The Real Deal Miami

Reverse mortgages gaining popularity among seniors

June 15, 2009 03:32PM

Amid the housing downturn, reverse mortgages for seniors are becoming increasingly popular. But these mortgages have high fees and require tapping into the mortgage holder’s home equity, which is not recommended for homeowners with any other alternatives, Wall Street Journal reporter Nick Timiraos told CNBC. Also, since home prices are falling, it is likely that home equity amounts are less than reverse mortgage amounts. According to the Federal Housing Administration, therefore, a homeowner would have to have no mortgage at all or a very small mortgage to be eligible for a reverse mortgage. The mortgages already have consumer protection, but John Dugan, controller of the currency, wants reverse mortgages to be more heavily regulated to make the process safer, according to CNBC’s Diana Olick.