Feds to Curb Reverse-Mortgage Evictions

May 1, 2013
Marketwatch 
mortgage lending news

Federal housing officials say they are working to smooth out a hitch in the reverse mortgage process that could displace some seniors from their homes. The loan product -- designed for homeowners 62 and older -- allows them to tap the equity in their homes, with no repayment due until the borrower relocates, sells the property, or dies. The problem occurs when a surviving spouse is not listed as a property owner on the mortgage -- a technicality that AARP has said could potentially affect thousands of elderly Americans. Charles Coulter, deputy assistant secretary for single-family housing at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, says the department aims to have a "provision that addresses non-borrowing spouses" in place by the start of fiscal year 2014, which begins on Oct. 1. Possible solutions include mandating that lenders include both spouses on the reverse loan, even if one of them is not listed on the property deed. But first, HUD will have to navigate such complications as how to handle scenarios where one spouse is younger than 62 or where a couple marries after one spouse has already taken out a reverse mortgage.
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