Not at all. A reverse mortgage is a loan against the property. Just like the mortgages most of us have on our homes. It has terms and conditions that the borrower and lender must agree to and if the borrower does not fulfill those conditions the lender may foreclose.
The borrowers responsibilities are these:
- Live in the home as a primary residence.
- Keep the home insured.
- Pay all property taxes, homeowners or property owners association dues.
- Maintain the home in satisfactory condition.
Notice that there is no responsibility to make monthly mortgage payments. That is a requirement of regular mortgages not reverse. It's the main reason that reverse mortgages are so important as a cash flow tool for older Americans, never having to make a monthly payment.
A Reverse Mortgage is a non-recourse loan. Non-recourse means that at maturity, if the loan balance is higher than the value of the home, the lenders only recourse is to the home itself. Period. No other assets of the homeowner or their estate can be used to pay off the loan.