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Dad and Mom got it 10+ years ago. Definitely a good thing for them - they had no savings, no IRA and Dad’s earning capacity was as a high school dropout. Mom never worked outside the home. Over a year ago, I wanted to do some planning ahead and understand her RM / finances. That was the beginning of it all - she’s NOT INTERESTED in sharing anything with me (even though I’m all she has and her POA/AD). “I don’t have to worry about it because I’m going to get everything” she says. There is NOTHING she has that I want, so she just blows me off.


Fast forward to November 2019 when Mom had an ER visit, diagnosed with mild neurocognitive decline, told not to drive till state eval/test. During her stay, she was given the hospital’s Financial Assistance paperwork. Mom poo-pooed the paperwork saying she’ll just pay the hospital when she got the invoice. Told her that hospital give HER the paperwork because she has a need for assistance, given her ER visit, testing, etc. Told her I’d help fill it out. Yessed me in the hospital, but she hasn’t provided enough info (and WON’T, she says). Because, wait for it . . . , she says she has access to a good chunk of money through her reverse mortgage. Yes, she does, but that’s the reason hospital gave her Financial Assistance paperwork — she doesn’t have savings, IRA, pension, etc. Then tells me “That’s the most stupidest thing I’ve heard!” Bottom line is she doesn’t understand a reverse mortgage - she has always said she still owns the house.


She doesn’t believe anything I say, hasn’t talked to me in 2+ weeks because I have her car keys, so any trust and relationship we’ve had in the past is down the toilet.


Thinking I should contact the RM company? I was able to get that info as she has papers lying all over her table and couch. ER doc asked me to enter her home, with Mom’s approval, and bring back the bottles of her meds and saw RM paperwork. Hoping they would be able to send her a letter explaining that she does NOT own her home.


Maybe I can ask the lawyer she trusts who drew up her POA/AD to look over the RM company paperwork and then explain it in simple terms that she does NOT own her home.


TY for suggestions/help!

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Margaret, just off phone with RM company. Gave me amount owed and interest rate. Rep said he wouldn’t know whether loan is getting close to the value of the house and that I can expect copy of the RM by 3/7.

In the past year, she’s pretty much gone no contact with me. Since her ER visit in November, she was told by attending neurologist to partner up with me because she’s lucky to have someone looking out for her. Of course mom agreed, until I took her car keys (see my rant below).

She doesn’t want my opinion and CERTAINLY does not want to talk to me about ‘her business’, even though she’s got a diagnosis . . .
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I'm so glad you checked it out. Well done.
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So much more than frustrating, freqflyer, as we have the same convo once a year since 2011 when she and Dad took it out.

Yep, she’s DEFINITELY not listening to me at all, since taking her car keys away November. She was mad as hell, called me and husband names and threatened to call police because keys were to HER car. I said there would be no way i would do that, since her discharge from hospital included scripts for driving eval/test. She shut down and hasn’t spoken to me since the 6th. I was away, my husband got shingles, so I called her to see if she remembered if I had chicken pox (as an only child with mom who didn’t drive, I wasn’t exposed to much, I thought). When Mom called back (because I always have to leave a voice message about WHAT I want), she said I did not have them. Asked where I was and told her home. She said ‘it’s always something’ about my husband then proceeded to tell me she had to get off the phone to go blow her nose! How’s that for asking how your only kid, her husband, grandkids and Our time away together was! 

She’s just so distanced herself in the past year. BUT now it’s because she knows she shouldn’t be driving AND SHE IS! Her neighbor texted me while we were away, asking if I had given the keys back (which I had not). So Mom’s driving . . . I’m assuming she paid $$$ for a new key fob from her ‘friends’ at the dealership where she made her purchase the year after dad died. (Unfortunately, the psychiatrist, neurologist or the attending physicians did not put through their mandated reporting to the state to stop her from driving.). So i did (while I was on vacation).

