So you're a homeowner, over 62 and having some concerns about having too much month left at the end of your paycheck. Maybe social security is covering your mortgage and some necessities but it's leaving you with nothing left for other things- like food or medicine. Of course your home is important to you, it provides the warmth and comfort you expect, you've watched your children grow up here and now you may have grandchildren occupying the hallways on holidays. It's a top priority for you to make sure the mortgage is paid. But after that's paid, what takes the next top priority? The car? Your medication? What else takes precedence?
Let's assume that you've had some issues making the mortgage payment on time or are already behind and you're seeking some type of relief. You've spoken to your lender and they may allow you to add the missed payments to the end of the loan but don't how long it will be until you're in need of the same relief again. Maybe you've been late so many times that you were in the process of foreclosure. There was a recent freeze on foreclosures by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac but they are scheduled to expire next week putting up to 11,700 at risk of losing their homes according to recent statistics.
Don't be one of those 11,700 if you are over 62 and have some equity left in your home. You could consider a reverse mortgage to pay off the loan you have and not only not have to make payments anymore, you may have access to some additional equity in your home. It's a great way to increase your monthly cash flow and remove the nagging issue of not having enough money at the end of the month.
For those worried that the bank will take your home, this isn't a concern you should have as the HUD insured reverse mortgage allows you to retain title of the property until you pass or move away. In addition it's a non-recourse loan, meaning you or your heirs will never owe more than the value of the home upon its sale however if an heir wishes to purchase the home from your before or after your passing and the reverse mortgage unpaid balance or loan amount is more than the market value they will have to pay that loan amount. If the unpaid balance is less than the home's market value, they would be able to inherit the property and would have to refinance the unpaid balance to keep the home. In most cases, the home is sold and any remaining equity is passed onto the estate but the bottom line is that a reverse mortgage has saved thousands from foreclosure and kept the borrowers in the home without payments for the rest of their days in that home.
You can follow how a reverse mortgage works on this site.
If you're behind on your mortgage payments and not sure how you can keep the home from going to foreclosure and have already approached your lender but haven't gotten an answer to comfort you, you could consider a loan modification from an attorney based company that offers a full 100% money back guarantee. Their job is to backward engineer what you can afford in a mortgage payment but also to include all your other living expenses plus leave you with some extra cash at the end of each month. Careful where you look, you want to find again, a local qualified attorney based firm with some expertise under their belt as they probably have dealt with your lender before and can perform must faster and more effective than lenders are capable of doing with the homeowner as they don't know your specific circumstance and are under staffed to handle all of the customer service inquiries for foreclosure or loan modifications.
A loan modification costs money, sometimes in accordance with state laws and sometimes they equate to what your regular mortgage payment would be. Fees can range from $500 to $3000. The fee is usually collected during the processing and it replaces the payment you would be sending the lender as the lender will not accept and will actually return any payments made during the loan modification process. Be cautious of any firm asking for the full amount up front that doesn't also offer a full money back guarantee. The attorney for these companies often have backroom relationships with the respective lenders attorneys and know the history of your loan as well as your particular distress, loss of job, loss of income, rate adjusting, etc. As each circumstance is different they essentially work with the lender to get an affordable monthly payment that doesn't bankrupt the borrower and their goal is to keep you in your home. The lenders do not want to own your home and will lose money if they have to foreclose. They don't lose money in a loan modification since you will continue make payments on the home, they just won't make as much.
Lastly, most loan modifications require that the borrower already be behind in their payments but that doesn't mean you should quit paying your mortgage if you can. The loan modification is a last ditch attempt to keep your home, your credit may take a hit as a late payment but it won't be destroyed by foreclosure or bankruptsy.