Senior dilemma: lots of equity, little income

How older homeowners can stay current on mortgage, taxes

A common problem among aged homeowners is that they no longer have the income to service their mortgage, and don't have a good way to convert the substantial equity in their house into cash flow. The case below is typical. "I am a 67-year-old widow with a mortgage of $414,000 on a house valued at $1.25 million. I can no longer afford the mortgage payment and property taxes, but the lender will not discuss modifying my loan contract until I am behind three payments. I don't want to destroy my credit, and have been borrowing from family to stay current. Is there anything else I can do?" Assuming she wants to remain in the house, a reverse mortgage is the best solution to this problem. A reverse mortgage would allow her to convert the existing mortgage with its accompanying payment obligation into a reverse mortgage with no required monthly payments. Unfortunately, the loan limit on FHA's Home Equity Conversion Mortgage is not high enough to help this borrower, and t...