until 2008 all reverse mortgages were adjustable rate mortgages.  Don’t panic, this isn’t a bad thing with a reverse mortgage.  With the adjustable rate reverse mortgage there is more flexibility by having the option of a line of credit, monthly payments, a lump sum or a combination of these.

The adjustable interest rate is made up of an index and a margin.  The index is based on the LIBOR and the margin is determined by the lender.  HUD set a floor at 5.06% which means the funds available will be the same if the interest is at 5.06 or below.   Currently the interest rates are remaining low, below the floor so one generally will not receive more funds if they were to refinance.

In 2008 a fixed rate option was introduced.  With the fixed rate one has to draw all funds as a lump sum; the line of credit and monthly payment options are not available.  One is not going to gain a benefit of more funds available by refinancing for a lower interest rate.  However we have had some who refinance from a fixed rate to an adjustable rate to receive the flexibility the adjustable rate option offers, especially if one chooses to make payments on their reverse mortgage.

When refinancing one will still have closing costs so you have to consider if refinancing will offset off set a lower interest rate and/or funds one is receiving.

The Streamline Refinance of the FHA Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Home Equity Conversion Mortgage or HECM reverse mortgage requires a calculation demonstrating borrowers receive at least 5% more or they must go through the counseling session to review their situation.  Some lenders require the counseling for any borrower refinancing their reverse mortgage.  This is a strong protection to help borrowers from falling for a lender’s marketing letters and thinking refinancing may be a good idea when it really isn’t.  Unfortunately it can cost seniors to find out this information as counselors are allowed to charge, generally $125 for the counseling session.

The National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA) ethics committee set a guideline that reverse mortgage borrowers who want to refinance must wait a minimum of 18 months along with the “closing cost test” and “loan proceeds test.”

The last question or why you are considering is important in the decision to refinance because there could be valid reasons to refinance that benefit you.  Some include a title change, i.e. adding a younger spouse to title when they turn 62, taking on a new spouse are a couple reasons.  Reverse Mortgage Borrower Contemplating Options

While options should always be considered, after reviewing the above questions and your answers, at this time refinancing generally doesn’t make sense for the majority of reverse mortgage borrowers.  Hopefully seniors don’t get sucked in with marketing letters & statements by completing an application so that the lender can just take an application when refinancing doesn’t make sense for them.

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.

© 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 and without modifications and includes the contact information, copyright information and the following link: http://wp.me/p4EUZQ-1q4

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.

Giving Thanks For The Opportunity To Make A Difference

Happy ThanksgivingIt’s Thanksgiving and the season to reflect and give thanks.  I want to take this opportunity to say I’m grateful for all who are in or have been in my life and have touched it in one way or another.  I’m grateful for the talents God gave me and my parents taught me to use.  And I’m thankful that I have the opportunity to use those talents to assist others and make a difference in their lives.

It’s rewarding to have my reverse mortgage borrowers call and say how much the reverse mortgage has made in their life, for themselves as well as their families.  It is because of you, the customer, that I have the opportunity to serve.

This poem is hanging on my office wall as a wonderful reminder it’s because of YOU

Because the Customer

Because the customer has a need,
we have a job to do.

Because the customer has a choice,
we must be the better choice.

Because the customer has sensibilities,
we must be considerate.

Because the customer has urgency,
we must be quick.

Because the customer is unique,
we must be flexible

Because the customer has high expectations,
we must excel.

Because the customer has influence,
we have the hope of more customers.

Because of the customer,
we exist!

Anonymous

Thank you to my reverse mortgage borrowers, my referral sources, my vendors, my networks and all who help make a difference in the lives of seniors.  It is because of YOU I exist and am so rewarded.

May you have a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving!

Beth Paterson, CRMP
Certified Reverse Mortgage Professional
NMLS #352859

© 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.

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.

Reverse Mortgage Misconceptions Continue; You need to get the facts!

Confused about Reverse Mortgages FactsI’m amazed at how much misinformation continues about the reverse mortgage in the media as well as those who comment on these pieces.  Let me clarify the more common misconceptions.

Borrower’s do still own the home, not the lender or bank!  The reverse mortgage is a loan allowing homeowners 62 or older to use the equity while they still live in and own the home.  It is a valuable option to consider whether one has no mortgage or a conventional mortgage.  If they use the reverse mortgage to pay off their current mortgage the borrower’s cash flow will increase because they no longer have to make the monthly mortgage payment.

Everyone’s situation is different and one should consider their situation looking at ALL options including a reverse mortgage.  Get the facts, review information on HUD’s website, meet with a local originator to explore the details and how it will possibly work for your circumstances.  As I told someone the other day, one can’t make a good decision unless they have explored all the options.

Closing costs are comparable to any conventional mortgage…I’ve done side-by-side comparisons.

Selling and moving may not be the best option, especially if one wants to remain in their home.  The reverse mortgage can be less expensive than selling and moving.

Options for receiving the reverse mortgage proceeds include:

  • A Line of Credit (which as a growth rate so more funds become available based on the LOC balance).
  • Monthly Payment option – payments made to the borrower as tenure (for the life of the loan), term (an amount determined by the borrower for a specific period of time)
  • Lump Sum – funds drawn at closing
  • A combination of these.

A lump sum is a little risky but HUD has implemented some restrictions including limiting the amount one can access in the first 12 months to 60%, unless there are mandatory charges such as a current mortgage or judgements that are required to be paid from the reverse mortgage.

Better and more common options include: The line of credit with the growth rate can be a useful retirement planning tool and help pay long term care costs in the future.

The monthly payment options whether tenure or term can provide extra cash needed each month.  Maybe one could use an extra $100 or $200 a month so they don’t have to use credit cards to cover living expenses.

Some borrowers do a combination of these, taking some as a lump sum, a line of credit and monthly payments.

MN Reverse Mortgage Borrower Signing Closing DocumentsIt is a loan that does need to be repaid.  The loan does need to be repaid when the home is no longer the primary residence of the borrower(s) with some provisions for non-borrowing spouses.  If one does not pay property taxes, keep insurance on the property or does not abide by the terms of the loan, the lender may call the loan due and payable.  The actual due date on the mortgage is the 150th birthday of the youngest borrower.

The reverse mortgage uses all the equity.  While the interest is being added to the loan balance, this allows the senior homeowner the use of these extra funds during the term of the loan.  And the advantage of the reverse mortgage is it is a non-recourse loan, which means there is no personal liability to the borrower or their heirs, it is repaid from the value of the home only.  If the loan balance is higher than what the home can be sold for when the loan is due, the FHA Mortgage Insurance covers the difference to the lender; the borrower or their heirs or tax dollars don’t cover this difference.

Having Reverse Mortgage Documents ExplainedReverse Mortgages Are Complex.  What financial product or even other products aren’t complex if you don’t understand them?  Do you understand all the details of a conventional mortgage?  Your car loan?  Do you understand and use all the features of your smart phone?  Yes, there are many details with the reverse mortgage, that’s why it’s important to take the time to understand them and work with a reverse mortgage originator will will take the time educate you and not pressure you.

Get the facts!  As with any financial product, or any purchase for that matter, one should get the facts and understand the terms.  With the reverse mortgage there are many protections in place including 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.  Don’t jump to conclusions! Understanding them, they might find the reverse mortgage is a viable option for their situation.

© 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-1ny

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.

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.