Widower’s Financial Situation Improves with Reverse Mortgage

Reverse Mortgage benefited widower

Gary’s financial situation was impacted when his wife passed away a year ago.  Instead of having income from two Social Security checks, there was only one.  Having gone to just one Social Security check he wasn’t able to maintain his lifestyle as he had been accustomed and it was difficult to have enough funds to pay his property taxes.  And for awhile he started using a credit card to cover some of his living expenses.

Wanting to stay in his home of many years, Gary contacted me to do a reverse mortgage.  A reverse mortgage is a loan with special terms for those 62 and older. The funds available are based on the age of the youngest homeowner, the lessor of the appraised value or FHA lending limit of $625,500 and the Expected Interest Rate of the program chosen; income or credit score qualifications are not used for the interest rate.*  Similar to a traditional mortgage, the title stays in the homeowner’s name.  The most common, and only reverse mortgage currently available in Minnesota, is HUD’s FHA insured Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM),

The additional benefits Gary liked about the reverse mortgage was he doesn’t have to make monthly mortgage payments and with the flexibility of the adjustable rate program he can receive funds in a lump sum, a line of credit with a growth rate, monthly payments or a combination of those.

In addition, Gary liked the fact that the loan isn’t due until he is no longer in the home as his primary residence or on his 150th birthday and it’s a non-recourse loan which means there is no personal liability when repaying the loan, it is repaid from the property only.  For example, if the loan balance is $300,000 when the loan become due and payable but the home can only be sold for $250,000 the borrower or the estate do not have to come up with the $50,000 difference.  The loan is generally repaid from the sale of the property when the home is no longer the primary residence of the borrower, usually when they move, die or sell.  If the home is sold for more than the loan balance the remaining equity goes to the borrower or the estate.

At closing Gary’s home equity line of credit was paid off so he didn’t have any more monthly mortgage payments.  Additionally his property taxes were brought current, he took out some funds to pay some bills that had accumulated.  And now he has funds in a line of credit.  There is a small amount available under HUD’s limit to 60% in the 1st 12 months with the balance available after the 1st year.  Recognizing he is responsible for paying his property taxes, keeping homeowners insurance on the property and maintaining the property, the reverse mortgage provides the funds he’ll need for these responsibilities as well as funds for emergencies and the little things that may come up.  Gary’s financial situation has improved and he can maintain his lifestyle going forward.

Think about how a reverse mortgage will make a difference in your life and contact your local originator, one who works with several lenders to be able to offer you all options available and one who will meet with you in person.

*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.

©2014-2015 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-19A

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.

Do you wonder if reverse mortgages are so good, why more people aren’t doing them?

This is a question that I was asked recently during an initial meeting from potential reverse mortgage borrowers.  A great question that I think has a couple answers.

  1. People still haven’t heard of them.  When I was talking with one of my reverse mortgage borrowers the other day he said he’s been mentioning that he had done one but is surprised on how many people still haven’t heard about them.  While there are many ads and media coverage, some people are still unfamiliar with them.
  2. Headlines give misinformation about HECM Reverse MortgagesA lot of misinformation has been spread through the media, politicians and the community putting fear into the minds of potential reverse mortgage borrowers.  Unfortunately the media, politicians and people in our communities have not reached out to the experts, those to who specialize in reverse mortgages, to get the facts but continually spread the misinformation. Even some of the articles that tend toward being accurate don’t get all the facts right.  Or the comments on the article contain misinformation.   This misinformation is what scares people from doing a reverse mortgage even when they could benefit from one.

Let’s look at the facts of reverse mortgages and some of the misinformation that people have that keeps them from doing a reverse mortgage.

A reverse mortgage is a mortgage that has special terms for those 62 and over. Unlike a conventional mortgage or Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) monthly mortgage payments are not required.  Income and credit scores are not factors in determining one’s interest rate or how much can be loaned.  As without or with a conventional mortgage, a HELOC, homeowners are responsible for paying their property taxes and homeowners insurance.

