A reverse mortgage is financial product that has received a great deal of marketing publicity. You don’t have to watch television for long before coming across some advertisement pushing a reverse mortgage as a great way to help grandma.
Of course, they really are a great way to help the company offering them to make a profit. And while the advertising may make it appear as if the operation of the reverse mortgage is simple, easy and free of complications. In the report, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) notes that consumer confusion over how these financial products work has led them to issue an advisory to help consumers interested in a reverse mortgage and their families with the complexities of this product.
A reverse mortgage allows homeowners to receive the value of their equity in their home, which for many baby boomers, will be important, as the CFPB points out that 41 percent of the 55 to 65 year old population has no retirement saving.
But almost three-fourths have home equity, which they could use to supplement other income during their retirement. However, the CFPB finds that many consumers do not adequately understand how a reverse mortgage works and this can lead to problems for them and their families.
If only one spouse is on the reverse mortgage and they die first, the other spouse may find they will lose their home. If they did not plan for this, it can become a terrible disruption and emotionally troubling.
Before take out a reverse mortgage, you should make certain you fully understand the effect of the reverse mortgage on your spouse and your potential heirs. If any children live in the home, they need to be aware that they may have move out when the parent on the document dies.
While a reverse mortgage can provide helpful income to older homeowners, a complete understanding of mechanics of such a loan is necessary.
Consumerfinance.gov, “CFPB Report Highlights Consumer Frustration Around Reverse Mortgages,” February 9, 2015