Many homeowners in the United States, over the age of 62, are realizing that they may need to tap into a portion of their home’s equity to meet their financial needs during retirement. Reverse mortgage loans are an innovative tool to access that equity to improve monthly cash flow.
The most traditional reverse mortgage loans are Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) loans. With a HECM loan potential borrowers must meet with a Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approved counselor before their application may be processed. HECM counseling is designed to educate and allow homeowners to make their own decision about utilizing a reverse mortgage loan.
Reverse mortgage counselors assist homeowners in looking at the homeowner’s entire situation which ranges from finances, level of health, and desired retirement lifestyle. HECM counselors are required to pass an exam and receive specialized education in order to be HUD approved. HECM counselors discuss the:
• Homeowners purpose for using a reverse mortgage loan
• Life factors that could affect the homeowner’s ability to age in place
• Different reverse mortgage loan types
• Amount of loan proceeds the homeowners may be able to receive
• How much a reverse mortgage loan may cost
• Other services and product options that may help the homeowner’s situation
A list of agencies with HUD approved HECM counselors can be found at: HUD Approved Counselors
If you are considering a reverse mortgage loan, do plan ahead and do not delay in scheduling a HECM counseling session – HECM counselors are required to send a packet of information to each homeowner, and allow time for the homeowners to review all documents, before the counseling session can take place.