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.

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.

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.

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

Think you don’t need a reverse mortgage? Think again… Maybe you’ll WANT one.

Benefit from Reverse Mortgage for Financial and Long Term Care PlanningI sometimes have people say to me they don’t need a reverse mortgage.  Have you said or thought this?  Have you thought  a reverse mortgage should be a last resort or one should wait until they are older before doing one?   Let’s explore how a reverse mortgage can help you with your retirement planning and long term care planning needs.   And why doing a reverse mortgage now rather than later may be to your advantage.  You might then decide you want one.

A reverse mortgage is a mortgage like any other mortgage, using the equity in one’s home, but has special terms for homeowners 62 and over.  There are no income or credit score qualifications for the interest rate and no monthly mortgage payments required.  Homeowners maintain the title; the reverse mortgage lender does not own the home.  Borrowers are responsible for paying their property taxes and insurance as well as maintaining the home.  Reverse mortgage borrowers are highly protected – more so than with any other loan.

The Loan Amount, referred to as the Principal Limit, of the HUD insured Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) reverse mortgage is based on the age of the youngest borrower, the lesser of the home value or FHA Lending Limit, the program chosen and the Expected Interest Rate.  HUD allows certain types of properties to qualify: single family homes, duplexes or 1 to 4 unit properties as long as the home owner is living in one of the units, townhomes, FHA approved condos, and manufactured homes that meet HUD’s requirements.

Let’s compare doing a reverse mortgage now to waiting before doing your reverse mortgage.

TODAY

10 Years from Now

 

Barb wrote: “Having a Reverse Mortgage has given me monetary independence and I never realized how important having cash available would be until I fell in October 2013 and broke my right shoulder. Without the Reverse Mortgage money I would have been ‘up a creek without a paddle’.  Financial independence
saved the day.”

AGE

63

73

HOME VALUE

$200,000

$263,000
(based on Moody’s
Analytics Factors)

AVAILABLE (Approximate net after fees)

$92,729

$130,626*

  • Based on open-ended credit with current Expected Interest Rate of 5.21%; Closing costs of $5,871 plus FHA up-front Mortgage Insurance Premium of .5%; drawing 60% or less in 1st 12 months; annual FHA Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP) is 1.25%.
  • The Expected Rate is used to calculate the Principal Limit/Loan Amount and for estimated projections on the loan.
  • Growth Rate in this example based on assumption of Expected Interest Rate of 5.210%.  Actual Line of Credit Grows based on current interest rate plus 1.25%.  So if interest rate is higher, funds in the line of credit will grow faster.
  • These are estimates, the actual amounts are based on many factors. Different assumptions would result in different numbers.

* If the interest rate is higher, and it is likely that it will be in the future, less funds would be available.

While it may look like it’s to your advantage to wait until you are older, look at what happens if you do the revolving credit reverse mortgage now and leave the funds in a line of credit for your future use.

Funds in the reverse mortgage Line of Credit grow and this is the advantage of doing the reverse mortgage now.  Here’s an example of future funds available if at the age of 63 you draw less than 60% in the 1st 12 months and you have $92,729 in your line of credit initially:

Line of Credit Available*

No Draws

After Draw of $5,600 Each Year

 

Jerry stated, “The Reverse Mortgage enables us to live in our home without mortgage payments.  Line of credit will grow for our future needs.  The whole package is a win-win for my wife and me.”

 Age 68

$136,488

$92,557

 Age 73

$188,364

$101,624

Age 83

$358,756

$134,739

  • Based on open-ended credit with current Expected Interest Rate of 5.21%; Closing costs of $5,871 plus FHA up-front Mortgage Insurance Premium of .5%; drawing 60% or less in 1st 12 months; annual FHA Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP) is 1.25%.
  • The Expected Rate is used to calculate the Principal Limit/Loan Amount and for estimated projections on the loan.
  • Growth Rate in this example based on assumption of Expected Interest Rate of 5.210%.  Actual Line of Credit Grows based on current interest rate plus 1.25%.  So if interest rate is higher, funds in the line of credit will grow faster.
  • These are estimates, the actual amounts are based on many factors. Different assumptions would result in different numbers.

