Everything You Need to Know About Reverse Mortgages

Are you 62 or older and looking for a way to supplement your income, pay off your mortgage, or cover health care expenses? A reverse mortgage loan may be the answer. It allows you to convert part of your home's equity into cash without having to sell it or pay additional monthly bills. A reverse mortgage loan is similar to a traditional mortgage in that it uses your home as security for the loan. However, unlike a traditional mortgage, you don't make monthly payments on a reverse mortgage loan.

The loan is repaid when you no longer live in the home. Interest and fees are added to the loan balance each month and the balance increases. Homeowners must pay property taxes and insurance, use the property as their primary residence, and keep their home in good condition in order to qualify for a reverse mortgage loan. This type of loan is especially attractive to people who want or need to supplement their retirement funds.

A reverse mortgage gives you access to funds without needing to send you an immediate bill. Many older homeowners use reverse mortgages to supplement their income during retirement. It can also help reduce monthly housing expenses (no more monthly payments), increase cash flow, or pay for home repairs or improvements for those aging on site. If you're considering a reverse mortgage, it's important to be aware of potential scams.

If you or someone you know is the victim of a reverse mortgage scam, file a complaint with the FBI, file an online complaint with the HUD-OIG, or call their hotline at 1-800-347-3735. In addition, if you think you can plan to pay back your loan in full, it's best to avoid inverted mortgages altogether. While reverse mortgages don't usually stop paying in the same way as conventional mortgages, when borrowers don't make payments, they can do so when homeowners don't pay property taxes or insurance or because they don't properly maintain their properties. Other scams include convincing borrowers to invest reverse mortgage revenues in risky investment plans or devote them to home-exchange activities or large, unnecessary home repairs. Inverted mortgages can be complicated, and if something changes with your state, your reverse mortgage options can change as well. As with any major financial decision, you should weigh the pros and cons of getting a reverse mortgage and decide if it's right for you. Like a traditional mortgage, there are costs associated with obtaining a reverse mortgage, specifically the HECM. With most reverse mortgages, you have three business days after the loan closes to cancel the transaction for any reason, without penalty. The eligibility requirements for reverse property mortgages may differ from the above standards and will depend on the specific lender you work with.

They also require a significant down payment, usually between 29 and 63% of the purchase price according to the National Association of Reverse Mortgage Lenders (NRMLA).Reverse mortgages only expire when the borrower dies, lives outside the home for more than 12 months (unless a co-borrower or eligible spouse lives on the property), sells the property, or stops paying taxes and property insurance. For government-sponsored reverse mortgages, borrowers must also attend a briefing with an approved reverse mortgage advisor. An HECM for Purchase allows you to apply for a reverse mortgage on your current home and use the proceeds from the loan to purchase a new primary residence. After cancellation, the lender has 20 days to repay all the money they paid to finance the reversed home loan.

Harry Lammel
Harry Lammel

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