Canada Bank Expands Reverse Mortgage Eligibility to Ages 55+

Reverse mortgages are now available to Canadian homeowners who are ages 55 and older, thanks to a recent change to the Canadian Home Income Plan (CHIP), offered by HomEquity Bank, the country’s only national provider of reverse mortgages. Previously, reverse mortgages offered by Home Equity Bank were only available for Canadian homeowners who were at least 60 years of age.

“The lowering of the eligibility age from 60 to 55 comes primarily in response to a significant demand by couples where one spouse is over 60 while the other may be a few years younger,” the company said in a press release.

HomEquity Bank, a subsidiary of HOMEQ, also noted that the lowered eligibility age will allow the bank to help Canadian seniors better coordinate retirement plans by making it possible to access their home equity and enjoy retirement on their terms.


“We are continually responding to a very broad market demand for reverse mortgages driven by the demographic wave and other macro economic factors affecting retirement trends in Canada,” said Greg Bandler, Senior Vice President, HomEquity Bank. “The change from 60 to 55 as the minimum age of eligibility for a CHIP Home Income Plan does not constitute a major shift in our lending focus. The majority of our new clients will continue to be homeowners in their late 60s and early 70s.”

Last week, HOMEQ announced first quarter earnings boasting a 16% increase in its mortgage portfolio compared to last year. HomEquity Bank gained $47 million in originations, adding to a $1.1 billion portfolio comprised of about 8,000 reverse mortgages.

View the press release.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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  • What are the LTV’s for a 55 yo? I guess CHIP is the equivalent of HUD who insures the loan.
    That is interesting but if a 55 yo lives to 90 I would not want to be the insurer.   

    • treverse,

      In a December 3, 2010, RMD posted an article by John Yedinak titled “HomEquity Bank Celebrates 25 Years of Reverse Mortgages” in which he states:  “Since its inception, the CHIP Home Income Plan has helped thousands of Canadian seniors looking for a simple, sensible way to unlock up to 40 per cent of value in their homes to achieve a more enjoyable retirement.”

      On January 10, 2011, in a RMD article titled “Oh, Canada! Your reverse mortgages look so good,” Neil Morse states that HomEquity Bank is “the single source of the product there since 1986.”  Neil then goes on to write:  “‘Canadians hate to borrow,’ says Arthur Krzycki, a bank spokesman, noting that ‘despite face-value similarities between the two markets, the consumer attitudes are different,’ including a lack of mortgage interest deduction in the tax laws there.”
      If all one is going to offer a 50 year old is 5% of the value of the home limited to total proceeds of $20,000 at prime plus an almost 2% margin (all just a wild guess), that might not be such a bad investment for many investors.  It certainly would be nice if we had more details related to the new offering.
      However, one thing is clear.  The Canadian plan is not anything close to a HECM by any stretch of the imagination.

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