Just yesterday, Fox Business published a very thorough article outlining how and why a senior may want to use a reverse mortgage to pay off an existing conventional mortgage loan. After discussing the positive recent changes the reverse mortgage industry has seen, including using it as a retirement planning tool, the article discussed different scenarios and how they would work.
A reverse mortgage is essentially a home equity loan in which the borrower is not required to make payments. The homeowner must be at least 62 years old and income and credit are irrelevant. Although a reverse mortgage does accrue interest, it does not have to be repaid until the last borrower passes away or leaves the home permanently. These loans are FHA insured.
Here is a common scenario from the Fox Business article:
Barbara is a 75-year-old widow with a house worth $400,000. She owes $25,000 on a home equity line of credit, with no other mortgage debt.
Based on her age and the home’s value, she can get a reverse mortgage for up to about $245,600 (the principal limit). Closing costs, including FHA initial mortgage insurance, reduce the available amount to around $234,900.
Under FHA rules, she can get a reverse mortgage, pay off the HELOC balance and take out up to around $111,600 in cash during the first year. A year later, the remainder would be available to her.
A common question with reverse mortgage is who technically owns the home? The borrower does. They will retain the title and can make modifications or upgrades to the home. The borrower is also responsible for paying property taxes, homeowners insurance, utilities and any HOA fees.
In addition, with both HELOC (home equity lines of credit) and Making Homes Affordable home loan modifications geared up to have some major resets, it’s important for seniors and their lenders to be aware that a reverse mortgage may be great solution to eliminate the associated payment all together.
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.