Can Cohabiting Couples Get a Reverse Mortgage?

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Can Cohabiting Couples Get a Reverse Mortgage?

You may access part of your home equity with a reverse mortgage without having to sell the house or make regular payments. Reverse mortgages, which are accessible to homeowners aged 62 and over, may provide an extra source of income throughout retirement. Either you or your spouse may submit an application for a reverse mortgage. But can individuals who cohabit acquire a reverse mortgage if they live with a love partner or roommate? Here is a brief overview of reverse mortgages for co-borrowers who are not married.

Key Takeaways

  • With a reverse mortgage, senior citizens may access their equity without selling or relocating.
  • You must be at least 62 years old and have a sizable amount of equity in your home to be eligible for a reverse mortgage.
  • Couples may join as co-borrowers on a reverse mortgage whether they are wed or not.
  • Even if you pass away or vacate the property, your surviving spouse or partner who is a co-borrower on the reverse mortgage may continue to live there (e.g., to enter an assisted living facility).
  • If you pass away or leave the house, your dependents—children, relatives, and other dependents who aren’t co-borrowers—or a spouse who isn’t an eligible non-borrowing spouse—must repay the debt in order to remain in the home.

What Is a Reverse Mortgage?

A reverse mortgage may be available to homeowners who are at least 62 and have a significant amount of equity in their properties. You may utilize this loan to turn part of your home equity into cash without having to sell your property or stop making payments. Instead, the lender pays you a lump sum, a monthly payment, or a line of credit as payment for a portion of your home equity.

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The funds may be used to cover costs associated with daily living, medical expenditures, home repairs, or even the purchase of a new home if you have a HECM for Purchase loan. Over the course of the loan, interest and fees build. They become payable when you sell your house, move out, are in arrears on your property taxes, or pass away.

Reverse Mortgage Borrower Requirements

When senior homeowners may be property wealthy but cash poor, reverse mortgages may enable them access their home equity and perhaps provide a much-needed source of income.

The Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and provided by lenders with FHA approval, is the most popular kind of reverse mortgage. Your income, assets, monthly living expenditures, credit history, and timely payment of real estate taxes and property insurance premiums will all be checked by the lender if you apply for a HECM. Furthermore, you have to

Verify the expenses of the reverse mortgage loans you have access to by shopping around and comparing them. While mortgage insurance premiums are typically charged at the same rates by all lenders, other loan charges, such as origination, closing, and service fees, as well as interest rates, vary from lender to lender.

Can Unmarried Couples Get a Reverse Mortgage?

If they are eligible, anybody may participate as a co-borrower on a reverse mortgage. The documentation for your reverse mortgage might thus list your spouse, a romantic partner, or your roommate.

Should the other co-borrower leave the property or die away, the co-borrower may continue to live in the property without making any payments toward the reverse mortgage sum. The debt is payable if the surviving co-borrower sells the property, vacates the property, is late on property taxes (or otherwise defaults on the loan conditions), or passes away.

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A spouse or partner who is a co-borrower on a reverse mortgage is not obligated to make monthly payments until they sell the house, vacate the property, or pass away.

Partners or Roommates Who Aren’t Co-Borrowers

It would be necessary for a partner or roommate who is not mentioned as a co-borrower on your reverse mortgage to prove their legal right to live in the house following your death. If they are not included on the title, deed, or other ownership rights paperwork for the house, they will probably have to leave the property. The reverse mortgage sum would become due, and your estate or heirs would be responsible for paying it even if they were allowed to stay in the home.

Does a Spouse Have To Be on a Reverse Mortgage?

It is not necessary to include both spouses on a reverse mortgage application. However, your spouse may not get all of the benefits and safeguards.

For instance, if you pass away and your spouse wasn’t included on the initial reverse mortgage, they would have to pay back the money they borrowed and won’t be allowed to withdraw any more. But if they take care of the house and pay the property taxes and insurance on time, they may be able to postpone repayment and continue in the house.

When Do I Have To Repay a Reverse Mortgage?

Reverse mortgage loans often become payable upon sale of the property, relocation (for example, to an assisted care facility), non-payment of property taxes, or death. Any money left over after paying off the loan might go to you or your estate once the house is sold.

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What Is a Non-Recourse Clause?

When the loan is due and the house is sold, you (or your estate) cannot owe more than the value of the house if your reverse mortgage has a non-recourse provision. Therefore, you wouldn’t pay more than the home’s assessed worth if you or your heirs desire to pay off the debt and retain the house.

The Bottom Line

You and your partner or roommate may apply for a reverse mortgage jointly since co-borrowers are not required to be married or related. Naturally, the loan specifications still need to be met by both borrowers, and you also need to have enough equity in your property to be approved.

Remember that many homeowners find reverse mortgages to be a bad option due to their high prices. Consider a mortgage refinancing, a home equity loan, or downsizing your property and utilizing the additional cash to meet living costs, medical bills, and anything else if you need cash but aren’t sure about obtaining a reverse mortgage.

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