5
Mar
2020
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Reverse Mortgage Pitfalls Require Senior Homework

Reverse Mortgage Pitfalls Require Senior Homework

Reverse mortgage pitfalls

Understand the reverse mortgage pitfalls so you know the limitations for your heirs and yourself as homeowner:

I have spoken to a few senior citizens who obtained Reverse Mortgages, but felt nothing but regrets afterwards. Perhaps they did not read the fine print in a brochure that is required by FHA to read before they purchase the loan. After getting constant complaints about Reverse Mortgages, the government has changed the program, but there are still many dangers you need to be aware of.

The pitfalls of reverse mortgages, first learn to buy a home the right way
This article will cover the following pitfalls of reverse mortgages:
What is a reverse mortgage?
How does a reverse mortgage differ from a traditional home loan?
The limitations of a reverse mortgage
Homeowners insurance and taxes
When a reverse mortgage must be paid or you are forclosed
Problems heirs have associated with reverse mortgages
Can heirs take over the reverse mortgage or does it have to be paid off?
When are reverse mortgage repaid?

What is a reverse mortgage?

A Reverse Mortgage is a type of loan open to seniors that are at least 62 years who have a home that is paid off or has a low balance, and they live in the house, and follow the terms of the loan.

The problem that many seniors seem to complain about is that they did not understand the very strict terms of the loan before they signed on the dotted line. Some told me the terms were so strict, it made their lives unbearable trying to live under the guidelines and stay in their home.

How does a reverse mortgage differ from a traditional home loan?

The Reverse Mortgage is different than regular home loans in that it pays you from your loan proceeds, and is available regardless of your current income. The up front fees and cost of the loan, usually taken from loan proceeds are very high–much higher than a regular home loan. You are not required to make payments on the loan while all signers on the loan are alive and live in the home. When the last signer of the loan dies or is out of the home for one year, the loan has to be paid off. A amount of time given to pay off the loan is short, so heirs must act quickly.

Home ownership the right way-is pure joy, what is a reverse mortgage

The limitations of a reverse mortgage

The amount you can borrow depends on your age, the current interest rate, and the appraised value of your home, sales price or FHA’s mortgage limits, whichever is less. Generally, the more valuable your home is, the older you are, the lower the interest, the more you may borrow.

Bare in mind that borrowing costs are far greater than a conventional second mortgage, and once you get a reverse mortgage, you can’t get another loan on your home.

Homeowners Insurance and Taxes Must be Paid While You Are in The Home

With a Reverse Mortgage, you don’t pay monthly principal and interest payments and the lender pays you according to the payment plan you select. The payments will accumulate and add a balance to your home as a reverse mortgage loan that will be responsible for your heirs if they wish to keep the home.

Like all homeowners, you are still required to pay your real estate taxes, insurance and other conventional payments like utilities. If you get behind in real estate taxes or other required payments, you could be forced out of your home by foreclosure.

With an FHA Reverse Mortgage you cannot be foreclosed or forced to vacate your house because you “missed your mortgage payment.” But, you could be forced out for many other reasons, some of them subjective like allowing the home to fall into unacceptable disrepair. Your local property tax holder can foreclose if your property taxes are not paid, so can the reverse mortgage company.

what is a reverse mortgage

A Reverse Mortgage must be repaid in full if you meet the following criteria:

1. When you die or sell the home.
2. When you do not pay property taxes or hazard insurance or violate other obligations.
3. You permanently move to a new principal residence.
4. You, or the last borrower, fail to live in the home for 12 months in a row.
5. An example of this situation would be if you (or the last borrower) were to have a 12-month or longer stay in a nursing home.
6. You allow the property to deteriorate and do not make necessary repairs.

A subjective evaluation listed above is, “violating other obligations” that are normally listed in fine print. It is important to read all the information you can get from a non-sales person before considering this loan. Another subjective evaluation is if you “allow the property to deteriorate and do not make necessary repairs”. This gives way too much power to the lender to take your home if they feel repairs are not
adequate.

