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Heritage House money man struggled financially

02_sh_ vestal

02_sh_ vestal

The N.C. Real Estate Commission is investigating Vestal Management Company, which is owned by Greensboro businessman G.A. “Sonny” Vestal Jr. 

Heritage House map

Heritage House map



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Trouble at Heritage House condominiums

Some residents and city council members call the six-story complex
squalid and in need of multiple repairs.

Posted: Saturday, September 20, 2014 11:57 pm

Heritage House money man struggled financially

Margaret Moffett/News Record
margaret.moffett@news-record.com

news-record.com

GREENSBORO — The man responsible for paying the bills at Heritage House doesn’t always pay his own.


G.A. “Sonny” Vestal Jr., whose company ran that troubled condominium’s homeowners association, owes tens of thousands to banks, credit card companies and former business associates, according to legal documents examined by the News Record.

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Saturday, September 20, 2014 11:57 pm.

Article source: http://www.news-record.com/news/heritage-house-money-man-struggled-financially/article_c3073394-4141-11e4-921d-001a4bcf6878.html

Charlie Baker, Martha Coakley target supporters for campaign cash – The Republican

BOSTON (AP) — As they scramble for campaign dollars, Republican Charlie Baker and Democrat Martha Coakley are reaching out to different pockets of donors to help bankroll their pursuit of the Massachusetts governor’s office.

One of the differences is in the amount of out-of-state money each campaign has brought in.

Just under 8 percent of contributions to Baker’s campaign — about $270,000 — came from donors living outside Massachusetts, according to a review of campaign finance records by the Associated Press filed between January, 2013 and mid-September.

For Coakley, the nearly $494,000 she’s pulled in from out-of-state backers accounts for more than 19 percent of her total — nearly one out of every five dollars

The reports filed with the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance also helped fill in some details about the kinds of individuals donating to both campaigns.

Lawyers were among the top donors to both candidates, Coakley collected more than $544,211 from those who listed “attorney” as their profession — more than double the $263,823 donated to Baker by those who described themselves as “attorney” or “lawyer.”

Those who said described themselves as “retired” were the top donors to Baker by occupation ($335,930), far more than the $136,954 donated to Coakley by retired individuals.

Other top donors by occupation to Coakley were those who listed under their job title: “not employed” ($76,908); president ($74,900); homemaker ($73,085); and consultant ($28,556).

For Baker, those who listed their job title as retired or attorney were followed by: homemaker ($169,283); president ($90,195); executive ($84,970); and consultant ($79,210).

The reports also show how much workers from individuals companies gave to each candidate. While companies are barred from making direct contributions to candidates, individual donors list both their occupation and employer. The maximum individual donation is $500 per calendar year.

For Baker, employees at PricewaterhouseCoopers contributed $15,200, followed by Northeast Utilities ($13,100), Fidelity Investments ($12,125), Gutierrez Company ($11,000), and Mintz Levin ($7,500).

For Coakley employees at EMC Corporation topped the list with $20,500 in total donations. Others include Goulston Storrs ($13,100), Nixon Peabody LLP ($12,825) and Hinckley, Allen Snyder LLP ($11,750).

Coakley, the state’s attorney general, also collected $17,770 from those who listed the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as their employer.

Charlie Baker, center, stands behind the bar and pours a Guinness during at a campaign stop Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Boston’s South Boston neighborhood. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) Baker’s campaign finance director Mark Fuller said the GOP candidate’s strong support from inside Massachusetts is a good sign.

“We’re proud that virtually all of our financial support comes from folks that live in the commonwealth,” Mark Fuller said in a statement. “It shows that Charlie’s positive message is really resonating with voters.”

Coakley campaign press secretary Bonnie McGilpin said the attorney general’s role in national issues like the foreclosure crisis and arguing against the federal Defense of Marriage Act helped earn Coakley fans outside Massachusetts.

“In addition the thousands of supporters in Massachusetts excited about electing our first women governor, there are people across the country that support Martha’s vision of expanding fairness, opportunity and equality,” McGilpin said.

