A reverse mortgage is a loan available to homeowners age 62 years or older, that allows a homeowner to borrow against the equity they have in their house in the form of a lump sum, fixed monthly payment, or line of credit.
Unlike a typical mortgage, with a reverse mortgage, the bank pays the owner of the house monthly mortgage payments, and when the owner of the house dies or sells the home, the entire reverse mortgage balance becomes due and payable.
As long as the borrower is 62 or older and lives in the home, he or she is not required to make any monthly payments towards the loan balance. The concept of the reverse mortgage came about as a way to help retirees with limited income use the equity they have built up in their house without having to sell the property.
With these types of mortgages, the owner of the property is responsible for the property taxes and homeowners insurance premium, utilities, fuel, maintenance, and other home-related expenses. If only one spouse signed the loan paperwork, in certain situations, your spouse may continue to live in the home even after you die if he or she continues paying the above-noted bills and maintains the property. However, since they were not a part of the loan, all payments under the reverse mortgage will cease.
Most reverse mortgages have a “non-recourse” clause which means that the value of the reverse mortgage cannot exceed the value of the home when the loan becomes due. This is beneficial upon the death of the homeowner because there will not be any bills related to the reverse mortgage outside of the equity in the house.
No other assets in the Estate of the deceased are affected. There are three different types of reverse mortgages. As with any type of transaction, it is important to shop around before locking yourself into a long term loan.
Single-Purpose Reverse Mortgage
Homeowners can use single-purpose reverse mortgage proceeds only to pay for specific items that are approved by the lender. This single-purpose may be for necessary repair and maintenance, or payment of property taxes. The lender on this type of file is a state, local, or non-profit agencies, and is considered the least expensive type of reverse mortgage. This option is beneficial to many people because it offers fewer expenses and fees than other types of reverse mortgages.
Home Equity Conversion Mortgage
This type of mortgage is likely to be more expensive and is the most widely used version of the reverse mortgage. This is because there are not any income requirements, and the proceeds from the loan can be used for any purpose. This loan does not carry the same single-purpose limit detailed above.
Counseling is typically required before applying for this loan due to the higher expenses, interest rates, and payback requirements of this loan. Because this is a federally insured mortgage, there are usually high up-front or monthly ongoing insurance payments. These payments are usually taken out of the loan itself, and actually reduces the amount you are able to borrow.
Proprietary Reverse Mortgages
A proprietary reverse mortgage is not available to the average homeowner. As of 2018, in order to qualify for this type of reverse mortgage, your home must have a value of $679,650.00. This is not a federally insured mortgage and often has less stringent insurance requirements.
If you are considering this type of loan, you should also apply for the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage. This way you can compare fees to find out which loan fits better for your situation.
Wrapping it up
Using this type of mortgage can eat up the equity in your home, meaning there is less value to your estate that is left for your heirs. If your goal is to leave the house for your heirs to live in, a reverse mortgage may not be the right type of loan for you. If you would like to discuss how a reverse mortgage may benefit your situation, please contact give The Orlando Law Group, P.L. a call.