Category: Information for Financial Planners

What Happens to a Reverse Mortgage After the Owners Pass?

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradoA common question and concern surrounding reverse mortgage is what will happen to the home after the homeowners pass away?  Will the bank take possession?  Will it be allowed as inheritance?  Will it be possible to keep the home in the family?  Will the family of he deceased be held liable?  These are very valid concerns – so I’d like to offer some clear and concise guidance.

When the last homeowner passes, whether we’re talking about you or a loved one, the home will transfer into the estate or a specific person according  to the wishes expressed in the homeowner’s will.  At this time there are three main options:

1.  Pay off the remainder of the loan

Depending on the amount of equity that still exists in the home, the financial situation of the family, and just the overall ability of those involved, this may or may not be a feasible option.  It’s not uncommon for a portion of life insurance to be used in this manner.  Because these loans are FHA insured, if the loan is repaid, it will never be more than the home is worth – even if the housing market is in a deep low spot.

2. Obtain a conventional loan.

Many mortgage brokers are familiar with the reverse mortgage process and the right broker will be able to help those in need identify the best route in obtaining a conventional loan and keeping the home.

3. Sell the home

The final option is to sell the home.  When there is not a desire to keep the home, the heirs can sell the home.  When the home is sold, the loan will be repaid and any remaining equity from the sale will go to the heirs.

If there are no heirs or the heirs are not interested in the home, no one will be held liable.

One last note, as long as the communication lines remain open, the bank will typically allow up to one year to help with the transition.  This one year is allotted in three month increments.

Jan Jordan is a Reverse Mortgage Specialist serving the Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Longmont, Boulder and other Front Range areas of Colorado.  Click here to contact Jan and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.

What Is A Reverse Mortgage Maturity Event?

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradoFor many who have had a conventional mortgage on their home, they are familiar with the “maturity date”.  But with a reverse mortgage, there is no maturity date, only a “maturity event”.  So, what’s the difference?

A maturity date indicates the date which the borrower will make the final payment on the loan, including principal and interest.  These are used with conventional mortgages.

A maturity event represents a specific event that takes place in the borrower’s life that signifies the loan has come due.  Because reverse mortgage borrowers do not make monthly mortgage payments. many seniors see this as an advantage.

Here are some examples of maturity events:

  • The property is no longer the borrower’s primary residence
  • The property is sold or transferred out of the borrowers name
  • The borrower (or last borrower on the loan) passes away
  • The borrower moves away from the home for more than 12 consecutive months (such as moving into an assisted living facility)
  • The borrower fall substantially behind on their property taxes, homeowners insurance, or HOA fees.

A reverse mortgage is available to seniors 62 and over, and this FHA backed loans allow the borrowers to live mortgage  payment free.  The funds are available in various different ways, including a line of credit, monthly installments, a lump sum, and even to purchase a home.

Jan Jordan is a Reverse Mortgage Specialist serving the Fort Collins, Loveland, Longmont, Greeley, and Front Range areas of Colorado as well as Cheyenne and Laramie, Wyoming. Click here to contact Jan and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.

Will A Reverse Mortgage Affect Social Security, Medicare & Pension?

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont coloradoA very common concern among seniors and adult children when considering a reverse mortgage is how it will affect social security, medicare, and even certain pensions.  For many seniors, these benefits are a large part of their income. Fortunately, because the funds from a reverse mortgage are NOT considered taxable income, a borrower’s benefits will not be affected when taking out a reverse mortgage.

On the other hand, borrowers who have Medicaid, TANF, Food Stamps or SSI may see those benefits affected by this additional income.   Because these programs are government sponsored programs with strict approval guidelines based on all sources of income, even non-taxable income, there is a possibility the additional cash flow will need reported.  Other supplemental and assistance programs would need to be addressed on a case by case basis.  Working with a reputable reverse mortgage lender and required third party counseling will ensure all your questions are answered thoroughly and honestly.

