Fannie Wants To Foreclose On And Evict 91 Year Old Widow Of Reverse Mortgage Recipient
Kenneth Harney, UT San Diego
The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development has a birthday gift for widow Jeanette Ogle that should cause any senior to think twice before signing up for a government-insured reverse mortgage.
Later this month, on Ogle’s 92nd birthday, her home in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., is scheduled for foreclosure — not because she did something wrong. Instead, she is expected to lose her house because during a refinancing in 2007, only her husband’s name was included on the reverse mortgage documents prepared by a loan broker. This was despite the fact that both her husband’s and her names were clearly listed as co-borrowers in the documents for the mortgage being refinanced, Ogle says, and the longtime married couple wanted no change in that status.
But under a controversial policy that is drawing national scrutiny and at least one major lawsuit, HUD — the agency that runs the reverse mortgage program — now insists that when a spouse dies, and the surviving spouse’s name is not on the loan documents, the full mortgage balance becomes due and payable. If a relative or the surviving spouse cannot purchase the house and pay off the debt, the loan may be subject to a foreclosure sale.