Another attractive feature of a reverse mortgage is that all incoming funds are not taxable. This is because reverse mortgages are considered loan proceeds, not taxable income. We recommend consulting a tax advisor before making any tax-related decisions regarding your reverse mortgage loan.
The reverse mortgage loan is insured by the federal government. With federal insurance comes greater security. If the loan ends up amounting to more than the value of the home when sold, government insurance will cover the difference. This means that the loan will be paid in full using only the proceeds your home sells for, and no more.
Each individual senior has different needs. Thus, there are different disbursement options to cover different needs. This includes the choice to receive funds in a full or partial sum, a line of credit, monthly payments, or a combination of any of these.
Government benefit programs that do not test financial resources, such as Social Security and Medicare, are not affected by reverse mortgages. Reverse mortgages are considered loan proceeds and not income. Do note, however, that income awards such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income may be affected.
In 2014, HUD announced new rules regarding non-borrowing spouses for loans closed after August 4, 2014, which will allow a non-borrowing spouse to remain in the home even after their borrowing spouse has passed.
To protect the consumer, federal law requires the potential borrower to receive pre-loan financial counseling by a HUD-approved counseling agency. The potential borrower is therefore able to receive financial counseling from an unbiased, independent advisor.
HUD mandated that the FHA-insured reverse mortgage is a non-recourse loan. This means that the property is the only collateral that can be taken to pay back the loan. There is no personal liability on the borrower’s part. This protects the borrower from owing on a loan that costs more than the house is worth when sold.