Feb 142017

Making the decision to do (or not to do) a Reverse Mortgage is a big decision.  Any major financial moves a homeowner makes should be done after careful consideration.  Your loan officer has a fiduciary responsibility to have your best interest at heart.  However, at the end of the day, a loan officer does make money by doing loans, so it’s a good idea to get educated as much as you can via your loan officer, but also to educate yourself by perusing other info provided by a neutral third party that does not benefit from YOU doing a reverse mortgage in California, or any other state for that matter.

HECM Reverse Mortgage Resources

HECM Reverse Mortgage Resources

That’s what we intend to offer here – resources for you to access that are not affiliated with this site or any particular lender.

Before we do that, here is something else to consider as you forge ahead and educate yourself about reverse mortgages.

Is your loan officer a reverse mortgage / HECM specialist?

Is your loan officer a reverse mortgage / HECM specialist OR do they simply do traditional loans and can potentially do reverse loans?  I actually work in a company that mainly focuses on traditional loans.  I manage a division within this company that focusses on Reverse Mortgages.  My staff only does reverse mortgages.  They truly are specialists.  Believe me, before I became a specialist (like when I was just doing traditional loans), you would not have wanted to do a reverse with me. I knew the basics, but not much more, but that was 15 years ago.  Today, I only do reverse loans and I know them well.

How can I tell if I’m working with someone that is well versed in the HECM product?

Frankly, you may not be able to.  Some will tell you that they are well versed in doing them and some will just pretend.  There are a couple of things you can do.  1. Check the website for the company your loan officer works for.  Does it at least have a dedicated page for reverse loans?  If not, the person may not be all that well versed in the reverse loan (naturally, exceptions apply).  2. Look at their resume on the NMLS Consumer Access.  All loan officers are required to get licensed through the National Mortgage Licensing System.  If you go to NMLS Consumer Access, you can see their resume (which includes their job title, time in the business, time with each company, and a list of states they are licensed in and / or were licensed in).  Here is the link; NMLS Consumer Access

The National Council on Aging (aka NCOA):

The National Council on aging is a non-profit organization that was formed in 1950 and is a well-respected national leader that has a website which provides resources geared towards improving the health and economic security of older adults.

Here is a link to the main page for the National Council on Aging.

The NCOA is also a neutral 3rd party.  They do not benefit by you doing a reverse mortgage, so it’s a great place to get non-biased info about reverse mortgages.  In fact, HUD (Reverse Mortgages are insured by HUD / FHA) requires lenders to send a pamphlet about reverse loans from the NCOA in every proposal a lender, loan officer, broker, or counselor sends you (it’s required that you have this packet from either the lender/broker or counselor before you can do your counseling appointment).

Here is a link to the NCOA Reverse Mortgage Info page.

If you’d like a copy of the free NCOA Booklet about reverse mortgages, please send me an email requesting it at shawnv@ReverseMortgageCalifornia.biz or call (714) 271-8524 (cell phone).


This blog / webpage is not affiliated with HUD / FHA.  Reverse Mortgages are neither “endorsed” nor “approved” by the Federal Government. Only a lender and / or broker can originate an FHA loan. The FHA (Federal Housing Administration) simply provides certain insurance benefits for lenders and borrowers in connection with the lender’s HECM loans; the FHA does not make or originate loans.  You can find info about the FHA insured Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (Reverse Mortgage) on the HUD portal.

Here is a link for HUD’s Reverse Mortgage Info page.

American Association of Retired Persons (aka AARP):

Like NCOA, AARP is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1958 with the intent to enhance the quality of life for all as they age.  AARP is not a Reverse Mortgage lender, and again, they offer un-biased info about Reverse Mortgages.

Here is a link to their main page; AARP

HUD Reverse Mortgage Counseling:

One of the HUD requirements prior to ordering a case number with the intent to move forward with a reverse mortgage is that an interested homeowner get reverse mortgage counseling from a neutral 3rd party that is not affiliated with any lender or loan broker. 

It’s simply an effort to help ensure that you know what kind of transaction you’re entering into.  

Note: Your loan officer is not permitted to provide you with a specific recommendation.  They are simply supposed to provide a list of eligible counselors.

The opposite is also true; your counselor may not recommend any specific lenders.  Both of the practices are not allowed by HUD.

HECM counselors from the list below can provide face-to-face and telephone counseling nationally.

Agency Name and Website Telephone
National Foundation for Credit Counseling (866) 698-6322
Money Management International (877) 908-2227
ClearPoint Financial Solutions (800) 251-2227
Springboard (800) 947-3752
HomeFree (301) 891-8423
Greenpath (888) 860-4167
Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation (888) 990-4326

For your free Reverse Mortgage California brochure, please email slvReverseMortgage@gmail.com   OR shawnv@ReverseMortgageCalifornia.biz

Shawn Lawrence Vaillancourt

NMLS License # 387151 in CA, CO, VA, MD, WA, OR

I also have a staff of reverse mortgage specialists in virtually every other state in America.

For more in depth info on all Reverse Mortgage subjects, check out


Reverse Mortgage Info

Feb 142017

Beginning January of 2017 FHA increased the HECM loan limit (aka Maximum Claim Amount) to $636,150 (formerly $625,500).

