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      September 24, 2017

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Reverse Mortgages

  1. Liberty Home Equity
  2. LendingTree
  3. Finance of America
  4. Home Point Financial
  5. AAG
  6. Lower My Bills

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Reverse Mortgages Better Business Bureau Reliability Seal

Get Your Reverse Mortgage at One Reverse Mortgage Today! If you're age 62 or older, you may have received information regarding reverse mortgages as a means of increasing your income during your retirement years. What is a reverse mortgage, and how does it work?

Unlike a traditional mortgage, where you pay a lender monthly and build up the equity in your home, a reverse mortgage allows the borrower to convert the already-established equity in their home into cash. In other words, with a reverse mortgage, you receive payments from the lender based on the value of your home and the amount of equity you've built up over the years.

Continue reading below reviews

2017

Reverse Mortgages

5 stars
One Reverse Mortgage

ONE REVERSE MORTGAGE Visit Site

TopConsumerReviews.com Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award When it comes to a sensitive financial transaction like a reverse mortgage, reputation means everything. One Reverse Mortgage has the strongest reputation in the industry as a Quicken Loans Company, an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, and a member in good standing of the NRMLA. Since 2001, they've grown to become the largest retail reverse mortgage lender in the nation, and their programs are approved by HUD and insured by the Federal Housing Administration. These kinds of credentials go a long way towards reassuring their clients that they'll be in good hands.

Before you begin an application with One Reverse Mortgage, you should be aware that while they are licensed in all 50 states, at the time of our review they were not operating in Vermont, Rhode Island, or West Virginia.

We found the easiest page to get started is the Reverse Mortgage Calculator, under the Calculator tab at the top of the page. There, you'll enter the approximate value of your home and any current mortgage balance, your age, and your zip code. For example, when we entered a home with a value of $300,000 and no mortgage balance, we were given an estimated loan amount of $169,000.

That page also provides more detailed information about fees to expect when getting a reverse mortgage with One Reverse:

  • Origination fee of 2% on the first $200,000 of the home's value, plus 1% of the remaining value (not to exceed $6,000)
  • Mortgage insurance premiums of 0.5% or 2.5%, depending on the circumstances of the loan

One Reverse Mortgage has three main types of Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECMs): Adjustable Rate, Fixed Rate, and HECM for purchasing a new home. Not sure which is the right one for your circumstances? One Reverse offers a toll-free number where you can speak with a licensed specialist who can help you sort through your options and make the most informed decision possible.

We were particularly impressed with One Reverse Mortgage's efforts to include family members in the process. At the client's request, loved ones can be included on any phone calls between the company's licensed representatives and the client, giving them the opportunity to fully understand the process and any role they may have - now or in the future, as the client passes on or their needs change.

Another great feature of One Reverse Mortgage is their blog. While many companies have blogs that are out of date - or non-existent! - this lender keeps their finger on the pulse of the industry and provides timely, helpful information to their clients and prospective customers. From protecting oneself from identity theft to planning for special-needs seniors and much more, One Reverse is clearly committed to helping people make wise decisions, especially in their later years.

With an excellent reputation, transparent application process, and helpful customer tools, One Reverse Mortgage easily earns our highest ranking among reverse mortgage lenders. We're confident that you'll get the help you need with this company and award them our highest rating.

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4.5 stars
Liberty Home Equity Solutions

LIBERTY HOME EQUITY SOLUTIONS Visit Site

Are you looking for a reverse mortgage lender that is transparent, experienced, and offers a satisfaction guarantee that includes competitive pricing? Liberty Home Equity Solutions should be at the top of your list.

Liberty Home Equity Solutions offers three main types of reverse mortgage:

  • HECM Loan
  • HECM Zero
  • HECM for Purchase (to buy your next home)

To determine which of these loan products is best for your situation, you can find more detailed information under the "Products" link at the top of the Liberty website. You may also want to look under the "About Us" heading to get reverse mortgage information specific to your state; at the time of our review, Liberty was not offering loans in the state of Utah, for example.

Getting started with Liberty is simple: enter your age, approximate value of your home, and remaining mortgage balance amount on their main page, under "Try Our Free 2-Step Calculator". On the next page, you'll be asked to enter your address and phone number, which Liberty will then verify to make sure the information matches. Finally, you'll be taken to a summary report that gives you details about any products for which you are eligible, approximate interest rates, and the available loan amount.

