Your Questions About Reverse Mortgage Lenders

Robert asks…

IndyMac owns Financial Freedom. Is it still safe to get a reverse mortgage with Financial Freedom?

We are in the process of signing papers with Financial Freedom but I worry about them since the government seized their parent company IndyMac Bank. They say they can still make loans, but I worry if they will be able to continue the monthly payments. If I went with them, could I transfer to another lender at a later time?

admin answers:

As long as you are going with the HECM product you have nothing to worry about. The beauty of the HECM reverse mortgage is that it is government insured. This means that if something were to ever happen to Financial Freedom the government transfers the loan and not only guarantees your payments but they also guarantee that you will get them on time. The government did a good job covering all possibilities with this one

Carol asks…

can my step father put me on the reverse mortgage even tho im not his blood son?

Im told he had to add my step sister, but this just doesnt seem right. Apparently the lender required him to add her and not me because I am just his step son.

admin answers:

I don’t understand this question at all, you should ask it on a subject about mortgages or banks.

Paul asks…

Reverse mortgage HELP PLEASE?

Hey everyone i have a question about reverse mortgage. I will be turning 62 In march and i have been looking into refinancing into a reverse mortgage.. but as many houses out here in California my house has lost value and I Do not have any equity… Can i qualify for one? and does anyone know of a Reliable FHA-approved lenders In So-Cal?

admin answers:

Good day,

I am Richard a private loan lender, i give certified loans to serious minded individuals and company at an interest rate of 5% with total loan repayment allowed weekly monthly or yearly depending on how you can make repayments if interested email me at .We only offer out in: Dollars,Pounds,Euro and Naira only.Apply with the following details:Name,Address,Cell number,Occupation,Monthly income,Loan amount needed&Duration.


Richard asks…

Reverse mortgage, Are rates and fees pretty standard, or should I really shop around?

Im 64 and my mortgage is paid off. I read from one lender that fees could run between $5,000 to $8,000. Is this a competive market or is this what I should expect?
Also, my wife ( co-owner ) is only 60 years old…. What problems will I have with eligibility? Should I just scrap this idea and is there another way to get my equity from my house. I am on social security retirement..with no other income and my wife is unable to work.

admin answers:

Hello –

This is a great question.

Until recently, seniors 62 years of age and older have not had the best choices when it came to getting cash from their homes. Traditional home loans only offered the option of either selling one’s house or borrowing against its equity.

With reverse mortgages coming on the scene, seniors now have some additional cash-flow alternatives. This type of loan allows mature borrowers to convert their home equity into tax-free income without leaving their current home or making mortgage payments – and they do not need an existing income to qualify.

How a Reverse Mortgage Works
Reverse mortgages are probably best understood when
compared side-by-side with traditional home mortgages, otherwise known as “forward” mortgages. The following table shows the differences between the two:


Uses income to pay debt Uses home equity to get cash or credit

Monthly mortgage payments No payments

Falling debt, rising equity Rising debt, falling equity

Both loans incur debt against your home, and both affect equity, but they do so in different ways. Traditional home mortgages require making monthly payments to a lender. With a Reverse Mortgage, payments are made to you.

What a Reverse Mortgage Involves

Here are some important points to know when considering a reverse mortgage:

Eligibility: To qualify for a reverse mortgage, you must be at least 62 years of age. All owners who are on the title deed must meet this age requirement. You must also have paid off all, or most, of your home mortgage. Lastly, the home you reside in must remain your principal place of residence.

Mandatory Counsel: In order to ensure that homeowners are fully aware of the financial ramifications of obtaining a reverse mortgage, you must undergo counseling with an unbiased third party before completing a loan. HUD and AARP oversee a network of counselors who can provide this service, and it should be offered for either a nominal fee or at no charge.

Tax-Free Income: One of the advantages of a reverse mortgage is that the money you receive will not be taxed. The amount you’ll obtain depends on several factors including the plan you select, the type of cash advances you choose, your age, and the value of your home. Typically, the older you are the larger the loan, as you will have more equity in the house.

