Question: My husband got a reverse mortgage on our home 3 years ago.  At the time, I was under the age limit of 62, and was not part of the loan.  He recently passed away.  Will the reverse mortgage company force me to sell my house?

Answer: Due to an age limit for reverse mortgage borrowers (62 years old), many couples find themselves on both sides of the age threshold.  In such cases, lenders use only the older spouse as the borrower.  Leaving you off the loan didn’t seem like a problem, but now is causing you anxiety.

Fortunately, reverse mortgage loans, underwritten after August 4, 2014, allow surviving non-borrower spouses, like yourself, to remain in the home.

Some limitations and responsibilities include: 1) surviving spouses must continue to pay property taxes and insurance premiums; 2) marriages established after the loan are not protected; 3) surviving spouses can no longer take disbursements from reverse mortgage equity lines.  (though experts believe equity lines will be tapped dry in the days before the borrowing spouse’s death.)

Attorney James Haroutunian practices real estate, estate planning and business law in Billerica at his new office location: 790 Boston Rd and can be reached with questions at 978-671-0711, hlawoffice.com, prioritylaw.com, or via email: James@hlawoffice.com.  

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