Consider the amount you will have in the line of credit available for your retirement needs or long term care needs when doing the reverse mortgage now.

You can pull all or some of the line of credit funds out as you desire or the payment plan can be changed during the life of the loan, for example, you may change from having some or all of your funds in the line of credit to receiving monthly payments.(1)

Even when you use some of the funds each year you will be taking advantage of having the additional money you need annually plus still having funds in your line of credit for future use.

The Principal Limit or Loan Amount is based on age with the older one is receiving more funds.  At the current Principal Limit Factors the increase is approximately 1% for each year.  This is lower than the line of credit growth rate.  With this taken into consideration, in just 5 years the funds in the line of credit with no draws will likely be higher than if you wait the 5 or 10 years to do a reverse mortgage.

Lucy* stated, “Having done the reverse mortgage has given me a new sense of security.”

Have No Monthly Mortgage Payments, Lower Interest Expense, Funds for Needs or Wants for Retirement Planning or Long Term Care Planning or Needs

In addition to a lower interest rate(2) with a reverse mortgage, eliminating your monthly payment will improve your cash flow because you don’t have to pay out that monthly payment each month.  While the loan balance will rise because you are not making payments, the reverse mortgage is non-recourse which means there is no personal liability to you or your estate if the loan balance is higher than what the home can be sold at fair market value in the future.  When the loan is being repaid, if the loan balance is lower than what the home can be sold for, the borrower or the estate receive the difference.

You have the funds to use during the term of the loan for whatever you need or want.  By doing the reverse mortgage earlier you have use of funds that otherwise would go toward your monthly mortgage payments.  Why not improve your cash flow sooner than later?

You do have the option of making payments with your reverse mortgage – it’s just not required.  You can choose when, how often and how much you want to pay.

If you make the payment(s) on the reverse mortgage, the payments will reduce the loan balance.  And with the adjustable rate, open-end reverse mortgage the payment will increase the Line of Credit meaning the funds are available in the future.  And over time the funds available are likely to exceed the home value at the time the reverse mortgage was initiated.  Additionally, using Moody’s Analytics, the line of credit is likely to grow faster than the home is appreciating.

Consider if you do the reverse mortgage now, let the line of credit grow and in 8 years you have a medical situation.  If you have a conventional mortgage you’ll have to balance paying mortgage payments with paying medical bills.  With the conventional mortgage if you don’t pay your mortgage in a few short months you are likely to be facing foreclosure.

If you are choosing to make monthly mortgage payments on the reverse mortgage, you could stop the payment being they are not required and therefore eliminating the risk of foreclosure from not making the monthly mortgage payments.  You have the option of resuming making payments if you choose.  You still need to pay your property taxes, keep hazard insurance on your home and pay home owner association dues if applicable.

Take advantage of doing the reverse mortgage now while the interest rate is low.  And then when the interest rate does increase, the line of credit will grow even faster (the growth rate is determined by the interest on the loan plus 1.25%).  The line of credit will grow regardless of the home values increasing or decreasing.

In waiting to do a reverse mortgage until you feel you have a need, you are taking risks.  For example:

Reduced Loan Amount or Principal Limit

Over the last few years HUD has reduced the calculation of the Loan Amount (Principal Limit).  We don’t know if HUD may find it necessary to decrease this again and/or increase the FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums.  Waiting may mean less funds are available if HUD reduces the Loan Amount or Principal Limit.

Higher Expected Interest Rates Equals Less Funds Available

With FHA Reverse Mortgages the Expected Interest Rate is calculated weekly and is used to determine initial funds available.  The Expected Interest Rate is considered a long term projection of future interest rates.  As the Expected Interest Rate changes to a higher rate, in the future less initial funds could be available to borrowers.  It is unknown as to the timing of when the rates may rise but at some point they will likely go up.

Properties that qualify

HUD already has restrictions on condos that are not FHA approved making it difficult to do a reverse mortgage on condos.  (The spot condo approval was removed in 2010.)  We are seeing lenders add manufactured homes, log homes, berm, and rural homes to their list of ineligible homes.  While there are still some lenders who continue to lend on these properties based on HUD’s requirements, this may change in the future and they are likely to tighten the underwriting requirements for these types of properties.  If you are in one of these properties you should look at doing a reverse mortgage now while it’s still an option.

