5 Questions to Ask Your Reverse Mortgage Counselor

by Francine Huff
November 2nd, 2009

If you plan to get a reverse mortgage, you need to speak with a counselor to discuss all your options. Prepare for your reverse mortgage counseling session ahead of time by creating a list of questions to discuss. Use the following list as a starting point.

  1. Are you approved by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)? If you plan to apply for a federally insured reverse mortgage, called a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), you must get counseling from a HUD-approved counselor. HUD has a list of reverse mortgage counselors.
  2. What types of reverse mortgages are available? Although the HECM program is popular with people getting reverse mortgages, there are other loans available. Some local governments may offer reverse mortgage programs for people with low to moderate incomes. There also are proprietary reverse mortgages that are insured by the companies offering them.
  3. How much money can I get with a reverse mortgage? Anyone over 62 can apply for a reverse home loan. But the longer you wait to get one, the more money you can receive. Ask the reverse mortgage counselor to run the numbers on different scenarios based on your age and home value.
  4. Can I do my counseling session on the phone? Reverse mortgage counselors must offer you the option to be counseled in person or over the phone. Counseling over the phone may require more than one phone call.
  5. What are your fees for reverse mortgage counseling? There are some reverse mortgage counselors who waive the fee for people experiencing financial hardship. Others may deduct the cost of counseling from the money you receive from a reverse mortgage. But generally, reverse mortgage counselors charge about $125, according to Mainstreet.

There may be other points that you want to discuss at your counseling session. You can also get reverse mortgage quotes to learn more about these loans.

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