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Fearing default, reverse mortgage a last resort

Son's illness puts squeeze on finances
Published on Feb 9, 2009

DEAR BENNY: My mother has a mortgage for about $26,000. Her home is worth considerably more (how much I'm not sure), but given today's housing market the value has probably declined. I do know that the terms of the loan are such that she's paying only the interest monthly -- she's not paying down the principal. If she defaults on the loan, can the bank compel her to sell her home? Would they be entitled to the $26,000 plus fees? And if so, any idea what those fees would be? What options does she have regarding a different loan or repayment schedule? She's 75 and lives with my brother who has diabetes and for the time being is sick and will be on disability -- so his income will be less than it has been (and may at some point disappear altogether). She has been able to pay only the bills with her Social Security; his income bought consumables like groceries and gas. I'm worried about her ability to pay her debts as well as have money to live without the possibility of her d...

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