Cost: The cost of a reverse mortgage varies considerably from one type to the next. However, you can typically use the money you receive to offset the loan fees. The costs will be added to the loan balance and must be repaid with interest once the loan terminates.

Repayment: Reverse mortgages do not require any payment as long as the borrower(s) remain in the home. Should the borrower(s) pass away, sell the home, or permanently relocate, then the loan would be due in full, along with interest and additional costs. If two borrowers are on the loan and one dies, the loan would not be due since one of them still occupies the home.

Home Equity Conversion Mortgage – The Federally Insured Loan

The most common type of reverse mortgage is the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage, otherwise known as a HECM mortgage. This is the only reverse mortgage program that’s federally insured and backed by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This type of reverse mortgage is popular for a few reasons:

Ability to choose your own interest rate.
You can select one that changes annually or one that changes every month.

You have several payment options.
You may receive monthly loan advances for a fixed term or for as long as you live in the home. You may also choose to receive a line of credit or combine monthly loan advances with a line of credit.
The loan can be used for any purpose.
With a HECM, you don’t have to designate the loan to a specific use; you can apply the funds to anything you choose.

This is one of the most attractive features of a HECM. This plan protects you by guaranteeing continued loan advances even if your lender defaults.

Sell or Stay?

The main reason people choose a reverse mortgage is to gain financial independence and maintain an adequate standard of living without leaving their current home. The best way to decide if a reverse mortgage is right for you is to compare it to the other option of selling your house. To do this, ask yourself these three questions:

How much cash can I get by selling my home?

How much will it cost to buy or rent a new place?

Is it worth my moving now, or do I prefer to do something else with the money?

Perhaps you’ll confirm what you knew all along, where you now live is the best place to be.

Darren Meade is affiliated with Victory Lenders, a Christian based company. If you would like to receive a FREE CD containing an interview with Sarah Lyons and John Lucas, the co-authors of Reverse Mortgages for Dummies, please contact Darren at 866-676-4325.

Susan asks…

2 wrong reverse mortgage appraisals: borrower manipulated?

My mom had 2 appraisals while she had her Rev Mort. One completely omitted an entire room, and one listed her flooring as vinyl/carpet instead of wood/tile. Why did the lender loan her money when the appraisals were so wrong? Why elderly mom probably didn’t even look at the small print in them.

How could the lender not know about the missing room? That’s information that anyone can get. Sounds like the lender was being manipulative, Agree?

admin answers:

I can’t help but ask, why were there two appraisals done? Did the first appraisal come in so high that the lender questioned it and required another one? Or did you complain about the low value and fought for a higher amount? It’s not typical.

The other person who answered may be right that the appraiser was lazy; it wouldn’t be the first time; but i prefer to give the benefit of the doubt. It could be that the extra room was built without a permit, and so it could not be officially counted. You didn’t say what kind of a room. As the other person said, a bedroom or bathroom would definitely affect the value; but if it was a small nook, he may have been too lazy to figure it into his drawing, or too in a hurry to go to his next appointment. Unfortunately, some folks try to accept all the jobs they can and then are not able to do them well; vinyl vs wood may or may not have made a difference; i’ve seen appraisers whiz through in 15 minutes and take photos hoping the photos will remind them later of what was in the house when they make their report – and then forget a room or other details.

If you used a broker, or the bank officer had taken the time to go to your mother’s home, they should have had it corrected before it was turned in to underwriting. They are as much at fault. But if she dealt with someone online, out-of-state, or the local bank that doesn’t do house calls, then she may have gotten what she paid for. Customer service is very important in reverse mortgages.

The lenders are many times out of state, and would not have necessarily known the details of your home; that is precisely why they must go by the appraisal, wherein a licensed professional physically looks at the home, and not by county records, which are often times wrong. They would not have known the appraisal was wrong unless someone questioned it, either based on the photos, or by the loan officer.

Reverse mortgages are very conservative, and lenders will usually not give more than around 70% of the loan value, so the lender has a lot of room for error. Not sure why you would call it manipulative. If anything, the lender gave your mother less money than she could have received, because they based it on a smaller and dated home. But as the other person said, even with vinyl and carpet, it is still a good investment. What is more important to the lender is that it is well maintained.