Mom ABSOLUTELY believes anyone else but me (especially TV people!). 

Thanks for listening to my rant!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Riverdale, I believe parents took out some money upfront, but know that Mom ‘requests’ money from the RM company when needed. That and SS is her only income.
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I’ll try for a simpler explanation. Your mother knows what a normal mortgage is, they give you as big a loan as they want, and then you gradually pay it back plus interest. A reverse mortgage is the reverse of the usual way - they agree to give you a loan and they pay you up to the amount they’ve agreed. With a normal mortgage, you eventually pay it all back plus interest. With a reverse mortgage, when they have eventually paid you the full agreed loan, they want their money back.

Please note that your mother was almost certainly told that she still owned the house, you have actually got it wrong, and that is why she won’t believe you. However reverse mortgages can be a trap, not all people understand the risks, and not everyone gets a full explanation.
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People often say that ‘the bank owns it all’ if their house is mortgaged. They don’t – the person who bought the house owns it, and the mortgage loan is secured by the mortgage. Same thing with a reverse mortgage. The original owner owns the house, borrows money which is secured by the reverse mortgage. The borrowing can be a lump sum or a regular payment. The reverse mortgage can be paid off, but this is most likely to happen if the owner sells the house fairly soon. If there is any money left over from the sale, it becomes part of their estate. If they continue to borrow more money, eventually they still own the house but are forced to sell it because they have borrowed more than the house is worth. As Tothill says, the interest rate can be high, and this can build up the amount borrowed fairly quickly.

It would be a good idea for you as POA to contact the RM company, find out how much is owing on it, the interest rate, get some idea of whether the loan amount is getting close to the full value of the house, and what will happen if the loan amount gets there. It would be good to get a copy of the RM, but make sure that you understand it if it’s complicated. Then you should be able to explain to your mother in terms of $$$, and stop her from assuming that she has a bottomless amount of money and doesn’t need to minimise her expenses.
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Katsmihur, I can imagine how frustrating it can be trying to explain a reverse mortgage to your Mom. The paid actors on TV make it sound so simple.... you get money from the bank for the equity in your house.... but they fail to mention this is a LOAN that has to be paid back.... [sigh].

Now as for your Mom not listening to you, we are the children and what do we know :P Your Mom rather believe Jerry Orbach, Robert Wagner and "the Fonz", actors who did those commercials years ago.
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Alva, with a reverse mortgage the odds of the Mum having much if any equity remaining in the house, especially after 10 years is slim.

Generally they will advance up to 55% of the value of the home at the time the mortgage is taken out. Those funds are put into an annuity with is paid out monthly for a period of time. In the mean time the mortgage is compounding interest .

If the house was worth $200,000 then the RM company would allow up to $110,000. This would be put into an anunity and pay out monthly, say for 20 years.

In the mean time the loan is compounding interest at a rate far higher than mortgage rates. So if it was a 7% interest rate, on $110,000 the current balance would be around $215,000 outstanding. Now the house may have appreciated in value if it is in one of the expensive cities, but it may have stagnated or lost value depending on the location.
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But she does own her own home, I do believe. She would have to pay off the reverse mortgage loan, or her estate would upon her death, but there may be more money in the home than has been given. A reverse mortgage is much like a loan against the asset that the home represents. Upon death the home would be sold, and the reverse mortgage and interest paid off, the rest going to any heirs as I understand it. Hoping someone understands it more than I do.
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Riverdale Feb 2020
I don't think that is the case. I learned all about this from Dorker's thread. Money is paid out upfront and resident continues to live there until they can't. If a year passes of non residency they cannot return and bank holding mortgage takes the house which should be emptied of its possessions. The idea is that the person wants cash up front but still needs to live in the house but for this the ownership is returned to the bank. I don't think it matters what the market is like in the area. It is a risk the bank has taken and most likely was assessed at the time of the application and I'm sure a bank wouldn't overpay.
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