Reverse mortgages are available to homeowners 62 and older.  The proceeds can be received as a lump sum, as monthly installments, or a reverse line of credit and can be used for any purpose the borrower sees fit.  This FHA insured loan allows the borrower(s) to live mortgage payment free.

Jan Jordan is a Reverse Mortgage Specialist serving the Fort Collins, Loveland, Longmont, Greeley, and Front Range areas of Colorado as well as Cheyenne and Laramie, Wyoming. Click here to contact Jan and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.  

Your Retirement Is Different Than Your Parents – Here’s Why

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradoDecades ago, when our parents were working and raising a family, they looked at retirement as the true golden years.  It would be a time when they stopped working and lived off the fruits of their savings and investments.  Retirement planners used a three-legged-stool strategy back then.  The make up of this stool was Social Security, employer-sponsored retirement plans, and personal savings.  But somewhere between their retirement and now this stool became unbalanced – and now today’s retirees are needing to compensate for it.  But how?

First, it’s important to remember that these three components of retirement are still an integral part of retirement success, which is why it should be considered how they can be best utilized as well as protected.  But it’s also important to consider what else has changed – things like life expectancy, a more active retirement, and a move toward non-traditional and even extravagant retirement goals.   Why not have it all?  And what are the options to achieve it?

Part-Time Work: It’s not uncommon for retirees to utilize a phased retirement strategy, where they can work and begin receiving benefits.  In addition to the obvious point of this – additional income – working can help to delay Social Security benefits, as well as keep older people engaged in the community.  

Reverse Mortgage: For those with substantial equity in their homes, a reverse mortgage can be an excellent way to balance out that stool analogy with a fourth leg, or simply get the boost retirees need to live that extravagant retirement life they’ve been dreaming of.  Funds are available via a line of credit, monthly installments, a lump sum, and even to purchase home (or a combination).  Because the income is not taxed, it can be used strategically with investments, or used to delay Social Security benefits.  Another common function is a stand-by strategy that taps the line of credit now, but only uses it during bear markets to protect investments.  These FHA backed reverse mortgages do not incur any mortgage or loan payments, although borrowers must keep up with homeowner’s insurance, property taxes, and other associated costs.  In addition to living mortgage payment free, they can actually eliminate any existing mortgage or HELOC payments, and the loan is not payable until the last borrower passes away or permanently leaves the home.  

Downsizing and HELOC’s:  When considering how to make ends meet during retirement, downsizing is often part of the conversation.  Selling the home and moving to smaller one, then using any additional equity as a retirement funding source.  For anyone considering this, I’d suggest looking at the details of a Reverse Mortgage for Purchase prior to making a final decision.  A Reverse Mortgage for Purchase option can allow buyers to get more house for their money, while still having cash to stash away for retirement. 

A Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) is another common solution.  When going this route versus a reverse mortgage, ensure the new monthly payment will not cause damage down the road if other needs arise, like medical care.  

Reverse mortgages certainly won’t be right for everyone, but for many they can be used creatively to aid in funding today’s retirement that is so different than what we are used to.  

Jan Jordan is a Reverse Mortgage Specialist serving the Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Longmont, Boulder and other Front Range areas of Colorado.  Click here to contact Jan and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.

Reasons You Might Want to Refinance Your Reverse Mortgage

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeleyReverse mortgages are for seniors 62 and older, including married couples, and were once considered a life line. Times have changed, and now reverse mortgages are regularly being incorporated intoretirement planning.  But refinance a reverse mortgage?  It’s not something you hear about often, or maybe you don’t even realize it’s an option.  And why would someone want to do this?  Well, here are some fast facts:

Who might want to refinance: 

• In the case of a remarriage, possibly you want to add the new spouse (note: new borrowers added must be 62 or older).  
• Or in the case of divorce, you want to remove a spouse.  
• If the housing market has improved drastically, like we’re currently seeing all over northern Colorado, maybe you want to tap into the new equity.  
• Better interest rates?  Just like with a traditional mortgage, this matters.
• Interested in the Line of Credit option but took out the monthly installments?  Then refinance may be for you. 

