Join our investing community

Reverse mortgages

Discussion in 'Finance & Banking' started by Jacque, 25th May, 2006.

  1. Jacque

    Jacque Team InvestEd

    16th Jun, 2005
    As our baby boomer population continues to spend and thus leave less in the kitty for retirement, products like reverse mortgages seem to be gaining in popularity. Recent exerpt from SMH (May 17):

    Reverse mortgages are an alternative for those wanting to unlock the equity in their homes. These products allow retirees to borrow against the value of their home with the debt repaid when the house is sold. Being able to stay in the family home and avoid the costs of moving are likely to make reverse mortgages popular.

    However, a recent report on reverse mortgages by the Australian Consumers' Association found borrowers' protection on some products is inadequate. It found some contracts have wide-ranging default clauses, potentially leaving borrowers in default for minor contract breaches. The association's report also highlighted problems with some of the "guarantees" given by lenders to cover any shortfall should the loan balance exceed the proceeds from the sale of the house. The association's report found the guarantee may offer no protection at all.

    The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has also issued warnings on reverse mortgages. Late last year ASIC's executive director of consumer protection, Greg Tanzer, said while equity release products can provide a useful means for people to cash in on their homes, they involve significant risks.

    "In the right circumstances, an equity release product may provide income for Australians in their later years or offer younger people a way of accessing home finance," he says. "The most significant risk is the inappropriate use of products

    Has anyone here researched reverse mortgages at all?
    Would be interested to read some opinions and experiences.
  2. Rolf Latham

    Rolf Latham Well-Known Member

    15th Aug, 2005
    Gold Coast and Sydney
    Hiya Jax

    Seeing I now live near "Gods waiting room", being the Tweed/Gold Coasts, I have had a fair bit more enquiry on this type of product.

    Like with all things, one needs to look with care, and not ignore obvious alternatives like No doc Locs or the like.

    My major beef with them is the lowish LVR's that are offered in return for the so called negative equity guarantees.

    They are very useful for the folk that want a one off sum for home improvements, or a living inheritance gift to children etc. I dont think they are so hot used as a LOE tool.