Mercer County: Federal reverse mortgage loan available for older residents

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There is a new federal program for homeowners in Mercer County with Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM), according to County Clerk Paula Sollami Covello.

The HECM is a reverse mortgage loan insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) for borrowers at least 62 years old. This government-insured loan allows homeowners to convert their home equity into cash. HECM borrowers are a particularly vulnerable population and continue to experience difficulties due to the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. To remedy this, the federal government has taken significant steps to help facilitate economic recovery from the pandemic.

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The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which oversees the HECM program, recently announced a new repayment option that will provide protection for borrowers who have fallen behind on their property charges. The Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) provides financial assistance to eligible homeowners who have suffered financial hardships during COVID-19.

“As the County’s property recorder, I strive to keep residents informed of programs that exist to help them, especially when they may be under financial stress,” Sollami Covello said.

Mortgagees may provide a borrower with a COVID-19 “HECM Property Charge Repayment Plan” if the borrower has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and is currently on a standard repayment plan. The maximum length of a repayment plan is 60 months. This 60-month time period is not reduced by any time that a borrower utilized a standard HECM repayment plan. For more information on this program, call the FHA Resource Center at 1-800-CALL-FHA, email answers@hud.gov or visit www.hud.gov/answers.

For more information on the services offered by the Office of the Mercer County Clerk, visit the Mercer County Clerk’s website at https://www.mercercounty.org/government/county-clerk or call the office’s main number at (609) 989-6465.

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