Oregonians Make Case for Tax Deferrals and Reverse Mortgages

Reverse mortgage borrowers in Oregon who were recently cut from the state’s senior tax deferral program made a case in court this week for keeping both the ability to partake of tax deferral benefits while simultaneously having a reverse mortgage.

Of the more than 5,000 homeowners who were terminated from the tax deferral program in late 2011, a third have reverse mortgages.

Testimony given before member’s of Oregon’s House Revenue Committee included support from roughly 50 former tax deferral program participants, according to local reports.

The hearing marked the first time lawmakers have heard directly from seniors formerly in the program who were dropped as a result of having reverse mortgages.

“Committee members seemed unfazed,” wrote Alliance of Vulnerable Homeowners co-founder David Raphael in an Oregonian op-ed this week. “…they have not budged from their original threats to do away with the program entirely.”

“With the 2012 legislative session about to start, a coalition of advocacy groups is calling on the Revenue Committee to do the right thing: Immediately reinstate all participants with reverse mortgages and other low-income participants who were disqualified last year because of changes in the law,” Raphael wrote. “Adequate funding is available to make this correction without jeopardizing the program’s solvency.”

Another hearing is set for February 3 before the state’s House Committee on Revenue.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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