The new maximum claim amount is 150 percent of the Freddie Mac’s national conforming loan limit of $424,100 and it officially became available for any case numbers issued on or after January

Reverse Mortgage Loan Limit

Reverse Mortgage Loan Limit

1, 2017. This applies to all areas within the United States, including Hawaii, Alaska, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

But wait! Does that mean that you can actually get a loan amount of $636,150?  This part is a little confusing for the average person or even for a loan officer who typically just does traditional forward loans.  In the forward loan world, a loan limit actually refers to the amount of money a borrowing homeowner can borrow.

To shed some light on what it actually means, below is a definition of Max Claim Amount aka MCA.

Max Claim Amount – MCA = the amount of home value used in calculating the Principal Loan Limit on the FHA HECM. It is the lesser of the appraised value or the lending limit for HECM’s (limit is $632,150).

For your free Reverse Mortgage California brochure, please email slvReverseMortgage@gmail.com   OR shawnv@ReverseMortgageCalifornia.biz

Perhaps an example will help further explain how the HECM loan limit works.  A 70 year old man or woman would qualify to get 57.6% of their home’s appraisal value.  For example, if this same 70 year old had a home that was worth exactly $100,000.00 then they would be able to get a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage for $57,600.  If this same 70 year old had a home that was worth $200,000.00 then they’d be able to get a reverse loan for $115,200.  This goes on and on until your home is worth $636,150.00.  So, in the event a 70 year old’s home appraised for exactly $636,150.00 they’d get 57.6% of that or $366,422.40 in dollars and cents.  This same 70 year old would not get any more than $366,422.40 if there home appraised above the HECM loan limit.

So you see, you don’t actually get a loan of $636,150.00.  Below is a table that shows the maximum available loan amount for several different age groups.  The figures are based on a home that appraises for $636,150 or higher.

Borrower Age 2017 Loan Limits 2016 & Prior Loan Limits
62 $333,342.60 $327,762
70 $366,422.40 $360,288
78 $407,136 $400,320
86 $451,030.35 $443,479.50
90+ $477,112.50 $469,125


For your free Reverse Mortgage California brochure, please email slvReverseMortgage@gmail.com   OR shawnv@ReverseMortgageCalifornia.biz

Shawn Lawrence Vaillancourt

NMLS License # 387151.  Licensed in CO, CA, WA, OR, MD, VA

(714) 271-8524

For more in depth info on all Reverse Mortgage subjects, check out

Reverse Mortgage California

Reverse Mortgage Loan Advisors

Feb 072017

Like most financial tools, a California Reverse Mortgage is not for everyone.  At the end of the day, one may consider a reverse mortgage for several reasons.  Typically, it’s to get more money or access more money (or to reduce their monthly liabilities by eliminating their mortgage payment).

That being said, here are some alternatives to doing a Reverse Mortgage (I called them the A, B, C’s):

Assets – Naturally, you can keep doing what you’re doing now and continue to live on the assets you have now (or shall I say, “live on the assets you DON’T have now”). In other words, do nothing.  Are you living the life you’ve always wanted? If you are, perhaps a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (a.k.a.HECM) is not for you.

Borrow – you can borrow the traditional way by qualifying with credit, income, and assets.  Things to consider are; 1. Do you want a mortgage payment?  2. If you don’t have enough money coming in now, does borrowing the traditional way really help?  Or is it just delaying the inevitable? 3. If you borrow the traditional way, does it potentially eliminate the reverse mortgage as an option?  (for example, if you borrow 85% of your appraised value, there’s a good chance you won’t qualify for a reverse mortgage later because will have already borrowed more than you’d get with a reverse mortgage?…..or, would a Reverse Mortgage with NO monthly payment simply work better?

Children – If the family is willing, you can always borrow from them or get them to help out financially.  Many have that option and Many do not.  What about you?

Downsize – you can always sell your home and downsize (or go live with family).  Does moving out of your home seem like the best option for you?  Where would you go?  How long have you lived where you’re at now?  Have you really explored what the move is all about (i.e., the cost, the time involved with moving years of things, will have room for all your things or will you have to get rid of some or get a storage space?  Maybe this is the best option for you.  Only you can answer that question.

Enter the work force again.  Going back to work can help fill a monetary gap.  What kind of work would you do?  Would you try to reenter your former career?  Would you start over?  Depending on what kind of work you do, how long can you keep it up?  Maybe this is right for you.  Many retirees get bored because there so used to working and staying busy.

Equity release or equity sharing is another option.  Here is the short version of what this is; Although each company structures these transactions in different ways, the basic premise of the agreement is the same. The homeowner agrees to give up part of a their home’s future appreciation in exchange for cash.  The homeowner would typically give up 10% to 15% of their home’s current value.  This is also known as a REX Agreement.

…………………or, the remaining alternative of a Reverse Mortgage may be right for you.  A reverse mortgage will allow you to:

Find Peace of Mind.  The Reverse Mortgage:

  • Does not require any monthly mortgage payments
  • Allows you to stay in your home for as long as you live
  • Is easy to qualify for
  • Can help eliminate for alternative borrowing such as a loan with a mandatory payment or borrowing from family or seeking their assistance
  • Can eliminate the need to consider going back to work or continuing to work.


No matter how you slice it, not every option is right for every person.  If you think a reverse mortgage is right for you OR if you’d like to find out more please email slvReverseMortgage@gmail.com   OR shawnv@ReverseMortgageCalifornia.biz

For more in depth info on all Reverse Mortgage subjects, check out