Should Both Spouses Be Listed on a Reverse Mortgage?

December 10, 2018
Couple with house

When purchasing a reverse mortgage, it is always safer to put both spouse's names on the mortgage. A reverse mortgage allows homeowners to use the equity in their home to take out a loan, but borrowers must be 62 years or older to qualify for this type of mortgage. If one spouse is under age 62, the younger spouse must be left off the loan in order for the couple to qualify for a reverse mortgage.

The problem this creates is that if only one spouse's name was on the mortgage and that spouse dies, the surviving spouse is required to either repay the loan in full or face eviction. In order to protect non-borrowing spouses, the federal government revised its guidelines for reverse mortgages taken out after August 4, 2014 to allow spouses to stay in the house as long as they meet certain criteria, including proving ownership within 90 days of the borrower’s death. However, the list of criteria, can be difficult to meet and end up not protecting the non-borrowing spouse as was legislatively intended.

If you have a reverse mortgage with only one spouse on it, contact an elder law attorney like Stouffer Legal at 443-470-3599 for guidance to ensure protections against future foreclosure.

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