Regardless of age, we are all vulnerable to scams, as those seeking to take advantage of us have become very good at making things look legitimate. This is particularly the case when it comes to reverse mortgage scams that are ripping off a large percentage of individuals age sixty-two (62) and older.
A reverse mortgage, also known as a home equity conversion mortgage (HECM), is a type of loan that pays the borrower monthly payments. To qualify for a reverse mortgage, the applicant must (1) be age 62 or older; (2) own or have substantial equity in the home; and (3) uses the home as a principal place of residence. The borrower is still responsible for paying taxes on the home as well as homeowners’ insurance.
What to Watch Out For
Many lenders are aggressive in their tactics to get people to apply for and obtain a reverse mortgage. A person interested in getting a reverse mortgage may find something online, receive something in the mail, or receive a sales phone call with the claims that a reverse mortgage is essentially free money. The requirements of the loan are sometimes not made clear to those interested.
For example, someone who receives a reverse mortgage may not know that the loan must be repaid at the time the homeowner passes away, at the time the home is sold or transferred to another person, or at the time when the homeowner moves, changing his or her principal place of residence. If a homeowner moves but still owns the home, he or she is at risk for losing the home for failure to pay the reverse mortgage back.
Additionally, scammers may represent to applicants that there is little or no interest, and this is simply not the case. Speaking with an attorney can help to shed light on reverse mortgages to ensure you or a loved one is not the victim of financial fraud, which is a form of elder abuse.
Contact Giro Elder Law Today to Speak with Our New Jersey Elder Law Attorneys
Elder abuse is not limited to physical or mental harm that often occurs when an elderly individual relies on another person to get by from day to day. Financial fraud is another form of elder abuse that is becoming more and more common. If you would like to discuss potential fraud or any other elder law matter with a skilled New Jersey Elder Law Attorney, contact Giro Elder Law today by calling (201) 690-1642.