Reverse Mortgage Counseling

To know whether a reverse mortgage is right for you or your family, the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and other agencies have prepared materials for homeowners looking for reverse mortgage counseling.


With all FHA-insured Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM), the homeowner is first required to attend a counseling session with a licensed Reverse Mortgage counselor. In this session, which can take more than an hour and a half, reverse mortgage counselors present information and advice to the homeowner based on his/her budget and individual reasons for wanting a reverse mortgage. HUD reverse mortgage counselors review income, any debts or existing mortgages, monthly expenses including medical, home improvement plans, cash flow, and other relevant factors with the homeowner. This session can be held over the phone or in person.

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You can also expect to learn about:

◦    The FHA and how the HECM program works
◦    Interest rates and your loan options
◦    The Total Annual Loan Cost Disclosure you receive from your HECM lender
◦    How a reverse mortgage (and what type of loan) may fit into your budget
◦    Closing costs and associated fees, and how they may be financed


happy familyFor family members acting as power of attorney or legal guardian for the homeowner, the reverse mortgage counselor will require proof of guardianship or power of attorney before arranging the session. Any person(s) on title to the home at the time of application must also join the reverse mortgage counseling session.

It is a good idea for the family to sit down together and discuss their wants and needs for a reverse mortgage prior to this session, and for a family member or members to join the counseling session.

After the session, the homeowner will receive the required “Certificate of HECM Counseling”, which verifies that the prospective borrower has met with a licensed counselor. With this certificate in hand, prospective borrowers are then directed to submit a reverse mortgage application.

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