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Frequently Asked Questions

Below are the most frequently asked questions about reverse mortgages. If you have more questions, please feel free to give me a call at 541-773-3131 and ask for Matt Allen, MLO-254296. I am happy to help in any way I can.

1. What is a reverse mortgage?

A reverse mortgage is a special type of home loan that lets you convert a portion of the equity in your home into cash. The equity that you built up over years of making mortgage payments can be paid to you.

However, unlike a traditional home equity loan or second mortgage, HECM borrowers do not have to repay the HECM loan until the borrowers no longer use the home as their principal residence or fail to meet the obligations of the mortgage. You can also use a HECM to purchase a primary residence if you are able to use cash on hand to pay the difference between the HECM proceeds and the sales price, plus closing costs for the property you are purchasing.

2. Can I qualify for a reverse mortgage?

To be eligible you must be a homeowner 62 years of age or older, own your home outright, or have a low mortgage balance that can be paid off at closing with proceeds from the reverse loan, have the financial resources to pay ongoing property charges, including taxes and insurance, and you must live in the home. You are also required to receive consumer information free or at very low cost from a HECM counselor prior to obtaining the loan.

3. What types of homes are eligible?

To be eligible for the HECM, your home must be a single family home or a 2-4 unit home with one unit occupied by the borrower. HUD-approved condominiums, PUDs and manufactured homes that meet FHA requirements are also eligible.

4. What are the differences between a reverse mortgage and a home equity loan?

With a second mortgage, or a home equity line of credit, borrowers must make monthly payments on the principal and interest. A reverse mortgage is different, because it pays you – there are no monthly principal and interest payments. With a reverse mortgage, you are required to pay real estate taxes, utilities, and hazard and flood insurance premiums.

5. Will we have an estate that we can leave to heirs?

When the home is sold or no longer used as a primary residence, the cash, interest, and other HECM finance charges must be repaid. All proceeds beyond the amount owed belong to your spouse or estate. This means any remaining equity can be transferred to heirs.  No debt is passed along to the estate or heirs.

6. How much money can I get from my home?

The amount varies by borrower and depends on:

  • Age of the youngest borrower or non-borrowing spouse.
    Current interest rate.
  • Lesser of appraised value or the HECM FHA mortgage limit of $625,500 or the sales price.
  • Initial Mortgage Insurance PremiumIf there is more than one borrower, the age of the youngest borrower is used to determine the amount you can borrow.

 7. How do I receive my payments?

For adjustable interest rate mortgages, you can select one of the following payment plans:

Tenure – equal monthly payments as long as at least one borrower lives and continues to occupy the property as a principal residence.

Term – equal monthly payments for a fixed period of months selected.

Line of Credit – unscheduled payments or installments, at times and in an amount of your choosing until the line of credit is exhausted.

Modified Tenure – combination of line of credit and scheduled monthly payments for as long as you remain in the home.

Modified Term – combination of line of credit plus monthly payments for a fixed period of months selected by the borrower. For fixed interest rate mortgages, you will receive the Single Disbursement Lump Sum payment plan.
Single Disbursement Lump Sum – a single lump sum disbursement at mortgage closing.

8. What if I change my mind and no longer want the loan after I go to closing? How do I do this?

By law, you have three calendar days to change your mind and cancel the loan.  This is called a three day right of rescission.  The process of canceling the loan should be explained at loan closing.  Be sure to ask the lender for instructions on this process.  Mortgage lenders differ in the process of canceling a loan.  You should ask for the names of the appropriate people, phone numbers, fax numbers, addresses, or written instructions on whatever process the company has in place.  In most cases, the right of rescission will not be applicable to HECM for purchase transactions.

 9. What Are The HECM Costs?

You can pay for most of the costs of a HECM by financing them and having them paid from the proceeds of the loan. Financing the costs means that you do not have to pay for them out of your pocket. On the other hand, financing the costs reduces the net loan amount available to you.

The HECM loan is comprised of several fees and charges, including:

1) mortgage insurance premiums (initial and annual)
2) third party charges
3) origination fee
4) interest
5) servicing fees (if applicable)

The lender will discuss which fees and charges are mandatory.

You will be charged an initial mortgage insurance premium (MIP) at closing.  The initial MIP will be .5 percent or 2.5 percent, depending on your disbursements.  Over the life of the loan, you will be charged an annual MIP that equals 1.25% of the mortgage balance.

1. Mortgage Insurance Premium
You will incur a cost for FHA mortgage insurance.  The mortgage insurance guarantees that you will receive expected loan advances. You can finance the mortgage insurance premium (MIP) as part of your loan.

2. Third Party Charges
Closing costs from third parties can include an appraisal, title search and insurance, surveys, inspections, recording fees, mortgage taxes, credit checks and other fees.

3. Origination Fee
You will pay an origination fee to compensate the lender for processing your HECM loan. A lender can charge a HECM origination fee up to $2,500 if your home is valued at less than $125,000. If your home is valued at more than $125,000 lenders can charge 2% of the first $200,000 of your home’s value plus 1% of the amount over $200,000. HECM origination fees are capped at $6,000.

4. Servicing Fee
Lenders or their agents provide servicing throughout the life of the HECM. Servicing includes sending you account statements, disbursing loan proceeds and making certain that you keep up with loan requirements such as paying real estate taxes and hazard insurance premium. Lenders may charge a monthly servicing fee of no more than $30 if the loan has an annually adjusting interest rate and $35 if the interest rate adjusts monthly. At loan origination, the lender sets aside the servicing fee and deducts the fee from your available funds. Each month the monthly servicing fee is added to your loan balance. Lenders may also choose to include the servicing fee in the mortgage interest rate.