What you need to know: 

• The process is similar to that of a traditional mortgage refinance, except you will still be able to live mortgage and loan payment free.
• You will need a new appraisal.
• Some older lenders have exited the reverse mortgage industry, such as Wells Fargo and Bank of America.  If you currently have your loan with one of these lenders, you’re not out of luck, you can still refinance through an existing lender.  
• You can shop around.  You are not stuck with your current lender.
• If your previous reverse mortgage was not FHA insured, you can switch to one that is.  The FHA insurance offers consumer protections, including the promise that you’ll never owe more than your home is worth at the time the loan comes due.
• You will need to take part in third party reverse mortgage counseling.
• If you received your reverse mortgage before 2015, be aware some of the requirements have changed.  Now income and credit does play a factor, although there are options if you fail to meet the new criteria. 
• If you’re not sure you want to stay in the home, refinancing may not be the best move.  Instead possibly consider selling the home to pay back the existing reverse mortgage, then look at a Reverse Mortgage for Purchase to downsize or move to a more suitable home.
• After the refinance, the borrower will still be responsible for property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, and other related costs to the home such as HOA fees, upkeep, and utilities.  

Jan Jordan is a Reverse Mortgage Specialist serving the Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Longmont, Boulder and other Front Range areas of Colorado.  Click here to contact Jan and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.

5 Things You Need To Know About Reverse Mortgages

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradoReverse mortgages have made a serious comeback in the past couple years.  After regulation changes were enacted in 2015, the reverse mortgage loan once considered a desperate lifeline is now being used as a retirement tool for even the wealthy.  The loans are still only available to seniors 62 and older (including married couples) with the amount of funds available increasing depending on age and appraised value of the home, but now those funds are often being accessed in ways not available before – such as a line of credit or to purchase a home.  This really is not your mother’s reverse mortgage, it’s something much more versatile than it was years ago.

Here are some lesser known facts about today’s reverse mortgage:

1.)  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the borrower will always remain the homeowner as long as basic responsibilities such as property taxes are paid, homeowners insurance is kept current, and utilities and HOA fees are paid.  One of reverse mortgage’s scariest myths has always been that a bank will own the home.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.  Not only will the borrower remain the homeowner, they will also retain the title.

2.) There are NO mortgage or loan payments.  That’s correct.  Regardless of how the borrower decides to utilize the reverse mortgage funds, they will not pay a loan or mortgage payment while they remain in the home.

3.) With a Reverse Mortgage for Purchase, borrowers can wrap both the home purchase and the reverse mortgage into the same transaction allowing them to buy their dream home – AND the reverse mortgage will substantially supplement purchasing power allowing a home to be purchased that may have once been out of their price range.  When using a Reverse Mortgage for Purchase, the borrower is required to provide some down payment and the reverse mortgage funds will make up the rest of the purchase price.

4.) Married couples can both be on the loan regardless of how the funds are utilized.  Another all too common myth is that in the case of a married couple, if one spouse passes away the other spouse will be evicted.  When working with a reputable reverse mortgage lender this should never happen.  As long as both spouses are 62 or over, they can both be on the loan allowing either borrower to stay in the home until the last spouses passes away or permanently leaves the home.

5.) Heirs are not “saddled” with the debt of a reverse mortgage.  After the borrower(s) pass away, there are several options as to what the heirs can do with the home.  And in today’s hot housing market, the home may gain equity that can be available to the heirs.  Most all reverse mortgages are FHA insured meaning the loan will never exceed the amount of the home sale – even if more is owed, and it also means it will only ever require the amount of the loan even if the home is worth much more when it comes due.

Jan Jordan is a Reverse Mortgage Specialist serving the Fort Lupton, Erie,  Lafayette, Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Longmont, Boulder and other Front Range areas of Colorado. Click here to contact Jan and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.

