Chicago Tribune: Is it Wise to go with a Reverse Mortgage?

A housing attorney provided answers to two reverse mortgage questions in a Chicago Tribune column published this week. Seeking answers on whether a reverse mortgage is the right option for a retired widow in good health on a fixed income and what happens when someone is added to a home title after the reverse mortgage is done, readers wrote to the Tribune and got answers from housing counsel Benny Kass.

One reader writes:

“My mother is 75 (widowed) and in reasonably good health with the attendant financial issues of living on a fixed income. …My sister (age 54) lives with her and is disabled due to multiple sclerosis. …I would love for my mother to take advantage of a reverse mortgage, but what are the options when she passes? What options would I have for my sister? Is there is any way for her to stay in the home?

Kass responds by saying that the sister may be able to get her own reverse mortgage when she becomes eligible at age 62, but that there are other questions to be addressed, such as who will be the inheritor of the home, and is it wise for the sister to remain living there.

“There are many questions that you should start asking and getting answers to as soon as possible,” he writes.

Responding to the question of a reverse mortgage where a person is added to the home title through a quitclaim deed in a tenancy in common, Kass says the reverse mortgage takes first position and the new party is out of luck.

Read the original Chicago Tribune article.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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