Former HUD Chief Touts Reverse Mortgage Benefits

Staying in one’s homes reflects not only a financially sensible housing option, but also helps give meaning to one’s life, according to former Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Henry Cisneros in an op-ed for The Miami Herald. Read the article by selecting the link below:
For more information, please contact me at or write me

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Reverse Mortgages Can Be A Retiree’s Saving Grace

Housing Wealth Manifesto/ Forbes

Jamie Hopkins is a contributing editor to Forbes Magazine and his recent article points out the need for seniors to consider using reverse mortgages in their retirement planning.

The lack of focus on home equity in retirement income planning is nothing short of a complete failure to properly plan and utilize all available retirement assets. This needs to change immediately because strategic uses of home equity, especially reverse mortgages, could save many people from financial failure in retirement and help stem the overall retirement income crisis facing Americans.

I can meet with older homeowners and help educate them on the use of their home equity in retirement.  I also will present the facts to Financial Planners and other professionals to educate them on Housing Wealth in Retirement.  Contact me at or call me 510.701.2167.


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Textbook Case of HELOC Reset; HECM is the White Hat

Jennie called me and was concerned that the HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit) she had with Wells Fargo was going to be reset the first of the year. Her payments were going to increase from $373 per month to over $1,200 per month. She said that she did not have the income to make the increased payment. So we started talking about using the HECM (Home Equity Conversion Mortgage) reverse mortgage to replace her HELOC. She loved the idea plus she would have a credit line that would grow over time and would never be changed or reset.
Jennie’s situation is a textbook case that had many of the benefits of a reverse mortgage. Her charming home in Alameda, CA was appraised at $644,000 so she would receive the maximum from her FHA HECM. Jennie is 74 years old and would pay off her $111,000 HELOC with the reverse mortgage and she would get another $25,000 to pay off her credit cards. She then would have $269,117 in a credit line account. This line would grow at 3.70% and would adjust as her interest rate on the funds she used would adjust. What a deal. That growth would amount to at least $1,000 per month added to her credit line.
The financial assessment that HUD recently implemented on borrowers was no problem for her. She kept her insurance and property taxes current and she kept meticulous records. We took her reverse mortgage application on August 10 and signed closing papers September 17.
Jennie is one happy lady with no monthly mortgage payment and her fears of the resetting HELOC are behind her now.
If you are 62 years old or older or know of someone who is, this may also help you or friends or family. Call Marty Appel at 510.701.2167 or email him at to talk about your situation.

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Transitions – All For the Better

I have just recently moved to another company – Retirement Funding Solutions (RFS). Retirement Funding Solutions was created to address and solve one of the most significant challenges facing the Baby Boomer Generation today … Being Financially Prepared for Your Retirement Years. My website is

Our Core Values:
Integrity: I am committed to the highest level of integrity when working with clients in obtaining a HECM loan. I will always act in a manner that reflects sound character, truthfulness and fairness.

Loyalty: I understand that loyalty is built upon trust. My loyalty to my borrowers is to present all options that are in their best interest (not mine). Throughout the loan process and afterwards I will advocate for you as your loyal ally.

Diligence: The HECM loan requires a thorough and professional approach. I will work hard and efficiently to close your loan in the shortest possible time showing care and tenacity in walking my clients through the process.

Compassion: Each of my client’s situations are unique. As such I will always work to address any concerns throughout the process. My clients are not numbers but a valued customer and I will always be mindful of their unique situation and circumstances.

If you or a family member or friend want a free reverse mortgage quote please give me a call (510.701.2167) or email me I want to help show the pros and cons of reverse mortgages.

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Oakland Resident Keeps her Home with a Reverse Mortgage

It all started with a phone call from Patricia.  She had a client in Oakland that the bank could not help.  Her debt was too much and her income was too low.  Patricia told Ella that I may be able to help her improve her cash flow.  Her Oakland home was a quaint craftsman and she was a very gracious person.  She needed help.  When I arrived I noticed her concrete driveway was cracked and the side of her house was cracked from the roofline to the foundation.

