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Complaints About Reverse Mortgages to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Under 1% for 2021

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently released an annual report, and reverse mortgages were mentioned.  The interesting thing is that of the 32,000 complaints sent to the CFPB about mortgages in 2021, only 300 of them were related to reverse mortgages.  That’s fewer than 1% of all complaints.  

Overall, reverse mortgages make up a very small percentage of all mortgages offered in the broader mortgage market.  The rate of complaints is something that fluctuates in turn with the size of the volume of reverse mortgages out there. 

I wanted to include this information about the actual rate of complaints about a reverse mortgage so that you have all the facts if you are thinking about one.  I started writing blog posts about reverse mortgages when considering one after retirement. 

There are a lot of myths about reverse mortgages, and with a little research, I was able to learn how they really work.  

Here are just two of the common misperceptions I was able to dispel:

  1. The bank owns my home.  This is simply not true.  A reverse mortgage is a loan, similar to the way a traditional ‘forward’ mortgage is also a loan.  The difference with a reverse mortgage is that the borrower leverages the equity in their house and receives payments from the bank instead of making payments to the bank.  Home ownership does not change with a reverse mortgage.
  2. When a reverse mortgage becomes due and payable when I pass away, the bank can go after my heirs to repay the loan.  The mortgage industry is pretty tightly regulated, and there are certain rules that govern how a reverse mortgage works.  A reverse mortgage becomes due and payable when the borrower (or borrowers) have passed away.  At this time, there are three options available to the heirs of the home: sell the house to satisfy the loan, keep the house and pay the loan with other funds, or decide to let the bank sell the house to repay the loan.  The bottom line is that there are clearly defined options for how to satisfy the loan when it becomes due and payable, and the borrower’s children are not responsible for paying back the loan.

There’s definitely a lot to learn about reverse mortgages, but I’ve found that the more I understand, the less intimidating it can be.  Like a lot of things in life, it’s easy to fear the unknown.  However, reverse mortgages don’t have to be scary.  A reverse mortgage is a loan option that offers seniors the ability to leverage the equity in their home to receive payments form the bank - a scenario that might be very helpful!

In order to help you learn more about reverse mortgages, I’d like to offer some links to my blog that will help you learn more about the basics:

As always, it can be best to speak to an expert to get the details on your exact situation.  If you’ve done a little reading and would like to learn more about how a reverse mortgage might work for you, I’d recommend contacting the team at Equity Access Group.  

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