Reverse mortgage halts senior’s foreclosure

Home-loan option creates financial flexibility

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Marjorie Bristow had heard about a reverse mortgage years ago but the part-time pottery specialist, 76, had no idea the financing option for older homeowners would be the answer to her property problems. "It's a long, hairy story but this thing really bailed me out," said Bristow of the reverse mortgage that allowed her to stay on the curious, 2-acre parcel four miles west of the popular banana-belt town. "Just how much time do you have to listen?" The reverse mortgage is aptly named because the payment stream is "reversed." Most of the time, instead of making monthly payments to a lender (as with a regular first mortgage or home-equity loan) a lender makes payments to the consumer. But unlike a traditional home-equity loan or second mortgage, no repayment is required until the borrower no longer uses the home as his/her principal residence. You do not need to repay the loan as long as you (or one of the borrowers) continue to live in the house and keep the taxes and insurance curren...