As we talked she said that she needed money to replace her disabled car in the driveway.  She wanted transportation.  Her living room had a ceiling that was much damaged from roof leaks.  She had a friend that had made repairs but that did not stop the leaks.  I had a plan that I recommended to her.  I would have a contractor Gary’s Brick Stone and Concrete from Oakland, come by and evaluate the work needed for the crack repairs to the home and driveway.  I would also ask GSR Roofing, an Oakland contractor, to come by and evaluate the roof.  Ella seemed to like what I presented and I could move forward.  In the meantime she would arrange a counseling session to get the reverse mortgage started.  My strategy would be to get the work completed before the appraisal so that would not delay the process further.  Both Gary (Gary’s Brick Stone and Concrete) and Geraldo (GSR Roofing) agreed to do the repairs after Ella approved their estimates.  These Oakland contractors were willing to complete the work and get paid at closing.  They were fantastic to agree to do this and help out an older homeowner.

Geraldo showed me pictures of the damaged roof and I could tell that Ella had been taken advantage of.  A form of Elder abuse, whoever did the previous work did a crappy job and it failed causing the interior damage to Ella’s home.  Geraldo made repairs and also arranged to make repairs to the ceiling in the living room, entry, and master bedroom. Gary did a beautiful job with the concrete repair and repairing the cracks in the stucco as well as repair cracks around the chimney and painting the sidewalk and driveway.

Then I had another surprise, Ella had four judgements against her plus unpaid garbage.  We had to clear these up and title had their work cut out for them.  Oakland garbage bills left unpaid are placed as liens on the property so we got payoff on this and other judgements.  Thankfully the other judgements were minor (less than $300) but we still have to get them resolved.  This took several weeks while my contractors had to wait to get paid. They were very patient but hung in there with me.

Now three months after application we have a clear to close and can get documents prepared.  Ella signed the documents.  She was expecting more money but because of the repairs her cash was reduced by about $29,000 and the lower appraisal on her Oakland home was less than she expected.

In the end we paid Ella’s mortgage, repaired her home, gave her some cash to buy a used car and left a small amount in a credit line account for her to have available in emergencies.  We improved her cash flow by $600 per month.  She is very happy with the result.  Now to move on to help other Oakland homeowners.

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Security 1 Lending announced a no cost reverse mortgage this week. Finally we have a product that Financial Planners and Estate Planners will love. This product is ideal for the Standby Reverse Mortgage that homeowners can use in their Wealth Management strategy.

Homeowners will be required to pay for their HUD counseling ($125) and $300 for partial payment of the appraisal but the rest is zero cost. They must also activate their account by taking $50 at closing. Seems so simple.

The best part is the growth rate of this no cost reverse is awesome. You will have to call me for details.  You can reach me at 510.701.2167 or email me at

I have also put a link here for you to look at another view of reverse mortgages. It is published in the Wall Street Journal by The Experts. The Experts are a group of industry, academic and cultural thinkers who weigh in on the latest debates in The Journal Report. Check it out.

Posted in HECM, Home Equity, Home Equity Conversion MOrtgage, Reverse Mortgage, Wealth Management | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Positive Changes from HUD – More Generous Reverse Mortgage Benefits Coming

HUD announced this week that the rules are changing for borrowers wanting to get a reverse mortgage.  These rules are positive changes much to the liking of older homeowners. 

First, borrowers who have spouses that are younger than 62 can now get a reverse.  In fact the new Principal Limit Factor is calculated all the way down to 18 years of age (don’t laugh its true).  The new PLF tables now include figures for ages under 62 following a decision by HUD to allow for non-borrowing spouses of new reverse mortgage borrowers to remain in their homes following the passing away of the borrower, under certain terms and conditions. The PLFs reflect loans for borrowers who are age 62 and older, but also loans for married couples where one borrower does not meet the traditional 62 year old age requirement.

Secondly, borrowers who are 64 and older will see their benefits increase.  Younger ages will see slight increases (less than 1%) but older borrowers will see up to a 9% increase.

These changes are effective for applications dated August 4, 2014 and later.  Call me (510.701.2167) or email me (  I will be happy to discuss with you.


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