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Free Reverse Mortgage Counseling for Seniors Seeking to Use Home Equity

  • Published: 2011-03-25 (Revised/Updated 2014-11-24) : National Council on Aging (
  • Synopsis: NCOA offers free counseling for seniors through its Reverse Mortgage Counseling Services RMCS Network
Reverse Mortgage

A home loan that provides cash payments based on home equity. Homeowners normally defer payment of the loan until they die, sell, or move out of the home. Upon the death of homeowners, their heirs either give up ownership to the home or must refinance the home to purchase the title from the reverse mortgage company. Specific rules for reverse mortgage transactions vary depending on the laws of the jurisdiction.

Main Document

Quote: "There are different rules in Canada compared to the United States when it comes to reverse mortgages."

As older adults continue to face financial challenges in the sluggish economy, the National Council on Aging (NCOA) will offer free counseling for seniors through its Reverse Mortgage Counseling Services (RMCS) Network.

RMCS counselors are waiving the usual $125 counseling fee in order to help more homeowners understand how reverse mortgage loans, along with community programs and other options, could help them remain in their homes. Consumers age 62+ can schedule a free reverse mortgage counseling session by calling 1-800-510-0301.

"Many homeowners are struggling in this economy, and with the looming budget cuts in senior services on Capitol Hill, its may make things more difficult for those in need," said Barbara R. Stucki, Ph.D., vice president of Home Equity Initiatives for NCOA. "With this in mind, we are happy to offer free counseling so that older adults can learn how to make smart decisions about using their home equity at a time when other resources may be decreasing."

Generally, NCOA RMCS counselors do not charge a fee for counseling upfront, only at the time of closing, if the client decides to take out a reverse mortgage. RMCS counseling is always free for clients with annual incomes of less than $20,000 for individuals or $30,000 for couples.

NCOA also offers a consumer booklet on reverse mortgages, entitled Use Your Home to Stay at Home. The booklet, and additional information on Reverse Mortgages, can be downloaded for free at

Editor: Facts on Canadian Reverse Mortgages: Courtesy of

  • Reverse mortgage rates are as low as Prime plus 1.25%.
  • Once you are approved for a reverse mortgage, you are approved for life.
  • Money is of course tax free, and can help you lower your overall tax liability.
  • You can qualify for a reverse mortgage regardless of your credit rating or income level.
  • Reverse mortgages provide you with an opportunity to diversify your retirement portfolio.
  • There are different rules in Canada compared to the United States when it comes to reverse mortgages.
  • If one spouse dies, there are no changes to the terms of the reverse mortgage. The loan does not have to be repaid and you don't have to re-qualify.
  • Arranging a reverse mortgage is not complicated. Some seniors have described arranging a CHIP reverse mortgage as 'the simplest financial transaction ever arranged.'
  • You will still have equity left in your home. Even after arranging a reverse mortgage, in most cases, HomEquity Bank clients have an average of 50% of the equity left in their homes.
  • You can't sign final documents without first receiving Independent Legal Advice. That means all Canadian seniors must receive independent counsel before a reverse mortgage can be arranged.

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