Advertisements touting reverse mortgages often leave older consumers confused about the loan terms and unaware of the risks, according to a new report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
A three-year examination of reverse mortgage complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau shows that borrowers often didn’t understand the terms of those loans, including how quickly th eir loan balances would go up and their home equity would fall, the bureau said in a new report.
At the time AARP took up their cause, Robert Bennett of Annapolis, Md., and Leila Joseph of Brooklyn, N.Y., had several things in common. They were older Americans. They were widowed. They were homeowners. And they both faced foreclosure and eviction on reverse mortgage loans.
Most reverse mortgage borrowers choose to tap their home equity in a lump sum payment provided by the lender, rather than as a line of credit. But that offering is about to change.
Reverse mortgages are growing in popularity as older adults tap their home equity to help them maintain their standard of living in retirement. But these loans come with potentially serious risks and AARP has been working for years to educate older homeowners on reverse mortgages, so they don't get into trouble.
Reverse mortgages are not being used as Congress intended, according to a new report from the government watchdog agency Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Reverse mortgages were created to provide an income options for retirees. But these mortgages are increasingly being taken out by younger borrowers, which could decrease long-term retirement security. Borrowers also tend to take lump-sum payments that can be used up quickly.
There is plenty of useful information for you in the Wall Street Journal's online "Ask Encore" page from this weekend. First, AARP provides the answer to a reader's question on reverse mortgages: why aren't the interest charges and fees on reverse mortgages tax deductible? According to the answer from AARP, it's because with a reverse mortgage, the "actual payment" doesn't happen until the borrower sells their home or dies - so the borrower cannot claim a tax deduction until that point. Check out the page - the WSJ also tackles questions this week on Roth IRAs and inheritances.
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