On the summary report we received, interest rates ranged from 3.39% to 5.38%, depending on the type of reverse mortgage. We were happy to see that Liberty doesn't charge any up-front lender fees, and that any fees necessary for closing can be financed into the mortgage itself if the home has sufficient equity. You can find out more about Liberty's fees by clicking on the "Reverse Mortgage Fees" link on the left-hand side of the page. There, you'll also see links for more details on the application process, eligibility and requirements, and the mandatory HUD counseling.

Liberty is the only reverse mortgage lender we found that offers any sort of guarantee. Known as the "Liberty Iron Clad Guarantee", they offer their customers an unparalleled sense of security during the lending process:

  • Fair and competitive pricing, with a $100 gift card given to any customer who gets an offer from a competitor that Liberty can't match or beat
  • Closing within 60 days from the date the loan application is received and HUD Counseling is completed - or they'll issue a $500 credit towards closing costs
  • Weekly updates during the loan process
  • Available customer service representatives during standard business hours (PST)

Although there is no specific page for customer testimonials on the Liberty website, we found many reviews praising their services - consistent with their A+ rating at the Better Business Bureau.

In short, while Liberty may not have the name recognition of some other reverse mortgage lenders, their commitment to customer satisfaction and transparency throughout the process make them a definite contender in the industry.

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4.5 stars
LendingTree

LENDINGTREE Visit Site

LendingTree is becoming increasingly better-known among consumers as a resource for finding a loan. Reverse mortgages are just a part of the lending products available through their site.

LendingTree has an impressive A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and provide a superior comprehensive loan website for any type of home loan you might be interested in. Their process for applying for a Reverse Mortgage is no exception.

To get started with a Reverse Mortgage with LendingTree, you follow these simple steps:

  1. Answer simple questions that identify the type of property you own, remaining mortgage amount, location, and contact information.
  2. Within minutes you'll receive up to 5 offers from various lenders
  3. Compare the mortgage rates and terms for each Reverse Mortgage loan offer
  4. Complete an official application for the lender you choose

LendingTree also offers a good variety of information and articles on Reverse Mortgages. Topics such as "How to Get Out of a Reverse Mortgage" and "How Does a Reverse Mortgage Work" provide good information that can help explain this process to anyone. If you determine that you'd like to explore options other than a Reverse Mortgage, the comprehensive lending resources at LendingTree means they can help you with those alternatives as well.

LendingTree earns high marks for a being a comprehensive one-stop shop for comparing a variety of mortgage loan options. Their Reverse Mortgage loan application process is simple and lenders will compete for your business. For all these reasons, we think LendingTree is a very good choice for you to pursue your Reverse Mortgage.

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4 stars
Finance of America

FINANCE OF AMERICA Visit Site

Unlike many reverse mortgage lenders, Finance of America does not start out with a heavy sales pitch. Instead, their website seeks to first educate and reassure prospective clients - both with their five-star average rating on TrustPilot and the clear, concise information presented on the main page.

We encourage you to take full advantage of all of the details given in the tabs at the top of the Finance of America page:

  • Optimizing Your Retirement: Buy a Home in Retirement, Stretch Retirement Savings, Sandwich Generation Finances, Unplanned Retirement
  • Easing Retirement Worries: Living Alone, Manage Healthcare Costs, Aging in Place
  • Diversifying Retirement Investments: Creative Investment Options, A Better Way to Retire
  • Caring for Loved Ones: Help Them Retire Better, Help Manage Healthcare Costs, Help Deal with Debt, Help Them Stay Independent

In order to find out more about Finance of America's reverse mortgage program, you'll either need to contact one of their specialists at their toll-free number or fill out the online form. This form isn't as obvious as their competitors' sites, but you'll usually be able to spot it at the bottom of one of the pages listed above. You'll be asked to provide basic information, such as your name and address, remaining mortgage balance (if any), and approximate worth of the home.

When we entered sample information for an average client with no mortgage balance, we were told we would qualify for a loan of approximately half of the equity in the home - slightly less than at least one of their competitors. There were no specifics offered with respect to closing costs, origination fees, and so forth, which we would have liked to see more transparently.

You should also be aware that Finance of America was only licensed in 43 states and Puerto Rico at the time of our review; you'll want to verify that your state of residence is included in their service area before submitting an application.

