Category: Information for Financial Planners

Exploring Reverse Mortgage and Divorce

Reverse Mortgage Loveland Fort Collins Denver Boulder Longmont Greeley ColoradoIt’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, and Front Range areas of Colorado.  Click here to contact Jan and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.

Can I Sell A Home With An Existing Reverse Mortgage

Typically when a senior takes out a reverse mortgage loan on a home, they intend to age there.  But on occasion and reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradofor various reasons, the homeowners wants to or needs to sell the home before the loan comes due and payable.  So, what now?

Although this is an important factor, it’s not nearly as daunting as it sounds.  Here’s where to start:

Step 1.) Locate your reverse mortgage loan documents and find any pertinent information regarding the sale of the home.  It will vary from lender to lender.  Most (but not all) reverse mortgage loans are FHA insured.  This means even if you owe more on the loan than the home is worth, you will never owe more than the home sells for.

Consult with a real estate or elder law attorney if you have questions or concerns.

Step 2.)  Contact the reverse mortgage lender to get a payoff quote.  This combined with a home appraisal will give you a good idea of what the sale will look like and what amount of funds you could potentially walk away with.

Step 3.)  Find a real estate agent.  When seeking out an agent, be sure to provide your reverse mortgage loan information up front and look for someone who has experience with such a sale.

Step 4.)  Prepare the home for sale.  From here, everything is similar to any home sale.  You want to prep the home, keep it clean for showings, update anything you may need, etc.

Step 5.)  Sell the home, pay off the reverse mortgage loan (consult with a real estate or elder law attorney if you have questions when paying off the loan), then reap the rewards.  Congrats!
Reverse mortgages are available to seniors 62 and over all over Colorado.  To learn more, contact a reputable reverse mortgage lender.

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

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What Does it Mean When a Reverse Mortgage is FHA Insured?

If you’ve taken the time to learn even a little bit about a reverse mortgage, it’s likely you’ve heard the term “FHA insured” at least a couple of times.  But what exactly does it mean?

Homeowners 62 and over, with significant equity in their home, may be eligible for a reverse mortgage.  These loans are typically insured by the FHA and provide non-taxable income to the borrowers based on the available equity in the home.  The more equity and the older the borrower, the more funds available.  The funds can be accessed via a line of credit, monthly installments, a lump sum, and even can be wrapped into the purchase of a new home.  The borrower can always use the funds for whatever they deem fit.

The homeowner will live mortgage payment free for as long as they remain in the home, although they will have a few financial obligations related to the house such as homeowners insurance, property taxes, utilities, and HOA fees.  As long as the borrowers keeps current on these few obligations, they cannot be evicted from the home or made to repay the loan.  The loan comes due once the last borrower has left the home for 12 consecutive months or passes away.  At this time the loan will be due and payable with time allotted to allow for transitions.  This is where the FHA insurance comes in.

In the case of a death, the home with pass onto the heirs.  At this time they have two options – 1) Pay off the loan and keep the home (often through life insurance or sale of another asset), or 2) Sell the home.

In the scenario of loan repayment the heirs will never have to repay any more than the home is appraised for.  They will only be required to pay 95% of the appraised home value or the full amount of the loan, whichever is less.  Any amount due on the loan above the appraised amount will be covered by the FHA insurance and no one will be held liable.

In the case of a home sale, the heirs will never be required to pay more on the loan than the home sells for as long as the sale price is at least 95% of the appraised value.  Any remaining balance will be covered by the FHA insurance.  On the other hand, if the home sells for more than the loan balance, the heirs will keep any remaining funds.   This is especially important as over the years the housing market shifts.

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

What To Look For In A Reverse Mortgage Lender

reverse mortgage colorado loveland fort collins longmont greeley boulderFor many retirees, a reverse mortgage is a feasible option to living the golden years they always dreamed of, or for others it may be a path to living within a budget without the constraints and worry of excessive financial distress.  In order to qualify for a reverse mortgage, the individual must own their home, be at least 62 years old, and have some equity in the home.  In general, the older the borrower (or the youngest borrower in the case of married couples) and the more valuable the home, the more reverse mortgage funds will be available.  Other factors also come into play, such as: the appraised home value, interest rates, and the amount of equity in the home.  Once a basic understanding of how a reverse mortgage works, the next step is finding a lender.

Where to find a lender?

Reverse mortgages are marketed in every possible way.  Television, radio, mailers, internet, etc.  Although not all of these methods ensure trouble, some of them can be scams.  When seeking a reverse mortgage lender, it’s important to speak with people you trust.  Ask around at your bank or financial institution.  Speak with a financial or retirement adviser.  Talk with neighbors or friends who have utilized a reverse mortgage.  Seek information from the local Chamber of Commerce or Senior Centers.   Utilize other resources that may be available in your community.

