Mortgage: for those twilight years

January 27, 2005 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
Tracing back, the concept of reverse mortgages began when one good soul, Nelson Haynes of Deering Savings and Loans wanted to help out the widow of his high school football coach. Today that small act has developed into a popular financing option for the senior citizens. With about 6,000 people turning 62 every day, the market is on an upswing.

2004 witnessed a growing number of applications for reverse mortgage. Compared to 2003 which witnessed a rise of 112% in applicants, 2004 had only 109%, yet Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) grabbed the lionís share with 90% of the pie. This is attributed to the growing awareness especially from the government initiative to educate the senior citizens about the benefits of reverse mortgage. In its early years, Americans were apprehensive about this backward process. They felt that this income getting mortgage has something fishy associated. Some lenders too helped spread rumors because the products did not involve much security to them, especially with the FHA insured HECM.

The concern for seniors has taken the driverís seat on the federal agenda. There have been large scale awareness campaigns, including seminars and workshops .This year the much talked about high loan limits for Fannie Maeís Home Keeper Loan has been raised from $333,700 to $359,650 with a 50% high for Alaska, Hawaii and US Virgin Islands. While HECM have increased its high loan limit to $312,896 from $290,319, subject to geographical area specifications. The lower limit has also been raised amidst much criticism to $172,632 .The purpose of roping in the lower equity home owners into this benefit stands defeated. The prime reason being, the risk involved.

The reverse mortgage is primarily for the retired citizens above 62. Who have no source of income and who more often than not spend the rest of their lives amidst mounting medical bills. This is one loan which does not check your credit and your salary stubs. You only need to own a house which has no lien attached and you can borrow against its current equity. The best part of the scheme is you donít have to make those monthly payments, rather you get an income. This frees up money for all kinds of uses and is tax free.

Reverse mortgages will become more popular as more and more products are peering in and the rates are making only gradual improvements. This has found a place on every Americanís long term plans. Last year saw reverse mortgages occupying 3% of the mortgage market that is set to triple in 2005 according to the National Reverse Mortgage Lendersí Association. Our last years will also be a no-compromise deal. Thanks to Reverse Mortgage.

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