How To Get A Reverse Mortgage And Stay Safe In The Current (COVID-19) Environment

I cannot recall a better time to get a reverse mortgage. Rates are the lowest that I’ve seen, and property values are still high.

I cannot recall a better time to get a reverse mortgage.  Rates are the lowest that I’ve seen (I’ve been specializing in originating reverse mortgages
since 2003), and property values are still high.

“But I need someone to walk me through the process without getting me sick from Coronavirus (Covid-19)”, you say.  Here is how you do it.  However,
before I get to the details, I want to make sure you know what a reverse mortgage is.

What is a reverse mortgage?

Most reverse mortgages (90+%), are FHA (Federal Housing Administration), insured loans specifically designed for homeowners age 62 and above.  It
allows you to access a portion of the value of your home into cash without having to sell your home, give up the title, or obligate yourself to a monthly
mortgage payment.  The home stays in your name so you, as the homeowners, are responsible to pay your property taxes and homeowners insurance
and as maintain the home.

Reverse mortgages are not free money.  This is still a loan and you are still charged interest (and mortgage insurance with the FHA program).
The twist though is that as long as at least one of the homeowners continue to live in the home as their primary residence, keep current on the property
taxes and homeowners insurance, and maintain the home, no monthly payment is required.  However, since interest and mortgage insurance
are still being charged, the loan balance is growing larger over time.

The FHA name for their reverse mortgage program is called the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM).  This is a very popular program because the
rates are very low and there is incredible flexibility with how you receive the money.

The process of obtaining a reverse mortgage has several steps:

  • Education (what you are doing now)
  • Reverse mortgage counseling (FHA required)
  • Shopping for a lender & getting quotes
  • Application
  • Appraisal
  • Closing

This brings us to the topic of this article.

How do you complete all these steps and still stay safe?

  • Education:  This is the easiest step as long as you have access to the internet.  The best site to visit (other than mine,
    of course), is at www.reversemortgage.org.  This is the site for the National Reverse Mortgage
    Lenders Association (NRMLA).  This site has a lot of very good information as well as a list of member lenders.  The ones with the CRMP
    logo are the most experienced and must obtain additional education and testing to ensure they know what they are doing.   If you do this
    part on-line or over the phone, you will not have any additional exposure to COVID-19.
  • Reverse mortgage counseling:  As stated above, HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development) requires all homeowners to talk
    with an independent third-party approved by HUD.  This is to make sure you understand how the reverse mortgage works as well as your obligations
    to maintain the loan.  The counselor will also discuss possible alternatives to the reverse mortgage (for example, selling the home).
    This is best if done in person but is also available over the phone.
  • Shopping and obtaining quotes:  If you have availability to the internet, this can be completed in a very safe and easy way.
    I recommend going to the NRMLA site at www.reversemortgage.org and use the “Find a Lender” dropdown
    box in the upper right corner of the home page to locate a local company.  Call or e-mail that company and provide the following information:
  • Name(s)
  • Dates of birth for all homeowners
  • Estimated value of home
  • Estimated amount owed (if any) on the existing mortgage(s)
  • Make sure to give all lenders the same numbers (don’t give one lender a value of $400,000 and another one a value of $425,000).  You want to have
    an apples-to-apples comparison.

~*~*~*~*NOTE~*~*~*~*

Do NOT give your Social Security numbers to any lender at this stage of the process!  They do not need it to give you a quote.  If they say they must have it, hang up!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Tell the lender you want the quote from to e-mail you the quote.  You will need to provide them with your e-mail and some may also ask for your address.
If you do not have access to e-mail, ask them to mail it to you.  If they don’t do it, you don’t want to do business with them anyway.