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Reverse Mortgages and Their Growing Popularity

There seems to be a new phenomenon in the mortgage world known as the reverse mortgage. The ads touting how they can improve quality of life are everywhere and if you’re a homeowner, age 62 and over, you receive them in the mail almost daily. Then there are the articles warning that reverse mortgages may be the new mortgage rip off. So what’s the truth about this financing vehicle? Is it a God-send for seniors, or something for which older homeowners need to be wary? It can actually be both, so it pays to understand the loan if you or a loved one are contemplating a reverse mortgage.

Reverse mortgages have been around since 1961 and President Reagan signed the legislation to allow HUD to insure them in 1988 on their Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM). So why the sudden stir and what makes this mortgage so unique? The baby boomer population that we’ve all been hearing that is about to start retiring, begins to do so as of January 1, 2008. What this means is that America will have an unprecedented number of people retiring with many having their main asset being their homes.

Gone are the days of the American worker working to the age of 62, retiring with a pension and social security, then passing by age 70. People are living longer and fewer are retiring with adequate income provided to meet their life needs. The huge appreciation most properties have experienced allows seniors an avenue to augment this growing need for income. A traditional or a forward mortgage, is known as rising equity, falling debt mortgage. The individual pays a payment monthly to pay down the debt thus making the equity higher and the debt lower.

The reverse mortgage operates in reverse of that. In a reverse mortgage, the borrower receives payment(s) from the lender, makes no monthly payments and the debt rises while the equity falls as payments, fees and interest accumulate. The borrowers make no monthly payments and the entire amount is paid in full when the loan is repaid.

Income and credit are not considered in qualification criteria, with the exception of the fact that the borrower cannot be delinquent on a federal obligation. There is no minimum income requirement and there are no minimum credit scores. In fact, many borrowers have been saved from foreclosure with a reverse mortgage. There have been so many myths and misconceptions surrounding reverse mortgages.

Some earlier versions of the product contained provisions for shared appreciation which hurt seniors, but those provisions are not in the HUD HECM loans. All of the government loans are also non-recourse loans, which means that the borrowers or their heirs can never owe more than the property is worth, regardless of how long they live in the home, how much they receive in payments through the years, what future values do or how much interest accumulates.

A reverse mortgage loan can be expensive, so it’s not the best option is you are not planning on using the loan, or do not plan to stay in the property. On the other hand, for some, the reverse mortgage is the only way they are able to stay in their homes. The bottom line is EDUCATION. Find an originator who really knows and understands the product. There are so many programs available now and some private or proprietary products that go down to 60 years of age and lower.

You need to work with an expert, not just a loan officer from a brokerage or a bank who was doing sub-prime loans last month and is doing reverse mortgages this month. Unlike forward mortgages, fees and rates are regulated by HUD so everyone is on an even playing field, and companies like All Reverse Mortgage Company often have many more programs available to us as we are not limited only to just the few products that just one bank has to offer. Lastly, talk to your family.

You’re spending the equity that would normally be the inheritance left to other family members and this can be an area of concern more often to the senior homeowner than to the family members themselves. Most family members we’ve talked to don’t have the means to take care of their own family expenses as well as those of their parents and senior relatives, so they are extremely happy that their loved ones have a way to age in place and dignity.

Michael G. Branson (CEO All Reverse Mortgage Company)is a Mortgage Broker who has over 31 years of mortgage banking experience. Toll Free (888) 801-2762

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Reverse Mortgages – What to Look for in a Reverse Mortgage Lender

If you have decided to get a reverse mortgage on your home the next big decision you will have to make is how to choose the right reverse mortgage lender. There are many out there to choose from, but how do you know which ones are the best. Keep reading this article to uncover some great tips on how to choose the right reverse mortgage lender that will meet your needs.

The most common type of reverse mortgage is the HECM which stands for the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage. This is the only reverse mortgage that is insured by the federal government. They are insured by the FHA which tells the HECM reverse mortgage lenders how much they can lend you. This decision is based on your age and your home value.

