What happens with my reverse mortgage if my spouse dies?

It depends. It will depend on whether you and your spouse are listed as co-owners on the property deed and as co-borrowers on the reverse mortgage loan.

Reverse mortgage loans generally require that all property owners be listed as borrowers and that all borrowers meet the minimum age requirement. If you are a co-owner and co-borrower, you can continue living in the home even if your spouse dies or moves out. Sometimes, only one of the spouses is listed as a borrower on the loan.

Example: Let’s say you were not yet 62 years old when your spouse took out the loan. You would not have qualified to be a co-borrower. If the home and the reverse mortgage are in your spouse’s name only – and you are not listed as a co-owner and co-borrower– you typically will not be able to keep the home unless you can repay the entire loan balance in full when your spouse dies or moves out.

Lenders will sometimes suggest changing the title or ownership of your home to qualify for a reverse mortgage, or to qualify for more loan proceeds. This is very risky.

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