​​​​FHA Reverse Mortgages (HECMs) 

Katie is your local reverse mortgage consultant serving Clovis, CA

and the surrounding Fresno area. If you are looking for direct

answers, please give Katie a call. Katie has been originating

reverse mortgage products since 2004.


If you are a homeowner age 62 or older and have paid off your

mortgage or paid down a considerable amount, and are currently

living in the home, you may participate in FHA's Home Equity

Conversion Mortgage (HECM) program.  The HECM is FHA's reverse

mortgage program that enables you to withdraw a portion of your

home's equity.

You can also use a HECM to purchase a primary residence if you are

able to use cash on hand to pay the difference between the HECM

proceeds and the sales price plus closing costs for the property you

are purchasing.

How the Program Works

There are many factors to consider before deciding whether a HECM is right for you.  To aid in this process, you must meet with a HECM counselor to discuss program eligibility requirements, financial implications and alternatives to obtaining a HECM and repaying the loan. Counselors will also discuss provisions for the mortgage becoming due and payable.  Upon the completion of HECM counseling, you should be able to make an independent, informed decision of whether this product will meet your specific needs. You can search online for a HECM counselor or call (800) 569-4287 toll-free.
Katie will provide you with a list of counseling agencies in your area.

There are borrower and property eligibility requirements that must be met.  You can use the listing below to see if you qualify. If you meet the eligibility criteria, you can complete a reverse mortgage application by contacting a FHA-approved lender. Contact Katie Today! . The lender will discuss other requirements of the HECM program, such as first year payment limitations, available payment options, the loan approval process, and repayment terms. 

Borrower Requirements

You must:

Be 62 years of age or older
Own the property outright or paid-down a considerable amount
Occupy the property as your principal residence
Not be delinquent on any federal debt
Have financial resources to continue to make timely payment of

ongoing property charges such as property taxes, insurance and Homeowner Association fees, etc.
Participate in a consumer information session given by a HUD- approved HECM counselor

Property Requirements

The following eligible property types must meet all FHA property standards and flood requirements:

Single family home or 2-4 unit home with one unit occupied by the borrower
HUD-approved condominium project
Manufactured home that meets FHA requirements

Financial Requirements

Income, assets, monthly living expenses, and credit history will be verified.
Timely payment of real estate taxes, hazard and flood insurance premiums will be verified


Payment Plans:


For adjustable interest rate mortgages, you can select one of the following

payment plans:

Tenure - equal monthly payments as long as at least one borrower lives and

continues to occupy the property as a principal residence.
Term - equal monthly payments for a fixed period of months selected.
Line of Credit - unscheduled payments or in installments, at times and in an

amount of your choosing until the line of credit is exhausted.
Modified Tenure - combination of line of credit and scheduled monthly payments for as long as you remain in the home.
Modified Term - combination of line of credit plus monthly payments for a fixed period of months selected by the borrower.

For fixed interest rate mortgages, you will receive the Single Disbursement Lump Sum payment plan.

Mortgage Amount Based On

The amount you may borrower will depend on:

Age of the youngest borrower or eligible non-borrowing spouse
Current interest rate; and
Lesser of appraised value or the HECM FHA mortgage limit of $636,150 or the sales price

If there is more than one borrower and no eligible non-borrowing spouse, the age of the youngest borrower is used to determine the amount you can borrow.

HECM Costs


You can pay for most of the costs of a HECM by financing them and having them paid from the proceeds of the loan. Financing the costs means that you do not have to pay for them out of your pocket. On the other hand, financing the costs reduces the net loan amount available to you.

The HECM loan includes several fees and charges, which includes: 1) mortgage insurance premiums (initial and annual) 2) third party charges 3) origination fee 4) interest and 5) servicing fees. The lender will discuss which fees and charges are mandatory.

You will be charged an initial mortgage insurance premium (MIP)

at closing.  The initial MIP will be 2 %. Over the life of the loan, you

will be charged an annual MIP that equals .5% of the outstanding

mortgage balance.

Mortgage Insurance Premium
You will incur a cost for FHA mortgage insurance.  The mortgage

insurance guarantees that you will receive expected loan

advances. You can finance the mortgage insurance premium

(MIP) as part of your loan.

Third Party Charges
Closing costs from third parties can include an appraisal, title

search and insurance, surveys, inspections, recording fees,

mortgage taxes, credit checks and other fees.

Origination Fee
You will pay an origination fee to compensate the lender for processing your HECM loan. A lender can charge the greater of $2,500 or 2% of the first $200,000 of your home's value plus 1% of the amount over $200,000. HECM origination fees are capped at $6,000.

