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What Is HUD Approval Counseling?

The decision to get a reverse mortgage is an important one. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) want to ensure you are able to make an informed decision and that you are able to choose a course of action that will meet your needs. For this reason, housing counseling for HUD’s Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) is required.

See HUD's "Preparing for Your Counseling Session" document for more information about what is covered in the required counceling session. Questions about reverse mortgage counceling? Contact us for straight answers.

Reverse mortgages are designed for an older audience who are often on fixed incomes and involves what is usually everyone’s most valuable asset—their home—government and the reverse mortgage industry want to make sure you have all the information you need to make the right decision. A counseling session can take place either face-to-face or by telephone. Counselors have been trained to deliver the required information either way. The session should generally last 90 minutes but can take longer as needed.

At ShouldIReverseMortgage.com, we're not permitted to direct you to a specific counselor or counseling agency. Instead, we'll help provide a list of counselors, including local agencies and national intermediaries who are selected by HUD to provide counseling by telephone across the country.

It usually takes about one to ten business days from the time you place the call to the counseling agency to get your appointment.

Reverse mortgage counseling is not therapeutic or psychological counseling. It is most comparable to tutoring, extra help in understanding something that can seem complicated due to all the details. The counselor will go over much of the same information provided to you by a lender.

A counselor will:

  • Explain a reverse mortgage to you
  • Explain the various reverse mortgage product options
  • Explain the costs
  • Utilize a Financial Interview Tool (FIT) to help you determine if you can afford a reverse mortgage and meet your financial obligations, such as paying your taxes and insurance
  • Draw your attention to alternative options that might be available to you, such as property tax deferral programs
  • See if you might be eligible for grant money or other financial assistance by utilizing BenefitsCheckup, a tool for identifying services, such as housing assistance, tax deferral programs, home repair grants or loans, food stamps, fuel assistance, social services or healthcare
  • Explain the consequences affecting the prospective borrower’s eligibility under state or federal programs and the impact on the estate or your heirs
  • Review the loan comparisons provided to you by the lender as well as the Total Annual Loan Cost disclosure

When you complete the session, both the counselor and you will sign a counseling certificate verifying you have fulfilled this requirement.

Find out if a reverse mortgage is right for you.

Reverse mortgages are available to most homeowners that are 62 years of age or older with equity in their home. To find out if you qualify or to get your questions answered, please contact us for a no-obligation, no-pressure consultation. We're local mortgage professionals that provide straight and honest answers without the hard sell.

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