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Reverse Mortgage Tips

Vera Gibbons spoke with Julie Chen about when is a good time for a reverse mortgage and what to look out for.

Reverse mortgage program shouldn't be fixed on backs of seniors: FHA chief

His nomination came shortly before the FHA released its annual report to Congress in 2017, which revealed that the agency was hit hard with losses in its reverse mortgage program. Those losses drove the capital reserve ratio down to 2.09% from 2.35% a year earlier. The FHA is required by law to maintain a 2% capital reserve buffer to cover projected losses.

The drop raised questions about whether the agency would follow through with premium cuts that the Obama administration proposed and President Trump had suspended shortly after he took office. It also prompted calls to remove the FHA’s Home Equity Conversion Mortgage program from the agency’s Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund.

Delving into these pressing issues has made for “a busy 30 days,” Montgomery said.

Reverse mortgages

The home equity conversion program drove a 26-basis-point drop in the capital reserve ratio, sparking concerns not only about the agency’s finances, but also about senior citizens defaulting on loans.

Reverse mortgage volume falls to 13-year low

“We’re seeing a continued appetite for the product as part of an overall financial plan taken early in clients’ retirement years," she said. "Given the continued rise in home prices and home equity alongside the rising cost of retirement, we expect reverse mortgages to play an even more critical role in retirement planning.”

Bell says lenders in the HECM space are working to innovate, creating private equity release products that might help turn things around.

“Several top lenders are introducing new propriety loans and product features that can serve older homeowners outside of the HECM program,” Bell said. “I believe that as lenders and originators adapt to the new marketplace, we’ll start seeing upticks in HECM endorsements and proprietary reverse mortgage volume.”

Finance of America Reverse is leading the charge on the proprietary front with its HomeSafe product, a fixed-rate loan that offers borrowers access to up to $4 million of their home equity. By comparison, HECMs conform to FHA loan limits, which max out at $679,650 in high-cost areas.

What is the downside of reverse mortgages?

My in-laws are elderly (in their mid and late 80s) and own their home outright. The in home care expenses for my father in law are mounting and reverse mortgaging their home seems to be the answer.


This product has become ever more popular with the aging society. Because of this these loans are changing almost daily. The downside to this type of loan is your house is appreciating after you lock in the payment rate.

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