A reverse mortgage, also known as a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), is a type of loan that allows older homeowners (62 or older) to convert part of the equity in their homes into tax-free income. Reverse mortgages are wonderful financial tools for certain individuals; however, it is a very important financial decision. If you are considering a reverse mortgage the first step is to talk with a reverse mortgage counselor.
A case involving basketball star Caldwell Jones demonstrates the danger in having only one spouse's name on a reverse mortgage. A federal appeals court ruled that an insurance company may foreclose on a reverse mortgage after the death of the borrower, Mr. Jones, even though Mr. Jones’ widow is still living in the house. While there are protections in place for non-borrowing spouses, many spouses are still facing foreclosure and eviction.