Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Reverse Mortgage as Last Choice

When their are no other options on the table perhaps a reverse mortgage may work. But for many people this option will take all future options off the table. Reverse mortgages are just another option to drain equity. With the continued downward spiral in home values their may be no equity for homeowners if and when they decide to sell. We many several people who see their properties as their retirement nest eggs. But since reverse mortgages can let healthy 62 year-olds extract a large portion of their equity now it can easily cause trouble down the road. Over at CBS News in an article titled Reverse Mortgages" "Loan of Last Resort" their is a warning of trouble that reverse mortgages may cause. Let's take a look -

It's a last resort for many Americans who are strapped for cash, but reverse mortgages are a way to make ends meet for an increasing number of homeowners.


[Early Show financial contributor Vera Gibbons] said about 10,000 reverse mortgages are being done each month, because homeowners need the cash.

"They've lost a lot of money in the stock market," she said. "...They need the cash infusion."

Gibbons said people who can't get a loan or refinance due to the credit crunch are finding their way around it with a reverse mortgage, which have no income requirements.


Gibbons said many seniors are funding their retirement with a reverse mortgage because they need the cash infusion.

"This is a loan of last resort," Gibbons said. "People have exhausted the options, and can't rent the house or sell it or downsize...so they're doing this."

Have people really exhausted all their other options? Just like we did with HELOCs and HELs? Or are they taking the easy, short-sighted, dead end road to financial misery. Kind of like Option ARM holders. Looks good initially but their will be problems down the road. Very messy, very complex with a brand new set of problems.

There are warnings that reverse mortgages will cause a wave of financial problems and hardships in the future. We agree. Money will be lost. People who think they are hurting financially now probably will get hit much harder in the future.

The article also notes the maintenance requirements on the properties. But if there is no money left who will be for the maintenance. And what level of maintenance. Will most of these properties be fixer-uppers or tear-downers in the future? With little to no money for upkeep left, probably.

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