Seniors Are Divorcing

Divorce is always an emotional and difficult experience regardless of the reason or the age of the two individuals who are experiencing this wrenching event in their lives.

Overall the national average of divorcing couples has declined over the years but what is odd, is that it has tripled for those couples over the age of 65 since the 1990’s.

The reasons for senior or “gray’ divorce vary but some of the more common ones is that after raising their children for many years, they began to see themselves as simply parents and no longer friends or lovers.

Then when the adult children leave the home and start their own lives, an older couple may discover that they no longer have any shared interests as they have grown apart over this period of time.

The financial implications of a “gray’ divorce can be quite complicated in that any assets and or retirement funds could end up being liquidated with disastrous consequences for the couple and their future financial stability and security.

I am not a financial advisor and certainly not a Divorce attorney and not qualified to provide any guidance in this matter and it’s best for couples to always seek professional advice when it comes to something as serious as a divorce and splitting up their assets.

However if there is equity in the home, it may be adequate enough to utilize a Reverse mortgage as a tool to either give half of it to one of the divorcing party’s and or buy them out in exchange for the other party receiving any investments they may have accrued together.

But a property settlement would have to be created by their mutual Divorce attorneys to make a final determination as to how all assets are to be divided.

So how would that work?

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Fees or Costs Allowed on a Reverse Loan

In my previous post I discussed the one fee or expense on reverse loans that conventional mortgages do not have.  And that was the FHA insurance premium for MIP.

Conventional mortgages allow what some would call “Lender junk fees”, which typically are for processing, underwriting and other “back office” costs the lender will pass on to the borrower.  And they can add up to additional $1800 to $2000 on a traditional mortgage.

But they are not considered “allowable fees” to a reverse mortgage borrower and cannot be charged and built into the loan.

What are the fees that a reverse loan applicant can expect?

  • Flood Certificate – Pulled by the Appraiser
  • Appraisal fee
  • Credit Report
  • All title settlement, title insurance, transfer fees and recording fees.   These are based on the loan amount, the Title company and county or state.
  • Document preparation fee
  • Notary
  • Payees;  all third party fee and third party providers must be disclosed on the HUD-1 Settlement Statement per RESPA.  List all required loan fees, including fees paid outside of Closing on their worksheets.

All HECM/Home Equity Conversion Mortgage are subject to FHA’s requirements on allowable closing costs.

In my next post I will provide a list of fees that are not allowable and cannot be passed on to the borrower.

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What is MIP and PMI?

In my previous post I described what IMIP is in regards to Reverse mortgages and that it is one of the fees listed as a Closing Cost for all borrowers.

Let’s pick up where I left off in the earlier post.

The other benefit to paying this insurance premium, is that in the event and if for any reason the Lender who is servicing the borrower’s Line of Credit should cease to exist and or are unable to provide funds to the borrower from their Line-of-Credit, the borrower is protected, because their loan and funds in the LOC are insured by FHA.

Any money left in the borrowers account will continue to be available to them regardless of whether or not the company servicing their loan continues to exist.

The IMIP protects the borrower, their funds in the Line-of-Credit and the heirs to the estate and that’s very reassuring and beneficial to everyone who has a reverse loan and to their family.

Sometimes the consumer is confused about what MIP and PMI are and there is a difference between them.   PMI is used in conventional mortgage financing whenever a borrower will have less than 80% in equity.

This is typically seen when someone is buying a home and coming in with a small down payment.   PMI protects the Lender in the event the borrower ceases to make mortgage payments on their loan and there is a foreclosure.   PMI gives the Lender some protection by having the loan insured against this possibility.

PMI is for traditional financing and IMIP is for FHA government insured loans.

And there you have it.

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Senior Dilemma

American seniors retain over 6 trillion dollars in their homes and more of them are beginning to use their equity to extend their retirement funds  (Everyone is worried about out-living their savings) by using a reverse loan to leverage their portfolio’s longevity.

Another reason, might be to eliminate an existing mortgage payment and thus free up some extra money each month to be used for other expenses.

But maybe they decide to sell their home instead and take the remaining equity after Broker fees and expenses related to selling it and possibly rent instead of “own”.

What are the costs to the seller if they opt this route?    I’m going to give a very simple example in this post, but obviously it would depend on the sales price, if they are paying off a mortgage and the Broker fee and other miscellaneous expenses related to the transaction.

  • Sales Price:  $450,000 @ 6% Broker Fees   ( Might be less)  = $27,000;  Paying off existing loan $150,000 = $273,000 remaining equity.
  • Now there are the “other” costs associated with the sale of a home.
  • Escrow Fees and Title Insurance Policies  Approx: $1800
  • Repair and any “staging” fees; approx: $2,000 assuming any repairs are minor, etc.
  • Moving expenses.  Local rates can be $25.00 per “mover” and the average cost is $1000 to $2000.  If the move is out of the state then it’s obviously more expensive and can be between $4000 to $8000.   But again, it depends on the amount of items being packed and moved and the size of the home.
  • Surprise expenses:   There is no way of knowing what could happen in the process of selling one’s home.   But it could be more money out of your pocket.  Such as a Buyer wanting you to pay for some of their loan’s Closing Costs.
  • Hassle and stress factor?   It’s impossible to determine the “costs” of the amount of stress just trying to organize, pack, toss and find a new home to live in.
  • And where?   Going to rent or buy?

So if we deduct the estimated costs associated with our fictitious Seller and deduct it from the equity they have leftover after paying the Broker to List and sell their home, they would have somewhere in the “middle” of $260,000 and $245,000 left over after the entire, frustrating experience ends.

Now what?   Rent until the money runs out or possibly consider buying another home, but this time use a Reverse mortgage to purchase it.

In the next post, let’s discuss why using a Reverse loan to purchase a property can be very beneficial method to qualify for a mortgage on a new residence.



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Seniors and Housing Debt

Although the amount of equity that is retained by American seniors exceeds 5 Trillion dollars, there are many who will not be able to retire because they are burdened with a mortgage payment.

Unfortunately, some seniors applied for Lines-of-Credit or did a traditional refinance on their property and took a lot of funds out at the close of escrow the last several years.

A much better option would have been to apply for the HECM Line-of-Credit and only use the funds as needed and not be obligated for a money mortgage payment.

A new report was recently published by HUD’s office of Policy Development and Research discussing this concern and what options seniors will have in the future to manage their housing debt.

I will post a summary of the findings in the next three posts.

HUD: Reverse Mortgages Provide Solution to Retirees’ Housing Needs

By Jason Oliva

“Baby Boomers and senior homeowners have the potential to reshape the nation’s housing market. But as a growing share of this demographic carries mortgage debt into retirement, they will need to seek additional solutions to improve their financial situations. For many, this could mean tapping into home equity through a reverse mortgage, according to a new report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The broader housing market has shown positive signs of recovery in the years following the financial crisis, but several challenges remain, especially for older homeowners nearing retirement, according to a report recently issued by HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research.

A rising percentage of older homeowners are carrying mortgage debt as they approach and enter retirement. Among owners aged 65 and older, 40% had mortgages in 2014, according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.”


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