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More Counseling Available To Help Seniors With Reverse Mortgages

Grant helps Neighborhood Preservation Company in Port Chester provide services.

Neighborhood Preservation Company has expanded its housing counseling program to offer Home Equity Conversion Mortgage counseling to senior citizens.

HDSW of Mamaroneck is the second not for profit, HUD-approved housing counseling agency in Westchester County to provide reverse mortgage counseling.

“Thank to a $14,000 HECM grant that we were awarded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, we are using this funding to launch the HECM Counseling program to guide and educate seniors in this process,” said Andrea Kocsis, executive director of Human Development Services of Westchester.

“The recession and plummeting housing market over the last five years, have forced many senior citizens to face a complicated and emotional financial decision - whether to sell their home or get a reverse mortgage that will enable them to age in place by drawing upon the equity of their home,” explained , director of the Port Chester-based Neighborhood Preservation Company.

Reverse mortgage loan advances are not taxable, generally don’t affect Social Security or Medicare benefits, and can give older Americans greater financial security to supplement social security, meet unexpected medical expenses, make home improvements, and more.

A counseling fee is generally charged by the agency to clients for this service. Human Development Services of Westchester says it will determine, based on the homeowner’s financial circumstances, if he/she will be charged the $135 fee for Westchester residents or the $200 fee for non-Westchester residents.

If the client receiving HECM counseling services has an income level that falls below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty level, the agency may defer collection of payment until closing.

Upon completion of HECM counseling, homeowners should be able to make an independent, informed decision of whether a reverse mortgage will meet their specific needs or not. A HUD HECM Certificate will be issued when the essentials of a reverse mortgage are understood.

Contact the Neighborhood Preservation Company at 914-939-2005 for more information on this program, and to schedule an intake with a HECM counselor.

Human Development Services of Westchester is a social service organization providing psychiatric and community stabilization services in Westchester County. The agency says it is dedicated to empowering individuals and families we serve to achieve self-sufficiency.

Glen K Dunbar June 16, 2012 at 02:53 PM
We just paid off a rev mtg and it was very helpful to have access to all that money while it lasted :)
Sol Skolnick June 16, 2012 at 06:08 PM
Potential consumers for Reverse Mortgages should be aware that the closing costs are typically more expensive than for a conventional mortgage and that fewer and fewer lenders are now offering this product.
hprice June 16, 2012 at 10:23 PM
Check out the Anatomy of a Reverse Mortgage Infographic: http://reversemortgagecompanies.com/infographics/anatomy-of-a-reverse-mortgage
Sandy Jolley June 17, 2012 at 02:11 AM
You are right HUD Counseling is to educate the borrower on the reverse mortgage process. However: The government defines a reverse mortgage as a "Complex Financial Instrument" and unless you (Senior Borrower) is a Certified Financial Planner there is no way you or any lay person can understand the lifelong impact and terms without Financial Advice. HUD Counselors and Reverse Mortgage Lenders do not give any advice whatsoever, and especially the financial and legal advice needed to determine suitability, long term consequences for financial security through retirement.
ryanzwallace June 17, 2012 at 04:33 AM
Are you looking to refinance your mortgage? Best way is to contact at least three to five lenders for input on mortgage programs and rates. Also search online for 123 Refinance since I refinanced my loan to 3.29% with my OK credit history.

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