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Government Needs $800M for Reverse Mortgage Plan

Posted Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Federal Housing administration (FHA) operates a program that guarantees reverse mortgage loans. Reverse mortgage loans allow home owners over the age of 62 to borrow against the equity in their home. Borrowers are allowed to obtain payment for approximately 60 percent of the equity in their home and allowed to received payments for the rest of their life.

The FHA makes guarantees to the lenders who give revers mortgages to elderly home owners. If the home owner lives longer than expected and home prices continue to decline the home will not have enough equity to cover the cost of the loan.

The government recently ask Congress for almost $800 million dollars of taxpayer money to provide money to the program. It should be noted that reverse mortgages are a small number of the total mortgages made each year but with the stock market taking a deep decline more and more home owners will be looking to use the equity left in their home for retirement. There will be an estimated 150,000 reverse mortgage loans made this year, up 30 percent from last year.