The estimates for the new roof have come in between 10 and $13,000. My mom does not have the funds in any of her sources to pay for this. And there seems to be no financing options that will touch a reverse mortgage. And a couple of county programs that have grants won’t lend on reverse mortgages either. We are struggling with what’s best- Pay roof with credit card and sell house and pay off debt? Or Keep her in home and help her pay the credit card Off? Obviously we are concerned about her getting qualified for Medicaid possibly in the future so we want to make the right decision for her now.

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Slodown, I'm not sure this could be done, but it's worth a try.  Since Florida is a retiree's haven, there might be some programs at the state level that could offer help, w/o requiring a loan.     Is the roof in such a state that it could cause the house to become unlivable b/c of rain and/or storm damage?   

You might contact Florida state agencies to see if there are emergency grants, or something similar.    You'd probably have to do some research, but you never know when you might find something valuable.

The city in which I live used to get HUD grants for emergency repairs; they were awarded on a fiscal year basis, with funds becoming available in July.   I don't know if these grants still exist, but it's worth exploring.

I found a few Florida agencies to try:

Given that Florida is subject to hurricanes, this division may have something to offer.   Roofs blown off houses would I think be something that would challenge an elder's safety, very quickly!   Connects elders with services.

Area Agencies on Aging in Florida, and contact number for helpline.

There are more:

If you can't use that URL, google "Florida, state agency for aged."

You might be surprised what you can find.   

There are also charities that help with repairs.  I've been told Habitat for Humanity does; personally I found the local offices to be uninformed, but Florida is a retiree's state so they might be different there.

This is a long shot, but might be worth a try:   tradesmen schools.  I don't know if roofing requires specific training other than on the job, but if there's a training school for roofers, it might take the project as a course for trainees. 

Personally I think this would be  a great solution, as it would help not only you and your mother but also the young men and women learning to be roofers.   I don't know for a fact, but I suspect that some suppliers might give discounts to trade schools.   

Maybe labor unions are affiliated with training schools as well; it's worth exploring.
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Slodown Jul 2020
Thank you for your suggestions. I will check them out
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If this is because of damage to the roof from a storm it is possible that the Homeowners Insurance Policy might cover a portion or all of it.
But if this is just due to age of the roof then it would be an "out of pocket expense"
If it is getting more than mom can handle I would seriously consider selling the house and moving her to a place that is accessible and lower/no maintenance. Repairs continue to build and the older the house the more repairs.
If the credit card can be paid off rapidly (1 or 2 months) that might be the way to go but longer than that the interest will build faster than they can get the roof on (slight exaggeration there) but with some cards at 20% interest it can cost a lot to borrow that way.
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Slodown, before you or mom spend a penny, I’d suggest that y’all review the RM agreement in detail. Most have a clause regarding owner’s responsibility on paying property taxes & insurance, keeping up property and having it safe & secure; AND if not the RM can “call in” the loan. By call in, it means RM will send a notice that she’s in default on terms & either stuff gets fixed in short order or RM will step in, take it over, so she will need to leave. RMs aren’t like a traditional mortgage where they are likely to try to work with you to keep a foreclosure from happening; RMs need owners gone & the sooner the better.

So the roof repair situation, does the RM know about this?
& is the damage obvious? Like if someone did a drive buy....
was there a hail storm or tornado in the area.?, so insurers & lenders are aware that properties in the area are likely to have damage? Was an insurance claim filed?
is it more roof is ancient and it’s needing repairs / replacement & mom has delayed maintenance on her place on roof & other stuff as well?

