WATCH: Famous televangelist gives terrible reverse mortgage advice

Let's clear this up for Maria

It’s official: Phil Hall is now the nation’s ad hoc celebrity-mortgage correspondent.

As the saying goes, it’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it.

His latest gem of a find?

Hall posts on National Mortgage Professional a YouTube clip of Televangelist Pat Robertson hurling some pretty irresponsible advice to one of his long-time viewers of “The 700 Club.”

The viewer, Maria, who no doubt holds Robertson in the highest esteem, asks for his advice on a reverse mortgage, “in what may be something of a first in both mortgage banking and Christian programming,” Hall writes.

Hall then refers to Robertson’s forthcoming advice as “not exactly correct.”

Which is to say, Robertson’s advice is wrong.

The most glaring example is when he proffers, “you don’t have to pay it off, but somebody has to pay it off, namely the United States taxpayer. So, it’s not a good deal for the taxpayers, but for most people it’s a pretty good deal.”

OK, so in Robertson’s world there is only one kind of reverse mortgage and that is the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage from the Federal Housing Administration — thus the bit about it not being a good deal for taxpayers.

Maria, if you are following Roberston’s additional advice to get an advisor, then I hope you read this before your search.

In other words, let me help you out here.

For one, is it a good idea? Yes, if you need extra money and are willing to take on a significant amount of risk. You may then ask: “why is it risky if I’m getting paid?”

Great question, Maria. The risk will come when the home is sold or no longer used as a primary residence, including in the event of your death.

It is then that the cash, interest, and other HECM finance charges must be repaid in full.  

And once that’s paid, only then do all proceeds — beyond the amount owed — belong to your spouse or estate.

So again, what’s at risk?

In short: the total amount of wealth in your legacy. In other words, how much do you need monetarily needs to be balanced with how much you wish to leave to your loved ones.

That makes a reverse mortgage one of the biggest decisions of an individual’s life.

Have more questions? Read this FAQ from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

And yes, Robertson is correct is saying you should get more advice. But the most important thing is to remember not to PAY anyone for that advice.

Maria, if the HECM is what you’re after, go to an FHA counselor, you can find one online right here.

Click to watch the video below.

FYI, it’s unlisted, which means it may be taken down at any moment, so if it doesn’t work, that’s why:

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