FCAA agencies employ highly experienced and dedicated Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) counselors available to help you understand all aspects of the Reverse Mortgage loan process, so you can make an informed decision. Agencies offering this service are approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as well as any State required entities to be a Reverse Mortgage Counseling agency. They offer both face-to-face counseling locally and are approved to provide phone counseling on a national level.
In general, a "Reverse Mortgage" is a loan taken against your home that you are not required to pay back until you sell your home, move out of the home permanently, or the last surviving borrower passes away. A Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) is a type of reverse mortgage loan, the difference being that a HECM loan is insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), which is part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Since HECM loans are supported by the federal government, the costs and fees associated with the loan are limited and the borrower is assured that the lender will meet their obligations. Also, HECM loans usually have lower interest rates, provide the highest loan advances, and generally cost less than other types of reverse mortgages.
Frequently Asked Questions
Am I eligible for a reverse mortgage?
To qualify for a Reverse Mortgage, the borrower must be 62 years of age or older and have substantial equity in their home. In addition, lenders require that borrowers receive counseling from a HUD-approved counseling agency prior to receiving their loan.
What can I use the reverse motgage funds for?
The funds obtained from a Reverse Mortgage are typically used to:
- Maintain financial independence
- Supplement social security income
- Pay for day-to-day living expenses
- Cover the cost of medical bills and prescriptions
Do I need to do anything special before applying for a reverse mortgage?
As with every major financial decision you make, it's important that you are fully aware of all aspects of Reverse Mortgages. For this reason, lenders require you to undergo an in-depth counseling session with a certified Reverse Mortgage Counselor. FCAA agencies counselors are nationally certified specialists who have been trained to provide you with the information you need to make the right decision and to help you fully understand the loan process. Keep in mind, the counseling session usually takes about an hour, sometimes longer.
The objectives of the session are to educate you about the implications of a Reverse Mortgage - how they work, and the possible alternatives. Your counselor will discuss your needs and circumstances, your responsibilities, the associated costs of a Reverse Mortgage, the tax implications, and provide you with the guidance and resources you need to make an informed decision.
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Information courtesy of Member Agency Cambridge Credit Counseling