What is a Reverse Mortgage?
A reverse mortgage is a loan for seniors age 62 and older. HECM reverse mortgage loans are insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and allow homeowners to convert their home equity into cash with no monthly mortgage payments.
However, borrowers are required to continue paying property taxes and insurance and maintain the home according to FHA guidelines. Typically the loan does not become due as long as you live in the home as your primary residence and continue to meet all the loan obligations.
Reverse mortgage loans are commonly used to pay for home renovations, medical and daily living expenses. Homeowners who have an existing mortgage often use the reverse mortgage loan to pay off their existing mortgage and eliminate monthly mortgage payments.
A reverse mortgage loan uses a home’s equity as collateral. The amount of money the borrower can receive is determined by the age of the youngest borrower, interest rates and the lesser of the home’s appraised value, sale price and the maximum lending limit. The funds available to you may be restricted for the first 12 months after loan closing, due to HECM requirements. In addition, you may need to set aside additional funds from loan proceeds to pay for taxes and insurance.
The loan does not generally have to be repaid until 6 months after the last surviving homeowner moves out of the property or passes away. At that time, the estate typically sells the home to repay the balance of the reverse mortgage and the heirs receive any remaining equity. The estate is not personally liable for any additional mortgage debt if the home sells for less than the payoff amount of the reverse mortgage loan.