Another type of reverse mortgage lender can be a state funded lender. The cash received from these reverse mortgage lenders will usually have stipulations on how you can spend the money. The money will be given to you in one lump sum but it must be spent for home improvement, to pay taxes or some other pre-approved expense.

Proprietary reverse mortgages are offered by banks or lending institutions. The money received from these types of lenders is able to be used in any way that you want. But proprietary reverse mortgages are usually the most expensive. If you live in a higher value home, you may be able to get more money from a proprietary lender. However, it’s important that you always compare the advantages of a proprietary reverse mortgage and a more traditional of a HECM.

When you begin your search for a reverse mortgage lender, do so with caution. There are many good mortgage lenders out there but there are some dishonest ones also. Always check out a reverse mortgage lender thoroughly before you agree to anything.

Another option would be to enlist the aid of a reverse mortgage lender association. Do a search on the Internet and you can find a few associations that will aid you in finding a reputable reverse mortgage lender in your area of the country.

Read through the AARP website for a lot of great advice on reverse mortgages. AARP has several pages devoted to reverse mortgages. This site also has a free downloadable eBook that explains the whole reverse mortgage process in easy to understand language.

If you are worried about how you are going to be able to stay in your home, consider getting a reverse mortgage. You will make no payments on the mortgage during your lifetime or while you still live in your home. You will be able to get the cash to create a cushion to fall back on in case of medical bills or home repairs. Do some research and find a great reverse mortgage lender today.

By the way, you can find out more Reverse Mortgage Lender as well as much more information on everything to do with reverse mortgages at

Dangers of Reverse Mortgages – Top 3 Things to be Aware of

As the baby-boomers prepare for retirement reverse mortgages are going to be the next mortgage boom according to most analyst. The baby boom began in 1946 and continued through 1964. During those 19 years, 76 million people were born. As this segment of America begins to retire a large portion of them will need to rely on their homes equity to make “ends meet.” How they access that equity will be the mortgage industries primary focus in the years to come.

The traditional “forward” mortgage has the homeowner borrow the money by way of a traditional mortgage or home equity line and make payments on that amount. The homeowner takes the money, places it in a safe interest bearing account and uses the money to augment their income. The interest that is earned on the money is used to supplements the monthly payment that the homeowner has to make. The problem is that the interest shrinks as the money is used and the mortgage payments stay the same.

Reverse mortgages have actually been around since 1989, but their popularity is skyrocketing as a result of the wave of baby-boomers that are retiring. These mortgage products are safe and beneficial when applied to the right homeowner and circumstances. recommends that borrowers use FHA-insured Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) when considering these mortgage products. Getting a reverse mortgage from the private sector may include more headaches and costs. However, as with financial product, there are some dangers that you need to be aware of; here are the top three reverse mortgage pitfalls to lookout for.

1) Repayment and Forfeiture – Most, if not all reverse mortgages will not require you to make payments or repay the loan for as long as you live. Once you pass on your heirs will have the opportunity to remortgage the debt or sell the house and repay the loan. If the home has equity above the amount owed to the bank your heirs will receive those proceeds. If the home is “upside down” your heirs have no obligation to repay the debt, but they will forfeit the home unless they pay the amount owed.

However FHA rules state: “When you sell your home or no longer use it for your primary residence, you or your estate will repay the cash you received from the reverse mortgage, plus interest and other fees, to the lender.” The danger here is “no longer use it for your primary residence. This means if you have to go to a hospice, nursing home or intend to live in another home and use the house as a second home the bank will call the debt due. This is definitely something you want to consider before taking out a reverse mortgage.

2) Cost and Interest Rates – At the inception of reverse mortgages they were almost exclusively offered with adjustable interest rates. Adjustable rates are still standard practice and you are almost certain to be offered this option to begin with. Don’t! There are fixed rate programs available now and at today’s rates adjustable rates are only going to go up in the future. It’s easy to be lured into an adjustable rate because lower interest rates in a reverse mortgage have higher monthly payments. If the interest rate increases your payment decreases, as does the time frame you have to draw on the mortgage. Just remember, adjustable interest rates are a gamble and Las Vegas wasn’t built on winners.

