The origins and history of reverse mortgages shows a loan product that has evolved dramatically over the last 40 years. The first reverse mortgage loan was written in 1961 by Nelson Haynes of Deering Savings & Loan (Portland, ME) to Nellie You, the widow of his high school football coach, which allowed her stay in her home despite the loss of her husband’s income.
The need for reverse mortgages was further developed in the 1970s and several private banks began offering reverse- mortgage-style loans. These programs gave seniors money for their homes but did not offer the same protections that FHA insurance offers today.
In the early 1980’s, the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging issued a report stating the need for a standardized reverse mortgage program. Additional committees followed and cited the need for FHA and uniform lending practices. In late 1987, Congress passed the FHA Insurance Bill to insure reverse mortgages. On February 5, 1988 President Ronald Reagan signed the FHA Reverse Mortgage Bill into law. In 1989 the first FHA-insured HECM was made to Marjorie Mason of Fairway, Kansas by the James B Nutter Co.
Since then, reverse mortgages have grown in popularity, especially during the mid to late 1990s. Despite economic upheaval and forward mortgage lending issues, reverse mortgages have continued to grow as a safe, government-insured program that allow seniors to access a portion of the equity in their homes while never making a payment.
I am a Residential Mortgage Planner with special emphasis and training on Reverse Mortgages. Unlike a traditional loan officer, my role is to help my clients integrate the loan that they select into their overall financial plans to help minimize taxes, improve cash flow and minimize interest expense. I help my clients successfully manage their home equity to increase liquidity, safety and rate of return.
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