Reverse mortgages: Get the facts

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By Alain Vallès, CSA, MS, MBA, Managing Director

781-724-6221/av@hhcp.org

Alain Valles

Are you OK?

For several months I have been writing and talking about how the coronavirus is and will seriously impact the quality of life for senior homeowners. Not only the health and isolation risk but specifically the financial pressure being inflicted upon older homeowners. Most will not benefit from any economic recovery packages but instead be faced with higher food and medical costs as the country enters a recession or worse, a depression.

For the fortunate 62 years of age or older homeowner with equity, a reverse mortgage may be the best solution to accessing cash if needed. The challenge is to make sure you receive accurate and factual information. As Managing Director of the self-funded nonprofit charitable mortgage company, Helping Hands Community Partners, our mission is to educate people about different housing financing options – including reverse mortgages. 

Below are examples of why homeowners choose to obtain a reverse mortgage to achieve their housing and financial goals:

  • Make ends meet
  • Increase monthly cash flow
  • Pay off a current mortgage or home equity line
  • Consolidate high interest rate credit card debt
  • Pay real estate taxes and property insurance
  • Complete needed home repairs
  • Ability to pay for at home care or nursing home expenses
  • Divorce situations
  • Pay IRS obligations or legal matters
  • Purchase your new home
  • Install a new septic system
  • Buy a new or used car
  • Support children and grandchildren
  • Gift to adult children for their home purchase
  • Estate and financial planning purposes
  • Cash reserves for unforeseen emergency life events 
  • Estate planning
  • Home accessibility improvements
  • The option of receiving a lump sum of cash, a monthly distribution, a line of credit or a combination of the three
  • Peace of mind knowing that cash is available if needed
  • And the list goes on!

Most importantly, a reverse mortgage may give financial peace of mind while facing the crippling changes from coronavirus. The key point is a reverse mortgage is a very flexible financial tool that can achieve varied goals. 

Get the answers

Before being able to decide if a reverse mortgage is right for you, you should know the answers to:

  • Do I qualify?
  • How much money is available?
  • What is the cost?
  • What happens if a spouse is under 62 years old?
  • Do I have to take all the money upfront?
  • May I sell my home without penalty?
  • Do I lose my home to the government?
  • What are my children’s responsibilities at the end of the day?
  • May I not use the money today and just have it available if ever needed?
  • How long does the application process take?
  • Do I qualify if I currently have a mortgage?
  • Are there options if I am behind on my taxes or have poor credit or lack of income?
  • Where do I go to get unbiased information?

Take action today

A great place to get information is the free “How to Use Your Home to Stay at Home” 36-page book. This is the official reverse mortgage consumer booklet approved by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development and published by the National Council on Aging.  

Please give me a call or email with your questions and to receive your free copy of “Use Your Home to Stay at Home.” I am available to explain reverse mortgage details by phone.  At no time will you ever feel any pressure to move forward.  For us, it’s all about sharing factual information so that you may make a fully educated decision on what is best for your family.

Alain Valles is Managing Director of Helping Hands Community Partners, Inc. and was the first designated Certified Reverse Mortgage Professional in New England.  He obtained a Master of Science from the M.I.T. Center for Real Estate, an MBA from the Wharton School, and graduated summa cum laude from UMass Amherst.  Alain can be reached directly at 781-724-6221 or by email at av@hhcp.org.