A closer look at the campaign finance reports also showed both candidates relying on contributions from donors in many of the same cities and towns. Contributions from Boston led both candidates’ lists. Newton, Needham, Wellesley and Winchester also made it onto the list of Baker and Coakley’s top ten communities.

Baker also pulled in $120,725 from his hometown of Swampscott.

The top zip code for each? Coakley pulled in $338,166 from 02108, a downtown Boston zip code while Baker’s top zip code was in Swampscott.

As of Sept. 15, Baker had $930,109 left in his campaign account, compared to just $131,655 for Coakley, who was coming off a three-way primary contest. Baker was unopposed.

The contributions to Baker and Coakley don’t include money being spent to support or oppose their candidacies by outside groups, including political action committees.

A post-primary poll by the Boston Globe found 39 percent of those polled favored Coakley, compared to 36 percent for Baker, 19 percent undecided, and the remaining 6 percent divided up between three independent candidates for governor — Jeff McCormick, Scott Lively, and Evan Falchuk.

The poll of 407 likely voters was conducted between Sept. 14 and 16 and carries a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.

The election is Nov. 4.

Article source: http://www.masslive.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/09/charlie_baker_martha_coakley_t.html

The Color of Money | A reverse mortgage is still a mortgage

You’re 62 or older, and life has derailed your plans.

You didn’t save nearly as much as you wanted to retire — but you had to stop working because of
health issues.

You’ll get Social Security and a monthly pension. But there’s a financial gap because of
unexpected expenses. You need a new roof and other home repairs.

Then you see a late-night television commercial about something called a reverse mortgage.

“You know some people have told me reverse mortgages sound too good to be true,” actor and
former Sen. Fred Thompson says. “I mean, you get cash out of your home. No monthly payments and
still own your home.”

Could this be the answer? It may be. But be careful.

To qualify for a reverse mortgage, you have to be 62 or older and own your home outright or have
a low-enough mortgage that it can be paid off with proceeds from the loan. Your home must be your
principal residence. Borrowers can take the loan as a line of credit, a lump-sum payment, fixed
monthly payments or a combination. Most important, borrowers have to maintain the home and pay
property taxes and homeowner’s insurance.

Like any other financial product, a reverse mortgage is not right for everyone. A 2012 report
from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that a large proportion of borrowers —
nearly

10 percent — in the federally insured Home Equity Conversion Mortgage program, which represents
about 95 percent of the reverse-mortgage market, were at risk of foreclosure because they hadn’t
paid their property taxes and insurance.

Most recently, a report by researchers at Ohio State University found that changes to the
reverse-mortgage market could help reduce default rates among borrowers who currently don’t have to
undergo the same type of financial assessments as are done for traditional loans.

The Ohio researchers examined a pool of 30,000 seniors counseled for reverse mortgages between
2006 and 2011. As part of its intake of information, the agency pulled people’s credit scores. FHA
requires borrowers to go thorough pre-loan counseling.

As it turned out, borrowers with low scores were more likely to have trouble paying their
property taxes and homeowner’s insurance. Under the FICO credit-scoring model the score range is
300 to 850. The higher the score, the lower the risk.

The Ohio researchers concluded that if lenders held to a FICO credit score threshold of 500,
this could reduce the percentage of people getting a reverse mortgage by

3.2 percent, but lower the predicted default rate by 12.4 percent.

“People have to realize, this is still a mortgage,” said Stephanie Moulton, associate professor
and director of doctoral studies at Ohio State and one of the co-authors of the reverse-mortgage
report.

To get more information about reverse mortgages, go to www.hud.gov and search for “Reverse
Mortgage.”

“For the right person in the right situation, a reverse mortgage can be a sustainable way for
seniors to age in place,” said FHA Commissioner Carol Galante. “But converting your home’s equity
into a source of cash requires careful consideration with the help of an experienced housing
counselor.”

Although the TV commercials make a reverse mortgage sound super simple, there’s a lot to
consider. So please proceed with caution.

Michelle Singletary writes for the Washington Post Writers Group.

