April 2009

Radio Interview on Reverse Loans

I have been invited to speak this coming Sat.  May 2nd. on a local radio station in Ventura County; KVTA 1520 AM.   The program will start at 8 in the morning (Hope that I don’t sound “sleepy”) and will last for an hour.

Listeners will be able to call in with their questions and I’m looking forward to answering them   Especially those that involve the misconceptions about the loan and continue to circulate in the community in general, keeping possible applicants away from enquiring about it because they are scared about what they have heard.

With the financial crisis that has left no one untouched, Seniors have been particularly hard hit, as Social Security only increased this year by about $64.00.   Yeah!   Try living on that…  Plus if they did have any pension or savings it has been reduced by about 40%.   Just like the rest of us.

That was a figure that was mentioned to me several times this past week by individuals that I met at the two Senior Fairs/Expo’s where I participated.   More people than in the past, were quite willing to discuss the mortgage and they asked me quite a few questions.   What a delight!

Fortunately for them, they do have an alternative to supplement their income and it’s very, very easy to get it.   Yes, a Reverse Loan and you know what?   More of them are applying for it than any other time in the past and it’s changing lives and keeping them secure in their homes.

Every week I receive calls from individuals in their mid 50’s, asking me if they can apply for a Reverse mortgage because they can’t handle the payments that they have right now or they are unemployed and struggling financially.

The bad news for them is that I can’t.   To qualify for a Reverse mortgage, the borrower(s) must be 62 years of age.   As I frequently say,   this is when is pays to be “old”.

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Alzheimer’s Association

This Wednesday I will be at an exhibition that is being hosted by the Alzheimer’s Assoc of California, Southland Chap. of the Greater San Fernando Valley Office & Interdisciplinary Gerontology Program at Cal State Northridge.    It is the 2009 Caregiver Wellness Day and it is free of charge to attend. 

Whew!   Was that ever a long statement.   The program is being offered to the community and there will be many professionals that provide services for seniors and I will be there in my capacity as a Reverse Loan consultant.

Typically in the Spring there are many events that come up and continue through the Summer and usually I manage to participate in most of them.   I always enjoy these events, as it’s fun to meet different people, get a chance to visit with the addendees and the other professionals as well.

Naturally I will have information on Reverse loans and I will answer any questions that people may have about them.   Sometimes I find that they avoid eye contact with me or try to keep away from my table because they are “afraid” of Reverse loans and I guess that means that they are afraid of me too!

Oh yes….the myths persist.   The bank does not take the property at the end of the loan and there is always money leftover for the heirs.   I will be addressing these topics in a radio interview that I will be doing in the next couple of weeks.

But more about that later.   If anyone is interested in attending this event and meeting me, here is the location:

Sam’s Cafe’ at New Horizons

15725 Parthenia St.

North Hills, CA

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Counseling for Reverse Mortgages

As part of the process to apply for a Reverse loan, seniors are required to undergo counseling per HUD, to help them to better understand the loan and to see if they may have other options for funds, in lieu of those from a Reverse loan.

Generally the counseling is done over the phone and there is a $125 charge to the client.  They will receive a certificate verifying that they have completed the counseling, give a signed copy to their Loan Officer and then the loan application can move forward.   Without the counseling certificate, the Lender cannot start processing a loan.

HUD is in the process of making some changes to this procedure and counselors will be required to ask a series of 10 questions to the applicant to determine whether or not they understand the loan process.   It’s a good idea, but I feel that it will put undue pressure on the senior, because if they don’t answer at least 5 questions correctly, they will have to wait an additional 7 days before they can do the counseling again.

They should not be put into a position of possibly failing this process.   Seniors need to be protected from financial abuse, but I think that this will just make the process of applying for a Reverse Mortgage too intimidating.

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