It is often stated that reverse mortgages are complicated or complex transactions.  In reality reverse mortgages aren’t any more complex than a conventional mortgage or other financial products.  Do you understand all the terms and features of a conventional mortgage or HELOC?  Do you understand your 401K’s, stock investments or other retirement plans?  What about your credit card(s)… do you know how they work?Comparing Your Smart Phone To A Reverse Mortgage

My smart phone has so many bells and whistles I don’t understand all the options or how it works… complex yes, but I still utilize one and I don’t think I could live without it any more.  If people are open to getting the facts, they will likely have a better understanding of reverse mortgage and might just find it useful.

People still think the bank or the lender will own the home once the reverse mortgage is done.  Or the bank or lender will take ownership once the loan becomes due and payable.  However, like a conventional mortgage or HELOC, the title remains in the homeowners name, the bank or lender does NOT own the home.  When the reverse mortgage borrowers are no longer in the home as their primary residence the loan become due and payable.

The amount repaid is the amount borrowed by the homeowners including interest and FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums.  Any remaining funds go to the borrowers or their heirs.  As a non-recourse loan, if the loan balance is higher than the fair market value of the home, the borrowers or their heirs don’t have to come up with the difference.

Other false statements often seen or heard are that reverse mortgages are a scam, only the lender benefits.  They take advantage of people.  Let me clarify, the most common reverse mortgage, the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) is  FHA insured and regulated by HUD – no, not scams but a valid loan using a home as collateral. 

Borrowers receive many benefits in having funds to use without having to make monthly mortgage payments, improved cash flow without restrictions on how the funds can be used, being able to stay in their home or purchase a new home.  Originators and lenders do get paid for reverse mortgage loans, but everyone gets paid for the work they do.  Personally I find it rewarding to help people, and I’m not ripping people off, in fact I and others I know in the industry are certainly not getting rich in this career…there is a lot of work involved to originate reverse mortgages, but we’re passionate in making a difference for people.  In fact, because of all the work, on some loans our compensation works out to very little.

Headlines have stated seniors are losing their homes to foreclosure if they don’t pay property taxes or keep insurance on the homeThink about it, with or without a mortgage if you don’t pay property taxes, the county will foreclose.  If you don’t have insurance on your property and the home is destroyed you will have lost your home and you won’t have the money to rebuild or replace it.  Neither of these are the fault of a reverse mortgage.  But these false headline statements scare people to not do a reverse mortgage.

We often see or hear that the reverse mortgage should be a last resort, to refinance with a conventional mortgage or HELOC or sell.  The problem with this is most seniors don’t qualify for conventional mortgages or HELOCs.  And if they do, the borrowers have to make monthly mortgage payments.  Even if they can make the payments now, if life happens they may not be able to make the payments in the future.  Rather than being a last resort the reverse mortgage can help one pay for retirement, long-term care.

The unused portion of the reverse mortgage line of credit so more funds can become available in the future.  And the funds in the line of credit could be higher than what one could qualify for in the future.  This can be very beneficial to seniors and isn’t available with any other loan. 

Relaxing with Reverse Mortgage in placeSeniors often want to stay in their home rather than moving so don’t tell them to sell.  If they do sell, where are they going to live?  They’d still have housing expenses…can they afford those or wouldn’t having no rent or monthly mortgage payments be more beneficial?

If they do wish to sell maybe to downsize, move closer to their children or to purchase the home of their dreams, the HECM for Purchase program gives them the option to purchase without having to make monthly mortgage payments.

Have you heard or read reverse mortgages are expensive?  Have you looked at the costs of a traditional or forward mortgage?  The costs are the same other than the FHA Mortgage Insurance Premium.  With a conventional mortgage people want to know what the payment will be and what the interest is, they generally don’t pay attention to the costs.  But when you look at the costs of the conventional mortgage you’ll likely be surprised, they aren’t really different from reverse mortgages.

HELOC’s may have lower up-front fees but the interest rate may be higher which in the long run could turn out to be more expensive than a reverse mortgage… besides one has to qualify on income, assets and credit.  Additionally payments have to be made on the HELOCs.  And there is a risk that they HELOC could be called due and at some point during the term the monthly payment must be increased to include the principal, not just the interest.

