AgentMortgage

Reverse mortgage safeguards overwhelm consumers

With more choices come more trade-offs

I've always been one of those calloused individuals who subscribed to the theory that environmental hazards simply rotated every year on a secret list held by home inspectors. That list flip-flopped from radon, to lead-based paint, to urea formaldehyde insulation, to asbestos popcorn ceilings and then back to radon. Given the number of needed safeguards and cautions included in latest report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on reverse mortgages, I'm starting to think a similar rotation holds true for reverse mortgages, which are already the most scrutinized financial vehicle offered to the American consumer. First there was the fear of extremely high reverse mortgage fees. Then came a stern caution about buying an annuity with reverse mortgage funds, followed by the "trailing spouse" issue, followed by a reminder to pay taxes and insurance. Now, we're back to high fees. Reverse mortgage funds can be distributed either in a lump sum, regular mon...