Reverse Mortgage Requirements in Oct 2021

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Have a Look Through the Top Reverse Mortgage Requirements to Find Out if You Quality. We've Put Together a Step-by-Step Process to Make it Easy to Understand.

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5 Reverse Mortgage Requirements. Do You Qualify?

Do You Qualify?

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Finding the perfect financial package for yourself can be one of the most challenging tasks today, especially with the numerous choices in the market.

It doesn’t also help that there are several unscrupulous lenders and advisers out there so you might not know whom to trust when it comes to the specific requirements necessary for you to qualify for a financial program.

Well, lucky for you, this guide will assist you in navigating the world of reverse mortgages and give you unbiased information on what is required of you so that you can start putting your retirement plans in play.

Reverse Mortgage Eligibility  

The reverse mortgage1  industry has continued to evolve since its establishment in 1961 and has only grown sturdier and safer with each year – due to rules and protocols placed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA2 ).

Need more info about a reverse mortgages? Have a look at What Does Releasing Equity from Home Mean

The FHA frequently updates and controls reverse mortgages with new guiding principles to safeguard you as a borrower.  So what exactly are the rules and requirements of the reverse mortgage product?

Well, the four most significant borrower rules for reverse mortgages are:

Age Qualification

#01. Age Qualification

 All the borrowers listed on the title must be 62 years old. If one spouse is below the age of 62, it might be probable to get a reverse mortgage. However, your provider will need to collect additional information upfront to determine eligibility.

It Must Be the Primary Lien

#02. It Must Be the Primary Lien

As stipulated by the federal law, a reverse mortgage must be the primary lien on your estate. If you have a mortgage already, you must ensure that you have it paid off using the proceeds from the reverse mortgage. 

Occupancy Requirements

#03. Occupancy Requirements 

It would be best if you reside in your present house as the principal residence. Vacation homes and investor properties do not qualify.

as the. homes and investor properties do not qualify.

Reverse Mortgage Requirements

#04. Taxes and Insurance

As a homeowner, you must ensure that you updated on realty taxes, homeowners insurance, and other mandatory obligations, including condominium fees.

The Estate’s Condition

#05. The Estate’s Condition

You are responsible, as per the agreed contract, to complete the necessary repair and maintain the pristine condition of your home.

If not, then your provider is liable to take action as they see fit, which at most times ends up in the foreclosure of your home.

Conveyance of Your Mortgaged Estate by Will or Operation of Law to the Property or Heir After the Borrower’s Death

#06. Conveyance of Your Mortgaged Estate by Will or Operation of Law to the Property or Heir After the Borrower’s Death

When a reverse mortgage scheme becomes due and payable upon the demise of the last surviving homeowner, and the estate is conveyed by will or via operation of law; the state or your family (or parties if you have several heirs) may gratify the HECM3  balance by paying the lesser of the loan balance or 95% of the existing appraised value of the manor. 

Further Information – the Homeowner’s Obligations

Once you gratify these eligibility requirements and you’ve obtained a reverse mortgage, you still have responsibilities to uphold. To enjoy all the elements of a reverse mortgage loan, and make sure that you do not default on the mortgage, you are accountable for:

  • If you have a mortgage already, you have to ensure that you immediately use the reverse mortgage loan funds to pay it off
  • You have to ensure that you continue making the needed payments on your home insurance, taxes, and essential home repairs
Reverse Mortgage Requirements

Favourable Reverse Mortgage Loan Rules

The procedures about loan payback are imperative as well.  Luckily, the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) is non-recourse, meaning that:

  • If you don’t pay the loan after maturity, no assets other than the house can be taken to pay off the reverse mortgage plan
  • If the mortgage debt exceeds the value of the home, you will not owe more than the value at the time of borrowing

HECM Government Regulations

In addition to the rules above, the FHA has some additional precautions to safeguard homeowners and encourage reliable reverse mortgage funds usage:

  • Before your lender approves your loan, part of the procedure is to have a counselling session with an FHA-approved counsellor. The counsellor will ensure that you have the reverse mortgage information you require on your fingertips. They will also ensure that you know your alternatives and make an informed decision on whether it’s right for you
  • In the first year of taking out a reverse mortgage, you can only access 60% of your approved loan amount (or the amount needed to pay off your existing mortgage plus 10%, whichever is higher). After the first year, you can then have access to the outstanding amount – this is to motivate you not to pull away from your equity4  too soon
  • Reverse mortgage providers are not allowed to have you purchase other loans or financial products, as a condition of your mortgage
  • All providers have to finish a financial assessment of prospective mortgagors and analyse income against expenses. If the percentage shows that you may have some issues when it comes to paying recurring taxes, insurance, or other mortgage obligations, you may have to put aside cash from your mortgage to settle your financial commitments
  • Moreover, the federal law offers you three business days after loan closing to change your mind and cancel your reverse mortgage. Lenders are not permitted to charge you interest during this period

Even though the FHA’s rules and protocols for the reverse mortgage5  schemes may seem stringent to some, they are intended to have your best interests in mind and are genuinely beneficial to you as a borrower.  They’re meant to encourage you to use this incredible financial tool as part of an intelligent retirement planning policy, which in turn coagulates the overall strength of the reverse mortgage.

If you need to know more about reverse mortgage, be sure to click here and see how much equity you can release and chat with an agent.

Editorial Note: This content has been independently collected by the SovereignBoss advisor team and is offered on a non-advised basis. Sovereignboss may earn a commission on sales made from partner links on this page, but that doesn’t affect our editors’ opinions or evaluations.

Contributors: Nicola Date, Katherine Read
Reviewed by Francis Hui

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Rachel Wait
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Rachel is an experienced finance journalist and editor with a particular interest in personal finance and consumer affairs. She has vast experience writing about money issues, property, insurance, and consumer affairs, and you’ll find her articles regularly featured in top media and newspaper publications.
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