Seniors and children benefit from reverse mortgagesOther headlines or statements about reverse mortgages state the bank/lender gets the children’s inheritance.  Another false one!  The homeowners receive funds during the term of the loan, whether to pay off conventional loans or receiving funds monthly or draws from their line of credit.  When the loan is being paid, due when the home is no longer the primary residence of the borrower(s), there may or may not be funds left for an inheritance. The lender is receiving payment of principal and interest, this is NOT stealing the children’s inheritance from the remaining equity.  With the reverse mortgage, the homeowner is using the funds for their needs or wants.  Are you as heirs going to give them the funds they need just so you have an inheritance?  What about letting your parents live their quality of life and not worry about getting an inheritance?

The last one I’m going to cover today is the option that lowering your expenses is a better option.  Really?  Most seniors don’t have this option.  Seniors want to maintain their lifestyle and why shouldn’t they?  Do you want to be told to lower your expenses, stop getting your hair done, not having cable TV, being able to get together with friends for lunch, go to a family wedding or reunion?  Just because one turns 62 doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy life especially when they have equity in their home they can utilize.

Seniors discuss misinformation about reverse mortgagesDon’t buy into the scare tactics!  Before believing everything in the media, those commenting on stories, politicians or your friends or neighbors, get the facts about reverse mortgages.  As I often ask, “Do you go to a plumber if you’re having health issues?”  Of course you don’t!  So why are you listening to those who can’t or aren’t providing the facts on reverse mortgages?

Take time to understand and have the facts.  When people do, they see the benefits and more people will do a reverse mortgage!

And hopefully, as my borrower is doing, reverse mortgage borrowers will spread the word on how the reverse mortgage has benefitted them so more people will hear about them.

*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

 © 2014-2015 Beth Paterson http://rmsidac.com/beths-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-19

Related Articles:

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

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

Reverse Mortgage Borrowers Remain in Control

 

Reverse Mortgage borrowers remain in control of their homeWhen sitting down with a new prospect the other day I asked what they had heard or thought about reverse mortgages.  Bob responded that reverse mortgage borrowers lost control of their home and their money.  Have you heard this too?  I want to correct this misconception for you.

Reverse mortgage borrowers remain in control of their home.  They own the home, title remains in their name, just like with any mortgage.

They have the option to paint the home the color of their choice, plant trees or landscape as they choose, and to decorate the inside as they desire (or not make changes).

I had one borrower ask if they could paint their house purple.  With a chuckle I responded  they could although the neighbors may not like the color purple.  The point is, as the homeowner they have the option to choose what color they want to paint their house.

Borrowers are, however, responsible for maintaining the home.  This is to the homeowners best interest anyway, and whether they have a reverse mortgage, a conventional mortgage or no mortgage at all.  Maintaining means things like no bare wood or chipped paint, roof replaced when needed, foundation and structure is sound, electrical and plumbing in working order.

In their will or trust the reverse mortgage borrowers still choose who will inherit the home or equity of the home.

While the reverse mortgage borrowers will be using the proceeds for their needs or wants during the term of the loan, when the home is no longer their primary residence, the loan is due and payable.  The loan is generally paid back from the sale of the home with no personal liability to the borrower or their heirs.  If the home is sold for more than the loan balance the borrower or the heirs receive the difference.

If an heir wants to keep the home, they have this option – they would just need to pay off the reverse mortgage balance.  This can be done through a conventional mortgage, their own funds or if they were the beneficiary on an insurance policy.

Note that if the loan balance is higher than the fair market value, the borrower or their heirs only need to pay 95% of the fair market value of the home, they do not need to come up with the difference.  With the FHA HUD insured Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) the FHA Mortgage Insurance will cover the difference for the lenders.

They have the option to sell when they want and choose the real estate agent.  If they have passed away then their estate chooses the real estate agent.

The way one wants to receive their reverse mortgage proceeds is also their choice.  They can receive the funds in a line of credit, monthly payments, lump sum or a combination of these.

And how they use these funds is in their control – lenders cannot dictate how one spends the proceeds from their reverse mortgage.  Borrowers can and have used their reverse mortgage funds to pay for home repairs, purchasing a new car, traveling, home care or whatever one needs or wants… it’s their choice.