  • Application:  I honestly think this is best completed in person, however, given the interesting times we are in, it can also
    easily be done through the mail or over the computer.  If you want to do it with e-signatures, this will require you to set up a password
    to open the e-mail and can be frustrating for some people who know how to use e-mail but are not fluid with technology.  The easier way for
    most people is simply to have the loan officer to overnight you the documents.  You can call him/her when the package is received and the
    loan officer will go over each page with you over the phone.  Once signed, you stick it all in another overnight envelope and send it back.
    So far so good!  You have yet to increase your risk of exposure.  The next step is a bit more difficult but can still be completed safely.
  • Appraisal:  Your home will need to be appraised.  This means allowing an appraiser inside your home to look around, measure
    and take pictures.  Someone will need to be there to allow the appraiser access to your home, but it doesn’t have to be you.  You can
    wait in the car in the garage or go for a walk while a relative let the appraiser in.  If this is not an option, offer the appraiser some
    disinfecting wipes and ask him to clean everywhere he touches. 
  • Closing:  This is the final step.  This is where you sign all the final documents.  Normally, I come to your home with
    a notary and go over everything with you to sign.  If you don’t want me there, I do not have to be present, but the notary does.  Unfortunately,
    FHA does not allow you to sign the final papers electronically.  You can ask the notary to be as careful as possible and not touch anything.
    Also, you can use your own pen.  It does need to be blue ink.

That is the best way to get a reverse mortgage and be as safe as possible. 

Unfortunately, the last couple of steps do require some very limited person to person contact.  The last option of course is doing all the homework
and counseling and then waiting until this virus settles down to begin the actual application process. 

I think the rates will still be low and property values should not be impacted too dramatically over the next couple of months.  I think later in
the summer and fall, we may see values decline as a result of the economic slowdown, but hopefully by next summer, they will bounce back.

If you have any questions about this topic or anything else relating to reverse mortgages, please call me at 303-467-7821.

Bruce Simmons

Bruce Simmons

I absolutely love what I do - working with senior homeowners to help them live a more comfortable, flexible and secure retirement. I have the absolute best customers in the world, and even though I worked in the forward mortgage business for a number of years, I could never go back to doing conventional loans. I'm a 100% reverse mortgage specialist.

5.0

I was hesitate about getting a reverse mortgage until Bruce Simons put my mind at rest. He is easy to work with, extremely knowledgeable and efficient. Things get done and he will make sure that you understand every part of the process. I interviewed several other people and he was hands down.....The only choice.

Doing a Reverse Mortgage is a major decision, when working with Bruce he came out personally to go over every thing in detail, there was no pressure to finalize the transaction, I had even put the loan on hold for awhile even though I had locked in my rate, I had called Bruce off and on for a few weeks to ask questions that I had concerns about and he was always available to talk to me. In the end it gave me time to feel comfortable about my decision to move forward with the Reverse. Bruce was very pleasant to work with and would certainly recommend Bruce if you are going to consider a Reverse Mortgage.

Bruce Simmons at American Liberty is one of the best in the reverse mortgage industry. I have known and worked with him for years and he always does a great job. You are in good hands with Bruce and know that he will take good care of you or your loved ones every step of the way.

Best thing I ever did! Bruce Simmons at American Liberty Mortgage is the best. He is always there to answer your questions, and can easily explain the whole idea of a Reverse Mortgage. He takes the time and goes through the entire process with you. It worked out so well for me. Thank You Bruce!

We had researched Reverse Mortgages for 5 years and after hearing about Bruce Simmons and meeting with him, we finally decided to move forward with the Reverse Morgage. It has been over a year now and we are still very pleased with our decision. We think Bruce is very professional, knowledgeable and honest. Thank you, Bruce, for all your help.

I first met Bruce Simmons 2017. I found him on the internet. I was looking for someone local. I called him and explained I was only looking into doing a reverse mortgage, so I did not want him to think this was something I was ready to do. Bruce was friendly, very open about the basics of a reverse mortgage. Bruce came to my home and presented the figures and other details that he could offer. The first thing that impressed me was this was not a hard sell, more of a informational meeting. He was very open about all of the details, and answered my questions without hesitation. What really was evident was he was establishing a relationship with me, and I realized he knew I would not take the loan at that time. There was not enough equity in my home, and I would have to bring money to the table. Although I was not ready to do a loan, Bruce assured me he is always available for questions. Four years later, I finally did do a reverse mortgage, and I couldn't be happier with having done it. I have done away with a mortgage payment which allows me to fund my retirement account with that mortgage payment. We did some much needed landscaping with our cash out transaction, and will move on to improvements inside of the house. My reverse mortgage has a line of credit, and I feel sense security knowing it is there if I need it. Bruce explained that a reverse mortgage is not for everyone, but I feel certain that he paved the way for a strategy that worked for me. I will definitely do a refinance when the time is right. I will check in with Bruce to be sure what the benefits are when I do it again.

