As a result of newly awarded grant funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and an additional private grant, housing and credit counseling agency Money Management International will reintroduce free reverse mortgage counseling beginning April 1.
The counseling will be available free of charge by phone and in person across the 20-plus states in which it operates.
“We are delighted to reintroduce free counseling,” said Daniel Fenton, MMI’s Senior Housing Director. “Thanks to generous private support and HUD efforts to get their grants out quickly, we can remove the financial burden of a counseling fee for seniors.”
Prior to the new funding being made available, MMI charged a fee for the counseling after funding for the program was cut from the HUD budget. The new funding and the much shorter time frame for making grants available led to the shift away from that fee.
“Counseling in an environment with no HUD subsidies forced us to really focus on the cost effectiveness of the counseling process,” Fenton said. “The changes we have made mean that we can deliver more than 4,400 sessions free of charge before October 1.”
Wait times are expected to remain very short, MMI says.
Once funds are exhausted, MMI will reconsider the pricing, but anticipates the counseling industry overall to be able to support free counseling until October 1, when new government funding is expected to become available.
Other counseling agencies such as CredAbility, GreenPath and National Counsel on Aging have also said they will be able to offer free reverse mortgage counseling as a result of the funding, which totaled $4 million specifically for reverse mortgage counseling.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker