Legal Analysts

Showing posts with label reverse mortgages. Show all posts
Showing posts with label reverse mortgages. Show all posts

Thursday, March 19, 2020

60-Day Moratorium on Foreclosures and Evictions for FHA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac Mortgages

On March 18, 2020, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) authorized the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to implement a 60-day moratorium on foreclosures and evictions for single family homeowners with FHA-backed mortgages. Similarly, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) also directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to suspend foreclosures and evictions for single family mortgages for at least 60 days. These moratoriums were intended to curb the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on homeowners and in connection with the proclamation of the COVID-19 outbreak as a national emergency.

The 60-day moratorium for FHA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac mortgages took effect on March 18, 2020. For FHA mortgages, the moratorium applies to all FHA Title II Single Family forward and Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (reverse) mortgage programs and covers the initiation of foreclosures up to completion of foreclosures in process. Evictions from properties secured by FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac single family mortgages are also on hold for 60 days.

In addition to HUD and FHFA moratoriums, all evictions and foreclosures are indefinitely suspended in the counties of Nassau County and Suffolk County.

Saturday, December 07, 2019

New Law: Reverse Mortgages Regulated

On December 6, 2019, A5626 was signed into law to regulate reverse mortgages. The new law takes effect on March 5, 2020. 

A reverse mortgage means "[a] loan which is secured by a first mortgage on real property improved by a one- to four-family residence or condominium that is the residence of the mortgagor(s) the proceeds of which are advanced to the mortgagor(s) during the term of the loan in equal installments, in advances through a line of credit or otherwise, in lump sums, or through a combination thereof."

The new law has the following features at new Real Property Law section 280-b:

  1. Marketing & offering of reverse mortgage loans are regulated to avoid unfair or deceptive practices;
  2. Consumer protection materials are required to be included in marketing such loans & the Superintendent is authorized to promulgate rules & regulations to protect consumers;
  3. Loans that pay taxes, mortgage insurance, homeowners insurance, or other property obligations must provide the borrower with periodic account statements & a required warning notice;
  4. When the escrowed money for payments of obligations are depleted to 10% or less, the borrower will get a telephone & mailed notice about the borrowers obligations; 
  5. Restricts lenders from paying borrowers obligations on the property (taxes, mortgage insurance, homeowners insurance, etc.) as advance payments & only permits lenders to pay when there are arrears;
  6. Restricts foreclosures based on primary residence restrictions; 
  7. Requires both the lender & the borrower to be represented by an attorney at the closing of the loan; 
  8. Borrowers who are injured from a violation by a lender have a private right of action for treble damages & reasonable attorneys' fees; & 
  9. Violating this statute by a lender works a complete defense for a borrower in a foreclosure action.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Reverse Mortgages: An Understanding Of The Risks

This month, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) published the article A closer look at reverse mortgage advertisements and consumer risks, which examines its study of advertisements for this product to older homeowners. The CFPB found “many contained confusing, incomplete, and inaccurate statements regarding borrower requirements, government insurance, and borrower risks”. 

Nonetheless, CFPB does acknowledge that “reverse mortgages can help some older homeowners meet financial needs”, which makes them an important product for real estate brokers to understand. 

Unfortunately, the article finds that “[c]onsumers described ‘lifestyle enhancement’ as the primary use for reverse mortgage proceeds”, but a reverse mortgage should only be used as a last resort because “homeowners can lose their home if they fail to meet the loan terms”.

Brokers should read this article and decide for themselves if a reverse mortgage is a good product to recommend.