New Reverse Mortgage Rules - Better or Worse

by Kent Kopen | Apr 30, 2018 |

FHA HECM |

Did the significant reverse mortgage rule changes in 2017 have a positive or negative effect on FHA-insured reverse mortgages? The biggest impact of the government’s changes has been reduced loan amounts, which is frustrating many seniors. Fortunately, the new proprietary Jumbo Reverse Mortgage is helping fill the gap.

10 Reverse Mortgage Counseling Facts You Need to Know

by Kent Kopen | Mar 16, 2018 |

How loan works, FHA HECM |

We’re often asked, “What is reverse mortgage counseling and why do I have to do it?”

 

People worry they won’t pass counseling or they’ll have to meet someone or they’ll be asked uncomfortable questions.

 

This article will eliminate the mystery and fear around counseling and help you pass the counseling questions asked at the end.

The New Reverse Mortgage

by Kent Kopen | Oct 12, 2017 |

FHA HECM |

Remember when you were a kid and your favorite cereal box said new and improved? New Reverse Mortgage is a fair description because the government frequently makes changes to the program that are designed to protect seniors and tax payers. This October saw one of the biggest changes ever.

Danger of a HELOC in Retirement

by Kent Kopen | Apr 26, 2017 |

Benefits, How loan works, Risks, FHA HECM |

 

Retirees are going to have to access some of the wealth trapped in their home.  The question is how?  Using a conventional HELOC (home equity line of credit) can be especially risky for retirees.

Qualifying for a Reverse Mortgage

by Kent Kopen | Mar 03, 2017 |

How loan works, FHA HECM |

Getting a reverse mortgage is not like the old days. Since 2014, there are more rules, more paperwork, and borrowers must now qualify to get a HECM (Home Equity Conversion Mortgage).  These changes were designed to protect seniors and tax payers by reducing defaults. Most people do not understand reverse mortgages; even fewer are aware of these recent changes. Most people who assume that because they have a lot of equity, they can automatically get a reverse. They are surprised and frustrated when they find out that’s no longer the case.

 

At What Age Can You Get a Reverse Mortgage

by Kent Kopen | Apr 14, 2016 |

How loan works, FHA HECM |

 

We’re often asked, “At what age can you get a reverse mortgage?”  The quick answer is 62, however, when more than one person lives in the home, the answer is more complicated. 

 

Below we'll explore the details, including recent changes by HUD (the Department of Housing) which were implemented to protect younger spouses who aren’t on the loan.

 

 

Do Reverse Mortgages Make Sense

by Kent Kopen | Apr 13, 2016 |

Income, Benefits, Risks, FHA HECM |

One of the most frequent questions we hear is, “Do reverse mortgages make sense?” But that’s not where the conversation starts. Over the last 9 years I’ve seen a recurring pattern that goes like this: rejection, confusion, understanding, disbelief, acceptance.

 

The Rejection stage reminds me of a quote: What we don't understand, we fear. What we fear, we judge as evil. What we judge as evil, we attempt to control. And what we cannot control...we attack.  –D. Brown

 

When people learn reverse mortgages are safe, highly-regulated, government-insured loans, they realize those who say, “Reverse mortgages are a scam,” are ignorant; they just lack knowledge.

Steps to Get a Reverse Mortgage

by Kent Kopen | Mar 18, 2016 |

How loan works, FHA HECM |

 

How to intelligently shop for, compare, and get an FHA-insured reverse mortgage. 

Our passion is helping seniors overcome the challenge of not having enough income or cash. The financial tool we specialize in is a reverse mortgage. We help homeowners, home buyers, and professionals who refer to us.

 

Frequently, we hear thoughtful questions like: 

  •  How do I know if this is suitable or right for me?
  •  What does it take to qualify or would I be eligible?
  •  What are the benefits, costs, pros and cons?
  •  What are the steps and how long do they take?

 

This article includes two videos: 1) an Overview of the process; 2) an Explanation of each of the steps, and an opportunity to download a one-page Map that shows approximately when steps occur.

How to Get a Reverse Mortgage

by Kent Kopen | Feb 03, 2016 |

How loan works, FHA HECM |

Begin with the end in mind

Most people approach borrowing and debt very transactionally, which is not their fault because they've never been trained how to view debt as one part of a comprehensive wealth management plan.  

 

Think of a well-constructed plan like a wheel with six spokes: 1) income, 2) assets, 3) liabilities (debt), 4) taxes, 5) legal, and 6) risk (insurance).  If one spoke is longer or shorter than the others, the wheel will be out-of-round and progress will be slower and more difficult than it needs to be.  

 

When financial planners, Realtors, home owners or buyers contact me about how to get a reverse mortgage, I encourage them to step back, take a look at the bigger picture, and begin with the end in mind.  Where does the client want to be in 3, or 5, or 10 years?  How does each spoke affect the others?

 

Are Reverse Mortgages Expensive?

by Kent Kopen | May 01, 2015 |

Benefits, How loan works, Risks, FHA HECM |

There are several myths about reverse mortgages: the lender will take your house, they’re very expensive, the kids won’t get anything, etc.  Ongoing and recent changes by HUD to the FHA-insured reverse mortgage program have enhanced its long-term stability and suitability as a solution to one of America’s biggest demographic challenges – bridging the gap between longer lifespans and insufficient retirement savings.  Here we will consider the claim that reverse mortgages are expensive.

 

How to Qualify for a Reverse Mortgage

by Kent Kopen | Apr 20, 2015 |

How loan works, FHA HECM |

Financial planners, CPAs, and estate planning attorneys continue to ask about the new HECM requirement called Financial Assessment and how their clients can Qualify for a Reverse Mortgage.It has been described as the biggest change to ever happen to the reverse mortgage program.

 

Now, unlike before, lenders must analyze the borrower’s credit history, liabilities, debts, and income to determine their willingness and capacity to meet their financial obligations to qualify for a reverse mortgage.