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Can a person lose their home today from a Reverse Mortgage?

The first known reverse mortgage loan was done in 1961 by Deering Savings & Loan in Portland Maine.  Nellie Young was the widow of the high school football coach and it helped her stay in her home even though she lost her husband’s income.  By the 1970’s several private banks were offering these types of loans.  They were able to access money from their homes without a payment, but did not offer any of the protections that are in place today.  These prior loans on occasion would force a senior out of their home due to falling equity in the home.  As well, many of these loans would take all of the equity upon the death of the borrower leaving the heirs with nothing.  This has led many mature homeowners to believe that a Reverse Mortgage today will take your home from you and take your remaining equity upon closing the Reverse Mortgage.  This simply is not true today!

 

In the 1980’s the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging issued a report showing the need for a standardized reverse mortgage program.   In late 1987 Congress passed the FHA insurance bill that would insure reverse mortgages. On February 5, 1988 President Ronald Reagan signed the FHA Reverse Mortgage bill into law.  Since this date, this has been a safe option for homeowners looking to access their home equity without having to sell their home or take on hefty mortgage payments.   As part of the bill Reverse Mortgages are insured by the FHA and Guarantee that any remaining equity passes to the heirs, that those on the reverse mortgage can live in the home the rest of their lives no matter what the home value or loan amount are, and the FHA also guarantees the cash payouts.  The homeowner is responsible to pay property taxes, home insurance and keep the home in general repair – the same things required by any traditional loan today.

 

The HECM (Home Equity Conversion Mortgage) is the United States Government Sponsored Reverse Mortgage controlled by the Federal Housing Administration.  The program was designed to provide additional relief for mature homeowners on top of other programs such as social security, Medicare, and Medicaid.  After paying off the current mortgage amount owed, this program provides for Tax-Free Cash in the form or a guaranteed lump sum payment, guaranteed monthly payout, or guaranteed access to a payment free Line of Credit.  Many homeowners that could be greatly helped by a reverse mortgage pass up on learning about the program because they have heard incorrect things regarding this US Government insured FHA program.  If you know anyone that could use additional income in their retirement, please feel free to pass this information along to them.  Questions?  Call us toll free (877) 567-7476

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