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We live in Maryland. My father in law did a reverse mortgage on his house while he was diagnose with dementia and Alzheimer. Can this be undone? Anyone know a good lawyer that can help?

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I am reading through this. Both sides. Scam or helpful? Well, my dad was a victim of elder fraud. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer's 3 years before the RM. his daughter had him sign a POA and she is a mortgage officer/underwriter/processor since 1985. She took all the money and he financially suffered greatly until his death last month. She was arrested and admitted to taking 100% of the funds but with a 3 year statute of limitation on felonies in Missouri she is scott free. The bank, PA, attorney general, no one will touch this case. I have proved without a shadow of doubt along with a signed affidavit from his physician he was mentally incompetent. Did he pass the test that I hear so many of you speak of. Yes he did. And what a ridiculous test given by an individual with zero medical knowledge with only 10 questions where you can miss 4 of them. One question should be, do you have any medical disabilities as to which an elder could not receive this loan and there should be medical proof they are of sound mind and body to proceed with loan. The test was taken over the phone so there is no assuredy he was the one answering. Did he sign? Of course he did. He did whatever you said to do, he had Alzheimer's and he tried to act like he understood what was going on. It went as far as his physician calling senior abuse hotline on my sister for a state investigation where they had the POA removed. If there is an actual POA and the borrower is deemed mentally incompetent then a physicians letter must be presented to the bank. But the bank is big and powerful and the test taker does what ever to get this loan. There are not enough governing laws for this type of loan to protect our parents. I believe RM is the biggest mistake ever. Period. Can I provide for my dad, did I want to save his house, this is not about children's gains unless you are the one stealing from the RM.
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What is so terrible about a reverse mortgage? In some cases, It can be a wonderful way for the elderly - without much income - to take advantage of the equity in their home. Unless he/she spends it all in an outrageous lifestyle change, it should be a boon to the elderly to have significant funds at their disposal, and unless all spent, there should be enough funds left to re-buy the bank's stake it in.
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My Mom diagnosed with dementia in 2014 and a Public Guardianship was appointed. Two years later, they applied for a reverse mortgage. The loan was approved in February, 2016 and in April she was put in a skilled home nursing facility. I believe it was done intentionally. Now they are petitioning to sell the house and are under valuing the property by 125,000. What can I do?
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There are pro and con regarding reverse mortgage. Fonzie and Robert Wagner makes it sound so good, and in part it is, but right now my boss is dealing with the end result of a reverse mortgage.

My boss's wife past away last week and since she was loan holder on the reverse mortgage and not her husband, even though he inherited the home he now has 30 days to decide what to do according to how this reverse mortgage was written... he has to either pay back the *mortgage* or sell the house within 6 months or the house will go into foreclosure.

My boss is heartsick over his wife's passing, and now he feels he will be out on the street within months. Same would have happened if the house was Will to the grown children, they would either have to pay back the mortgage or sell the house. The home will sell quickly so he is frantically looking for a new place to live.
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If the elder was on Medicaid, then the Medicaid Estate Recovery Program (MERP) will place a claim or a lien on any assets in the estate. All states are required to do a MERP Notice of Intent to all who get Medicaid who are over 55 and die. How MERP runs is dependent on what your states' laws are for probate, death, estates. But whatever the state, the MERP lien or claim will have to be released before clean title can be issued on the property.

It would be interesting to know how the competing claims or liens of MERP & the RM company deal with this type of situation. Anyone dealt with this?
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I neglected to mention. Am the sole beneficiary of my grandmother's estate and the new executor (original deceased). The mortgage company has refused to speak to me regarding this loan. I've submitted my Letters of Testamentary and even supplied a short certificate. I feel, this is all one big SCAM!
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@Lmariewellert: Only signature on the loan application is my grandmother's. There is a section on the application for POA to sign but, she was smart enough not to sign it. My grandmother was never deemed incompetent, but was in the late stages of dementia and having behavioral disturbance issues. This is all documented in her medical records. I know for certain my aunt never used the money for my grandmothers care. Medicaid paid for her stay in hospice (she was only there 8 days). And life insurance paid for the funeral. No money was ever put into the home for upkeep of the property. She withdrew ALL the money for personal gain. I obtained copies of the 2 withdrawals she made from the bank
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@qwashington: If your aunt had POA over your grandmother, then most likely she sign on behalf of your grandmother during the transaction. Please know that the POA has a lot to do in order for the loan to be approved, including the counseling, doctors letters etc. If your grandma was deemed incompetent and your grandma signed the documents after diagnosis, then this is illegal. Did you aunt use the money for your grandmothers care? can you prove that your aunt took the money for her own personal? if this is the case, I would contact a elder law attorney! For some reason, your grandma trusted her daughter by giving her POA. I hope this helps.
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RMs, at their best are intended to provide funds to the elderly toward end of life. They certainly are not intended to save an inheritance. What may be good for dad, may not be good for the kids. That is not necessarily a bad thing.
So, my question to you, before you proceed to look to undo anything, is why did dad do this? If he wanted / needed the funds to facilitate or better enjoy his life, it is a reasonable way to leverage HIS asset. What is his alternative for additional income he may want or need? Can you provide him income, if he saves the home for your inheritance? Can you buy the home at market value?
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If children believe their parent has beginning Alzheimer's Disease, is incompetent, and, more importantly, is even SOMEWHAT likely to exercise his/her powers to transact business, they would be wise to obtain guardianship through the courts.