Reverse Mortgage borrowers remain in control of their homeThe reverse mortgage provides control for borrowers to have funds so they can make their own choices.  For example, where they want to live (in their own home vs government subsidized housing), who they want to care for them (vs the government deciding which home care agency they can use).

Reverse mortgage borrowers do remain responsible for paying their property taxes, having home owners insurance, maintaining the property and paying home owner association dues if applicable, just as they do with or without a conventional mortgage.

Losing control of your home or money with a reverse mortgage is a misconception.  In reality reverse mortgage borrowers have control and in some cases even more control than without doing a reverse mortgage; having funds available gives them more choices and options.

Originally Posted in 2011; Re-posted in 2014
© 2011-2014 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-Zd

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.

Without The Reverse Mortgage Money I Would Have Been “Up The Creek Without A Paddle.”

My reverse mortgage was a good decisionI recently received the following letter from a reverse mortgage client of mine outlining why a reverse mortgage was a good decision.

Dear Beth,

I am writing about why a Reverse Mortgage was a good decision for me.  I have had mine since 2010.  My husband died in 2009 and although I was able to keep up with my monthly bills, I would run short of cash when Auto Insurance, Fire Insurance, Property Tax and other unexpected bills would arrive.

My family would always be willing to help me with those bills but I did not want to be a burden to them.  My daughter-in-law Nancy belongs to a Women’s Group with you, Beth Paterson, and suggested that I may want to look into a Reverse Mortgage.  The family was with me throughout the whole procedure and they agreed that it was a good choice for me.

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.  I needed care-givers two times a day.  Without the Reverse Mortgage money I would have been ‘up a creek without a paddle’.  I simply filled out a form, mailed it to the mortgage company and they transferred the needed funds into my bank account.  Financial independence saved the day.

Barbara H.

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 payments required.  Senior homeowners maintain the title as 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 HECM Adjustable Rate program allows for borrowers to receive their funds in monthly payments, line of credit, lump sum or a combination of these.  The monthly payments can be structured as tenure payments, for life of the loan, or as they need.  The line of credit grows so more funds become available in the future.  There is also a HECM Fixed Rate option which is favorable if one is pulling all their funds out in a lump sum.

As a non-recourse loan there is no personal liability when repaying the loan, the loan is repaid from the property only.  This means if the loan balance when due and payable is $200,000 but the home can only be sold for $150,000 the borrower or the estate do not have to come up with the $50,000 difference.  The loan is generally repaid from the sale of the property when the home is no longer the primary residence of the borrower, usually when they move, die or sell.  If the home is sold for more than the loan balance the remaining equity goes to the borrower or the estate.

Barbara has the line of credit option which, with the growth rate, has grown over time.  The line of credit is there for situations like hers.

Are you or do you know someone who would like to have access to funds providing financial independence and not rely on others?  Consider a reverse mortgage!

*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

©2014-2015 Beth Paterson, Beth’s Reverse Mortgage Blog, 651-762-9648

This material may be re-posted provided it is re-posted in its entirety without modifications and includes the contact information, copyright information and the following link: http://wp.me/p4EUZQ-Z2

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.

Veterans Who Have Served Our Country Have Found The Reverse Mortgage Has Served Their Needs

Veterans who have served have been served by reverse mortgagesThrough the years I have had the honor of assisting veterans to be able to stay in their home using a reverse mortgage.  Three in particular come to mind.

Earl was a World War II Veteran who had some memory and health issues but wanted to remain in his home.  His Power of Attorney set up the reverse mortgage which allowed him to have funds to bring in some home care assistance and stay in his home.

Jack was also a World War II Veteran.  He and his wife did the reverse mortgage to be able to supplement their retirement funds and to remain in their home.  They decided to leave their  reverse mortgage funds in the line of credit so they would have funds for their future needs whether it be emergency funds or to pay for care needs.

Jim was a Veteran of the Koran War.  Jim and his wife used their reverse mortgage to pay off their conventional mortgage which improved their cash flow since they no longer had a monthly mortgage payment to make.  They had some additional funds in a line of credit.  When they sold an RV they took the money from the sale and made a payment on their reverse mortgage.  The pre-payment reduced their loan balance but also increased their line of credit funds giving them a larger amount available for their future needs.

