national council on aging

Free Reverse Loan Counseling

Effective April 1st., Money Management International or MMI, will be offering free HUD counseling for seniors that wish to apply for a Reverse Mortgage.   The funds are only temporary and could be quickly exhausted by the demand for their services.

Here is an article that provides additional information for this opportunity.
MMI To Reintroduce Free Reverse Mortgage Counseling on April 1

March 28th, 2012 | by Elizabeth Ecker Published in Counseling, News, Reverse Mortgage

As a result of newly awarded grant funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and an additional private grant, housing and credit counseling agency Money Management International will reintroduce free reverse mortgage counseling beginning April 1.

The counseling will be available free of charge by phone and in person across the 20-plus states in which it operates.
“We are delighted to reintroduce free counseling,” said Daniel Fenton, MMI’s Senior Housing Director. “Thanks to generous private support and HUD efforts to get their grants out quickly, we can remove the financial burden of a counseling fee for seniors.”

Prior to the new funding being made available, MMI charged a fee for the counseling after funding for the program was cut from the HUD budget. The new funding and the much shorter time frame for making grants available led to the shift away from that fee.

“Counseling in an environment with no HUD subsidies forced us to really focus on the cost effectiveness of the counseling process,” Fenton said. “The changes we have made mean that we can deliver more than 4,400 sessions free of charge before October 1.”

Wait times are expected to remain very short, MMI says.

Once funds are exhausted, MMI will reconsider the pricing, but anticipates the counseling industry overall to be able to support free counseling until October 1, when new government funding is expected to become available.

Other counseling agencies such as CredAbility, GreenPath and National Counsel on Aging have also said they will be able to offer free reverse mortgage counseling as a result of the funding, which totaled $4 million specifically for reverse mortgage counseling.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker




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Reverse Mortgage Lending Limits

At this time, the clock is ticking on reducing the Lending Limits on the federally insured Reverse loan program that is for senors age 62 or older.   Currently the limit is set at $625,250 but it has been less in the past.   The most recent amount was at $417,000 but due to the difficulties in the real estate sector and home values continuing to fall,  the possibility of reducing the Lending Limit back to $417,000 is looming within the next several weeks.

At a time when seniors need more assistance than ever due to budget cutbacks on government sponsored programs and the potential for cutbacks on Medicare and Social Security,  using funds from a Reverse loan are the only remaining option for financial relief.   Hopefully, the current amount will remain in place and not reduced, eliminating the opportunity for a borrower to receive as much money as they can from a Reverse mortgage  for their medical and cost of living expenses.

There is a  pending bill,  H.R. 2508  that has been introduced as of Friday, July 15th., requesting that the current Lending Limits remain in place for FHA loans but it’s not known if it will be passed or not.    This would also include the “Forward” site of the loan program that has made home ownership possible for millions of Americans and it would keep that Lending Limit at the current amount of $729,750.

All we can do is wait for the House Committee on Financial services to review this important issue and there should be a hearing on it prior to October when the reduction would be taking place.

Let’s hope that that make the best decision for seniors,  First Time home-buyers, the housing market and not wound it any further,  just when everyone else is struggling in these difficult times and needs the resources to buy a home or stay in the one they currently own.

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National Council on Aging

A recent article by NCOA discusses Pres. Obama’s White House budget and how it will effect the senior community due to proposed cuts of 45% in the Community Service Employment Program.

For many seniors, they are using these extra funds from part-time employment to maintain their ability to survive from month to month and without them will experience severe difficulties in paying for their day to day needs.  And on top of this blow, more will come from each state as they look for ways to cut back on spending by eliminating some programs that seniors have come to rely upon.

As much as some seniors don’t want to consider using a Reverse loan to stay in their homes and self-fund their costs of living, they at least have this as an option to increase their cash flow. 

Seniors need to get past their fears about the myths concerning the loan program and take advantage of the free HUD counseling that is available as of this post & find out how a Reverse loan can help them.

Once they have done some research from reliable and credible resources, will they be in the position to decide if using one is right for them.

NOCA:  Obama Budget Slashes Jobs for Low Income Seniors

“Spending cuts included in the White House Budget released this week ”would drastically slash initiatives that empower older Americans to sustain their health and economic independence,” according to a statement from the National Council on Aging (NCOA).

The organization points to a proposed 45% cut in the Senior Community Service Employment Program, which it says is the only major jobs program targeted toward helping disadvantaged older adults who need to remain in or return to the workforce to avoid financial crisis.

The program serves the extremely low income population, and NCOA says the proposed budget cut would lead to the loss of 55,000 part-time jobs, as well as struggle among thousands within the senior demographic who need to remain employed.

“At a time when Democrats and Republicans are both talking about jobs, it just doesn’t make sense to cut the only jobs program for seniors,” said Jim Firman, president and CEO of NCOA. “The unemployment rate just went down in December as 36,000 new jobs were created and now the Administration wants to give them right back.”

Among other points in the budget aimed toward seniors, NCOA expressed disappointment in response to a proposed cut from the the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) budget by almost half, and praise for continued funding for family caregivers under the Older Americans Act.”

NCOA is one resource for home equity and reverse mortgage counseling for seniors.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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