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Administration on Aging: Reverse Mortgages

In the past 10 years, public tax policies have made it easier for individuals with moderate incomes to save and invest a portion of their income for retirement. However, for most individuals who have already left the workforce, the single largest asset they have saved is the equity value of their home. For some individuals, the income received from Social Security and a pension is inadequate to meet their special needs. Conventional forms of converting to income home equity involve repayable loans secured as second mortgages or liens against ownership.

Since 1989, the federal government has insured for adults age 62 and over a different type of mortgage that provides regular monthly without repayment or the threat of eviction, even if the owner outlives the declining equity. The links on this page lead to descriptions of different types of reverse mortgage policies, consumer advocacy issues associated with some types of programs, and emerging state and federal initiatives in extending protection and support.

Consumer Information
Reverse Mortgage Fast Facts
(U.S. Federal Trade Commission)

Tips for Consumers on Reverse Mortgages
(National Consumer Law Center)

Spending the House: A Quick Guide for Advocates on Reverse Mortgages
(National Consumer Law Center)

Just What is A Reverse Mortgage – Could It Be Right for You? (PDF)
(Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement)

Reverse Mortgages – Cashing in on Home Ownership
(U.S. Federal Trade Commission)

Reverse Mortgage Consumer Tip Sheet
(Consumers Union)

Top Ten Things To Know If You’re Interested in a Reverse Mortgage
(U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development)

Frequently Asked Questions About Home Equity Conversion
(National Center for Home Equity Conversion

Reverse Mortgages for Seniors
(Fannie Mae)

What is a Reverse Mortgage?
(National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association)

Home Equity Conversion Mortgage
(National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association)

Reverse Mortgages

Reverse Mortgages for Seniors
(U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development)

Housing Counseling Agencies
(U.S. Housing and Urban Development)

Evaluation of the Federal Housing Administration’s Home Equity Conversion Mortgage Insurance Demonstration
(Department of Housing and Urban Development)

Mortgage Information Resources
National Center for Home Equity Conversion

National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association

Reverse Mortgages
(Fannie Mae)