Seniors Find Sinister Side of Reverse Mortgage Loans

Reverse-mortgage defaults are growing and putting homeowners in jeopardy of foreclosure

Thousands of elderly homeowners in Florida that dipped into the equity of their paid-for homes to increase their cash flow now face potential foreclosure as the amount of defaults on "reverse mortgages" goes through the roof.

In excess of 30,000 homeowners in the U.S. have "technically defaulted" on their reverse mortgage loans and could have their homes repossessed because they have neglected to shell out money for the property taxes or premiums on property-insurance, according to a the latest government research data report. Florida ins number one in the U.S for of the amount of defaults, with almost 5,300, or approximately 18 percent of this total in the U.S., in a report by the CredAbility Group, an Atlanta based nonprofit consumer-credit advocate service.

The rate endure at around 8 percent for Florida's reverse-mortgage-defaults, in comparison with a nationwide 5 percent rate. generally speaking, reverse-mortgage defaults are more than twice what they were over the past couple of years, as cash-poor homeowners have gotten behind in paying insurance premiums, taxes and other types of household-maintenance expenses necessitated by their loan requirements.

HUD officials and counseling groups certified by the government like CredAbility have started to intervene, providing free assistance to prevent troubled homeowners from having their homes foreclosed on. FHA, which insures the majority of reverse mortgages, could be out on the limb for millions of insured lender and investors dollars if the loans go into foreclosure.

They are just beginning to glimpse at the issues and assess the degree of it, There are quite a few years of possible accumulated defaults that have yet to be addressed. There's optimism that, by getting involved with these people, they will have the ability to overcome most of these issues, which will leave only minimum number of them remaining in difficulty.

Homeowners can obtain additional information concerning the counseling program by calling CredAbility at 1-888-395-2664, HUD at 1-800-569-4287 or the Orlando HUD' field office at 407-648-6441. Now just how did these homeowners get into hot water with a mortgage loan that gives them monies instead of them paying money?

Many homeowners were possibly already in financial straits prior to them obtaining a reverse mortgage, a form of home-equity loans only available to homeowners who are least 62 years of age. Sky rocketing property-insurance premiums, increased property taxes, shrinking earnings, health issues and other aspects might also be reasons for straining their finances.

Seniors living on set incomes and who are very vulnerable to issues in the economy are incurring ever-increasing expenses of keeping up a home. These people defaulting in these situations may have very well had the identical outcome if they never even had a reverse mortgage.

Although this default problem has provided reverse mortgage critics new ammunition who claim the mortgage industry's marketing of these type of loans can often be misleading. They often refer to a U.S. Government Accountability Office 2009 study that, along with other things, uncovered that people with an interest a reverse mortgage were many times told that these types of loans were foreclosure-proof and losing their homes would be impossible.

Critics also make accusations that the reverse-mortgage mortgage industry down play's its sales pitches about the ongoing fees and costs that homeowners must still pay after receiving a reverse mortgage. Also in a great number of cases, those elderly customers are then targets for the cross-sales of dubious annuities and additional financial pitches.

During the past 12 month or more, there are also many additional reverse-mortgage homeowners taking out their entire equity in a single lump amount, instead of receiving a credit line or monthly payments, That indicates homeowners may be additionally susceptible to mortgage scams and being pitched financial items that may not have their best interest at heart.

The mortgage industry is adamant that such criticisms are overstated and misplaced, especially anytime the growing default issues are discussed. it says, the basis of the problem, is the rising California, Florida, and other disaster related states property-insurance premiums, and, in a few cases, increasing property taxes by cash-poor local or state governments who seek to equalize recession-ravaged budgets. Several people are claiming this is a reverse mortgage problem, which is just not entirely the case.

Many homeowners now in default, would have been looking at foreclosure action even before had reverse-mortgage lenders not loaned them additional needed money to pay necessary insurance premiums and tax bills.

Reverse mortgages have actually afforded more security to them than under normal situations. Whenever a homeowner is unable to pay their property taxes, they face the risk of having their property foreclosure upon. In these cases, mortgage lenders have provided additional monies on their loans to avoid foreclosure.

The issue now is that homeowners who are behind on their loans, is why FHA officials are getting involved to tackle the circumstances before they are obligated to pay the entire cost of the mortgage industry's government-insured mortgages. Over time, these accumulated debts and advances by lenders have concluded in an unsound circumstance that could place the entire FHA insurance trust at great risk resulting in foreclosure actions against delinquent seniors. While the FHA is attempting to "help older homeowners stay out of foreclosure, lenders may be left with no choice unless these homeowners in default are not brought current

Article by Gene Wright - New Article Feb 08, 2011

Real Estate Finance