Higher Valued Home Owners Should Do A Reverse Mortgage Before The Lending Limit Is Reduced

Currently the FHA HECM (Home Equity Conversion Mortgage) Lending Limit is $625,500.  At some point this rate could be reduced to a lower national limit or be based on a lending limit in the county where one lives (as is currently with a Forward FHA).  What this means is that if your home is valued more than the Lending Limit amount you can receive is based on the Lending Limit rather than the home value.  For example if your home is appraised at $700,000, currently we would use $625,500 to determine the reverse mortgage Principal Limit.  A lower Lending Limit would make a big difference on the amount one can receive.  If you have a higher valued home look at doing your reverse mortgage now instead of waiting.

Reverse Mortgage Financing Retirement

What would it be like for you to have security knowing you readily have funds available in your Line of Credit during your retirement years and the benefit of improved financial health?

You may not need a reverse mortgage now but it may benefit your retirement and long term care planning if you do one now.


(1)Consult with an Elder Law Attorney or financial consultant regarding the impact of pulling all your funds from a line of credit will impact Medicaid.
(2)Historically the HECM open-end credit reverse mortgage interest rate has been lower than what one can generally qualify for with a conventional mortgage.

Some information used in this article obtained from nu62(sm)

*Name changed to protect privacy

*As of April 27, 2015 income and credit are used for the Financial Assessment to determine borrower’s ability and willingness to pay property taxes and insurance into the future

Topic first published 2009; Updated 2014
© 2009-2014 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/pxPEm-FD

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.

Surprise! Reverse Mortgage Closing Costs Actually Compare to Conventional Mortgage Costs

Reverse Mortgage Closing Costs Compare to Conventional MortgageIt seems like every article, report or someone you talk with states the reverse mortgage  closing costs are high.  Have you looked at closing costs on a conventional home mortgage?

As with a conventional home mortgage (called a “forward” by HUD), the closing costs for reverse mortgages may vary depending on the home value and the complexity of the loan.  Let’s compare the costs side-by-side for a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage  or HECM and a conventional/forward mortgage.

The third party and recording fees are standard for any loan.  Keep in mind that there has to be a cost involved because everyone in the transaction needs to be paid for their services.  If the costs on a mortgage aren’t paid up-front then they’ll be paid over time with a higher interest.  Look at an estimated comparison based on a Minnesota home valued at $200,000:

Third Party Fees Reverse FHA Forward Forward FHA
Appraisal $500 $450 $500
Credit Report $25 $25* $25
Flood Certification $10 $10* $10
Courier Fee* $35 $35* $35
Escrow, Settlement, or Closing $275 $275 $275
Abstract or Title Search $110 $110 $110
Title Exam $110 $110 $110
Document Preparation $125 $125* $125
Title Insurance $475 $392 $392
Endorsements $50 $50* $50
Recording Fees $92 $46* $92
County/Mortgage Registration Tax $295 $384 $384
Plat Drawing $60 $60 $60
Name Search $35 $35 $35
Special Assessment Search $35 $35 $35
Counseling Fee $125 N/A N/A
TOTAL THIRD PARTY FEES $2,357 $2,142 $2,238

* These fees are included in the Qualified Mortgage (QM) Rule; included in as part of the “Closing Costs” under Lender Fees.

Now let’s compare the Lender Fees:

FHA’s Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP) is paid directly to FHA.  The FHA reverse mortgage includes a .5% or a  2.5% initial mortgage insurance premium, determined by the funds being drawn in the first twelve months.  The advantages with FHA insuring the reverse mortgage include:

  • Guaranteeing the funds are available for you during the term of the loan.
  • 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.
  • Providing a line of credit growth rate (available only with reverse mortgages).
  • As a reverse mortgage it is a non-recourse (no personal liability) loan; the FHA MIP will cover the difference to the lender rather than the borrowers or their heirs having to come up with the difference

The origination fee is what the originating lender receives to cover the loan officer’s compensation, overhead to run the business, i.e. staff salaries, administration costs, computers, electricity, office supplies, marketing expense, gas mileage, health insurance of employees, etc..  The origination fee also includes the processing and underwriting costs which are generally separate and charged to the borrower on forward loans.  HUD regulates the reverse mortgage origination fee to be 2% of the 1st $200,000; 1% thereafter with a cap of $6,000.  With a minimum of $2,500.

