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Resource Guide to Reverse Mortgages


A Reverse Mortgage is a type of loan for homeowners 62 years of age or older who have considerable equity in their houses. Typically, borrowers receive periodic payments, e.g., monthly, and/or have access to a line of credit and make no more mortgage payments during their lifetimes. The loan is paid off when the loan holder enters a long term care facility or dies and the house is sold.

What You Need to Know About Reverse Mortgages

Where to Report Elder Financial Abuse:

  • Consumer Scams: Contact the county office of the District Attorney—check California District Attorney's Association for current addresses and phone numbers at 916-443-2017 or www.cdaa.org.

  • Insurance Agent Complaints: Contact the State Insurance Commissioner's Office at 1-800-927-4347 or www.insurance.ca.gov. If an attorney sold the annuity, also file a complaint with the State Bar Association at 1-800-843-9053 or www.calbar.ca.gov.

  • Attorney Complaints: File a complaint with the State Bar of California if you believe your attorney acted improperly, and file complaints with state (http://www.dca.ca.gov/consumer/complaints.shtml) and local consumer protection agencies.

  • Mortgage Lenders & Brokers Complaints: If you believe that a real estate professional has committed fraud having to do with your reverse mortgage, file a complaint with the California Department of Real Estate at http://www.dre.ca.gov/consumers/WhoDoYouCall.html. Also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission online or by phone, toll–free, at 1–877–FTC–HELP.

  • Local law enforcement and county District Attorney's office - check the California District Attorney's Association for current addresses and phone numbers at 916-443-2017 or www.cdaa.org.

  • Adult Protective Services (APS) in your county by referring to California Department of Social Services Web site at http://www.cdss.ca.gov/agedblinddisabled/PG1298.htm.

  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
    Read the CFPB’s advisory on Reverse Mortgages here.
    The Bureau has questions and answers about reverse mortgages at Ask CFPB. The Bureau also has developed a consumer guide for older Americans with key facts on reverse mortgages. Consumers can submit a complaint with the CFPB about reverse mortgages through the web at consumerfinance.gov, by phone at 1-855-411-CFPB or TTY/TDD (855) 729- 2372, or by mail.

Advocate Resources:

National Consumer Law Center (http://www.nclc.org)

  • Reverse Mortgages: Spending the House, A Quick Guide for Advocates on Reverse Mortgages; Tips for Consumers on Reverse Mortgages with CD-Rom
  • Predatory Lending: STOP Predatory Lending: A Guide for Legal Advocates with CD-Rom

AARP (www.aarp.org/money/credit-loans-debt/reverse_mortgages/)

  • Home Made Money: A Consumer Guide to Reverse Mortgages and other resources on reverse mortgages

Fannie Mae (www.fanniemae.com)

  • Money from Home: A Consumer's Guide to Reverse Mortgage Options and other information on the Home Keeper Program

Housing and Urban Development (HUD): Counseling Clearinghouse
(1-800-569-4287)

Reverse Mortgage & Medi-Cal:

Medi-Cal Eligibility Manual, 9D-1 to 9 D-3

Covers loans requiring repayment, i.e., commercial, personal, Home Equity Conversion Plans (Reverse Mortgages, Deferred Payment Loan)

California Code of Regulations

Title 22 Section 50483 - Loans requiring repayment, and not school related (50533), are considered exempt as property in the month of receipt, not income.

Title 22 Section 50507(a)(2): Reverse annuity mortgages are considered annuities and treated as countable income.

Page Last Modified: February 9, 2015