I have worked with Bruce Simmons for 15 years. Bruce is one of the best in the industry. He is extremely knowledgeable, kinds and detailed in what he does. His clients love working with him and trust him to help them with their Reverse Mortgage loans. I would recommend Bruce to anyone I know that is thinking about or wanting to do a Reverse Mortgage. He will always take very good care of the customers and make sure their needs are met! Class act and one of the best in the industry by far!

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Kathleen Mitchell
Kathleen Mitchell

Just left us a 5 star review

google
Kathleen Mitchell
September 18, 2022

I was hesitate about getting a reverse mortgage until Bruce Simons put my mind at rest. He is easy to work with, extremely knowledgeable and efficient. Things get done and he will make sure that you understand every part of the process. I interviewed several other people and he was hands down.....The only choice.

google
Mike Hoeffner
August 30, 2022

Doing a Reverse Mortgage is a major decision, when working with Bruce he came out personally to go over every thing in detail, there was no pressure to finalize the transaction, I had even put the loan on hold for awhile even though I had locked in my rate, I had called Bruce off and on for a few weeks to ask questions that I had concerns about and he was always available to talk to me. In the end it gave me time to feel comfortable about my decision to move forward with the Reverse. Bruce was very pleasant to work with and would certainly recommend Bruce if you are going to consider a Reverse Mortgage.

google
Jonathan Maiolatesi
August 22, 2022

Bruce Simmons at American Liberty is one of the best in the reverse mortgage industry. I have known and worked with him for years and he always does a great job. You are in good hands with Bruce and know that he will take good care of you or your loved ones every step of the way.

google
Ronda Giblin
August 20, 2022

Best thing I ever did! Bruce Simmons at American Liberty Mortgage is the best. He is always there to answer your questions, and can easily explain the whole idea of a Reverse Mortgage. He takes the time and goes through the entire process with you. It worked out so well for me. Thank You Bruce!

google
John Bell
August 20, 2022

We had researched Reverse Mortgages for 5 years and after hearing about Bruce Simmons and meeting with him, we finally decided to move forward with the Reverse Morgage. It has been over a year now and we are still very pleased with our decision. We think Bruce is very professional, knowledgeable and honest. Thank you, Bruce, for all your help.

google
Mary Bernard
August 19, 2022

I first met Bruce Simmons 2017. I found him on the internet. I was looking for someone local. I called him and explained I was only looking into doing a reverse mortgage, so I did not want him to think this was something I was ready to do. Bruce was friendly, very open about the basics of a reverse mortgage. Bruce came to my home and presented the figures and other details that he could offer. The first thing that impressed me was this was not a hard sell, more of a informational meeting. He was very open about all of the details, and answered my questions without hesitation. What really was evident was he was establishing a relationship with me, and I realized he knew I would not take the loan at that time. There was not enough equity in my home, and I would have to bring money to the table. Although I was not ready to do a loan, Bruce assured me he is always available for questions. Four years later, I finally did do a reverse mortgage, and I couldn't be happier with having done it. I have done away with a mortgage payment which allows me to fund my retirement account with that mortgage payment. We did some much needed landscaping with our cash out transaction, and will move on to improvements inside of the house. My reverse mortgage has a line of credit, and I feel sense security knowing it is there if I need it. Bruce explained that a reverse mortgage is not for everyone, but I feel certain that he paved the way for a strategy that worked for me. I will definitely do a refinance when the time is right. I will check in with Bruce to be sure what the benefits are when I do it again.

google
LESLIE HINES
August 19, 2022

I have worked with Bruce Simmons for 15 years. Bruce is one of the best in the industry. He is extremely knowledgeable, kinds and detailed in what he does. His clients love working with him and trust him to help them with their Reverse Mortgage loans. I would recommend Bruce to anyone I know that is thinking about or wanting to do a Reverse Mortgage. He will always take very good care of the customers and make sure their needs are met! Class act and one of the best in the industry by far!