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How It Works

Reverse Mortgage Key Benefits

 

Definition

A reverse mortgage is simply a way for older adults to access the equity in their home to pay for the necessities of life or some extras they may want to enjoy—while allowing them to keep their homes. It gives them the ability to turn the value of their home into cash

without having to repay a loan each month.

 

Eligibility

Homeowners age 62 or older who live in the home as their principal residence are eligible. The home has to have little or no debt remaining on it, and meet the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) minimum property standards, although the reverse mortgage may be used to pay for any required repairs. If there is a remaining conventional mortgage, the property owner may still be eligible. In that case, the reverse

mortgage would be first used to pay off the existing mortgage(s).

 

Maintaining ownership

Borrowers retain ownership of the home. This means they’re still responsible for paying

property taxes and homeowners insurance and making property repairs. They can continue to live in the home as long as they want, and the loan doesn’t have to be repaid

until they leave or sell the home.

 

Monthly payments

There aren’t any monthly mortgage payments.* That’s why they call it a “reverse” mortgage. Unlike traditional forward mortgages, with a reverse mortgage, the bank pays the loan proceeds to the borrower. However, the homeowner is still responsible

for keeping insurance and property taxes current and upkeep of the home.

 

 

Receiving the money

Borrowers can receive the proceeds from a reverse mortgage loan in several ways:

in a lump sum, a monthly cash advance, a line of credit, or a combination of these options.

 

Loan amount

The amount the borrowers can receive depends on: the homeowners’ ages, the type of reverse mortgage, current interest rates, home location, appraised value of the home, and the amount of equity in the home—subject to the Federal Housing Administration’s

national lending limit of $625,500.

 

Use of the money

Some of the reasons why people get a reverse mortgage are: to continue living in the home and remain independent, to ease financial anxiety, and to offer a more fulfilling life.

Common uses include:

paying for monthly living expenses

prescription drug or medical bills

home repair and improvement

travel

an automobile

gifts

establishing a cash account for unforeseen expenses

or giving themselves some peace of mind

It is not encouraged or recommended that reverse mortgage proceeds be used to fund new or existing investment or annuity products.