Reverse Mortgages Now Harder to Get

If you’ve thought about taking out a reverse mortgage, be aware that new rules that recently kicked in might make it harder for you to qualify. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development tightened lending criteria late last month. The changes require that lenders determine whether would-be borrowers have enough income to keep up with property taxes and homeowners insurance so they don’t default on the loan and, possibly, lose their home. HUD’s Federal Housing Administration insures most reverse mortgages. …

AARP Member Leads Effort to Stop Neighbor’s Eviction

Sometimes it takes a village to help a neighbor, and retiree Robert Bennett is mighty grateful for folks in his town on the banks of Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay. A resident in Bennett’s Annapolis community, situated between Baltimore and Washington, D.C., recently raised $15,000 in six days through an online GoFundMe campaign to help him stay in his home. Bennett was threatened with foreclosure if he didn’t come up with $13,000 by the end of this month to pay back taxes and insurance. Read: …

Six Ways to Improve the HECM Reverse Mortgage Program

At a recent Senate hearing on reverse mortgages, AARP testified and suggested recommendations for improving the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) reverse mortgage program.  These changes would enhance consumer protections and increase the fiscal stability of the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund.     1.    Implement changes to strengthen the HECM program including: financial assessments, tax and insurance set-asides, and limitation of upfront draws for certain purposes though public rulemaking. Changes are needed to enhance the HECM program’s long-term …

HECM Program Changes: An Emergency or an Excuse?

Changes are likely coming to the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) reverse mortgage program. Proposed changes include the long-awaited and first-ever financial assessment of potential borrowers. At a recent reverse mortgage industry event, an official from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) referred to this change as a “financial and credit assessment.” So, it appears that HUD may be considering credit scores in determining whether the HECM is a viable option for a …