Guardianship? Mortgage not valid. No guardianship? VERY difficult to prove that three years ago someone was incompetent. In fact? I'd say impossible.
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Can a reverse mortgage be obtained by phone? Records show my late grandmother supposedly had a counseling over the phone. The title company and Financial Service provider are located in Maryland. My grandmother resided in Philadelphia. She also had dementia, and my aunt was her 'power of attorney' and lived with her. She had access to all of her personal information. I truly believe, it was my aunt whom the counselor spoke to that day! Once the funds were transferred into my grandmothers account she (my aunt) took the money
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Lmarieweilert... I only know that in Alabama if you are on the Al med, assets are turned over to the Nursing home for the care of the resident. Mother don't qualify for Medicaid in Ohio. When I recently went to see if I could place mother in a Nursing home here in Ohio, I was asked about the money from the sale of the house. I didn't even mention she ever had a home!! They told me 7 yrs has to pass before a nursing home will take her now. It is in the computers somewhere. I know when my Aunt and Uncle wanted to be roommates in a local Nursing home, they signed their home over. It is a shame mother trusted my brothers. I am able to get home health care for my mother during the remainder of the time, while she lives with me as long as her doctor signs a careplan. Thanks for the wonderful complete information on reverse mortgage. I can prepare for my Elder years and the "pitfalls" with options.
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@daughterdeb...You are right, FHA Approved counselors are not medical professionals, however they do have to put the seniors through a test on pass fail and hopefully the originator that is assisting them will be able to determine their level of competency. There are quite a number of seniors who are suitable for making these decisions on their own behalf and then later suffer with a diagnosis of dementia onset..this is where the POA comes into play with this loan and can speak on behalf of that borrower. In the event the borrower (if only one borrower) needs to leave their resident for up to 12 months, the loan is still safe, if the borrower (if only one borrower) needs to change residency to a nursing care facility, FHA uses the honor system as the loan will come due at change of residency, only after 12 months of being out of the home. All of my borrowers have living trusts in place however there are some seniors who don't have living trusts in place (including POA) where I encourage them to protect themselves and their heirs. Surprisingly, there are many many elders (who are competent) who absolutely do not want their children to know what they are doing as they feel it is their right..I get comments like "if they know I have access to this money, they will want the money", "if they know I have access to this money and need this money, they will complain how I am spending their inheritance"..so sad..I love working with the children who are facilitating for their parents as all the expectations (after the borrowers die) are put out there right away and they are aware of what must be done. I have no idea why the nursing home wanted the house signed over to them? odd...unless..medi-cal is involved, it would be through medi-cal.
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I do want to point out here that being counseled by a FHA approved counselor, does not mean that the counselor is approved by FHA to make a medical decision on the mental status of a person. Lots of the elderly are very independent and this is an option to supplement their income. But what happens when they are no longer independent? Will this stop them from being able to enter a Nursing home? I know I was asked about the sale of mother's home when checking into Nursing Homes. Since she didn't have the money from the sale of her house or the house, she couldn't be placed for 7 years. It was why my brothers pulled her out of the Nursing home as the Nursing home wanted the house signed over to the Nursing home.
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thanks for the input
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I know that most seniors do consult with their family members before making the final decision, however those seniors that do not want their children to know typically have a reason for this. Even though the seniors have a living trust leaving their home and money to their children, doesn't mean it's the heirs money when they are alive. It's the heirs money after they pass away. Typically seniors seeking a reverse mortgage don't want to rely on their children financially and burden them, however always a good idea to discuss with their family who have their parents best interest in heart and not greedy on inheritance. I actually like the idea of a reliable party, family member and or attorney required to oversee the process (this is necessary for non borrowing spouses now), but we do have to respect their confidentiality in applying for this loan if they don't want their children to know. When I work with applicants, we always cover options as in talking to family members, wanting to sell and downsize, taking money out of line of credit only when needed, making payments on the reverse mortgage to stop it from growing. The FHA counseling that is required is wonderful and they must pass the understanding.. Many children are on the calls or meetings with their parents. Overall, this product is safe and wonderful and highly regulated and helping many seniors stay in their homes :)
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Geewhiz... I always said that the children should have to sign when a parent signs a reverse mortgage especially if they have a will already leaving the house to their children. Seeing so much of this now.
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Hi there, I wanted to chime in here as I am a reverse mortgage advisor and have been for 9 years. Are you saying your dad was diagnosed as having dementia prior to doing the loan? Or was he diagnosed after doing the loan? You father was counseled by a FHA approved counselor. This is a requirement before he can even consider applying for the RM. there are times that our borrowers do not want their children to know what they are doing and we must honor that but as a trusted advisor, I always encourage to bring in a family member or financial advisor. Especially if the senior is over 80 years old. If your dad had a diagnosis of having Alzheimer's prior to being counseled by the FHA approved counselor then contacting the lender would be a good step and producing documentation from a doctor that he was diagnosed prior to application. What was the reason your dad got the rm? To supplement his income? To pay off a mortgage that he could no longer afford, to pay for medical bills or treatment or to enhance his retirement? Anyway, I hope this helps! Good luck!! Linda
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what if your father done a reverse mortgage and you did not know he had been diagnosed alzheimers at the time until his death.
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A little while after he did it we found the papers and when we talk to him about it. he keeps saying that he owns the house or that he wants to give it to his son. Also when this he was living with a friend and I think they came to him, he did this about three year ago
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This site has a dropdown list of elder law attorneys. i would go with one who is NAELA certified in your state.

