Senate Passes Bill to Stabilize Reverse Mortgage Program
In what has been a long and winded battle, the Senate has finally approved a bill granting the Department of Housing and Urban Development the authority it's been seeking to closely manage the reverse mortgage program, pending the President's signature.
The Reverse Mortgage Stabilization Act of 2013, which was introduced by Representative Denny Heck and Representative Mike Fitzpatrick in May, will allow the HUD to establish additional guidelines and regulations to the already existing requirements of 62 years of age and older, live in your primary residence and have enough equity in your home.
The regulations aren't all bad, in my opinion, and will help better qualify future homeowners for the reverse mortgage program. The HUD has been seeking this authority since last year's audit of the Federal Housing Administration's insurance fund which indicated that the reverse mortgage program's losses could require a Department of the Treasury bailout.
The additional requirements the HUD is seeking include:
- A financial assessment of the borrower (to determine financial fitness and the amount of debt a borrower is in)
- Mandatory set asides for property taxes and homeowners insurance (to ensure homeowners will be able to pay their financial obligations)
- Restrictions on the amount of funds that can initially be withdrawn (to ensure homeowners have enough cash flow for many years to come, not just in the beginning)
- Include all borrower spouses on the loan, regardless of age (to eliminate risks to non-borrowing spouses should the loan become due)
These changes will be implemented to preserve the integrity of the program, not retract from it. It's also important to note that the reverse mortgage program is not just for the financially desperate, it is also for older Americans seeking peace of mind during retirement.
As the retirement savings gap reaches $14 trillion, it's imperative to consider how you invest in your future retirement.
There are many options available to you with a reverse mortgage and plenty of ways to use it during retirement. If you think a reverse mortgage is right for you, let us know at PS Financial Services by giving us a call at (888) 845-6630 or email us at info@PSReverseMortgage.com. We do not pressure those who inquire, we're just here to help.