HUD lifts cap on senior-citizen reverse mortgages

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Federal legislators are divided on numerous topics in the nation's capitol, but expanding the possibilities for senior citizens to live more comfortably is not one of them. Members from both sides of the aisle are finally seeing the light on reverse mortgages, the once-controversial program that allows seniors to draw from the equity in their home without making payments or outliving their home's value. The first step was the recent passage of the Reverse Mortgage to Help America's Seniors Act by the U.S. House of Representatives, eliminating the cap on the number of reverse mortgages that can be insured by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The bill, sponsored by Reps. Michael Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., and Jim Matheson, D-Utah, amends the National Housing Act by removing the existing cap of 250,000 reverse mortgages that HUD can insure at any given time. Right now, there are about 150,000 Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) loans outstanding, according to the National Rever...