Required Reverse Mortgage Counseling: What You Need To Know

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradoPrior to being approved for a reverse mortgage, HUD’s Federal Housing Administration (FHA) requires each borrow to participate in a counseling session with an approved agency. These not-for-profit agencies are funded by the federal government and work closely with both the FHA and lenders to ensure a smooth process.

The goal of this session is not to steer a potential borrower in one direction or another, but to make sure they clearly understand all aspects of a reverse mortgage.

Here is what you can expect at your counseling session:

The potential borrower will need to schedule an appointment directly with a counseling agency. The lender does not initiate or take part in the session, but can provide you with resources to seek out a counselor. The session will take place in person or over the phone – although the FHA recommends a face-to-face meeting whenever possible.

Prior to your appointment, the counseling agency will provide you with a packet of information to allow you to prepare for the session. During the session the counselor will discuss your immediate and long-term financial needs, your reasons for seeking out a reverse mortgage, address any questions or concerns you may have, and clearly educate you on the process as well as the pros and cons of a reverse mortgage. Again, they are not there to “sell” you on the product, but to educate instead.

Once you have completed the counseling session, you will be provided with a “Certificate of Completion”. This certificate verifies to your lender that you have completed the counseling session and that you understand the essentials of a reverse mortgage. Your counselor will also follow up with you to ensure you have no further needs, questions, or concerns.

Jan Jordan is a Reverse Mortgage Specialist serving the Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Longmont, Boulder and other Front Range areas of Colorado, as well as the Cheyenne and Laramie communities of Wyoming.  Contact Jan to learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.

Here’s Why The Reverse Mortgage Line Of Credit Is So Popular

The HECM Reverse Mortgage Line of Credit is still relatively new, and to this day many within the financial and retirement industries haven’t fully grasped how it works.  Well, they need to get on board because consumers are interested – and they should be.  Here’s why..

First, what is a line of credit?  Simply put, a line of credit are funds available to you through a financial institution that you can access as needed, or not at all if the need doesn’t arise.  Interest is not acquired if the funds are not used.  This makes line of credit options excellent safety nets, especially for the purpose of creative retirement strategy.

When looking at a HECM Reverse Mortgage Line of Credit, the two are obviously intertwined, meaning the qualification requirements for any reverse mortgage still apply.  These are: age 62 and over, using your primary residence for the loan, this home must meet HUD’s guidelines and needs to be either paid off or have substantial equity, and the borrower must have the financial capability to continue to pay homeowners insurance, property taxes, and the like. Because there are various options to receive the payout from a reverse mortgage, the line of credit is only one of them.

When you have a reverse mortgage line of credit, you have money that is available to you — but you only accrue interest on the money you withdraw.  This means the reverse mortgage line of credit can act as an excellent back up source of funds or can be used for retirement fun, whether it be vacation, spoiling grandchildren, or knowing you have the funds available when you’re ready to take on new ventures.

There are other benefits though.  This line of credit is pretty astounding beyond just being a safety net.

Growth: Not only are you not paying interest, but your untouched reverse mortgage line of credit can grow in value. Money in a reverse mortgage line of credit grows at the same rate as the interest rate on the loan PLUS 1.25% monthly.  So, if the interest rate on your reverse mortgage is 2.50%, then your line of credit will grow at 3.75% (2.50% + 1.25%).

Unique: This growth is unique to reverse mortgage lines of credit — a HELOC for example does not grow.

Hedge Against Falling House Prices: The growth in a reverse mortgage line of credit is guaranteed — without withdrawals, your line of credit is guaranteed to grow.  This means you lock in the current value of your home without taking out an interest acruing loan.

Pretty great, isn’t it?

Jan Jordan is a Reverse Mortgage Specialist serving the Erie, Firestone, Fort Lupton, Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Longmont, Boulder and other Front Range areas of Colorado.  Click here to contact Jan and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.

Can A Reverse Mortgage Help With Divorce After Retirement?