You can receive the money in a few different ways: In payments, in lump sum, or the combination of payments and lump sum. It’s better to receive the money in payments to guard against premature spending.

reverse mortgages repaid

Typical Senior Complaints of Reverse Mortgage Borrowers

Complaints I heard from seniors I consulted with were 1. They felt uneasy with the amount of monitoring. 2. If the money is taken in lump sum, there was a tendency to spend it quickly on unnecessary things. Remember, once the loan is taken, there can’t be another loan taken on the house. 3. Seniors have complained that after taking out a Reverse Mortgage the loan officer strong arms them into taking out expensive insurance they don’t need and can’t afford, such as Long Term Care Insurance.

After doing your research and reading all of the fine print about this loan, call a HUD counselor to be sure you get all of the facts before you decide this loan is for you.

An alternative to a Reverse Mortgage is to sell your house outright, place the money in the bank, and have the bank send you a monthly check to live off, in an inexpensive senior apartment. Another option is a traditional second mortgage IF, you can get a low interest loan AND easily afford the payments, and can  keep up the payments if you are sick or incapacited. You should have a responsible person to help you.

limitations about reverse mortgages

Complaints Heirs Have of Reverse Mortgages

The complaint some heirs have, is they were not successful in getting the remaining equity out of the home when their elderly relative dies. Currently, some heirs have told me, 1. They did not know their parents had a reverse mortgage and therefore did not act quickly to get a mortgage to replace the loan or sell the home. 2. another common complaint heirs have told me is they weren’t given enough time to get a new loan to pay off the reverse mortgage or sell the home and were therefore foreclosed on.

3. One women I talked to who actually worked at a Reverse Mortgage Company says that a common problem was that no one in the family could qualify for a loan to pay off the reverse mortgage before their time expired – the reverse mortgage company only gives them a set number of months.

Some stay in the homes for a few years, but with some it is only six months – it depends on many factors. At least one heir is supposed to take classes with the homeowner so they can get all the facts or the mortgage broker is supposed to give them all of the necessary information. This does not always happen.

HUD on Reverse Mortgages

Can heirs take over the reverse mortgage or does it have to be paid off?

When a homeowner over 62 takes out a reverse mortgage the mortgage payments or principle and interest add up in an account overtime. It does not have to be paid back as long as the person or persons who took out the mortgage are still alive and living in the home. The younger a person is when they take out a reverse mortgage, the higher the balance will be when they pass away if they live long.

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Consumer Finance on Reverse Mortgages

But, what happens to that balance that has accumulated in an account over time? Can the heirs inherit the balance and keep living in the home rent free as the balance continues to accumulate. No! The heirs are required to make contact with the company on a regular basis and let them know that they are working hard to get a new loan to pay off the reverse mortgage balance left by their parents or they are working hard to sell the home.

If there is a balance left after the home is sold and the reverse mortgage is paid off, the heirs will get the balance. If the reverse mortgage is large or has built up for a long time, even if it was small, the balance could be large and leave nothing to the heirs.

Avoiding Reverse Mortgage Pitfalls Work Best When:

The homeowner has read the FHA bulletin on reverse mortgages and taken the reverse mortgages class to understand the loan.

The homeowner has a responsible child with excellent credit who can qualify for a new loan or sell the home as soon as the last homeowner on the loan passes.

Sometimes it is best to take the money in payments, but if there are no responsible heirs it may be best to take all the equity, put it away, live off a small draw from the bank and leave the rest to heirs.

The responsible heir must communicate with the lender and stay in contact after the last homeowner dies to understand how reverse mortgages are repaid.

The homeowner ALWAYS pays required taxes and insurance while in the home. Also, the homeowner must maintain the home.

Because the interest and principle accumulates while the homeowner is alive there is always a possibility that all of the equity may be exhausted and the heirs could get nothing, especially if the homeowner takes the loan early, for example at 62 and dies at 92.

What is a reverse mortgage

Reverse Mortgage Pitfalls Require Senior Homework

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