Reverse mortgages have been used by older Americans to pay for medical treatment, buy long-term care insurance, finance home improvements, or supplement income. These mortgages allow them to convert the equity in their homes to cash while retaining their home ownership. Rather than making monthly payments to a lender, under a reverse mortgage the consumer gets money from the lender and does not have to repay it for as long as he lives in his home. In exchange, the lender will hold onto some, most, or all of the consumer's home's equity.
"House-rich-but-cash-poor" residents may want to consider reverse mortgages. These mortgages allow them to stay in their houses and maintain financial stability. However, such mortgages are usually more expensive than other loans. There have also been cases of abuse by some lenders.
There are different types of reverse mortgages:
To qualify, you must be 62 or older. You must also have paid off all or most of your mortgage. You are generally not required to disclose your income or provide any medical tests or histories. You may have to undergo some sort of mortgage counseling. The amount that can be borrowed is calculated based on your age, your house's equity, your house's value, and the interest rate.
Although a reverse mortgage may be tempting, you should be aware that:
If you do decide to shop around for a reverse mortgage, remember that the Truth in Lending Act requires lenders to disclose certain terms and information before you sign a loan.
A lawyer can help you decide whether a reverse mortgage is really necessary or attractive in your situation. If you suspect that your lender is violating the law, you can file a complaint with your lender, the state Attorney General's office, or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Last Modified: 04-16-2017 06:38 PM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
We've helped more than 4 million clients find the right lawyer – for free. Present your case online in minutes. LegalMatch matches you to pre-screened lawyers in your city or county based on the specifics of your case. Within 24 hours experienced local lawyers review it and evaluate if you have a solid case. If so, attorneys respond with an offer to represent you that includes a full attorney profile with details on their fee structure, background, and ratings by other LegalMatch users so you can decide if they're the right lawyer for you.