When meeting with my clients I always enjoy hearing their life stories. These three were no exception.  When meeting with them I have enjoyed and been humbled hearing their stories of their service.  One was involved in the bombing of Japan.  He shared that years later he met a Japanese Veteran who was fighting on the other side.  And as they talked they found a bond, with no anger or bitterness.

These three veterans have all found the FHA HUD insured Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) has served them in their retirement years.
Veterans who have served have been served by reverse mortgages
On this Veteran’s Day I want to say thank you to these and my other clients as well as all who served in the armed forces so that we may have our freedoms.  As they have fought for our country’s freedom, it’s been an honor for me to be able to serve them so they have their freedom to remain in their home with funds for their needs and desires.

©2013 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-Z1

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.

The answer to the common reverse mortgage tax question

Reverse Mortgage Tax Deduction?As people are preparing their taxes, I’ve been receiving the question, “Is the interest on my reverse mortgage deductible?”  So let me answer this question for you.

For interest to be a tax deduction for individual taxpayers, it must first be paid.  Being one is not making payments on their reverse mortgage, the interest is not being paid but accruing on the loan along with the FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums (MIP) and servicing fees (applicable on some reverse mortgages).  Therefore the interest is not a tax deduction until it’s actually paid.

For FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums IRS states, “You can treat amounts you paid during 2012 for qualified mortgage insurance as home mortgage interest. The insurance must be in connection with home acquisition debt, and the insurance contract must have been issued after 2006.”  However, as with the interest on a reverse mortgage, the MIP amount must first be paid.

There is a way to receive the tax deduction during the term of the reverse mortgage loan.  While payments are not required with the reverse mortgage, borrowers may choose to make payments.  There are no penalties for making these pre-payments and the borrower has the option on when and how much they may choose to pay.

Payments reduce the Unpaid Principal Loan Balance.  The loan balance is made up of the following categories: MIP, Servicing fee, interest, and principal amount (sum of amount borrowers obtain for their use, i.e. paying off previous loans and liens, other closing fees, and other personal uses). When borrowers make payments to reduce the loan balance they are first applied to the MIP, then the servicing fees, then the interest followed by the principal balance.

Once the borrower has paid enough to cover the accrued MIP, service fees, then additional payment amounts are applied to the interest on the loan.  When interest paid in a calendar year exceeds $600 the lender will send you a 1098 int tax form for the amount of interest paid.

Since the payments have to cover the initial MIP of 2% of the Maximum Claim Amount, then the on-going MIP that has accrued along with any servicing fees before they are applied to the interest, most borrowers don’t find it feasible to take the deduction.  The loss of a tax deduction may be considered a negative of the reverse mortgage for some people but the pros and cons need to be weighed.

Making pre-payments on one’s reverse mortgage may still be beneficial in reducing the Principal Loan Balance. And if one has an adjustable rate, having access to the funds in the future.

If one has the adjustable rate HECM the full payment amount can:

  • be applied to create or increase the line of credit in which these payments can be borrowed in the future;
  • or applied to their monthly payment to increase the amount they receive monthly or the length time they receive the monthly payments.
  • If not specified, the payment amount will be applied to or create a line of credit.

If one has a fixed rate reverse mortgage the payment reduces your loan balance as outlined above but the funds do not become available to re-borrow in the future.

Keep in mind that payment in full will terminate the loan and eliminate any available term/tenure payments and/or line of credit.

When the loan is paid in full the interest will have been paid and could become a deduction at that time to the borrower or their estate.

Reverse Mortgage beneficial even without tax deductionMost seniors who do a reverse mortgage do not have a significant income tax burden therefore a tax deduction is not a large concern for them.  Many borrowers feel that receiving funds for one’s needs and desires with no required monthly mortgage payments outweigh the loss of the tax deduction.  They want to live comfortably, have some “elbow room,” and be independent with security, independence, dignity and control.

I am a reverse mortgage expert, not a tax expert or advisor.  Check with your tax advisor or IRS regarding tax deductions for your individual situation.

