||December 6th, 2007|
Reverse Mortgages . . .
with Laura Strickler
Laura Strickler -
Your Reverse Mortgage Specialist
Living in Reverse
If you are breathing, you know how many changes the mortgage industry has been experiencing. Reverse mortgages have been relatively unaffected by these changes, until recently. Now, we are starting to see some changes occur.
HUD has allowed lenders to change the HECM Reverse Mortgage index from the U.S. Treasury index to a London index (the LIBOR - the London InterBank Offered Rate). This will change the interest rate used in calculating the amount of money available to borrowers.
Over the past months, the fixed rate reverse mortgage has also been released. However, two of the key features of a reverse mortgage, the ability to receive monthly advancements or the ability to utilize a line of credit option, are not available with the fixed rate reverse mortgage. You are required to take all of your available funds in cash at closing. This means that you begin accruing interest on all of the available funds immediately when your loan closes.
The reverse mortgage industry will continue evolving to accommodate the baby boomers' arrival into their golden years. This translates into more choices for seniors. The choices now are ranging from new reverse mortgage products to new types of products that give you cash in exchange for future appreciation in your home. These are complicated transactions that take time to explain and understand. I can answer your questions on both reverse mortgages and these new products you may have seen advertised.
The influx of baby boomers will also translate into many more people becoming involved in the industry. When considering a reverse mortgage or other financial transactions specific to seniors, you should always look for a professional who considers the senior's needs over the need to complete a transaction. If you have questions, ask them. If they aren't answered to your satisfaction, call someone else. You should take the time to feel comfortable with whom you're working. If you feel uncomfortable, find another person to help you.
I've mentioned to you before that I have obtained my designation as a Certified Senior Advisor. What that means is that I have completed a course of topics specific to senior citizens. This course offered me a broader understanding of my clients. It also gave me tools with which to advise my clients in their best interest. Because I am a Certified Senior Advisor, I follow principles and standards set forth by the Society of Certified Senior Advisors. I pledge to keep my skills and knowledge current, to communicate honestly and clearly to my clients; to disclose any conflicts of interest and safeguard my client's private information; and to act in good faith in all matters. I value these professional requirements and believe they only help my industry.
Many of you read my column for quite a while before taking your first steps toward a reverse mortgage. I appreciate the time you give me and I hope I have helped you gather information. As the new year approaches, I look forward to bringing you new information on new products that will help you enjoy your golden years with more financial freedom. As always, please call me with any questions you may have.
Laura Strickler, CSA
Certified Senior Advisor
Reverse Mortgage Specialist