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Who Owns My House If I Have a Reverse Mortgage?

Get the facts about reverse mortgages and homeownership before deciding if a reverse mortgage is right for you.

If you are over the age of 62 and have paid off your mortgage on your home, you may be eligible for a program known as the reverse mortgage program. This government-sponsored program was designed to help seniors be able to afford to continue to own their own homes.


A reverse mortgage is not a lien against your house like a traditional mortgage would be. Under the terms of a reverse mortgage, you receive monthly payments for as long as you continue to live in the house. The loan does not need to be paid back until such time as you move or die.


Unlike a traditional mortgage, the reverse mortgage does not transfer ownership of your home to the bank. The loan does not become payable until after you cease occupying the home, so there is no danger that you could lose your house because of inability to pay back reverse mortgage funds.


A reverse mortgage is a safe investment as long as you remain in your home. However, if you have to move because of health problems, your loan will immediately come due. The longer you live in the home, the greater the debt you will amass. This can be a difficult burden for you and your family to bear, especially with the high costs of assisted living facilities and medical treatment. Your heirs will also have to settle your debt should you die while in possession of the home. This is usually done by selling the home. It is possible for your heirs to refinance the mortgage so that they can continue to own your home, but this is not as common.

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