©2013-2014 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-Dk

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 Protects Retirement Plan

Reverse Mortgage provides money when there's too much month at end of moneyHave you seen the sign, “Too much month at the end of the money?”  That applied to Pat and Mary’s situation.  In their mid 70’s, Pat and Mary planned for their retirement and have a good plan in place. But as their life changed they found there wasn’t enough money to last through the end of the month.  Creating the needed additional funds for each month from their retirement plan would impact their resources for their future.  Therefore their financial planner suggested they look into using their home equity and explore a reverse mortgage.

A mortgage just like any other mortgage, the reverse mortgage offers special terms for senior home owners 62 and older.  With the FHA insured reverse mortgage, Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), the most popular and only one available in Minnesota, there are no income or credit score requirements to impact the interest rate and no monthly mortgage payment requirements. *(See note below about Financial Assessment.)

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 tenure payments (as long as you occupy home as primary residence) or as one needs as long as the home is the primary residence of at least one of the borrowers.  Funds in the line of credit grow so more funds can be available in the future.

The loan is due and payable when the home is no longer the primary residence of the borrower(s) such as they move, sell or die, or on their 150th birthday.  As a non-recourse loan, if the loan balance is higher than what the home can be sold for, the borrower(s) or their estate don’t have to pay with the difference, the FHA Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP) covers the difference.  And if the home is sold for more than the loan balance, the borrower(s) or their estate receive the difference.

After being educated about the reverse mortgage including the positives and negatives, rather than using their retirement funds so they could be protected for their future needs, Pat and Mary decided to do a reverse mortgage.

Doing the Standard Adjustable Rate HECM, they set up the proceeds available to receive a portion in monthly payments, with the balance in a line of credit that they can use if and when they need it.

Receiving the monthly payments allows them to live comfortably, meeting their living expenses without running out of funds before the end of each month.

The line of credit grows at the rate on the reverse mortgage plus 1.25, i.e. if the rate is 2.5% the growth rate will be 3.75%.  If the interest rate goes up, the growth rate does also.  This means that more funds will be available in their unused portion of their line of credit.  They can use these funds for an emergency such as car repairs, a new furnace, medical expenses or for other needs and desires such as making a trip for a family reunion or out of town wedding.Relaxing with Reverse Mortgage in place

With the reverse mortgage in place providing monthly cash flow and a line of credit for other needs, Pat and Mary’s retirement funds can be protected for their future.  They are living their retirement years with a good plan along with funds for their current needs.  Now they have more money at the end of the month – what a way to live in retirement!

*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

©2013-2015 Beth Paterson, Beth’s Reverse Mortgage Blog, 651-762-9648

This material may be re-posted provided it is re-posted in its entirety without modifications and includes the contact information, copyright information and the following link:   http://wp.me/p4EUZQ-D7

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.

Let Me Educate You On Adjustable Rate Reverse Mortgages

Reverse Mortgage Interest RateWith the April 1st elimination of the FHA Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) Standard Fixed Rate, the Adjustable Rate will once again be the most common choice of reverse mortgage borrowers.  While adjustable rates mortgages have gotten a bad rap they should be understood and considered with reverse mortgages.  Let me educate you.

A mortgage just like any other mortgage, the reverse mortgage offers special terms for senior home owners 62 and older.  Advantages for seniors, are with the reverse mortgage there are no income or credit score requirements to impact the interest rate and no monthly mortgage payment requirements.  The non-recourse loan is due and payable when the home is no longer the primary residence of the borrower(s) or on their 150th birthday.

To understand the programs and interest rate options, first you need to know how the loan amount is determined.  With the reverse mortgage the Principal Limit or maximum loan amount at the time of origination is determined by the home appraised value or FHA’s Lending Limit ($625,500 through 2013), the age of the borrower (the older one is the more they can receive), and the Expected Interest Rate of the program chosen.  The Expected Interest Rate is only used to determine the loan amount it is not necessarily the same as the interest rate on the loan.

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 as tenure payments (for life) as long as the home is the primary residence of at least one of the borrowers.  Funds in the line of credit grow so more funds can be available in the future.

