Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Financial Services Committee, praised the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for its announcement to provide reverse mortgage servicers the discretion to allow surviving spouses to stay in their homes in instances where the borrower passes away.
Ranking Member Waters has been a leader on this issue, in May calling on HUD Secretary Castro to provide meaningful relief and increased transparency for seniors participating in its reverse mortgage program, knowns as the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage program (HECM). At the time, Waters expressed concern that many senior citizens are facing foreclosure, or will face foreclosure, due to deceptive lending practices and previous HUD protocol for the HECM program.
Waters released the following statement:
“I applaud HUD and Secretary Castro for this announcement, which has the potential to ensure that thousands of seniors will not have the loss of a spouse further complicated by the prospect of losing the home they shared as well. Today’s decision will provide real assistance and peace of mind to the large number of couples who list only one spouse on a reverse mortgage, and who were misled into believing that another spouse could be added later.
This policy change will put many on the road to staying in their homes, even after the death of a spouse, by ensuring that mortgage servicers can mitigate the fraudulent lending practices associated with HUD’s reverse mortgage program. I’m pleased the Department took note of my recent request for increased study and transparency around this issue, with the ultimate goal of changing its policy to provide relief to our seniors. HUD’s new policy ensures that the challenges facing senior homeowners who have suffered a loss are not magnified by those who have misled them.”