How to Find a Reverse Mortgage Lawyer

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How to Find a Reverse Mortgage Lawyer

Reverse mortgages provide qualifying homeowners access to income-generating borrowing against their equity. These financial products are created especially for older citizens who may want additional funds in retirement to augment Social Security income, 401(k) withdrawals, or pensions.

There are several circumstances when speaking with a reverse mortgage attorney may be beneficial, even if it is not a necessity.

Key Takeaways

  • For homeowners who qualify, reverse mortgages provide a method to generate income from their home equity.
  • Lawyers that specialize in reverse mortgages are knowledgeable about the many laws that are relevant to them.
  • If you think a reverse mortgage business is using aggressive tactics, you may need to consult a reverse mortgage lawyer.
  • If heirs are unclear of their rights and duties after a reverse mortgage borrower passes away, they may need to hire a reverse mortgage attorney.

Reverse Mortgages Explained

With the help of a reverse mortgage, qualified homeowners may take out their equity as a lump amount, regular installments, or a mix of the two. The homeowner is not required to pay the lender on a regular basis, unlike with home equity loans and home equity lines of credit (HELOCs). Instead, the borrower is responsible for the reverse mortgage principle, accrued charges, and interest if they:

  • abandons the house yet keeps possession of it
  • Sells the home
  • Passes away

A reverse mortgage that is guaranteed by the federal government is called a home equity conversion mortgage (HECM). There are various qualifying requirements for these reverse mortgage products that must be satisfied. To qualify for a HECM, you must:

  • Be age 62 or older
  • Use the house as your primary abode and live there.
  • have completely (or mostly) paid off the mortgage
  • not owe any unpaid federal obligation
  • possess the financial means to cover homeowners’ insurance, real estate taxes, homeowners association (HOA) dues, upkeep, and repairs.
  • Attend Reverse mortgage counseling authorized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
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If both parties are at least 62 years old and fulfill other eligibility requirements, married couples may apply for a HECM jointly. On the reverse mortgage documentation, a spouse who is under 62 may be labeled as an eligible or ineligible non-borrowing spouse, depending on their age. If the borrower spouse separates from them or dies, they might continue to put off paying off the reverse mortgage debt depending on their current situation.

Important

Once a reverse mortgage has been obtained, no spouse or other relative may be added to it.

What Does a Reverse Mortgage Lawyer Do?

An attorney who focuses in reverse mortgage law is known as a reverse mortgage lawyer. Attorneys that specialize in reverse mortgages can:

The federal rules governing reverse mortgages, including HECMs, should generally be known to reverse mortgage lawyers. They should also be educated about state regulations and legislation governing reverse mortgages and reverse mortgage businesses.

Note

While some lawyers focus on HECMs, others may handle matters involving all types of reverse mortgages.

When Would I Need a Reverse Mortgage Lawyer?

It is not necessary for homeowners applying for a reverse mortgage to engage with an attorney throughout the process. However, if you’re worried that the lender may be engaging in dishonest or unethical behavior that might amount to financial elder abuse, it would be advantageous to consult a reverse mortgage attorney.

For instance, if a reverse mortgage provider does any of the following:

  • An attempt is made to scam a homeowner by offering them a reverse mortgage.
  • A homeowner is persuaded to sign away assets or real estate through the use of undue influence.
  • Products for reverse mortgages are advertised falsely.
  • Homeowners are advised to purchase an annuity with the money from their reverse mortgage.

Other warning signs might indicate that a reverse mortgage provider isn’t reputable. For a HECM, for instance, attending reverse mortgage counseling is necessary. A major warning sign is if a reverse mortgage firm claims that you may forego counseling and still be accepted. The reverse mortgage firm may be receiving a commission for recommendations, therefore it may be true that they are insisting that you utilize their suggested counselor.

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If you believe that you’ve been defrauded by a reverse mortgage company or that the company acted negligently in granting your reverse mortgage, a reverse mortgage lawyer could help you to file a claim for damages. Heirs also can work with a reverse mortgage attorney to file claims if they believe that a parent or other relative has been taken advantage of by a reverse mortgage company. This can happen in cases where a senior has a physical or mental impairment and a reverse mortgage company manipulates their disability to persuade them to borrow money.

How to Find a Reverse Mortgage Lawyer

Finding a reputable reverse mortgage attorney can be as simple as conducting an online search. You can start by looking for reverse mortgage lawyers in your local area, then expanding your search outward. Friends and family may be able to provide recommendations for trusted reverse mortgage attorneys near you.

When meeting with a reverse mortgage lawyer for the first time, it helps to know what questions to ask. The questions that you pose can depend on why you’re meeting with a reverse mortgage attorney. For example, if you’re considering getting a reverse mortgage, you might ask about how they work and what financial implications they might have for you and your spouse if you’re married.

You should also gather as much information as you can in advance if you think a reverse mortgage firm has deceived you or a loved one, such as:

  • Company name and location for reverse mortgages
  • Information about the reverse mortgage deal
  • Details of the suspected fraud
  • documentation or more evidence of fraud

In order to better determine if there are sufficient grounds for a lawsuit, the reverse mortgage attorney may also ask you questions. You should also inquire about their rates and the manner in which they are compensated for their services at some point throughout the meeting.

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Do you need an attorney to get a reverse mortgage?

It’s not generally required to have legal representation in order to get a reverse mortgage. However, it may be beneficial to speak with a knowledgeable reverse mortgage attorney to make sure you understand how one operates and what obligations it places on you in terms of money.

Can you fight a reverse mortgage?

If you think a reverse mortgage provider has committed fraud, you may be able to initiate a legal lawsuit against them. In principle, heirs who inherit a reverse mortgage debt after the principal borrower passes away cannot contest the amount due unless they think the reverse mortgage business engaged in fraud or financial elder abuse.

How do you get out of a reverse mortgage?

The easiest approach to get out of a reverse mortgage, if it is legitimate and legal, is to pay off the principle amount plus any accumulated interest and fees. If monetary assets are not available, it could be required to sell the house to cover the remaining sum.

The Bottom Line

When determining whether to apply for a reverse mortgage, it might be helpful to obtain the advice of an attorney since these financial instruments can be difficult. A reverse mortgage attorney may also assist in handling cases of alleged elder financial abuse or fraud and, if necessary, in pursuing damages. You may select the ideal attorney to work with by taking the time to evaluate reverse mortgage lawyers online, including assessing their costs, services, and reputation.

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