Article source: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/business/2014/09/21/a-reverse-mortgage-is-still-a-mortgage.html

Make sure you can afford reverse mortgage

You’re 62 or older, and life has derailed your plans.

You didn’t save nearly as much as you wanted to retire – but you had to stop working because of health issues.

You’ll receive a Social Security benefit and a monthly pension. But there’s a financial gap because of unexpected expenses. You need a new roof and other necessary home repairs.

Then you see a late-night television commercial about something called a reverse mortgage.

“You know some people have told me reverse mortgages sound too good to be true,” the actor and former senator Fred Thompson says. “I mean, you get cash out of your home. No monthly payments and still own your home.”

Could this be the answer?

It might be. But be careful.

Most people understand a traditional 30-year or 15-year mortgage. You take out a loan for your home and make monthly payments. But with a reverse mortgage, there is no monthly payment. The lender doesn’t get paid until you move, sell or die. If the home is sold, any equity that remains after the loan is repaid is distributed to you or your estate.

To qualify for a reverse mortgage, you have to be 62 or older and own your home outright or have a low-enough mortgage that it can be paid off with proceeds from the loan. Your home must be your principal residence. Borrowers can take the loan as a line of credit, a lump-sum payment, fixed monthly payments or a combination. Most importantly, borrowers have to maintain the home and pay property taxes and homeowner’s insurance.

Like any other financial product, a reverse mortgage is not right for everyone. A 2012 report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that a large proportion of borrowers – nearly 10 percent – in the federally insured Home Equity Conversion Mortgage program, which represents about 95 percent of the reverse mortgage market, were at risk of foreclosure because they hadn’t paid their property taxes and insurance.

There have been changes to reverse mortgages recently. People are limited in how much they can withdraw during the first year. As of Aug. 4, non-borrowing spouses can’t be kicked out of the house when their spouses die as long as they continue to meet certain qualifications. And coming soon are new rules from the Federal Housing Administration to make sure people can afford the expenses they must pay under a reverse mortgage.

Many folks are alarmed that some seniors are using the money from a reverse mortgage not to supplement other income or to handle unexpected medical expenses or make needed home improvements but as a pot of money that they are too quickly depleting.

“To a lot of people, a reverse mortgage is a loan of last resort for seniors without any other options,” said Peter Bell, president and chief executive of National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association. “But a reverse mortgage can be a useful part of a retirement plan. However, you shouldn’t use it as a bailout.”

Most recently, a report by researchers at Ohio State University found that changes to the reverse mortgage market could help reduce default rates among borrowers who currently don’t have to undergo the same type of financial assessments as is done for traditional loans.

The Ohio researchers examined a pool of 30,000 seniors counseled for reverse mortgages between 2006 and 2011. As part of its intake of information, the agency pulled people’s credit scores. FHA requires borrowers to go thorough pre-loan counseling.

As it turned out, borrowers with low scores were more likely to have trouble paying their property taxes and homeowner’s insurance. Under the FICO credit-scoring model, the score range is 300 to 850. The higher the score, the lower the risk.

The Ohio researchers conclude that if lenders held to a FICO credit score threshold of 500, this could reduce the percentage of people getting a reverse mortgage by 3.2 percent, but lower the predicted default rate by 12.4 percent.

“People have to realize, this is still a mortgage,” said Stephanie Moulton, associate professor and director of doctoral studies at Ohio State and one of the co-authors of the reverse mortgage report.

To get more information about reverse mortgages, go to www.hud.gov and search for “Reverse Mortgage.”

“For the right person in the right situation, a reverse mortgage can be a sustainable way for seniors to age in place,” said FHA Commissioner Carol Galante. “But converting your home’s equity into a source of cash requires careful consideration with the help of an experienced housing counselor.”

Although the TV commercials make a reverse mortgage sound super simple, there’s a lot to consider. So please proceed with caution.

Readers can email Michelle Singletary at michelle.singletary@washpost.com.