If it’s the former, personally imo its a waste of time & $ to do anything on the house. RM probably aware of damage and just biding time to call in the loan.
RMs aren’t designed to be paid off by the borrowers or thier family or heirs. It’s debt that has to be repaid and will have interest, fees and whatever else the RM can tack on. It can be way more than the property is worth.... especially if she’s had the RM for quite a while.... as that interest is happening every month on the debt. For the RM lender that’s ok cause if it’s a federal HUD backed RM, the feds make up whatever the difference is.
The good part abt RMs is that it’s highly unlikely to be any $ to her from the RM co when they eventually sell it, so she will have no windfall of $ from when RM sells house to be a spend down problem for LTC. Medicaid

If it the latter, well Your moms 87, is she at all likely to live on her own in the house another 5-8-10 years? So it makes sense for family to pay for roof for her? And whatever else she needs done on the place? If not and she’s kinda at the point of needing a facility, I’d suggest you get her evaluated for level of care needed - and then get her into a facility ASAP. Certify mail the keys to the RM.
At 87, I’d try to get her ok for a SNF/NH, as you can find a SNF that takes LTC Medicaid. LTC Medicaid for AL or MC, may or may not be an option as states decide if they want to use Medicaid $ for AL or MC.

RMs are flat not designed to be in the old owners favor.
RM is secured lending on the property and it’s why she can’t get anyone to consider lending her $. The roofing repair guys know they can’t place a workmans lien on it as the RM will make it impossible for roofing Co to ever get $ from the eventual property sale. So anything is cash up front.
If you pay for the roof for her, don’t expect to be repaid when later on the place sells, as she’s not likely to get any $ back.
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igloo572 Jul 2020
Also really look in detail as to what the full amount the RM comes to like for end of June or July. Not just the amt of $ that she borrowed initially. But look at what the interest and all fees will come to should she want to pay it off say in August. If she’s getting RM statement, it may not actually have close out estimated costs.

There may not be $20k - $40k back to her.

I’ll hazard a guess that there will be all sorts of close out costs on the RM. & it’s gonna get put into being owners debt & added cost to RM. Like a fresh property inspection, an appraisal, a title co search to see if anything happened since RM done eons ago. And the RM is going to have their very own list of who does all this. So it might not be $400 property inspection that you could book but $1800 inspection. RMs kinda wanna for loan to go beyond the $ they can recoup from a sale as RM gets $ guaranteed from HUD.

You don’t want to be planning on mom getting back 20k, when theres not realistically a chance of it ever happening.

the only way I - imho- see an RM ever working for real $$$ in property owners favor, is if it was done as a LOC / line of credit RM (fixed & much lower interest than a monthly draw RM or lump sum paid RM), done when interest % rate was low, and owner never drew the whole LOC amount AND most critically that property had a beyond huge increase in value & shows it on tax assessor rolls. Like loan was 100k on 175k appraised home, but only 83k drawn & now in 2020 property worth 350k-400k as per tax assessor collector.

please try to find out just what the close out / repay RM comes to. If there not $ coming back, think about having mom cut her losses and she (you) gets her stuff out of the place, finds a new senior ADA friendly living situation she can rent & can afford (as it kinda sounds like she’s too fit & cognitive for a NH or even AL), and she (you) certify mail the RM the keys, and that old house needing a new roof, & heaven knows what else is lurking, is now the RMs problem.

Sometimes you gotta just flat cut your losses. The RM marketing make it look all fabulou$ & carefree $. But they are not designed for the owner or heirs to ever easily get the property.
So, this over-arching issue here is that mom can no longer afford to live in her home.

What are her options for moving to some place that is within her income limits? Is she in need of care? Is she on Community Medicaid?
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Slodown Jul 2020
She can afford to live there now. Her monthly income from SSA and pension allows her to keep up with her monthly expenses. She’s been thinking of selling because the house is too big for her any longer and when things like this happen she doesn’t have Alot of extra money or options. If we sell she will have possibly $20k-$40k after she pays off the reverse mortgage and any loan and if she does not sell putting $10k-$13k on an unsecured credit line will mean payments that will leave her with more going out than coming in. That is unless we take on some nonessential bills like lawncare, etc. I’m just not sure if it’s better for her to stay living there or if she would be better off without all the headaches and gets into an affordable apt. One that she can use the extra money to help pay. She does Not need any medical care at this time.
I'm assuming the reverse mortgage has been fully drawn down on and there are no funds left?
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Slodown Jun 2020
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