What Happens to the House at the End of a Reverse Mortgage?

Reverse mortgages are a great way for homeowners to enjoy their golden years without having to worry about their home loan. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) offers reverse mortgages that allow borrowers to receive a monthly income or lump sum payments equal to the net value of their home. But what happens to the house at the end of a reverse mortgage? When the last borrower permanently leaves the home, the loan matures and is payable. This could be due to a death or simply a move for any reason.

Your heirs have 30 days after receiving the lender's notice of payment and expiration to buy the house, sell it, or give it to the lender to pay off the debt. However, the deadline may be extended to one year so that your heirs can sell the house or obtain financing to buy the house. Your heirs can consult a HUD-approved housing counseling agency or an attorney for more information. Usually, borrowers or their heirs pay off the loan by selling the home and securing the reverse mortgage. The proceeds from the sale of the house are used to pay the mortgage.

Borrowers (or their heirs) keep the remaining income after paying off the loan. If you have to move out of the house for any reason, simply sell the house. You pay the amount owed plus interest and fees accrued over the years. What's left after paying off the reverse mortgage is your principal and you keep it. Lenders typically give heirs six months to complete the transaction. It's important to stay on track, whether you end up selling the residence or keeping it.

Again, contact your lender for updates and don't hesitate to ask for help during the process. Variable-rate inverse mortgages are linked to a benchmark index, often the Constantly Maturity Treasury Index (CMT). With a product as potentially lucrative as a reverse mortgage and a vulnerable population of borrowers who may have cognitive deficiencies or are desperately seeking financial salvation, scams abound. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires all prospective reverse mortgage borrowers to complete a counseling session approved by HUD. There are no restrictions on selling to family members or otherwise, only if the balance of the reverse mortgage exceeds the value of the property and the heirs want the lender to forgive the overvalued portion of the loan and keep the property within the family. But they won't get title to property for free because it is subject to reverse mortgage. When family members don't want to participate or don't have means to repay loan or sell house, even when most reputable lenders issue reverse mortgage, it's still complicated product.

Reverse mortgage borrowers are approved for maximum loan amount or capital limit, but how you take money and how quickly you earn interest under program is entirely up to you. How invested mortgages come to an end depends on owner's circumstances, such as sale, death, or whether they decide repay early (for example, if you get money, you could repay part or all of loan early, but you may have pay prepayment fee).A reverse mortgage is designed so that you can stay in your home and your heirs can receive some monetary value when time comes. The program does require bona fide sale to an unrelated third party, heirs cannot “sell house other family members” for less than what is owed on reverse mortgage, and they expect FHA insurance cover any deficit lender on amount owed. If borrower took line of credit, that line will be closed. If you or your surviving co-owner move retirement home or long-term care facility, you may have up one year pay reverse mortgage. It's important stay on track whether you end up selling residence or keeping it. Again contact your lender for updates and don't hesitate ask for help during process. Lenders are more satisfied when their loan is repaid and don't have get involved in foreclosure process, but nature of loan is last loan you'll ever need, and since most reverse mortgages end in death of borrower, result is usually foreclosure upon termination. Reverse mortgages allow borrowers enjoy their golden years without having worry about their home loan.

With conventional loans there are commission and interest expenses that must be paid and that usually add up amount you receive. When last owner dies executor of estate must contact lender. Lenders keep track databases that record deaths and will send notice heirs if records indicate that last borrower died.

Harry Lammel
Harry Lammel

Unapologetic lover of life. Award-winning family man. Typical husband and father. Music junkie. Food buff.