FHA Announces Reverse Mortgage Foreclosure Alternative for Spouses


February 2, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. -  The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) today issued a new policy under its Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) Program giving FHA-approved lenders the option to delay calling HECMs with eligible ‘non-borrowing spouses’ due and payable. A delay would postpone foreclosure normally triggered by the death of the last surviving borrower. FHA’s new guidance will allow reverse mortgage lenders to assign eligible HECMs to HUD upon the death of the last surviving borrowing spouse, thereby allowing eligible surviving spouses the opportunity to remain in the home despite their non-borrowing status.

Last year, FHA amended its HECM policies to allow for the deferral of foreclosure, or ‘due and payable status’ for certain Eligible Non-Borrowing Spouses for case numbers assigned on or after August 4, 2014. Today’s action allows lenders to offer similar treatment for eligible HECMs and Eligible Non-Borrowing Spouses with FHA case numbers issued before August 4, 2014.

Under FHA’s new policy, lenders will be allowed to pursue claim payments for HECMs with Eligible Surviving Non-Borrowing Spouses and Case Numbers assigned before August 4, 2014 by:

By electing the Mortgagee Optional Election Assignment, lenders will be permitted to modify their FHA mortgage insurance contracts to permit assignment of an eligible HECM to HUD despite the HECM being eligible to be called due and payable as a result of the death of the last surviving borrower. Read FHA’s new mortgagee letter.

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