Article source: http://www.delawareonline.com/story/money/business/2014/09/19/make-sure-can-afford-reverse-mortgage/15905093/

Housing rights program aids Arkansans


Posted Sep. 19, 2014 @ 6:21 pm


Article source: http://www.newportindependent.com/article/20140919/NEWS/140919514/10054/NEWS

Racing’s revival short-lived at ‘The Rock’

It has been a tough few days for the Richmond County sports world as both Richmond Pines Golf Course and Rockingham Speedway face uncertain futures.

The news isn’t all doom and gloom in regards to Richmond Pines, as there is at least one potential buyer on the horizon who would like to keep the golf course open.

This doesn’t necessarily mean there is a deal in the works, but for the area golfers, there is some hope for the Donald Ross-designed course.

The same might not be said for Rockingham Speedway. Unlike Richmond Pines, which went through its foreclosure and then a “clean” sale to its new owner, the race track is just beginning that process.

Earlier this month, a judge turned the track and its surrounding property over to the Salisbury-based Farmers and Merchants Bank. This all but signaled the end of Andy Hillenburg’s association with Rockingham Speedway.

When Hillenburg and his partner, Bill Silas, purchased the track at auction in October of 2007, he faced an uphill battle to get the track re-opened and ready for competition. The facility hadn’t been used for a race since Matt Kenseth and Kasey Kahne roared down the final straightaway in one of the closest finishes in NASCAR Sprint Cup history on Feb. 22, 2004.

One of the major obstacles Hillenburg had to overcome to bring “The Rock” back to life was the infrastructure. He talked about having to get the plumbing, concession stands, electricity and everything back up to code. Hillenburg and his crew quietly rolled up their sleeves and got to work.

The first race under the new owners was the ARCA Carolina 500 on May 4, 2008. While at the time a relative unknown, Joey Logano held off longtime NASCAR driver Ken Schrader to get the win.

And racing was back.

Sure, it wasn’t the big boys like Jeff Gordon or Tony Stewart taking laps around the track, it was drivers from the ARCA, Frank Kimmel Street Stock and UARA. The hardcore racing and Rockingham Speedway fans showed up, but the attendance was far from what anyone would call great.

For smaller venues like Caraway Speedway or Dillon Speedway, the crowd would have filled in the stands perfectly, but not at “The Rock.”

This didn’t stop Hillenburg, who always looked at the positives rather than dwelling on the negatives. He kept plugging away and kept his eye on his big prize — NASCAR’s return.

It seemed like a pipe dream because the track was missing one key element that NASCAR required, SAFER barriers.

The final obstacle standing between Rockingham Speedway and a NASCAR quickly vanished when Hillenburg announced in the summer of 2011 the track would install the “soft walls.”

One month later, then-Gov. Bev Perdue stood in the middle of pit lane and announced to the world that the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series would make its initial appearance at Rockingham Speedway on April 15, 2012.

The long odyssey for Hillenburg and Silas had ended.

When the green flag dropped for the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 200, Kahne was in the field after traveling all night from Texas to get some revenge for his loss in 2004. Kahne worked his way through the field to finally visit Victory Lane eight years after his Sprint Cup loss.

NASCAR had returned and there was a buzz about Rockingham Speedway from Sprint Cup drivers, owners, announcers and fans. They talked about how that was a throwback to the “good old days” of racing.

Unfortunately the buzz wasn’t able to be sustained as the attendance dropped in the second race.

That was the first sign the honeymoon between “The Rock” and NASCAR was over. Five months later, NASCAR pulled the season-ending KN Pro Series East from the track.

At the time, NASCAR said the “track failed to meet its obligations and we were forced to terminate the sanctioning agreement.” No one would elaborate on what those obligations were, but the writing was on the wall.

The other shoe dropped when NASCAR officials released this year’s schedule and Rockingham Speedway was not included. The news didn’t surprise Hillenburg.

“This is not NASCAR’s doing,” Hillenburg said to the Daily Journal. “NASCAR wants to be here. NASCAR is in our corner. We have to shore up our foundation. We aren’t able to host a NASCAR event. Things have been pushed and pushed and we are now falling over them.