A considerable downside to reverse mortgages is the high up front costs. This cost can be compensated by a lower interest rate over time, but some seniors choose other options to draw on their home equity. Reverse mortgage closing costs should be about the same as most loans except the 2% mortgage insurance premium that FHA charges to insure the loan. FHA insures the lender will be paid regardless of the home’s value when and if the lender has to take over the property.

At we have noticed that many homeowners are paying higher closing costs for reverse mortgages than traditional forward mortgages. We believe this is because most homeowners are unfamiliar with reverse mortgages and tend to not shop around as with traditional mortgages. This is why we recommend the FHA insured type of reverse mortgages because they have closing cost limits that lenders must abide by. Always get two quotes or use the “lenders compete” method to apply for a reverse mortgage. You should also read How Does a Reverse Mortgage Work an article that explains reverse mortgages better.

3) Upkeep, Taxes and Insurance – On traditional mortgages your escrow payments are added to your payment but they are subtracted from your monthly check on a reverse mortgage. Most of the time you will be shown the monthly amount you will receive each month BEFORE the escrows are taken out. This means that you could sign up expecting to get $900 per month and only receive around $700. Make sure you are given the monthly payment LESS your escrow payment. Like most mortgages you will usually be given the option to escrow or not to escrow, however the bank has a vested interest in your home. Meaning if you do not maintain your insurance and taxes as they deem responsible they can call the loan or force an escrow account on you.

When you consider that the bank is basically buying your home you can understand why they would want you to keep their property in good shape. The problem is that this loan is being made to senior citizens. As they age they may become unable to do the necessary maintenance that the bank requires.“Good shape” can mean thousands of dollars out of pocket for the homeowner when you consider what a new roof or a fresh coat of paint costs these days. Ask the loan officer what the lenders policy is on maintenance and repair. You may want to take enough money up front to have future repairs taken care of so that your monthly payment stays the same.

Aubrey Clark is a syndicated writer on financial matters and the editor for He writes extensively on lending topics like where to find low interest rate credit cards to how borrowers can obtain Georgia low mortgage rates.

Fannie Mae’s Reverse Mortgage

Many senior citizens may find themselves in a tough decision when considering moving from their current location. When a man, woman, or couple are enjoying their golden years, the last thing they want to do is worry about a monthly mortgage payment. Yet, many retired citizens, even if they are relatively well to-do, are not able to hand out immediate cash to cover the cost of a new house. The fact that mortgage payments are all but obligation for people looking to purchase a new home is very stressful for senior citizens who simply want to be near family, grandchildren, or a dream location, and relax by enjoying carefree days. Yet, mortgages are a fact of life, right? Well, technically yes, but there is a better option available strictly for society’s beloved senior citizens, our grandmas and grandpas, our elders and wise men/women: Fannie’s Mae’s Reverse Mortgage product.

Fannie Mae is the nation’s largest home mortgage investor. However, Fannie Mae also invests heavily in reverse mortgages. Reverse mortgages are payment plans that work oppositely from regular mortgages. For example, instead of the homeowner having to make monthly payments to a lender, the lender is the one who makes the payments directly to the homeowner. Reverse mortgages are available in every U.S state, but only for citizens 62 years or older. And, although there is a federally insured system for reverse mortgages called the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), Fannie Mae has managed to improve the plan by implanting the nationally available “Home Keeper Reverse Mortgage”

Home Keeper is similar to standard reverse mortgage plans in most aspects, but it differs in the fact that Fannie Mae’s plan has more benefits. For example, “Home Keeper Reverse Mortgages” include all of the regular aspects of a reverse mortgage such as the following: homeowners are paid either in lump sum, monthly payments (as long as the borrower occupies the home as his/her principal residence), line of credit, or a combination thereof. If the homeowner becomes deceased, has to move out into another’s care, or decides to sell, then the lender is paid back the reverse mortgage loans by selling the property, and keeping the money. If the property is sold for more than the due loan amount, then the difference is given to the homeowner, or heir(s), if the property sells for less money than the due loan then insurance usually covers the difference.

