HUD Reverse Mortgage Counseling is required before you can apply for a FHA insured HECM (Home Equity Conversion Mortgage) loan. AARP was instrumental in assisting HUD to design the training program for HUD approved housing counselors as well as the required content for counseling sessions themselves.
Because these loans are so different from any other type of home equity loan, and because applicants are always senior citizens, the government implemented mandatory counseling as a safeguard to help protect seniors from being taken advantage of as well as to educate them on how these unique loans actually work.
Your Counseling Session
During your session you will be asked if you have considered alternative options other than getting this type of loan. Some of those alternatives might include, moving in with your children, selling your house, moving to an assisted living facility, etc. The AARP trained counselor will review the costs involved, the impact on your heirs and cover the pros and cons of getting one of these loans.
Counseling is intended to insure that you completely understand how the loan works, its’ impact on your estate, the total costs involved, and answer any questions that you, your financial advisers or your family may have. You are encouraged to have anyone you trust in helping you make financial decisions attend the session with you.
Counseling is Step One
Reverse Mortgage Counseling can be done in person or over the telephone. The session can last from about an hour to more than two hours depending on how many questions you have. Scheduling counseling is the first step in the loan application process after you have determined that this could be the right financial choice for you. The lender you choose to work with is not able to start processing your loan until you go through counseling and receive a certificate of completion. The certificate must be presented to the lender and submitted to FHA/HUD with your loan application.
You can receive your counseling from a number of non-profit credit and housing agencies, however, the trained HUD-AARP reverse mortgage counselors are considered to be among the best qualified providers of this service. You can contact the national network of HUD approved counselors through the AARP Reverse Mortgage Education Project by calling 1-800-569-4287 or 1-888-687-2277.
You can also locate a HUD approved counselor through The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) or by calling them at 1-866-698-6322.
Additional Agencies Are:
Money Management International 1-866-889-8347
Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Atlanta
dba CredAbility 1-866-616-3716
National Council on Aging For an appointment call: 1-800-510-0301
* Please note that federal grant money is what allows NCOA and other Housing Agencies to provide free counseling. At the end of each fiscal year the agencies usually run out of grant money. So depending on when you are asking for your appointment, it’s possible it will not be free.