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Reverse Mortgages October 11th, 2007

Reverse Mortgages . . . with Laura Strickler

Laura Strickler -
Your Reverse Mortgage Specialist


Living in Reverse

Although most seniors are perfectly capable of deciding on, and completing a reverse mortgage transaction on their home, many seek the advice of their adult children. In other situations, adult children are seeking information on reverse mortgages to help provide a more comfortable retirement for their aging parents. So, this column is more dedicated to anyone looking to help a senior decide whether or not a reverse mortgage is a solution to a situation. In either case, if you are providing input for your parent's financial future, you may find the following questions useful:

Financial Status:

• Do your parents pay their bills on their own?
• Can they remember where their money is located, i.e. investments, savings, checking accounts, different banks, etc.?
• Can your parents be trusted with a large amount of money without you worrying about them giving it away, in one way or another?
• Do they balance their checkbooks?
• When handling cash, are your parents able to track where they've spent it?
• Are your parents aware of local senior cons?

Reverse Mortgage Comprehension

• Are the basics understood by your parents?
• Are your parents at ease with the concept of reverse mortgages?
• Are the basics of a reverse mortgage understood?
• Are the costs of a reverse mortgage understood?

Mental Capacity and Physical Requirements

• Are your parents independent?
• Are they lucid and free from mental lapses?
• Can your parents live on their own today and for the next few years?

If the topic of reverse mortgages has come up, there are also a few items to cover as well.
• A reverse mortgage does not require monthly payments to the lender.
• A reverse mortgage is a loan and will, eventually, have to be re-paid.
• Being a loan, the money is not free. Any funds used will accrue interest until the loan is re-paid.
• Verify the processing time for the loan, they vary lender to lender.
• Determine the experience of the loan officer and make sure you and your parents are comfortable with them.
• Ask about different reverse mortgage programs to determine which is best for your parents’ situation. Also, ask about the best way to receive the funds. There's a lot of flexibility with the FHA program, so find out what can and can't be accomplished down the road.

I have worked with many adult children seeking out information for their parents. I always explain that seniors are well protected by FHA. I also like to explain that the program sells itself, it either works for you or it doesn't. The numbers make sense for your situation or they don't. No amount of talking on my part will change that.

I would rather not close a loan for someone who's not sure, than to have them regret their choice. These loans can be cancelled throughout the processing stage, and there is a 3 day recission period after signing final loan documents during which the loan can be cancelled.

If you have a special situation and would like some clarification, please call me directly. I am here to help.

Laura Strickler, CSA
Certified Senior Advisor
Reverse Mortgage Specialist





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