Reverse Mortgage Myths
"A reverse mortgage is similar to a home equity
FALSE. Home equity loans have qualifying requirements relative to credit score that a reverse mortgage does not. A home equity loan will require that you make regular monthly payments.
"I could get forced out of my home."
FALSE. FHA/HUD reverse mortgages specifically state that you cannot be forced out of your home. The only requirements of a reverse mortgage are that you continue to keep your home as your primary residence, in a good state of repair, with property taxes paid and insurance coverage in place.
"The bank will assume ownership of my home if I get a
FALSE. The borrower retains title to the property. The reverse mortgage lender is merely extending a loan to the borrower secured by the home / property. Because ownership of the home is retained, the borrower is responsible for the payment of property taxes, insurance and home maintenance.
Myth: "I can't qualify for a reverse mortgage if I have an existing mortgage, or other real estate secured debt."
FALSE. Even if you have an outstanding first mortgage, or some other real estate liens (i.e. a home equity loan, tax lien, etc.), you still may qualify for a reverse mortgage. The proceeds of the reverse mortgage must first be used to pay off such debts however. This is a significant benefit as many borrowers use a reverse mortgage loan simply to eliminate their mortgage or home equity loan payments.
Myth: "Having a reverse mortgage will require I make monthly payments."
FALSE. You are not required to make monthly mortgage payments on your reverse mortgage. When you sell your home, when it is no longer your primary residence, or when your estate is settled, the loan must then be repaid.
Myth: "My heirs won't inherit my home."
FALSE. Your estate will only owe the balance of the reverse mortgage. If, for example, you obtained a reverse mortgage and owed $25,000 after 5 years, then decided to sell the house for $200,000, the lender would be repaid the $25,000 and you or your heirs would receive $175,000.
Myth: "My Medicare and Social Security benefits will be affected by a reverse mortgage."
FALSE. Reverse mortgage payments should not affect Medicare or Social Security benefits. Additionally, reverse mortgage payments should not affect Social Security Income (SSI) benefits or eligibility as long as any reverse mortgage advances are spent within the month they are received (Consult your Social Security, Medicare or other financial advisor to determine how reverse mortgage payments may affect your particular situation).
Myth: "I'll have to pay taxes on the money I receive from a reverse mortgage."
FALSE. Reverse mortgage funds are considered loan proceeds and are therefore not taxable income. (Consult your tax advisor).