Reverse Mortgage Counseling
A reverse mortgage, also known as a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), is a type of loan that allows homeowners 62 and older to convert part of the equity in their homes into tax-free income. Reverse mortgages are wonderful financial tools for certain individuals; however, it’s a very complex financial decision. If you are considering a reverse mortgage the first step is to talk with a reverse mortgage counselor.
How it Works
During your reverse mortgage counseling session, your counselor will work with you to help explain how reverse mortgages work, the financial and tax implications of taking out a reverse mortgage, payment options, and costs associated with a reverse mortgage. Your counselor will also highlight available resources that you may find useful in meeting your financial needs. Counselors are not lenders or financial advisors. Your counselor's goal will be to help you understand your options so you can make an informed decision.
Upon completion of the counseling session, you will be issued a certificate of participation. If you choose to proceed with the loan process, your lender will likely require this certificate.
Reverse mortgage counseling services are available from 8am to 5pm (CST) by telephone. In-person counseling is also available by appointment in select local markets.
Who Can Benefit?
A reverse mortgage is usually geared toward senior homeowners who need additional funds for retirement.
If you’re wondering whether or not a reverse mortgage is a good choice for you, the AARP suggests you ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you really need a reverse mortgage?
- Can you afford a reverse mortgage?
- Can you afford to start using up your home equity now?
- Do you have less costly options?
- Do you fully understand how these loans work?
If you are interested in a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), you can prepare for your appointment by checking to see if you are eligible. To do this, you can use the AARP reverse mortgage calculator.
Reverse mortgage counseling can be beneficial to someone trying to decide if a reverse mortgage is a good option, but it’s generally recommended for homeowners who have already made that decision and need to fulfill their counseling requirement in order to proceed with the loan.
Why Choose MMI?
We recognize that consumers have options. That is why we are committed to providing the highest level of quality in our field. Here are five of the many ways MMI ensures that every client receives the high quality reverse mortgage counseling services they deserve:
- Quality - MMI is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) and the Consumer Federation of America (CFA). We are proud to be accredited by the prestigious Council on Accreditation of Services for Families and Children.
- Knowledge - Our training department continually works to assure that our representatives are knowledgeable and cross-trained. All counselors must pass a series of tests to become and remain certified. In addition, they must participate in ongoing training, certain professional memberships, and education initiatives to maintain certification. Reverse mortgage counselors are specially trained to provide this type of counseling. They must stay abreast of changes in policy and procedure regarding reverse mortgages.
- Qualification - MMI is approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to provide counseling required by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to complete an application for a reverse mortgage. MMI is a member of the National Housing Counseling Association (NHCA) and National Reverse Mortgage Lender Association (NRMLA).
- Accessibility - You can access our services by phone and in-person in many markets. Representatives are available from 8am to 5pm (CST) to meet your needs.
- History - MMI has been helping consumers trim their expenses, develop a spending plan and repay debts since 1958.
WHAT IS A HOME EQUITY CONVERSION MORTGAGE (HECM)
A Home Equity Conversion Mortgage, more commonly referred to as a HECM, is the most frequently used type of reverse mortgage. It is insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) protecting borrowers from any interruption in loan proceeds, should the lending institution become unable to fulfill loan obligations.
WHAT IS A REVERSE MORTGAGE?
A reverse mortgage is a type of loan that allows homeowners, 62 years of age or older, to convert part of their home’s equity into tax-free income. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), many seniors use reverse mortgages to supplement social security, meet medical expenses, and make home improvements. If you have low or no outstanding mortgage debt, a reverse mortgage may allow you to borrow against the equity in your home. As long as you continue to occupy the property as your primary residence, no payments to the loan will be required.
IS THERE A FEE FOR REVERSE MORTGAGE COUNSELING
There is a fee of $175 to complete reverse mortgage counseling and receive your required certification. That fee is collected at the beginning of your counseling.
WHY DO I NEED REVERSE MORTGAGE COUNSELING?
To be considered for a reverse mortgage, HUD’s Federal Housing Administration (FHA) requires that you participate in a counseling session with an approved nonprofit housing counseling agency. At completion of the session, the counselor will issue you a certificate that must be provided to the lender you choose to work with. At MMI, we have counselors certified by HUD who specialize in helping consumers, 62 years of age or older, explore and evaluate this financial tool.
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