Reverse Mortgage Helping Seniors in Fort Collins Colorado Loveland GreeleyIt’s becoming more and more common for seniors to divorce after retirement.  This is happening for various reasons, but a big one is that retirement now last for decades versus only years, and many people are looking to make those golden years the best yet.

But senior divorces can get messy, as there are often many assets to sort out.  During divorce negotiations, a home is often one of these assets.  This home is possibly owned free and clear, or with a lot of equity.  For divorcees age 62 and over, a reverse mortgage can be used as a tool to help with settling this asset during divorce.  The great thing about reverse mortgage is it allows someone to stay in the home and live mortgage payment free, AND access funds from the equity.  Here are a couple scenarios in which reverse mortgage would be of benefit.

Scenario 1: When splitting the home asset, instead of selling the home, one party could be allowed to stay in the home and obtain a reverse mortgage, of which the other party receives the funds from.  This can be a win-win.  In cases like this, the financial settlement can even be wrapped into the loan if the divorce is final before the closing.  This would mean a reverse mortgage would be part of the divorce settlement discussion.  It is important to understand that the party that remains in the home will be responsible for certain obligations pertaining to the home, such as property taxes and homeowners insurance.

Scenario 2: Possibly you’re used to living off two incomes – whether it be from work, or social security and pensions.  Suddenly dropping down to one income can be devastating.  In cases like this getting the home in divorce proceedings can be a huge benefit, as once the divorce is final, a reverse mortgage could be obtained on the home.  The funds could come in monthly installments, a line of credit (that grows), or a lump sum.  In addition, if you wanted to sell the home and move, a reverse mortgage could be used to purchase the new home– and can even allow you seek homes that would otherwise not be in your price range.  The best part?  You will always live mortgage payment free.

If you are considering a divorce, or sifting through the process, don’t hesitate to contact me to further understand how reverse mortgage can help, and whether or not you qualify.

Jan Jordan is a Reverse Mortgage Specialist serving the Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Longmont, Boulder and other Front Range areas of Colorado.  Contact Jan and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.

7 Reverse Mortgage Myths That Need To Go Away

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradoReverse Mortgage was created to give our retiring generation a way to keep their homes and manage the ever increasing costs of life after working long and hard over the years. It is an option that could be just right for you. All applicants are required to participate in HUD approved counseling to ensure all their questions and concerns are addressed. Working with a reputable reverse mortgage specialist will also be critical in the process, as this person should be your advocate – even telling you when a reverse mortgage may be wrong for you.

In the meantime, it’s important to unravel the myths floating around about what a reverse mortgage is and what it does.  Here are a few myth busting facts:

 Myth #1: Reverse mortgages are only for poor people.

Fact: Many retirees use reverse mortgage as a way to fulfill their desires for retirement, or to help grandchildren with college, or even to move into their dream home.

Myth #2: It’s free money.

Fact: It is a loan specialized for those 62 years old and older that does not need to be paid back until the last borrower passes away or leaves the home permanently.  If anyone attempts to market a reverse mortgage as “free money”, beware as it is likely a scam.

Myth #3: You lose your home.

Fact: The title of your home stays in your hands.  You are always the owner.

Myth #4: It is not a safe program.

Fact: Reverse mortgages are FHA insured and fully guaranteed – regardless of how you receive the payout.

Myth #5: My equity is safe if I don’t use a reverse mortgage right now.

Fact: Your equity is dependent upon the housing market, which is always changing.  Utilizing a reverse mortgage line of credit is a great way to guarantee your reverse mortgage equity is not affected by housing booms and busts.

Myth #6: I must be a homeowner or use my current home to obtain a reverse mortgage.

Fact: Reverse mortgages can be used to purchase a home, even if you have never owned a home before.

Myth #7:  If I’m married, my spouse will lose the home if I pass away.

Fact:  Married couples can both be on the loan if both are 62 or older.  There are many ways to ensure both spouses are not at risk.

Jan Jordan is a Reverse Mortgage Specialist serving the Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Longmont, Boulder and other Front Range areas of Colorado.  Click here to contact Jan and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.