When you start navigating the waters of reverse mortgages, you will undoubtedly come across MANY different companies and individuals ready and willing to help. Flashy ads, website calculators, famous spokesmen, and more. But who are all these people? And what is the difference between them? How do you know what is the best fit for YOU?
Here’s some information I think anyone considering a reverse mortgage needs to know about the various professionals who work in the industry:
Banks and Credit Unions – Most local banks and credit unions do not offer reverse mortgage loans, although sometimes the larger ones will. Unfortunately seeking a loan through them can often mean little or no face-to-face time, and it’s not uncommon for these banks to leave the industry down the road. At one time Wells Fargo and Bank of America were in the business, but they quit, leaving their borrowers with loans that few employees can understand and little help if reverse mortgage customers need it.
Brokers – A reverse mortgage broker is a third party individual that is licensed by the state but doesn’t work directly with a lender, instead they essentially shop the marketplace. When working with a broker, borrowers will pay higher fees because they will have to cover the costs of the broker. In addition, because all transactions run through a third party, things can easily get slowed down or even stalled completely.
Direct Lender Specialists – This is the category I fall into. Working directly with a lender that specializes in FHA insured HECM reverse mortgages, such as Retirement Funding Solutions, direct lender specialists are able to offer local, personal, face-to-face time with clients, and eliminate the need for costly third-party fees. We are able to do all this while ensuring the smoothest, most efficient transaction possible because they are handling the loan and not farming it out to another company.
Reverse mortgages are available to individuals and married couples age 62 and older. These FHA insured loans allow homeowners to live mortgage and loan payment free until they pass away, permanently leave the home (meaning 12 consecutive months), or they default on financial responsibilities associated with the home, such as property taxes or homeowner’s insurance. The funds are available via monthly installments, a line of credit, a lump sum, or even to purchase a home.
Janis Layman is a Reverse Mortgage Specialist serving the Seattle, Lynnwood, Edmonds, and Shoreline areas of Washington. Contact Janis and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.