The Coalition for Independent Seniors (CIS) Chairman Jeffrey Lewis and RetireSafe President Thair Phillips issued a statement in response to New York Representative Nydia Velazquez’ incorrect comments about reverse mortgages at a House of Representatives hearing last week.
In her comments, Rep. Velazquez stated, "Over the last decade the number of reverse mortgages has increased more than 1,300%. Unfortunately, this prolific increase of reverse mortgages has resulted in 61% more bankruptcies by Americans over 55.”
In responding to the comments, the statement from the CIS and RetireSafe said, "Rep. Velazquez is misinformed. The study she referenced dealt with bankruptcies with a reference to the connection of foreclosures to a person’s economic problems. The report did cite directly the problems of sub-prime loans among other possible causes for the age increase in bankruptcies but made NO reference or inference that reverse mortgages had anything to do with the increase. Making the jump to blaming reverse mortgages for a perceived problem with the financial wellbeing of older Americans is not only incorrect but is disingenuous.
“It is unfair and wrong for Rep. Velazquez’ to use misinformation as the basis to limit the choices of this ‘greatest generation.’ Older Americans deserve the benefits of a reverse mortgage as they seek to age in place and stay in their house. Rep. Velazquez shouldn't be misrepresenting her constituents in this way."