FHA Reverse Mortgage Rules: Non-Borrowing Spouses

by Brad R. in Peru, IL and by Dorothy N. in Montgomery, AL

Ask Kate about new FHA reverse mortgage rules regarding policy changes for non-borrowing spouses: On June 12, 2015, Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced a compassionate policy change for homes financed with a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), the FHA income-producing program for senior citizens with major amounts of equity in their homes.

FHA Reverse Mortgage Rules: Non-Borrowing Spouses con't... In the past, following the death of the borrowing spouse, reverse mortgages immediately became due and payable. Thus the surviving non-borrowing spouse could not remain in the home and was subject to foreclosure, piling grief upon grief.

But with this HUD announcement, eligible spouses are allowed to remain in their homes even though they were not named as borrowers on the original reverse mortgage loan documents. Victory!

Note that these changes affect homes with FHA case numbers dated prior to August 4, 2014. The home must also be in good repair and property taxes must be current. As with all mortgage programs, there is additional fine-print. So peruse written lender disclosures carefully and get all of your questions answered in writing by the lender.

Deceased Father Had a Reverse Mortgage for Senior Citizens

By Brad R. from Peru, Illinois
Deceased Father Had a Reverse Mortgage for Senior Citizens


When my deceased father did a reverse mortgage on their home, my mother (who is still alive) objected and signed a waiver to her rights (no idea why, other than stubbornness).

My father passed away. Now I am being told that my mother can go back to the reverse mortgage, but will have to pay $17,000 in order to do so.

I am getting this information from my sister who still lives there. I am told that this is not a down payment that would come off the total owed so is it a fee?

My mother is 72 and disabled. Does she have any recourse to not have to completely redo the mortgage and pay money that she doesn't have?

***zz-portrait-left.shtml*** Ask Kate answers: Deceased Father Had a Reverse Mortgage for Senior Citizens

Hi Brad,

I'm so sorry to hear of your father's death.

I have a couple of ideas. Ask your mother's lender if she can apply for a new reverse mortgage with closing costs that are taken from the equity of her home. This would help her limit any out-of-pocket cost.

Or she could request the right to stay in the home, even though she was not a borrower on your father's reverse mortgage loan. See the HUD announcement as explained at the beginning of this page.

I am not sure if waiving her rights (like you, I am asking why she would do this...) would have a negative affect on the request but I'd encourage her to try.

Reverse Mortgage News and Announcements

Go here to learn of HUD decisions prior to this one... Best wishes,


Reverse Mortgage

By Dorothy N. from Montgomery, Alabama
Reverse Mortgage


Do you have live in the home to get a reverse mortgage loan?

My mother is staying with me because of health reasons but could really use the extra money. She only owns the one house.

I live in Alabama and her home is in Virginia.

***zz-portrait-left.shtml*** Ask Kate answers: Reverse Mortgage

Hi Dorothy,

In order to be eligible for this special financing, a borrower with a reverse mortgage must live in the home as his or her primary residence at the time of application.

But the requirement is ongoing also. So this means your mother would not be able to return to live in your home in Alabama without losing the income from the home in Virginia. Furthermore, the reverse mortgage would be called due and payable.

Reverse Mortgage Program for Home Purchase

Have you thought of this? Why doesn't she sell her home in Virginia and buy another in Alabama using the home buyer's reverse mortgage program? Go here for the details: How to Use the Reverse Mortgage for a Home Purchase.

Best wishes,

P.S. You can learn even more about reverse mortgage at... ***zzz-link-reverse-mortgage.shtml*** ***zz-sddisc-rm.shtml***

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Got questions? You are invited to ask Kate for answers. Or post a quick comment or related question by clicking the link near the bottom of this page. ***zzz-link-harp-news.shtml*** ***zz-newsletter.shtml***

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