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Uncovering Reverse Mortgage Myths & Misconceptions

Jan 8, 2008
Have you been considering a reverse mortgage but are just afraid of some of the negative things you've heard? There are some negative myths that senior borrowers have heard about this type of financing that simply aren't true and we're going to expose some of those here.

Myth #1 The Lender gets my house. This is not true. You own your home and the lender records a lien, just like a forward mortgage. The difference is that instead of borrowing money and then making monthly payments on the money, the lender gives you money against the equity in your home either all up front, in monthly payments, as a line of credit you can use when you want, or all of the above. You make no monthly payments and the interest accrues until the loan is paid in full. When you sell the home, stop living in it as your primary residence or the last borrower on the mortgage passes, the loan and all interest becomes due and payable (there are also some second home programs available). You (or your designated heirs upon your passing) retain title to your property.

Myth #2 I don't have good enough credit to get a loan. There is almost no credit qualification for a reverse mortgage. On the government Home Equity Conversion Mortgage or HECM, the only requirement is that you cannot be delinquent on a federal obligation such as an FHA loan, Federally Insured Student Loan, Federally Insured SBA Loan etc. If you have declared bankruptcy, you are still eligible for a HECM reverse mortgage. If you are currently on a bankruptcy payment plan, you can still qualify if you have a history of 12 months or more of making the plan payment. You can even get a reverse mortgage if you are currently in foreclosure!

Myth #3 My house has to be paid in full to get a reverse mortgage. Some seniors get a reverse mortgage to augment their income and do start with homes that are paid in full or have loans with very small balances, but some seniors take a reverse mortgage just so that they can pay off their existing financing and never make another loan payment for life. In fact, some loans go to people who bring in cash to close the loan, just to stop all payments for life.

Myth #4 A reverse mortgage will affect my social security benefits. Reverse mortgages do not affect a senior's social security benefits. We recommend that seniors consult with a trusted financial advisor because need-based programs such as Medicaid, can be affected if the reverse mortgage is not administered correctly. However, retirement programs, social security and taxes are not affected and this should not stop seniors from getting the help they need to stay at home if that is what they desire.
About the Author
Michael G. Branson (CEO All Reverse Mortgage Company)is a Mortgage Broker who has over 31 years of mortgage banking experience. Toll Free (888) 801-2762

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