The National Council on Aging announced on Monday a reduction in reverse mortgage counseling fees to $90 down from $125.
“Reverse mortgages can be a lifeline for older homeowners who wish to meet their financial needs, but there are costs involved,” said Amy Ford, director of NCOA’s Reverse Mortgage Counseling Services Network, in a statement. “Getting objective counseling about available options, and gaining a better understanding of these products, is vital to ensuring consumer protection.”
The reduced $90 price for counseling will be available to prospective borrowers through Sept. 30, 2013. NCOA also waives fees for older adults facing financial hardship, such as foreclosure or bankruptcy, or with incomes less than $1,000 a month.
The announcement comes following annual funding allocations for HUD-approved housing counseling agencies, a process by which this year agencies received funding for counseling overall, rather than a separate amount for reverse mortgage services.
“We were pleased to receive a HUD award to provide high quality HECM counseling, so we reduced our rate to be able to provide counseling to as many seniors as possible,” Ford told RMD, adding it was “too early” to estimate the volume of counseling the agency may experience as a result.
President Barack Obama’s 2014 budget included $55 million in funds for housing counseling, including for reverse mortgage counseling. The allocation was greater than the previous year’s $42 million, which came after housing counseling funding was eliminated in 2011.
Written by Alyssa Gerace