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Q. What is a reverse mortgage and should I get one?
A. A reverse mortgage is a loan against the equity in your home. It may be right for you if you are at least 62 years old and have a lot of equity. If you qualify, you can convert that equity into cash, monthly payments or credit line. IT works best for seniors who are house rich and cash poor.
Reverse mortgages, as the name implies, are essentially the opposite of traditional mortgages. A finance company will lend you money and your home will serve as collateral.
But unlike other loans, the borrower doesn't have to pay anything back during the life of the loan. The principal, along with the accumulated interest, is due when the last surviving borrower dies or moves from the residence permanently.
At that time the borrower or heirs can sell the home to pay back the loan. Yur heirs don't necessarily have to sell the home. They can refinancethe reverse mortgage and keep the home.
Lenders who issue reverse mortgages can't foreclose on the mortgage unless borrowers fail to pay property taxes or insure the home.
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