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Reverse Mortgage FAQs

​​Get answers to frequently asked questions about M&T's reverse mortgage.​​DIS-162*-DIS|DIS-208*-DIS




  • ​​​​​​Both a reverse mortgage and a home equity loan use the equity you have built up in your home to provide you with readily available cash. However, with a home equity loan, you must make regular monthly payments. With a reverse mortgage, you do not have to repay the loan for as long as you maintain the home as your primary residence and comply with the terms of the loan.

  • ​​​​​Yes, refinancing may make sense if your home increases in value, interest rates drop significantly, or you are much older than at the time of the original loan closing.

  • ​​​​​Yes, you may be eligible for a reverse mortgage – even if you still owe money on a first or second mortgage. However, you must use reverse mortgage proceeds to pay off the existing mortgage balances.

  • ​​​​​No, reverse mortgages may only be taken out on your primary residence.

  • ​​​​Typically, yes, in most cases. A review of any trust documents would be made by the reverse mortgage lender to determine if anything in the living trust/life estate would prohibit eligibility. Irrevocable trusts (trusts that can't be modified or terminated without the permission of the beneficiary) are not eligible.

  • ​​​​​When you sell your home or no longer use it as your primary residence, you or your estate must repay the cash received from the reverse mortgage, plus interest and service fees. Any remaining equity belongs to you or your heirs.

  • ​​​​​No, they can pay off the existing reverse mortgage balance with other available funds or obtain a traditional mortgage to pay off the balance.

  • ​​​​​TALC is short for "Total Annual Loan Cost." It combines all of the costs of a reverse mortgage into a single annual average rate and can be very useful when comparing one type of reverse mortgage to another. Reverse mortgages vary in features, benefits and costs, so it's not always easy to compare "apples to apples." If you are considering a reverse mortgage, be sure to ask the lender or counselor to explain the TALC rates for the various reverse mortgage product options.

  • ​​​​​This is a federally mandated feature of the reverse mortgage process designed for your protection. The counselor (from an independent government-approved housing counseling agency) explains the pros and cons of your reverse mortgage alternatives in detail. He or she will discuss reverse mortgage costs and financial implications and tell you about any government or non-​​profit programs for which you may qualify. A list of approved counseling agencies is posted on the Internet by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development at www.hud.gov​​.

  • ​​​​Getting started is easy. Provide your contact information using our online form, and an M&T Reverse Mortgage Specialist can set up a time to meet with you in person or talk with you over the phone about your reverse mortgage options. You'll learn how a reverse mortgage works and how it compares to other options. 

    Learn More About Requesting an Estimate >

    Ask Us To Call You >​

  • ​​​A reverse mortgage is a loan that enables homeowners, age 62 and older, to convert a portion of their home equity into funds that are usually not taxed​DIS-51-DIS​ – without having to sell their home, give up title to it, or make monthly payments. A reverse mortgage only becomes due once your home is sold or estate is settled.​​DIS-125-DIS​ 

  • ​​​​The total amount of reverse mortgage funds available depends on several factors including the age of the youngest homeowner, the type of reverse mortgage selected, current interest rates, your home's appraised value and the FHA Reverse lending limits.

  • ​​​​Closing costs can be paid directly out of the reverse mortgage proceeds, or you may choose to use your own funds to pay them at closing. The appraisal and credit report fees are collected at application. Counseling is required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the counseling agency you select may charge a fee for this counseling.  An M&T Reverse Mortgage Specialist can review your situation with you and provide you with a summary of the costs and fees associated with your reverse mortgage. 

  • ​​​​​​​​​Reverse mortgage funds are usually not taxedDIS-51-DIS and can be tailored to fit your needs:​​DIS-125-DIS​

    • Receive the money as a lump sum payout
    • Receive equal monthly payments for as long as the borrowers live in the home
    • Receive equal monthly payments for a fixed period of time
    • Set up a line of credit to obtain funds at any time until the line of credit is exhausted
    • Combine options​
  • ​​​​​​Having a reverse mortgage should not affect your Social Security or Medicare benefits. (Consult your Social Security, Medicare or other financial advisor regarding your particular situation). If, however, you receive SSI, Medicaid or other public assistance, your reverse mortgage loan advances are counted as "liquid assets" if kept in an account past the end of the calendar month in which you receive them. 

    You must be careful not to let your total liquid assets become greater than these programs allow. You should discuss the impact of a reverse mortgage on federal, state or local assistance programs with a professional advisor, such as your local Agency on Aging​​ (toll-free at 1-800-677-1116) or a tax attorney.​

  • ​​​​​A reverse mortgage must be on the borrower's primary residence (where he or she lives most of the year). Eligible properties for M&T's reverse mortgage include one-unit to four-unit homes, FHA-approved condominiums and planned unit developments. Mobile homes and cooperatives are generally not eligible for a reverse mortgage.

  • ​​​​​Yes, your name will remain on the deed until your home is sold or your estate is settled. However, a lien will be placed on your property, as would be the case with any real estate secured loan.​

  • ​​​​​Not as long as you continue to keep your home as your primary residence and in a good state of repair with property taxes paid and insurance coverage in place. You must also comply with the terms of the loan, which give M&T debt protection rights in the event you default.

  • ​​​​​Your reverse mortgage loan becomes due when one or more of the following conditions occur:

    • The last surviving borrower (or non-borrowing spouse) passes away or sells the home
    • All borrowers (or non-borrowing spouse) permanently move out of the home
    • The last surviving borrower (or non-borrowing spouse) ​fails to live in the home for 12 consecutive months due to physical or mental illness
    • You fail to pay property taxes or insurance
    • You let the property deteriorate beyond what is considered reasonable wear and tear and do not correct the problems

    ​​When the loan becomes due, the reverse mortgage principal received, interest charges and service fees (including closing costs) must be paid in full. The heirs of the estate can choose to sell the property or pay off the loan using other assets. If the property is sold, the owner or estate is entitled to whatever proceeds are left over after paying the loan in full.

  • ​​​​​M&T offers a federally insured reverse mortgage known as a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) – which is insured by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HECMs are widely available and can be used for any purpose.​

  • ​​​​​​​​Reverse mortgages have variable- and fixed-rate options. Variable-rate options are tied to a rate index and adjust on a monthly or annual basis.

  • ​​​​Like any mortgage, a reverse mortgage does have closing costs. They can vary, depending on the value of your home and the county where it's located.​​

  • ​​​​Reverse mortgage proceeds are not taxable because the Internal Revenue Service considers them to be loan advances. However, it's always wise to consult with your tax advisor regarding these matters.​​