Elderly homeowners will have a little help with reverse mortgages through a new program through the Florida Housing Finance Corp.
Called the Elderly Mortgage Assistance Program, or “Elmore,” this program is designed to assist homeowners with home equity conversion mortgages, better known as reverse mortgages, who are struggling making property tax and homeowners insurance payments.
Because of that, these homeowners could face foreclosure for nonpayment of these required expenses.
“There are thousands of reverse mortgages in Florida that are in delinquency,” said Steve Auger, executive director for Florida Housing, in a release. “After implementing other (‘Hardest-Hit Fund’) programs that target the more ‘traditional’ homeowner, it is now time to help homeowners who are in the twilight of their years, on a fixed income, experiencing a hardship, and facing foreclosure. This new program should help them sustain their homes, while they look at ways to free up income to pay their homeowner expenses moving forward.”
The program is being conducted in cooperation with the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, Fannie Mae, and the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Florida has been allotted $25 million to help distressed homeowners with the program.
Reverse mortgages offer unique benefits to elderly homeowners, allowing them to access the equity in their homes. However, with a reverse mortgage, homeowners have specific responsibilities that are set by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, which insures most reverse mortgages, including the timely payment of property-related expenses.
If the homeowner falls behind on those obligations, the servicer may issue a demand for payment-in-full of the reverse mortgage, or even foreclose on the property.
The Elmore program is designed for those who demonstrate they will be able to reasonably recover from the hardship that contributed to the property-related expenses becoming delinquent.
Florida homeowners with reverse mortgages who want to see if they qualify for the Elmore program should first contact their reverse mortgage servicer. If the servicer is unable to assist, the homeowner should then call the Elmore application and information line at (800) 601-3534.
Additional information is available online at FloridaElmore.org, or at KnowYourOptions.com/reverse.
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