Protecting elderly homeowners : reverse equity mortgages as a foreclosure intervention tool

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Southern New Hampshire University
Homeowners facing foreclosure by definition are short on money and vulnerable. As many homeowners face economic instability due to the "Great Recession" and have an increased need for cash flow, they become more susceptible to losing their homes due to mortgage delinquency, foreclosure, or predatory lending practices. Elderly homeowners are especially susceptible as over 684,000 homeowners age 50 and over were delinquent, in foreclosure, or lost their home. Reverse equity mortgages may be solution for elderly homeowners that will allow them to increase their cash flow while at the same time reduce the risk of them losing their homes to foreclosure. This project targeted elderly homeowners 62 years old and older who are at risk of losing their home to foreclosure in Indiana and state certified housing counselors. The project provided training to state certified housing counselors on two training curriculums. One curriculum focused on conducting reverse equity mortgage classes with elderly homeowners to raise their awareness about reverse equity mortgages. This curriculum was based on a similar structure to traditional pre-purchase housing counseling classes. The second curriculum focused on one-on-one counseling techniques and screening foreclosure clients to evaluate whether reverse equity mortgages are a viable foreclosure intervention tool. As a result of training received by state certified housing counselors, two elderly homeowners have avoided foreclosure in Indiana within two months of the training. (Author abstract)