A reverse mortgage or home equity conversion mortgage (HECM) is a type of home loan for older homeowners (62 years or older) that requires no monthly mortgage payments. This is an FHA insured loan. A reverse mortgage allows those who are at least 62 years of age, or older, to pay off a forward mortgage or use the equity in their home for other purposes. In general terms, a borrower needs at least 40 to 50% in equity to be able to purchase or refinance with a reverse mortgage.
The amount varies depending on the age of the borrowers. Those who qualify can get a lump sum of cash, a monthly income, a line-of-credit, or a combination of those things. Owners retain title to the property. No repayment is required as long as the borrower lives in the property. In the event of death, heirs are responsible to pay off the lower of the loan balance or sales price of the home.