More Seniors Taking Out Loans Against Their Homes – But at What Cost?

August 28, 2017 Posted by kingcade

An increasing number of seniors facing foreclosure are opting to take out reverse mortgages on their property, according to recent federal data.  A reverse mortgage allows cash-strapped seniors to borrow against the equity in their home that has built up over the decades- but it also comes with financial risk.  Property owners are still responsible for keeping up with other charges, including the taxes and insurance on the property.

A HUD report issued last fall found that nearly 90,000 reverse mortgage loans held by seniors were at least 12 months behind in payment of taxes and insurance and were expected to end in “involuntary termination” in 2017.  That is more than double the number the year before.

More than 18 percent of reverse mortgage loans taken out from 2009 to June 2016 are expected to go into default because of unpaid taxes and insurance, according to the HUD report.

The federal Consumer Finance Protection Bureau has warned seniors about deceptive advertising practices when it comes to reverse mortgages.  Last year, the federal agency fined three companies — American Advisors Group, Reverse Mortgage Solutions and Aegean Financial — for alleged false claims, misleading seniors to believe that if they took out a reverse mortgage they would not have to make monthly payments or face foreclosure, leaving out the risks of failing to pay property charges.

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