We were impressed with Finance of America's excellent reputation. Beginning with an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and continuing with dozens of positive reviews on the site, verified by TrustPilot, it's easy to see that Finance of America is a trustworthy resource when it comes to reverse mortgages. Clients described their experience as efficient, with professional and friendly experts who helped them feel secure throughout the entire loan process.

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3 stars
Home Point Financial

HOME POINT FINANCIAL Visit Site

Home Point Financial is a one-stop shop when it comes to borrowing. From USDA loans to refinancing and more, their goal is to provide loans to a variety of customers - including those who are looking into getting a reverse mortgage.

Their main Reverse Mortgage page provides answers to commonly-asked questions, such as "Does the bank own my home?" and "Is a reverse mortgage expensive?" Unfortunately, to get any further information, you'll have to click on your state's link. At the time of our review, Utah was the only one not included in their list.

We also didn't find the "request quote" portion of the page to be very helpful. The very first step is to select a loan type, and the only options given are purchase or refinance - neither of which seem to apply in a reverse mortgage situation. In other words, if you want to get any information specific to your situation, you'll likely need to call Home Point Financial to learn more. We definitely would have liked to see more details: types of loans available, average fees and interest rates, and so forth.

On the other hand, Home Point is one of the few reverse mortgage lenders in our review that has in-person locations in several states. So, if you'd rather be able to work face-to-face with a customer representative instead of completing the loan application process online or over the phone, it might be worth your time to see if Home Point has a location near you. While the Better Business Bureau link on the Home Point site shows a "Not Rated" score, we found listings for individual offices with reassuring grades ranging from B+ to A+.

Home Point Financial earns good marks for their loan process. Still, their rating would improve with greater details about their loans and a more efficient process for getting a quote.

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2.5 stars
American Advisors Group

AMERICAN ADVISORS GROUP Visit Site

If you've ever seen an infomercial on TV regarding reverse mortgages, you're likely familiar with American Advisors Group (AAG) already. With Tom Selleck as their spokesperson and as the lender with the highest number of closings on reverse mortgages in the nation, AAG definitely has name recognition that is not easily matched by the competition.

Our experience with trying to use AAG was not as smooth as we expected from such a well-known lender. On the main page, after we clicked on the first "Learn More" button, we were asked to enter our name, address, phone number, value of the home, and any existing mortgage balance. Unlike most of their competitors, who at this stage then offer an estimate of the available loan amount, AAG only informed us that we'd be getting a DVD in the mail and a phone call from a representative. We'd definitely have preferred to get details related to any loan products for which we were eligible.

After clicking on the second "Learn More" button, we were taken to an FAQ page. For a customer just starting out, they may not even be sure what questions to ask; it would be more helpful to get a summary of their loan programs, applicable fees, and so on. Instead, the FAQ makes it very difficult to tell at-a-glance what types of loans AAG has and what a customer should expect to pay in closing costs and other fees.

However, one of the largest concerns we have with AAG is their reputation. Despite positive testimonials on their website, we found that their rating with the Better Business Bureau was only a B+ at the time of our review. Looking further, we found that in late 2016, AAG settled in court over allegations of misrepresentation to their customers: having falsely told them that "consumers could not lose their home" and telling prospective customers that "they would have no monthly payments...and be able to pay off all debts." AAG was required to pay a civil penalty of $400,000.

Given the sensitive nature of the reverse mortgage process, especially for our nation's seniors, we were very discouraged to hear that AAG had such problems with false representation.

Despite having the highest number of reverse mortgage closings in the nation, we feel strongly that your experience will go much more smoothly with another lender in our review.

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1.5 stars
Lower My Bills

LOWER MY BILLS Visit Site

Lower My Bills has loan products ranging from purchase and refinance to auto and personal loans. According to their site, an average of 5,000 reverse mortgages are funded each month - though they didn't specify whether that number reflects a nationwide average or just those loans that are funded through Lower My Bills.

In order to get any information about what you can borrow through this lender, you'll need to click on the "Get Started" button. There, you'll be expected to enter the typical personal details required by most lenders: name, address, approximate value of the home, phone number, and so forth.