Servicing Fee
Lenders or their agents provide servicing throughout the life of the HECM. Servicing includes sending you account statements, disbursing loan proceeds and making certain that you keep up with loan requirements such as paying real estate taxes and hazard insurance premium. Lenders may charge a monthly servicing fee of no more than $30 if the loan has an annually adjusting interest rate or has a fixed interest rate. The lender may charge a monthly servicing fee of no more than $35 if the interest rate adjusts monthly. At loan closing, the lender sets aside the servicing fee and deducts the fee from your available funds. Each month the monthly servicing fee is added to your loan balance. Lenders may also choose to include the servicing fee in the mortgage interest rate.



Questions and Answers to FHA Insured Reverse Mortgage


1. What is a FHA Insured HECM Reverse Mortgage?

A reverse mortgage is a special type of home loan that lets you convert a portion of

the equity in your home into cash. The equity that you built up over years of making

mortgage payments can be paid to you.  However, unlike a traditional home equity

loan or second mortgage, HECM borrowers do not have to repay the HECM loan until

the borrowers no longer use the home as their principal residence or fail to meet the

obligations of the mortgage.  You can also use a HECM to purchase a primary residence if you are able to use cash on hand to pay the difference between the HECM proceeds and the sales price plus closing costs for the property you are purchasing.

2. Can I qualify for FHA's HECM reverse mortgage?

To be eligible for a FHA HECM, the FHA requires that you be a homeowner 62 years of age or older, own your home outright, or have a low mortgage balance that can be paid off at closing with proceeds from the reverse loan, have the financial resources to pay ongoing property charges including taxes and insurance, and you must live in the home. You are also required to receive consumer information free or at very low cost from a HECM counselor prior to obtaining the loan. You can find a HECM counselor online or by phoning (800) 569-4287. OR contact Katie for more information! Katie will provide you with a list of counseling agencies near you!

3. Can I apply for a HECM even if I did not buy my present house with FHA mortgage insurance?

Yes.  You may apply for a HECM regardless of whether or not you purchased your home with an FHA-insured mortgage. 

4. What types of homes are eligible?

To be eligible for the FHA HECM, your home must be a single family home or a 2-4 unit home with one unit occupied by the borrower. HUD-approved condominiums and manufactured homes that meet FHA requirements are also eligible.

5. What are the differences between a reverse mortgage and a home equity loan?

With a second mortgage, or a home equity line of credit, borrowers must make monthly payments on the principal and interest.  A reverse mortgage is different, because it pays you – there are no monthly principal and interest payments.  With a reverse mortgage, you are required to pay real estate taxes, utilities, and hazard and flood insurance premiums.

6. Will we have an estate that we can leave to heirs?

When the home is sold or no longer used as a primary residence, the cash, interest, and other HECM finance charges must be repaid.  All proceeds beyond the amount owed belong to your spouse or estate.  This means any remaining equity can be transferred to heirs.  No debt is passed along to the estate or heirs.

7. How much money can I get from my home?

The amount varies by borrower and depends on:

Age of the youngest borrower or eligible non-borrowing spouse
Current interest rate; and
Lesser of appraised value or the HECM FHA mortgage limit of $636,150 or the sales price

If there is more than one borrower and no eligible non-borrowing spouse, the age of the youngest borrower is used to determine the amount you can borrow. 

8. Should I use an estate planning service to find a reverse mortgage lender?

FHA does NOT recommend using any service that charges a fee for referring a borrower to an FHA-approved lender.  You can locate a FHA-approved lender by searching online at www.hud.gov or by contacting a HECM counselor for a listing.   Services rendered by HECM counselors are free or at a low cost.  To locate a HECM counselor Search online or call (800) 569-4287 toll-free, for the name and location of a HUD-approved housing counseling agency near you.

9. How do I receive my payments?

For adjustable interest rate mortgages, you can select one of the following

payment plans:

Tenure- equal monthly payments as long as at least one borrower lives and

continues to occupy the property as a principal residence.
Term- equal monthly payments for a fixed period of months selected.
Line of Credit- unscheduled payments or in installments, at times and in an

amount of your choosing until the line of credit is exhausted.
Modified Tenure- combination of line of credit and scheduled monthly payments

for as long as you remain in the home.
Modified Term- combination of line of credit plus monthly payments for a fixed

period of months selected by the borrower.

For fixed interest rate mortgages, you will receive the Single Disbursement Lump Sum payment plan.

Single Disbursement Lump Sum - a single lump sum disbursement at mortgage closing.

 10. What if I change my mind and no longer want the loan after I go to closing?  How do I do this?

By law, you have three calendar days to change your mind and cancel the loan.  This is called a three day right of rescission.  The process of canceling the loan should be explained at loan closing.  Be sure to ask the lender for instructions on this process.  Mortgage lenders differ in the process of canceling a loan.  You should ask for the names of the appropriate people, phone numbers, fax numbers, addresses, or written instructions on whatever process the company has in place.  In most cases, the right of rescission will not be applicable to HECM for purchase transactions.


















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​ ​​​​​ KATIE B.  AUSTIN 

Reverse Mortgage Consultant