“These are problems which have been developing and they weren’t going to get solved overnight. I’m not satisfied with everything we have done.”

Hillenburg may not have the chance to correct those problems the way things look right now.

Everyone in Richmond County should applaud Hillenburg and his crew for their efforts to try and revive the track. It was a long shot for NASCAR to come back anyway, but they made it happen.

They just ran out of gas.

Reach sports editor Shawn Stinson at 910-817-2671 and follow him on Twitter @scgolfer.

Article source: http://www.yourdailyjournal.com/news/sports/50700767/Racings-revival-short-lived-at-The-Rock

What Julian Castro and Henry Cisneros share in common beyond their jobs in …


President Obama, left, shakes hands with then-San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro after announcing the nomination of Castro to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development in May. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

It was a déjà vu moment this week when HUD Secretary Julian Castro pledged to promote homeownership, calling it the “cornerstone of the American dream” in his first major policy speech.

Nearly two decades earlier, another former San Antonio mayor and fellow Latino – Henry Cisneros — made the same pledge after he took over at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, casting homeownership as a pathway to the middle class.

The plug for homeownership seems more jarring now than it did back then, given the spectacular 2008 housing bust that roiled the economy, pushing millions of families into foreclosure and dramatically eroding the home values of millions more. A full recovery from that major stumble has proven elusive, and yet policymakers are once again pushing to expand homeownership.

The pitch will be a tough sell, for now. The younger set — loaded with student debt in a tight job market — may not be able to save for a down payment or qualify for a mortgage if lending standards remain tough. A chunk of them moved in with their parents during the recession or never left home in the first place. Some housing experts suggest that the millennial generation – the largest and most diverse in history – may be losing its taste for owning a home just as many of them are entering their prime home-buying years. Buying a home may no longer be the right of passage it once was.

About 66 percent of millennials say that renters can be just as successful as owners at achieving the American dream, according to a recent survey by the MacArthur Foundation. Six in 10 say it’s less likely for a family to build equity and wealth through homeownership today than it was two or three decades ago. And after polling adults of all ages, the survey found that the public at large is divided over whether homeownership continues to be an excellent long-term investment.

Still, Castro and Cisneros – who landed jobs as the nation’s top housing officials at very different times – insist homeownership remains an important wealth-building opportunity for many Americans struggling to enter the middle class.

“The wrong lesson to take from all that’s happened is to say we ought to deemphasize homeownership, that it’s no longer the vehicle it has been in supporting the middle class,” Cisneros said in an interview with The Washington Post. “I continue to believe, even after the great recession, that we were doing the right thing.”

By the time Cisneros took joined HUD in 1993, the homeownership rate had been hovering around 64 percent for years. With the economy growing, Cisneros’s boss – President Bill Clinton – wanted to boost that rate. The administration came up with a strategy that aimed to take homeownership to an all-time high and make it easier for 8 million more people to purchase homes by 2000. They were convinced that this would help average Americans build wealth and create jobs for the economy.

The push continued under the George W. Bush administration, which unveiled its “Ownership Society” platform in 2004, and challenged the real estate and mortgage industries to seek out minorities in particular. (By then, the homeownership rate was 73 percent for white Americans, 49 percent for African Americans and 48 percent for Latinos.) The initiative’s goal was to increase the number of minority homeowners by at least 5.5 million before the end of that decade.

The rest is history.  An unsustainable housing boom took off, and the homeownership rate hit record highs of about 69 percent during the bubble years. Then came the bust. The reasons behind the meltdown are endless – lax lending standards, exotic loan types, poor regulatory oversight, abusive lending practices, and a system in which the financial incentives of lenders and Wall Street were not in any way aligned with the financial well-being of consumers.

All these years later, Cisneros has some misgivings. He said the homeownership effort was “hijacked” by market dynamics that no one saw coming. “If I knew then that our push for homeownership could be utilized this way, we would have worked on safeguards,”  said Cisneros, who now serves as co-chairman of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s housing commission.  “But the wrong approach now is to make it harder for people to become homeowners.”

