Chicago Tribune: Surviving Spouses Benefit Under New Reverse Mortgage Rules

Recent changes to the reverse mortgage program are providing better protections for the spouses of reverse mortgage holders after the borrower dies, explains a recent article in the Chicago Tribune.

Seeking advice, a 72-year-old woman and spouse of a 85-year-old reverse mortgage borrower writes to the publication asking about what the changes might mean for her living situation after her spouse passes away.

“When my husband took out a reverse mortgage, I was too young to qualify so it is in his name only,” she writes. “My earliest understanding is that once he died I would have to sell the home and leave. Due to health and finances, I am no longer in a position to do that. Is it my responsibility to sell the house when he dies?”

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A qualified non-borrowing spouse can now remain in the home without having to pay off the loan, says Odette Williamson, staff attorney for the National Consumer Law Center, in the article.

However, the surviving spouse must continue to pay property taxes and insurance and maintain the home with proper repairs, among meeting other requirements to be eligible to remain in the home, she added.

Read the article here.

Written by Cassandra Dowell

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