In some situations the lender will offer no or a reduced origination fee however the interest rate will be higher than if one pays the origination fee.

The reverse mortgage fees are based on the full home value because over time borrowers can access more than the home value at the time of origination.  One is essentially borrowing the interest and mortgage insurance premium each month because they are not making a payment.  And as one draws from their line of credit or through monthly payments the loan balance will increase making the loan amount higher.

An estimate based on a $200,000 home value (based on loan amount at 80% for the Forward loans):

LENDER FEES REVERSE FHA FORWARD FORWARD FHA
Origination/Points $4,000 $4,800* $1,600
MIP $1,000** $0*** $2,800
Administration Fees $0 $900* $900
SUBTOTAL LENDER FEES $5,000 $4,800 $5,300
Prepaid Interest**** N/A $375 $375
TOTAL LENDER FEES $5,000 $5,175 $5,675

*QM Rule closing costs cannot exceed 3% of the loan amount.  Number of points are directly related to interest rate charged; the more points paid the lower the interest rate; the lower points paid, the higher interest rate.
** Based on .5% – taking 60% or less within the 1st 12 months.
*** Conventional loans may have a Private Mortgage Insurance fee.
**** Forward loans have up-front prepaid interest due for remaining days in the month of closing; this is an example amount.  Funds will also be needed up-front to set up escrow.

TOTAL LOAN FEES REVERSE FHA FORWARD FORWARD FHA
$7,357 $7,026 $7,913

NOTE THE DIFFERENCE IS BASICALLY THE FHA MORTGAGE PREMIUM!  Refer to above comments on the benefits of FHA insuring the reverse mortgage.

The fees associated with the reverse mortgage are fully financed as part of the loan with no out of pocket expenses other than the FHA appraisal.  (As of 2010 Appraisal Management Companies must be used to order and process the appraisal.  This fee is required to be paid for by borrower up front or “out of pocket.”)  All of the fees for reverse mortgages and forward mortgages must be disclosed on the Good Faith Estimate (GFE).

When considering whether to do a forward mortgage or a reverse mortgage you must consider if you can even qualify for a forward mortgage; then if you can make the payments over time.  For example, what happens if “life happens,” could you continue making those payments or would you be facing foreclosure?

You also need to consider that if you do a forward mortgage now (if you even qualify), you’ll be paying the closings costs on that loan and then when you need more funds in the future and you refinance you’ll be paying the closings costs again.

Whereas with the reverse mortgage you pay the closing costs up-front and then without paying closing costs again you have access to more funds through your life as long as you are living in the home as your primary residence.  The additional funds would be either through monthly payments, a line of credit if that is the type of loan you have chosen.

Consider the benefits of the reverse mortgage which include:

  • No monthly mortgage payments, therefore increase your cash flow.
  • With no monthly mortgage payments required the risk of default due to not being able to make monthly mortgage payments is reduced.  (Borrowers are still required to pay property taxes, keep hazard insurance on and maintain the property and pay home owners association dues if applicable.)
  • A line of credit option which has a growth rate making more funds available to you in the future, no other mortgage offers this.  Or you can use the funds to receive monthly payments either as tenure (life of the loan) or an amount set by you.
  • Non-recourse, no personal liability to you or your heirs.

Now that we’ve compared the costs side-by-side, are you surprised that they are comparable to a conventional loan?

Comparison of fees first published 2009; Updated 2014; updated 12/3/2014
© 2009-2014 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-Z3

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.

You Don’t Need To Have A Mortgage To Do A Reverse Mortgage

A reverse mortgage is often used to pay off a mortgage which improves the homeowner’s cash flow by eliminating their mortgage payments.  But you don’t have to have a mortgage to “reverse the mortgage.”