What to look for in a reverse mortgage lender?

Working with a reputable reverse mortgage lender is critical.  It can be risky to get involved with a lender who does not offer all the details or who is just looking to make a “quick sell”.   A reputable lender will have strong connections in the community, working closely with a network of professional organizations.

Accreditation and ratings?

Seek out a lender that is a member of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA).  Members of the NRMLA must conform to a strict code of lending ethic.  Look for a lender that is affiliated with the  Better Business Bureau (BBB), where you can also learn of any complaints against the company.

Follow your gut.

When it comes down to it, always follow your gut.  Just because a lender may meet all this criteria doesn’t mean they will be right for you.  If you do not feel comfortable or feel your questions are not being adequately answered, there is nothing wrong with seeking out a different lender.

Jan Jordan is a Reverse Mortgage Specialist serving the Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, and Front Range areas of Colorado.  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 for Purchase Loveland Fort Collins Greeley Longmont Westminster Colorado Cheyenne Laramie WyomingA 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.  

Can Reverse Mortgage Help You Achieve Your Retirement Vision?

Reverse Mortgage Colorado Fort Collins Loveland Berthoud Greeley WindsorIn an era where “retirement” has taken on whole new meaning and commonly lasts for two or three decades, more and more retirees are ready to live the latter part of their life to the fullest.  They see this as a time to enjoy life after years of working and raising a family.  But in order to achieve these goals retirees need a plan, but first they need a vision.

For those ready to realize their retirement dreams, start by asking some simple questions:

If your retirement could be anything you hoped for, what would it include?  Would you buy a vacation home?  Move closer to family and grandkids?  Take a yearly cruise?  Visit Europe?  Volunteer with your most passionate charity?  By articulating your desires, you can better prioritize your wants and needs, and consider these costs when developing a retirement plan.

Determine other expenditures that may hinder these goals.  Healthcare, home modifications and improvements, debt, and other scenarios like this are the most common.  These expenses can arise later in retirement, so preparing for them upfront is often an important consideration.

What are the expectations between yourself, your spouse (if you have one), and your family?  It’s amazing how often what is assumed and what is reality vary greatly.  So many retirees feel they need to hold on to their assets because they want to pass a home or a vast inheritance down to their children, yet their children would much rather see their parents live their two or three decade retirement to the fullest.  Make sure the lines of communication are open and no one is afraid to ask tough questions.  The answers may be surprising.

No matter what your retirement vision is, reverse mortgage can help you achieve it.  For seniors 62 and over a reverse mortgage can provide funds to achieve goals, frees up those strapped by limited incomes, and even help purchase a new 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.

Dissecting The Differences In Reverse Mortgage Professionals

reverse mortgage colorado loveland fort collins longmont greeley boulderWhen you start navigating the waters of reverse mortgages, you will undoubtedly come across MANY different companies and individuals ready and willing to help.  Flashy ads, website calculators, famous spokesmen, and more.  But who are all these people?  And what is the difference between them?  How do you know what is the best fit for YOU?

Here’s some information I think anyone considering a reverse mortgage needs to know about the various professionals who work in the industry:

Banks and Credit Unions – Most local banks and credit unions do not offer reverse mortgage loans, although sometimes the larger ones will.  Unfortunately seeking a loan through them can often mean little or no face-to-face time, and it’s not uncommon for these banks to leave the industry down the road.  At one time Wells Fargo and Bank of America were in the business, but they quit, leaving their borrowers with loans that few employees can understand and little help if reverse mortgage customers need it. 

Brokers – A reverse mortgage broker is a third party individual that is licensed by the state but doesn’t work directly with a lender, instead they essentially shop the marketplace.  When working with a broker, borrowers will pay higher fees because they will have to cover the costs of the broker.  In addition, because all transactions run through a third party, things can easily get slowed down or even stalled completely.

Direct Lender Specialists – This is the category I fall into.  Working directly with a lender that specializes in FHA insured HECM reverse mortgages, such as Retirement Funding Solutions, direct lender specialists are able to offer local, personal, face-to-face time with clients, and eliminate the need for costly third-party fees.  We are able to do all this while ensuring the smoothest, most efficient transaction possible because they are handling the loan and not farming it out to another company.

