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Considering a Reverse Mortgage? Why Required Counseling May Not Be Enough

September 20, 2011

Reverse mortgages can help you pay for in-home care and other necessities. But they’re expensive and complicated, so the government requires people to go through counseling before getting one. Seems like that would help. But counseling is perhaps a relative term, the experience of one woman suggests.

USA Today reports:

Nelly Rush and her husband, Richard, got a reverse mortgage in 2006 from Seattle Mortgage Co. …

“We didn’t know that we had to pay over $11,000 in closing costs,” she says. And they’re still responsible for caring for the house, and paying property tax and home and flood insurance.

Richard has passed away, and Nelly is cash-strapped once again.

Rush says that when she and her husband applied in 2006, they didn’t learn anything from the counseling she received.

“It lasted about five minutes,” she says. “And they asked two or three questions on the phone.”

The article, “Reverse Mortgages Don’t Always Work,” goes over some of the potential pitfalls of reverse mortgages.  It also says counseling was “beefed up” last year. Have you had reverse-mortgage counseling? What was it like?

You can read more news and advice about reverse mortgages here and learn about other ways to pay for in-home care through these articles from OurParents:

Leigh Ann Otte is a freelance writer who specializes in aging issues. She covers finding and paying for senior care for OurParents. If you have any questions about this post or need help finding senior-care options for a loved one, call 1-866-483-4896 to speak with a care advisor in your area.

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