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(Updated September 2014)

A reverse mortgage can provide cash to homeowners who do not want to move but would like to tap the equity in their home by allowing senior citizens to borrow against the equity, but they can pose risks to homeowners. This page includes articles, books and websites relating to reverse mortgages. Books can be borrowed through the Information Central library by clicking on the book title. (D. McCormick, Operations Analyst)

E - EBSCO articles available for NAR members only. Password can be found on the EBSCO Access Information page.

Reverse Mortgage

Photo credit: www.aag.com/retirement-reverse-mortgage-pictures

Why Should You Avoid a Reverse Mortgage?

  • Fees are high
  • Interest rates are high
  • Heirs may not get the house
  • Loan repayment triggered on move
  • Responsible for home costs

Source: 5 reasons to avoid a reverse mortgage, (US News & World Report, Money, Dec. 11, 2012).

Reverse Mortgage General Information

Reverse isn’t the ‘loan of last resort’ anymore, (Mortgage Professional America, Sept. 24, 2014).

Reverse mortgages must be understood to avoid regrets, (The Washington Post, Sept. 23, 2014).

FHA warns about deceptive reverse-mortgage marketing, (Mortgage Banking, Aug. 2014). Q

Reverse Mortgage Functionality, (Realty Times, July 4, 2014).

5 Things to Know About a Reverse Mortgage, (Fox Business News, May 9, 2014).

Lenders Seek Niche in Reverse Mortgage for Empty Nesters, (National Mortgage News, May 5, 2014). Q

A Guide to Reverse Mortgages, (U.S. News & World Report, Apr. 17, 2014).

Basics of reverse mortgages, (Bankrate.com, 2013).

Frequently asked questions about HUD’s reverse mortgages, (HUD.gov, 2013).

Reverse mortgage overview, (Fannie Mae, 2013).

What is a reverse mortgage?, (About.com, 2013).

The walls are closing in on reverse mortgages, some find, (National Mortgage News, Oct. 28, 2013). Q

Is a Reverse Mortgage Right for You?, (HouseLogic.com, Oct. 9, 2013).

FHA puts new limits on reverse mortgage program for seniors, (Los Angeles Times, Sept. 13, 2013).

New hurdles for reverse-mortgage seekers, (MarketWatch, Sept. 10, 2013).

Tighter rules will make it harder to get a reverse mortgage, (New York Times, Sept. 6, 2013).

Tighter rules for reverse mortgages, (Wall Street Journal, Aug. 25, 2013).

5 must-know facts about reverse mortgages, (Dailyfinance.com, June 21, 2013).

Reverse mortgages backfiring on some seniors, (CNBC.com, June 4, 2013).

Reverse mortgage payoff mechanics and HECM purchases (webinar playback), (National Association of REALTORS®, June 28, 2012).

What to make of reverse mortgages?, (Speaking of Real Estate Blog - National Association of REALTORS®, June 7, 2012).

Reverse mortgages don't always work, (USA Today, Sept. 12, 2011).

Design and Testing of Truth in Lending Disclosure for Reverse Mortgages, (Study for Federal Reserve, July 2010).

Don't get stuck in reverse!, (ABA Banking Journal, Aug. 2009). Q

The Pros and Cons of Reverse Mortgages, (Time, July 20, 2009).

Reverse Mortgage Myths, (Credit Union Management, June 2009). Q

Housing Counselors: How to Help People Avoid Reverse Mortgage Missteps, (Federal Trade Commission, June 2009).

Seniors Only: Surviving the economic Crisis with a Reverse Mortgage, (Realty Times, May 26, 2009).

Reverse Mortgages: Get the Facts Before Cashing in on Your Home's Equity, (Federal Trade Commission, Apr. 2009).

Crisis Has Long-Term Reverse Mortgage Impact, (Realty Times, Mar. 24, 2009).

Reverse Mortgage Disadvantages

Reverse mortgage disadvantages and advantages, (NewRetirement.com, Apr. 23, 2014).

Pitfalls of Reverse Mortgages May Pass to Borrower’s Heirs, (New York Times, Mar. 26, 2014).