Prior to 2008 the only reverse mortgage option was an adjustable rate.  In 2008 HUD introduced the HECM Fixed Rate.  And in October 2010 the HECM Saver was introduced which reduces the up-front Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP) but also has a lower Principal Limit or loan amount; generally the HECM Saver has a higher interest rate as well.  The HECM Saver is available as an adjustable rate option and a fixed rate option.  The programs that have the full up-front 2% FHA MIP are called Standard, and are available in the adjustable and fixed rate programs (through April 1, 2013 when the Fixed Standard will be eliminated).

The Fixed rate is often a favorite option however with the reverse mortgage it requires that all the funds be drawn in a lump sum at closing which isn’t the best option for everyone’s situation.

The bad rap on adjustable rates occurred with conventional mortgages because when the interest went higher so did the monthly mortgage payments.  And this impacted many who couldn’t afford the higher monthly mortgage payments.  Let’s look at why  the reverse mortgage is different and should be considered as a viable option for senior homeowners.

  1. Because monthly mortgage payments are not required with the reverse mortgage, having the rate change doesn’t impact one’s monthly payment and/or cash flow.
  2. The Adjustable Interest Rate is the option that offers receiving funds as monthly payments, a line of credit, lump sum or a combination of these.
  3. Having more flexibility with how the funds are drawn is beneficial to borrowers.  If you don’t have a need for all the funds up-front then leaving them in a line of credit, which has a growth rate, or structuring monthly payments to your needs are more favorable options.
    • The growth rate on the unused portion in the line of credit is determined by the current interest rate on the loan plus 1.25.  For example if the current rate is 2.5%, the growth rate will be 3.75%.  If/when the interest on the loan increases so does the growth rate on the line of credit, meaning even more funds become available to the borrower over time.
  4. Because it is a loan against the property, not considered income, if one is receiving or will receive Medicaid (Medical Assistance in Minnesota) in the future, the adjustable rate is also more favorable, allowing you to draw funds as needed rather than as a lump sum which could impact receiving Medicaid.
  5. Taking funds as periodic payments means interest and the on-going MIP is accruing on the loan balance at a slower pace vs taking funds as a lump sum, especially when there isn’t a need or better use for lump sum funds.
  6. Monthly mortgage payments are not required however you have the option of making payments.  When the payment is made it reduces the loan balance and with the adjustable rate it is applied to the line of credit and available for future draws.
  7. The adjustable rate is low right now, and yes, it can adjust and be higher in the future, however it only impacts the amount due when the loan is due and payable.  And there is a cap of 10 points higher than the initial interest rate at closing.  For example, if the interest rate at closing is 2.5%, the cap is 12.5%.
  8. What we don’t know is when the rates will increase or how high they will increase but with the lower rates now, even if the rates do increase substantially the interest expense over the life of the loan will be tempered by the current low interest rates.
  9. And even if the reverse mortgage interest rate does go up, as a non-recourse loan when the loan is due and payable if the loan balance is higher than the home can be sold for, the borrower or the estate will not need to come up with the difference.  If the home can be sold for more than the loan balance due, the equity goes to the borrower or their estate.

Reverse Mortgages get the thumbs upWith an understanding you can see why the reverse mortgage, even with an adjustable rate, can be favorable to senior homeowners.

The HECM Saver is available in the adjustable rate and will remain an option with the fixed rate.  So if you really want a fixed rate you will still have the option, just remember less funds will be available and the interest rate is likely to be higher.

When considering a reverse mortgage review all the options, Adjustable Standard, Adjustable Saver or Fixed Saver, and decide which is best for your situation.

©2013 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-CD

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 Features and Terms Summary

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

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

Who Owns Your Home  

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

Borrower Protection

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

Adjustable Interest Rate – HECMs

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

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

Fixed Interest – HECMs    

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

Ongoing Costs

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

Line of Credit (if applicable)    

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

Term/Tenure Payments (if applicable)

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

Prepayment

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

Due and Payable

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

Upon Death of Borrower(s)

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

Your Responsibilities

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

When To Notify Your Lender

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

©2013-2015 Beth Paterson and Greenleaf Financial, LLC, Beth’s Reverse Mortgage Blog, 651-762-9648

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

Related articles:

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

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