You Don't Have To Have A Mortgage To Benefit From A Reverse MortgageMy borrower, Marjorie didn’t have a mortgage on her home but did a reverse mortgage to be prepared for future needs.  She used some of the initial funds to purchase hearing aides and left the rest in a line of credit.  She was happy with her decision to do her reverse mortgage because she now has security knowing she has funds available for her needs, independence to live on her own without relying on her family for financial support, she’s maintained her dignity of being able to pay her own bills, and continues having control of her life and the ability to make her own choices.  She recently took some funds from her line of credit to make a trip from Minnesota to California to visit her daughter who lives there – she wouldn’t have been able to do this without having her reverse mortgage.

A reverse mortgage is a mortgage with special terms for seniors 62 and older that provides them cash for whatever they need or want.  Monthly mortgage payments are not required and income or credit scores are not considered to qualify. The funds can be received in a monthly payment, paid to you, a line of credit with a growth rate, a lump sum or a combination of these.  The loan is due when the home is no longer the primary residence of the borrower(s) or on the 150th birthday of the youngest borrower.  The borrower is still responsible for paying taxes, insurance and maintaining the property.

A reverse mortgage doesn’t mean you are reversing a current mortgage, it means that rather than having to make payments on a mortgage, funds can be available to you without monthly mortgage payments.

The amount loaned is based on the appraised value (determined by a FHA licensed appraiser) or FHA Lending Limit, whichever is lower, the age of the borrower, the expected interest rate and the program chosen.  Any liens or mortgages need to be paid prior to determining the amount available in a line of credit, monthly payments or lump sum.

When there are no current liens or mortgages on a property, more accessible funds are available for borrowers.

As an example, with a $200,000 home value for a 75 year old person and the current interest rate on an adjustable loan (the program that offers the monthly payment, line of credit option, lump sum or combination option; the fixed rate requires all funds be drawn in a lump sum), the amount available after closing costs is $128,805.

The $128,805 can be left in a line of credit or taken in monthly tenure payments of $767, this means you are paid this amount each month as long as you are living in the home as your primary residence.Enjoying remaining at home with a HECM reverse mortgage

If there is a current lien or mortgage that needs to be paid, say in the amount of $50,000, the amount available after paying for the current lien or mortgage and the closing costs is $78,804 which can be left in a line of credit or $469 received in monthly tenure payments.

Either situation can provide security, independence, dignity and control for borrowers but with no current mortgage to be paid off, more accessible funds are available.  The funds can be used for whatever the borrower needs or wants, such as enhancing one’s retirement, home modifications or repairs, medical expenses, home care, or even just giving that extra elbow room.

Some pertinent facts about reverse mortgages:

  • You own the home, no one else does.
  • You won’t lose your home because of a reverse mortgage – you don’t have to make monthly mortgage payments.  If you don’t pay property taxes, insurance, maintain the home or abide by other terms of the loan, the loan may be called due and payable.
  • Tax-free money – consult tax advisor but make sure they know the facts about reverse mortgages
  • The most common reverse mortgage, HUD’s Home Equity Conversion Mortgage or HECM, and only one available in Minnesota, is government insured and funds are guaranteed to be there for you.
  • You or your heirs get to keep any remaining equity after the loan balance is paid off.
  • There is no personal liability to you or your estate when repaying the loan and the loan balance is higher than what the home can be sold for.
  • There are no out of pocket costs other than the cost of the appraisal.
  • Closing costs typically become part of the loan balance.  Closing costs compare to those on a conventional or “forward” mortgage – the difference is the FHA Mortgage Insurance Premium.
  • A credit report is pulled to check for any federal liens or debts that would be required to be paid.
  • You can’t access 100% of your home value at the time of your closing – the amount available is based on your age, your home value or FHA lending limit (currently $625,500), an Expected Interest Rate and the program chosen.
  • The funds may be received in a line of credit, lump sum, monthly payments or a combination of these.
    • Line of credit grows based on the current interest rate plus 1.25%
    • Monthly payments may be received as tenure payments (for life as long as the home is your primary residence) or structured to fit your needs.
  • Historically the interest rate is lower than conventional loans.

Just because you don’t have a current mortgage doesn’t mean a reverse mortgage wouldn’t be beneficial to you.  Consider having security knowing you have funds available during your retirement years with the benefit of improved financial health just like Marjorie did.

© 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-YQ

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.