One common misperception of reverse mortgages is that prospective borrowers can qualify for an amount equal to the value of their home, or at least the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan limit. The actual reverse mortgage amount is substantially less than both those numbers, ensuring that there will likely be sufficient equity left in the home when the loan comes due. This cushion between the value of the home and actual loan amount has become a hot topic, especially for seniors who have been deferring their property tax payments in housing markets that continue to go downhill. For example, last year the Oregon Legislature passed several changes to its property tax deferral program, including the elimination of any tax deferral if the homeowner has a reverse mortgage. The consensus was that since the deferred taxes were paid by the state until the home seller died or moved away, not enough money would be left over after the reverse mortgage was satisfied to pay thos...
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