The added benefits with Fannie Mae’s “Home Keeper” reverse mortgage plan is the ability for people to purchase a new home in one single transaction, but without the out-of-pocket cash. This gets rid of any new monthly mortgage payments that must be paid in part by the reverse mortgage loans, and aids in senior citizens keeping more of the sales proceeds from their old house, or even a heftier amount of savings that can be used for other purposes.

So, if a senior citizen sells his or her home, and makes a profit, then that person can use the profit made by his or her sell to partly fund a new housing purchase. However, instead of having to either pay for the remaining costs of the new house with out-of-pocket money, and in order to avoid taking out a mortgage, then the senior citizen can actually pay for the rest of his or her new house up-front with the Home Keeper reverse mortgage. Fannie Mae’s Reverse Mortgage product affords senior citizens amazing benefits by providing all of the conveniences of a reverse mortgage and more. Now you can relax and enjoy life to the fullest without having to worry about those pesky mortgage payments, or how you are going to pay up-front for a new house out of a savings account. After all, you need to have plenty left for spoiling the grandkids when they come to visit your beautiful new house.

For more information please visit our website on Reverse Mortgage

Trinity Reverse is the leading Reverse Mortgage Company serving California since 1984.

Forclosures Have Met Their Match… Reverse Mortgages

Foreclosure filings were reported on 2.3 million U.S. properties in 2008, an increase of 81 percent from 2007 and up 225 percent from 2006, according to the RealtyTrac U.S. Foreclosure Market Report released January 15, 2009. The soaring number of forclosures have sent ripples through the housing and banking industry with the affects being felt by millions.

According to RealtyTrac, California, Florida, Arizona posted the highest 2008 foreclosure totals. A total of 523,624 California properties received a foreclosure filing in 2008, the nation’s highest state total. Foreclosure activity in the state increased nearly 110 percent from 2007 and nearly 498 percent from 2006. With 385,309 properties receiving a foreclosure filing in 2008, Florida documented the second highest state total. Florida foreclosure activity increased 133 percent from 2007 and nearly 412 percent from 2006. Arizona’s 2008 total of 116,911 properties receiving a foreclosure filing was third highest among the states. Foreclosure activity in Arizona increased 203 percent from 2007 and 655 percent from 2006. Other states with Top 10 totals for 2008 were Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Texas, Georgia, Nevada and New Jersey.

With mounting job losses and a weakening economy, forclosures and mortgage delinquencies are expected to continue to rise. The nation’s unemployment rate shot up at the end of the year, reaching 7.2 percent in December — its highest level since early 1993, according to a Labor Department report release January 9, 2009. That puts U.S. job losses at 2.6 million for 2008.

However, with all this doom and gloom in the housing market, there is a glimmer of hope for senior homeowners 62 years of age and older. That hope comes in the form of a HUD Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) or Reverse Mortgage. Those who have obtained a reverse mortgage need not be concerned with the increasing forclosure rates and whether or not they can make their mortgage payments. With a HECM reverse mortgage, there are no monthly payments required. 

Borrowers remain in their homes for life and never have to worry about making a mortgage payment again. All they need to do is keep the property in good repair, pay their property taxes and keep their homeowners insurance current and paid. 

For seniors who currently do not have a reverse mortgage, now may be the time to explore the option. It does not matter if a senior is currently late on their mortgage. They may still qualify for a reverse mortgage. To qualify all borrowers on title must be 62 years or older, occupy the property as their primary residence and not currently be in a bankruptcy. That’s it! 

MLS Reverse Mortgage has helped save several seniors who were months away from losing their homes. 

So, in these tough economic times, there is still hope for seniors looking for mortgage payment relief or cash out to enjoy life’s pleasures.

Learn more online:

Josh Borba has been a mortgage professional since graduating from San Francisco State in 2002. He is currently a Senior Reverse Mortgage Advisor at MLS Reverse Mortgage. Toll Free (888) 888-4834. Visit our website. Read more of our articles online. Government Insured Reverse Mortgage Programs.