Reverse Mortgages [Petition for FHA & Other FHA refusals]
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Sun, 30 Mar 2014 08:39:14 -0700 (PDT)
On Mar 29, 2014, at 8:33 PM, David L. Mandel <dlmandel [at]> wrote:

> P The lender comes to own the house after the borrower's death only if the 
> heirs fail to take responsibility for it by paying off the loan and either 
> moving in or selling the unit. But that's no different from what happens when 
> a co-houser with a regular mortgage dies. In fact it's less likely to happen 
> because with a reverse mortgage, the most heirs owe is 95 percent of the 
> current value of the property, while in the case of an underwater regular 
> mortgage, heirs would be more likely to simply walk away, leaving the lender 
> to deal with it.

A few years ago the intake people at a full service retirement community, 
explained to me that that is how they handle situations where a resident 
outlives their money. First they move them to a smaller unit; then They work 
with them on any subsidies the person may be eligible for. Then places liens 
against their savings/investments. Rather than depleting their capital, they 
are encouraged to apply for help early. 

The principle is similar to a reverse mortgage but since the unit is not owned 
by the resident, the lien is against savings.

There has long been an desire to have some kind of support for community 
members in need. This was particularly strong during the recession when 
non-profits were closing right and left. Many of our residents work for 
non-profits that are think tanks (policy wonks) or social benefit 
organizations. Others were asked to take salary cuts of 10%. In one household 
that came to a 20% cut in income.

My concern about this is means testing. People have widely varying perceptions 
of their ability to pay and their "necessary" expenses. But how would we do 
means testing on neighbors and friends?

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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