But first of all I'd suggest you look into which reverse mortgage company did this.
Google them and their possible various other names to see if there are already complaints against this group. (ALSO, I'd look to see if they are one of the RM companies which New York state has gone to court with & if so then continue to drill down on the internet to see the legal that NY state has done against them...make notes or xerox things that are similar to your situation).

If it seems this is a RM group that seems to be less than scrupleous, and if this was not a FHA backed RM, I would send a registered letter to the Attorney General of your state with a short letter detailing the specifics on the RM and that you (as DPOA or as their next of kin) are concerned they were taken advantage of and what can be done about this. You can also sent a letter to the state banking commission or the consumer banking affairs commission with the state.

Now if it is an FHA backed RM, you can again send a registered letter to the FHA regarding this just like you did with the AG's office. FHA is about to undergo significant changes in what is required for RM because of all the problems with RM and these products being marketed to segments of the elderly population who are really unsuitable for RM. There was a NY TImes article on all this maybe 3 weeks ago, so google NYT reverse mortgage and you'll get some good articles and especially eye-opening are the comments on the articles.

You can get the RM struck or cancelled, it will not be easy and you will need an attorney to do this but can be done. there will be a cost to doing this but the more noise you make on all this, the more it will be in your dad's favor.

You want to keep in mind when you discuss this...the "C"s:
competency - not competent due to dementia
cognition - his lack of cognitive ability due to dementia
coercion - possibly by the RM to him
compliance - on the various items required by law for the RM to do and be fully understood by the property owner. They are required to do several specific things if it is an FHA mortgage.
concern - of family members for his best interest

Now there could be an upside to all this.....if the amount of $ he got from the RM was a lump sum and a good amount, and if the house is less than desirable and no one in the family wants it or needs it, then he can just walk away from the house with his cash in hand and let the RM foreclose on it. It's not like he needs a good credit rating. He could take the $ and prepay for a NH or other LTC facility and use the RM money for this. They can't get the funds back either.

Good luck.
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And, how do you know he did this, did he tell you?
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I agree with Ferris and IsntEasy, who took him there? My Mom had dementia, forgetfulness but was not incompetent, just had to be reminded and could answer any question correctly for years, while living alone. No lawyer or financial person is going to say "oh yes he was demented but we did had him sign it anyway." Why do you want it undone anyway, if he needs the money for good care "at home" so be it, its his money right? Who is DPOA? Good Luck.
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I assume you're not within the several days you have to back out.
I agree with 'ferris1', try calling the mortgage company and explaining the situation. If it's a reputable company, they may let your FIL out of the loan for only the price of the settlement; not because they have to, but because they'll want to safeguard their good reputation.
A diagnosis of dementia or ALZ is not the same as being declared incompetent. To back out of the loan, if the mortgage company resists, could take an expensive court process. It's worth a consultation with a lawyer specializing in estates to see what you should do, within the terms of the loan, to minimize the damage.

'ferris1' – nowadays, the mortgage company will send a title agent right to your house to complete the settlement. That's how our refinance was done over the summer. Very convenient for us, but I remember at the time thinking that it would be a perfect way (as if there weren't already too many ways) to scam the elderly.
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There are questions the title company should have asked before he signed and if his dementia is advanced any reasonable person would know his condition. However, title people are NOT medical people, but the law states anyone knowingly signing a document must possess their faculties. Try calling the mortgage lender who handled this deal, produce documents saying he has dementia, and see what happens. Depending on the advancement of his disease will determine whether or not the reverse mortgage is cancelled. Again, where was the family in all of this? Did he drive himself for the signing? Good luck!
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I hope so! I went to an Eldercare Lawyer and he wasn't much help except he did say was"Whatever you do, don't sell the house! Stay in the house! They can't take it away from you!" And when you die it can still be left to your children!
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You need an Elderlaw specific attorney. The challenge will be in determining if he was competent when he signed those papers. Is he in the early stages? I would suggest that you look at elderlawanswers to start, they also have referrals for a lawyer in your area.
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