Reverse Mortgage Disadvantages: 5 Things to Look Out For, (Udemy Blog, Mar. 11, 2014).

Advantages and disadvantages of a reverse mortgage, (NewRetirement.com, 2013).

Reverse mortgage disadvantages, (Lender411.com, Aug. 10, 2013).

The 4 Most Common Mistakes Made When Seeking a Reverse Mortgage, (HouseLogic.com, Nov. 4, 2013).

Disadvantage of a Reverse Mortgage, (Global Post, Oct. 18, 2013).

What to tell grandma: disadvantages of doing a reverse mortgage, (PT Money, May 13, 2013).

Top 10 reverse mortgage disadvantages that might make you reconsider, (CrockTock.com, Mar. 8, 2013).

Disadvantages of reverse mortgages, (ReadyForZero.com, Jan. 24, 2013).

Senior homeowners warned of risks of reverse mortgages, (ABC News, Dec. 5, 2012).

The 10 must-know facts about the advantages and disadvantages of reverse mortgage loans, (Property Observer, Nov. 27, 2012).

The hidden truths about reverse mortgages, (Forbes, July 23, 2012).

Reverse Mortgage Organizations

National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association — NRMLA is the national voice of the reverse mortgage industry, serving as an educational resource, policy advocate and public affairs center for lenders and related professionals. NRMLA was established in 1997 to enhance the professionalism of the reverse mortgage business. Our mission is to educate consumers about the pros and cons of reverse mortgages, to train lenders to be sensitive to clients' needs, to enforce our Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility, and to advise policy makers on reverse mortgage issues.

1400 16th St, NW, Ste 420
Washington, D.C. 20036
Tel. 202-939-1760

Reverse Mortgage Counseling Association — RMCA will be the premier counseling association for the reverse mortgage industry, providing a unified voice for the counseling community, the tools and resources for counseling providers, and a sustainable funding mechanism to support high quality counseling.

Tel. 866-226-8215

Websites & Contacts

What is a Reverse Mortgage?, (National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association, 2013).

Reverse Mortgages for Seniors, (U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development).

AARP: Reverse Mortgage Website, (American Association of Retired Persons).

eBooks & Other Resources


The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

The Complete Guide to Reverse Mortgages (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

The Mortgage Answer Book (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Reverse Mortgages for Dummies® (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Information Central. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Information Central at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

Housing the Elderly, (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University/Center for Urban Policy Research, 1987). HD 7287.9 R93h

The new reverse mortgage formula: How to convert home equity into tax-free income, (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2005). HG 2051 K29

Options for elderly homeowners: a guide to reverse mortgages and their alternatives, (Washington, DC: Department of Housing and Urban Development, 1989). HD 7287.9 Un3p

Pocket idiot’s guide to reverse mortgages, (Indianapolis, IN: Alpha, 2005). HG 2040.5 P76

Reverse mortgage handbook: A consumer's guide for senior homeowners, (Kissimmee, FL: Jawbone Publishing Corporation, 2004). HG 2051 B21

Reverse Mortgages for Beginners: A Consumer Guide to Every Homeowner's Retirement Nest Egg, (Apple Valley, MN: National Center for Home Equity Conversion, 1998). HG 2051 Sch6r

Reverse mortgages for dummies, (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2005). HG 2051 L99r

Reverse mortgages for senior homeowners, (Dearborn Real Estate Education, 2003). HD 7287.9 L13

Your New Retirement Nest Egg: A Consumer Guide to the New Reverse Mortgages, (Apple Valley, MN: National Center for Home Equity Conversion, 1996). HG 2051 Sch6y

Retirement Income on the House: Cashing in on Your Home with a Reverse Mortgage, (Marshall, MN: National Center for Home Equity Conversion, 1992). HG 2051 Sch6

Field Guides & More

These field guides and other resources in the Virtual Library may also be of interest:

Field Guide to Getting a Mortgage

Field Guide to Mortgage Interest Deduction

InfoCentral Blog

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The inclusion of links on this field guide does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this field guide complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.