Although Lower My Bills had an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau at the time of our review, the BBB also had information regarding a government action against the company. While the case wasn't concluded at the time, the allegations stated that Lower My Bills' "business model is founded on luring, wrangling, and capturing consumers' personal and financial information, and then selling and trading the consumer's personal information to third parties". We would recommend that prospective clients exercise caution when deciding whether or not to fill out any forms with personal information while using the Lower My Bills site.

Because you have to fill out that form in order to find out anything about Lower My Bills' reverse mortgage program, there's no way to determine what fees are charged for closing or for loan origination, what the typical interest rate is, or even what kinds of loan products are available. There's also very little information provided to the customer regarding reverse mortgages - just three short paragraphs on the main page. In order to feel confident with Lower My Bills as a lender, there needs to be much more offered to the customer prior to submitting a quote request or any identifying information.

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Continued from above

The most common option is known as an HECM (Home Equity Conversion Mortgage), and these loans can be used for basic monthly expenses, medical care, or whatever need you may have. Some of the requirements of obtaining a reverse mortgage are primary residency (living in the home for at least 183 days per calendar year) and participating in a counseling session with an HUD counselor over the phone or in person. Once you have a reverse mortgage, you will still be responsible for paying all applicable property taxes, maintaining the property, and keeping your homeowners' insurance policy up-to-date.

For those shopping for the best reverse mortgage, scouring the internet first provides a large list of quality companies with the most competitive rates.

When you're ready to begin considering lenders for your reverse mortgage, you should keep in mind the following criteria:

  • Rates and fees. What will it cost you to get a reverse mortgage with this lender? Are they transparent with their rates and fees?
  • Process and approachability. It's easy to get confused by the process of getting a reverse mortgage, or by the terms and conditions once the loan is in place. Does the company seem approachable and helpful? Is the website easy to use?
  • Reputation. Is the lender a member of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA)? Do they have a solid track record for treating customers fairly and providing enough information and support during the process?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked best Reverse Mortgages available today. We hope this information helps you or your loved ones find the right Reverse Mortgage to meet your needs!

Should you use a reverse mortgage in retirement

For full access, Log in or Subscribe Now and get 4 weeks free! Research by the Insured Retirement Institute reflects that 24% of baby boomers have no retirement savings - which is the lowest number recorded since the beginning of the study in 2011.

Published:  Fri, 22 Sep 2017 11:05:00 GMT



Liz Weston: Reverse mortgages not a good short-term option

A reverse mortgage may be an option if you can't make payments. These loans allow you to tap the equity in your home if you're 62 or older. But it might not be the best borrowing option.(Joe Raedle/Getty Images) Q: I have been making interest-only payments ...

Published:  Sun, 17 Sep 2017 05:04:00 GMT



Is a Reverse Mortgage Right for You

Home equity is the largest source of savings for most people entering retirement. A reverse mortgage allows homeowners to access a home's equity to provide extra income during retirement. However, few people understand how reverse mortgages work and ...

Published:  Tue, 12 Sep 2017 08:11:00 GMT



Cost of reverse mortgage to rise after deadline

As people grow older and retire, many confront the problem of not having enough money to live on and enjoy life, and at the same time, being able to stay in their current home or the home of their choice. This is because so much of their accumulated wealth ...

Published:  Sat, 16 Sep 2017 04:00:00 GMT



Reverse Mortgages Could Get More Risky for Spouses

Sometimes, a reverse mortgage that one spouse takes out to ease a couple's retirement finances ends up causing the other spouse headaches and heartache when the borrowing spouse passes away. This danger could increase if a new HUD budget proposal passes.

Published:  Tue, 12 Sep 2017 11:16:00 GMT



Reverse mortgage has advantages for some seniors

The fully paid mortgage for a homestead can generate an immense sense of comfort and well-being for Texas homeowners. When Texas homeowners have an unpaid mortgage, there is always a concern the lender can foreclose and take the home. Texas tends to be ...

Published:  Thu, 14 Sep 2017 11:41:00 GMT



1st Reverse Mortgage USA Promotes Jeff Ausman Director of Business Development

DENVER, Sept. 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- 1st Reverse Mortgage USA®, a division of Cherry Creek Mortgage Company, Inc. announced today that Jeff Ausman has been promoted to the post of Director of Business Development, effective immediately. In his new role ...

Published:  Wed, 13 Sep 2017 10:46:00 GMT



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