Why Do a Reverse Loan?

I have been a Reverse mortgage consultant for almost 20 years and quite often, I am asked why would anyone ever use a reverse loan?

It’s certainly a reasonable question, but most of the time, it’s coming from a  place of lack of correct information about the FHA HECM loan program for seniors and too often the “stories” and myths they have heard about reverse loans.

Initially when I first started in this profession, the most common reason for applying for it, was the need for additional funds to simply pay on going monthly expenses.   Needless to say, the amount of money seniors receive from Social Security are woefully inadequate to pay mortgage payments   ( if they still have a mortgage), food, utilities, medical expenses and the plethora of costs we all have each month.

In my next several posts, I’m going to talk a bit about the loan and how it’s become more affordable and other misconceptions that are still circulating in the public about it.

And I will share some stories about some of my clients   ( Without naming them), as to why they chose to use a Reverse loan in their particular situation.

And…. no one has ever regretted their decision.

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Long Term Care Expenses

Most people are completely unprepared to pay for any costs associated with “care-giving” because it never occurred to them that at some point in the future they may very, well need help as they age.

And unfortunately if you haven’t purchased a LTC policy by the time you are in your 50’s, the premium will be very expensive later on, especially if you have developed some health issues and qualifying for the insurance will now be difficult and or too expensive to obtain.

Everyday a senior experiences either a fall, a stroke or a medical procedure that will require nursing and help of some sort within the home and  since few people have purchased Long Term Care Insurance, they and their family will find themselves in a crisis to come up with a solution.

If the senior has a substantial amount of money they have saved over the years, they could use it to pay for their care but if they don’t then maybe it will be the adult children who will have to use their own funds to cover the expenses associated with hiring a service to take care of the family member who needs it.

And a very frightening fact is that 70% of those who are 65 or older will have some sort of situation happen where they are going to need help and they won’t have any way to pay for it.

Typically it becomes the responsibility of a family member and the burden of that responsibility is extremely difficult as it up ends the family dynamic, the caregiver is unqualified to care for the parent and their own life becomes overwhelmed and in some cases, they develop serious health issues of their own due to the ongoing stress of being a caregiver.

An excellent option for the entire family is to use funds from a Reverse loan to pay the costs, plus any cash reserves the senior and their family may have, will be protected from being drawn down and the real fear of running out of money is eliminated.

I have found that more Financial Advisors are suggesting this alternative to their clients and families in lieu of drawing down on their investments and possibly experiencing tax consequences and it is an excellent solution to use to pay for the care-giving expenses and removes the fear and stress a family is experiencing when they don’t have the funds to pay for the services that are needed for the family member.

Funds from a Reverse loan is an excellent option to consider to cover these costs and relieve the worry and burden the senior and their family.

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Reverse Loan Counseling

Before anyone can apply for the FHA Reverse loan, they have to complete counseling with a HUD approved counseling agency.

If anyone would like a copy of the list, please contact me and I will send it to you without any obligation on your part.

I haven’t been doing any video in quite some time and today I decided that I would and then post it here.  I certainly hope it works just fine.

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How to Retire Using a Reverse Loan

I have been a Reverse Loan Consultant for almost 17 years and until the last five or so of them, most articles that discussed reverse loans and media pieces were not only incorrect but very negative and certainly created the wrong impression and more than likely, turned off a number of seniors who could have benefited from using  it to provide additional income.

However, we in the reverse loan industry have seen quite an “about face” in the last few years and more and more positive and encouraging articles and media news are promoting the benefits of the FHA HECM reverse loans to the public.

After taking a “beating” for too many years, each day seems to have another article or something on the news that not only is more often correct than it was in the past, but is seriously letting people know that a reverse loan is a good option to use in lieu of drawing down on a retirement fund.

In particular, the Boston College Center for Retirement Research has published a number of studies over the last few years, pointing out the reasons why seniors should not rule out using a reverse mortgage as part of their retirement plan.

And just recently they published a new report addressing the reasons why some seniors are resistant to the idea of using their equity in their home to sustain their lifestyle and to pay for any unplanned medical expenses and that their reasons are not “rational”.

I’m going to share a summary of their findings in the next few posts.

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Life Expectancy Set Aside

LESA is  a bit easier and less “tongue twisting” to say rather then the entire term in the title of this post.

In my previous post, I explained the changes that have taken place two years ago in Underwriting a Reverse loan and what the Lender is reviewing to determine whether or not the client can be relied upon to continue to pay their property tax payments, Homeowners Insurance and any other housing obligations they are responsible for in relationship to their home.

If they have been late on any of these items the previous 24 months, the Lender may elect to create a LESA for the borrower.   They will set aside funds in an impound account from the Reverse loan to cover all of these expenses for the rest of the borrower’s lifetime.

And it can be a big figure depending on the age of the borrower.

And if the borrower is using the loan to payoff an existing mortgage along with the costs associated with doing the new mortgage, there is the possibility that there will not be enough funds to include a LESA and the loan will end up being cancelled.

The reason for the change in Underwriting was due to the fact, that in the past there were some borrowers who lost their homes in foreclosures to their County Tax Assessor due to non-payment of their property taxes and of course the Lender wants to be sure that this isn’t a risk in the future for the new borrower.

Using the current Underwriting standards that is referred to as the Financial Assessment, they will determine if there is any risk or not for the possibility of non-payment in the future due to the borrower’s inability or unwillingness to be financially responsible for these on-going obligations.

Therefor if it appears that the borrower is capable of paying all housing expenses but was unwilling to do so, they might have to have a LESA put into place to make sure that in the future, these obligations will be met and there will be no risk for a foreclosure on the secured property.

The post following this one will discuss a bit more in detail what you need to know.

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