During a public event this week commemorating National Homeownership Month and the 50th anniversary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s counseling programs, Acting Deputy Secretary/Federal Housing Administration Commissioner Brian Montgomery highlighted HECM counseling as a benefit for seniors who wish to age in place.
“Many seniors are choosing to age in place,” said Montgomery. “More than 40 percent of seniors who are counseled on reverse mortgages opt to obtain one.”
He added, “The spectrum (of counseling) has continually broadened to meet the needs of individuals and families at every stage of the housing process. Today, consumers receive counseling on everything from managing finances; to buying, maintaining or renting the place they call home; to dealing with default and foreclosure when they’re facing tough times. And seniors who want to age in place can learn about reverse mortgages. You also have a place to turn to if you’re a victim of a natural disaster or homelessness. No one is left out.”
During an earlier session, Dr. Chris Herbert, managing director of Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard, discussed the growing use of reverse mortgages to pay of mortgage debt.
“A lot of people, I don’t know the exact share, obtain a reverse mortgage to take out a forward mortgage that they can no longer afford. Not an unimportant way to manage your finances,” said Herbert. “We’re going to have a lot of older folks in retirement with mortgage debt and trying to figure out solutions for them. In some cases, it might be a reverse mortgage, in other cases it may be sell and downsize. This is going to be an enormous issue going forward.”
Watch a recording of the webcast on YouTube.