You have done some preliminary research and have decided to take the next step in determining if the FHA insured Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) is right for you.

Reverse Mortgage Counseling is required.

The counseling must be provided by an FHA approved HUD Counseling agency and is intended to provide consumer protection and confidence. It is required that you be provided a list of at least 10 HUD Approved counseling agencies prior to your counseling session You can obtain that list either from the Loan Officer you have already decided to use to assist you with your loan, or you can use the links on our resource page to obtain one.

Your counseling appointment can either be done over the telephone or in person. You can include as many family members, friends or trusted advisors at the appointment as you wish.

Counseling fees can vary by Agency, but generally cost around $125.00. You may also qualify for a “fee waiver” based on your financial circumstances. If you think you may qualify, make sure to request that at the time you call to schedule an appointment.

Counseling Agencies and your Loan Officer/Lender are to have “arms-length” relationship, meaning that you are not to be “steered” to a particular Counseling Agency. Be suspicious of Loan Officers “recommending” their “favorite counselor or agency.

Payment of your counseling fee is typically requested to be paid by credit card at the beginning of your counseling appointment. If this is not possible, in addition to the “waiver” you can also request that they defer the payment and have it paid through the loan proceeds. Agencies are not required to do this, so if this is an important component of the process for you, shop around until you find an willing agency. Be aware, this is not the same as “waiving the fee”, as if you fail to close a loan, the counseling agency will be contacting you for payment.

You can expect that the counseling session will take up to 90 minutes but can vary based on your personal needs.

After the session is completed, you will receive by mail, 3 original Reverse Mortgage Counseling Certificates signed by the counselor. If you decide to proceed with the loan you will need to provide one of the original certificates to your Loan Officer at the time of application.

The counseling agency can also fax a copy to you or your Lender, but the Lender will need the original to proceed.

You have up to 6 months to use the Certificate.

Seniority has its privileges…Contact Becky Smith (800-935-3639) and use her expertise to help you determine if a Reverse Mortgage is right for you.