Michele's Blog

Housing Finance Policy Center finds Reverse Mortgages underutilized by seniors

May 10th, 2018 10:44 AM by Michele Morse Reen

At a recent Housing Wealth in Retirement Symposium held by The American College of Financial Services and the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, D.C., researchers and policymakers discussed the role of reverse mortgages under the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM).

They found that Reverse Mortgages are underutilized by seniors today and can in fact, help provide added retirement security to retirees when used appropriately. According to a study conducted by Laurie Goodman, PhD, founder and co-director of the Housing Finance Policy Center at The Urban Institute, less than one percent of eligible homeowners utilize a reverse mortgage today.

Chris Mayer, professor of real estate at Columbia Business School, stated that recent changes to the HECM program have added additional consumer protections. In fact, reverse mortgage programs that exist today offer more consumer protections than in the past. For example, currently, a homeowner is not on the hook for a HECM debt that exceeds their home value at the end of the loan.

Ultimately, the Housing Wealth in Retirement Symposium found that reverse mortgages deserve more attention from retirees because, when used appropriately, a reverse mortgage can help support a more financially secure retirement for seniors.

Many homeowners who are on a limited income and need additional funds find reverse mortgages advantageous for their circumstance. Social Security and Medicare benefits aren't affected by reverse mortgages and the funds are nontaxable.

The requirements of a reverse mortgage loan are:


  • Being 62 or older;
  • Using the home as your main residence; and
  • Keep current on taxes, insurance and home maintenance.

Paying back your loan is not required until when the borrower puts their home up for sale, moves somewhere else, such as into a care facility, or passes away.

If you want to further explore the advantages of *reverse mortgages, contact us today at (408) 626-1879!

Our loan professionals will give you the individual attention you need and deserve.

*Reverse mortgages are loans offered to homeowners who are 62 or older who have equity in their homes. The loan programs allow borrowers to defer payment on the loans until they pass away, sell the home, or move out. Homeowners, however, remain responsible for the payment of taxes, insurance, maintenance, and other items. Nonpayment of these items can lead to a default under the loan terms and ultimate loss of the home. FHA insured reverse mortgages have an up front and ongoing cost; ask your loan officer for details. These materials are not from, nor approved by HUD, FHA, or any governing agency.

Posted by Michele Morse Reen on May 10th, 2018 10:44 AM


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