Do I need a lawyer to review the documents a reverse mortgage company has asked that I sign?
The short answer is yes. Reverse mortgage agreements are detailed, complex, and not easy to understand. Additionally, the potentially devastating financial impact that these contracts may have on those who are unfamiliar with the legal impact of the terms and conditions contained in these documents may result in a financial loss, including the loss of your home. The New York Times has recently written extensively on the losses that senior homeowners have experienced from not understanding what they have agreed to and from high pressure sales tactics.
The attorney writer of this blog was asked to review a reverse mortgage agreement for an elderly woman in Georgia whose son was concerned about what she was being asked to sign. In her case, the mortgage broker trying to sell the reverse mortgage used high pressure tactics on the homeowner, including imposing unreasonable deadlines for her to have a lawyer review the documents. This is a sign that the terms of the agreement were potentially harmful to the homeowner. What was discovered by the writer in the reverse mortgage documents was that the fees that were going to be charged for the transaction substantially reduced the amount of equity that was actually available to be borrowed against by the homeowner. Additionally, the interest rate was unusually high. Please contact Rumsey & Ramsey at (770) 394-9400 to arrange for a lawyer to review your reverse mortgage documents before you sign them.