New Reverse Mortgage Rule Could Prevent Foreclosure

Updated guidelines allow some borrowers to avoid homelessness

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The unthinkable happens to many widows and widowers who take out a reverse mortgage while their spouses are still alive. After one spouse dies, the other ends up receiving a foreclosure notice, even though they’re up-to-date on all of the payments, reports Credit.com.

A reverse mortgage lets those older than 62 to receive cash payments based on the equity built up on the home. No payments have to be made on the loan until all those involved in the reverse mortgage have vacated the property.

The ages of individuals involved in the reverse mortgage is used to figure out the withdrawal amount. Therefore, some couples were told they should remove the younger spouse from the title in order to receive a higher payment.

However, this advice often led to a nasty surprise. When the older spouse dies, the living spouse gets a foreclosure notice because their name doesn’t appear on the mortgage. But thanks to a recent court decision that made HUD revise its rules, a reverse mortgage must now list both spouses. This change will take place on August 4.

A recent court ruling made HUD revise its rules in order to prevent this dilemma. Credit.com notes that the new rules are not retroactive. However, HUD is attempting to figure out ways to protect spouses who are not named in the mortgage. Extensions will be allowed in some cases. For more information on the updated changes, see its brochure entitled Frequently Asked Questions about HUD’s Reverse Mortgages or Mortgagee Letter 2014-07.

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