Reverse mortgages are available to individuals and married couples age 62 and older.  These FHA insured loans allow homeowners to live mortgage and loan payment free until they pass away, permanently leave the home (meaning 12 consecutive months), or they default on financial responsibilities associated with the home, such asproperty taxes or homeowner’s insurance.  The funds are available via monthly installments, a line of credit, a lump sum, or even to purchase a home

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 Will I Be Responsible For After I Get A Reverse Mortgage?

reverse mortgage colorado fort collins loveland greeleyReverse Mortgages have helped millions of seniors live more plentiful lives as they age.  Homeowners and their spouses over the age of 62 are eligible for Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM), but although they will NOT have a monthly mortgage payment to pay, they are still responsible for some financial obligations regarding the home.  These include:

Property Taxes:

Just as with a conventional home loan, a reverse mortgage homeowner is always responsible for paying their property taxes.  Your particular county or city may have a program that allows you to defer a portion of your property tax.  Homeowners can contact their county human services office for more information.

Homeowners Insurance:

Just as with any conventional home loan, reverse mortgage holders are required to purchase and maintain homeowners insurance.  This yearly expense is something that should be discussed with your lender and a reverse mortgage counselor to ensure the homeowner understands their options and a plan is put in place to keep insurance current.

Home Maintenance: 

The homeowner or their family will be responsible for continuing to maintain and upkeep the home.  Because a reverse mortgage uses the equity available in the home to make it’s monthly mortgage payments, if major repairs are needed the homeowners will not be eligible for a home equity loan or similar.  It’s important to keep this in mind, especially when homeowners elect to receive their reverse mortgage funds in one lump sum.  Again, discussing this with your lender can help ensure you have planned to have funds available should a major home repair be needed.

Ultimately, understanding and planning for these expenses is key to being prepared in the years to come.  Working with and asking questions of a reputable reverse mortgage lender, as well as a reverse mortgage counselor, can help alleviate any concerns a homeowner may have.

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.

Is Reverse Mortgage Good Financial Strategy?

Reverse mortgages are available to seniors 62 and over who either have their home paid off or have substantial equity.  Certain criteria applies to the home in order to meet HUD’s rules, and although anyone on the loan must be 62 and over, they are available to married couples the same as individuals.  The funds available from these FHA insured loans are available in various ways including monthly installments, a lump sum, a line of credit, and as a purchase option.  Even with all these funding choices, reverse mortgages are not right for everyone but they are a perfect match for many.

When is Reverse Mortgage a good financial strategy?

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradoThink of reverse mortgage as a financial tool that turns home equity into cash WITHOUT incurring a loan payment, unlike a traditional mortgage or home equity loan.  No repayment is due as long as the borrower is living in the home.  This also goes for married couples, in which case no repayment would be due until the last borrower permanently leaves the home.  The borrower will still be responsible for some things related to the home, such as property taxes and homeowners insurance.

Reverse mortgages are increasing in popularity as more retirement and financial planners are recommending their use as a potential tool.  Typically retirement planners have used a three legged stool as an example for their clients – saving, social security, and pensions make up this visual structure.  But with changes in the economy and uncertain futures, pensions are disappearing.  In this scenario, those who are “house rich, but cash poor” may find using home equity to balance out the stool is a saving grace.  In addition, for those secure in all three areas, adding home equity can be used as a safety net or to delay, thus enhance, certain areas.

The reverse mortgage industry underwent some changes last year as legislation was passed making these loans a safer option for both borrowers and lenders.  As a result, the reputation that once surrounded the industry has drastically improved and their use is being studied by some of the most prominent retirement experts.

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.

Here’s How To Know If Your Home Qualifies For A Reverse Mortgage

Jan Jordan Blog : Reverse Mortgage Loveland Fort Collins Greeley Longmont ColoradoReverse Mortgages are a specialized loan available to seniors 62 and over.  This creative resource is used by a wide demographic – from those looking to supplement a fixed income, to the more affluent in need of protection for retirement assets, and even those wanting to purchase a home in retirement.  But there are some requirements when it comes to the actual home…

Which types of homes are included? 

According the HUD’s Federal Housing Administration, the home must be a single family home or a 2-4 unit home with one unit occupied by the borrower. Some condominiums and manufactured homes that are approved by HUD also meet FHA requirements.

In the case of a Reverse Mortgage for Purchase, borrowers can use a reverse mortgage to purchase a single family home or 2-4 unit home with completed construction that has received a certificate of occupancy.

Are there reasons my home may not qualify?

A home with very little equity may not qualify, although homes with existing mortgages may.

In addition, homes must be maintained with general upkeep and be current on property taxes and other expenses relevant to the home.

A second home or vacation home may not qualify.  The borrower must be living (or plan to live) in the home.

Bottom line

The funds from a reverse mortgage can be accessed via a lump sum, line of credit, monthly installments, or to purchase a home. If you have questions let your specialist guide you in the many scenarios that are possible and the two of you can think creatively about your needs and desires.

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.