Yet that’s exactly what’s happening. In the wake of the housing crisis, just about everybody – including HUD’s Federal Housing Administration, a popular source of low down payment loans – has made it tougher to secure a mortgage.

Earlier this week, just three months into his job, Castro said that has to stop.

“The pendulum has swung too far in the other direction,” Castro said earlier this week in his speech, delivered at the Bipartisan Policy Center housing summit in Washington. “The truth is that the dream of homeownership is out of reach for too many Americans.”

That’s especially true for Hispanics and African Americans. Earlier this week, the Urban Institute compiled mortgage data reported by financial institutions to the government from 2001 through 2012 and used it to create an interactive map showing the distribution of mortgages by race and ethnicity. The graph showed that loans to Hispanics and African Americans shot up when the housing market was red hot and credit came easy, and then dropped when the housing market unraveled. The two groups were disproportionately hit by the financial crisis, and now many Hispanics and African Americans can’t qualify for a mortgage.

The share of mortgages made to African American and Hispanic households fell from 25 percent in 2005 to 12 percent in 2012, the Urban Institute analysis said. Lenders keep turning away potential home buyers who don’t have top-notch credit in order to protect themselves from financial penalties and lawsuits should another downturn hit, despite pleas from the Obama administration to loosen up. The administration’s top housing officials met with several lenders earlier this week to take another crack at tackling the issue.

In his speech this week, Castro said the administration and lenders share a common interest: a robust housing market. “It’s time to remove the stigma associated with promoting homeownership,” he said.

 

Article source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/09/19/what-julian-castro-and-henry-cisneros-share-in-common-beyond-their-jobs-in-hud-and-san-antonio/

Mortgage relief scams busted

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Article source: http://www.jacksonsun.com/story/money/business/columnists/2014/09/18/mortgage-relief-scams-busted/15844711/

Reverse mortgages no fast ticket to retirement easy street

You’re 62 or older, and life has derailed your plans.

You didn’t save nearly as much as you wanted to retire — but you had to stop working because of health issues.

You’ll receive a Social Security benefit and a monthly pension. But there’s a financial gap because of unexpected expenses. You need a new roof and other necessary home repairs.

Then you see a late-night television commercial about something called a reverse mortgage.

“You know, some people have told me reverse mortgages sound too good to be true,” the actor and former senator Fred Thompson says. “I mean, you get cash out of your home. No monthly payments and still own your home.”

Could this be the answer?

It may be. But be careful.

Most people understand a traditional 30-year or 15-year mortgage. You take out a loan for your home and make monthly payments. But with a reverse mortgage, there is no monthly payment. The lender doesn’t get paid until you move, sell or die. If the home is sold, any equity that remains after the loan is repaid is distributed to you or your estate.

To qualify for a reverse mortgage, you have to be 62 or older and own your home outright or have a low-enough mortgage that it can be paid off with proceeds from the loan. Your home must be your principal residence. Borrowers can take the loan as a line of credit, a lump-sum payment, fixed monthly payments or a combination. Most importantly, borrowers have to maintain the home and pay property taxes and homeowner’s insurance.

Like any other financial product, a reverse mortgage is not right for everyone. A 2012 report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that a large proportion of borrowers — nearly 10 percent — in the federally insured Home Equity Conversion Mortgage program, which represents about 95 percent of the reverse mortgage market, were at risk of foreclosure because they hadn’t paid their property taxes and insurance.

There have been recent changes to reverse mortgages. People are limited in how much they can withdraw during the first year. As of Aug. 4, non-borrowing spouses can’t be kicked out of the house when their spouses die as long as they continue to meet certain qualifications. And coming soon are new rules from the Federal Housing Administration to make sure people can afford the expenses they must pay under a reverse mortgage.

Many folks are alarmed that some seniors are using the money from a reverse mortgage not to supplement other income or to handle unexpected medical expenses or make needed home improvements but as a pot of money that they are too quickly depleting.

“To a lot of people, a reverse mortgage is a loan of last resort for [seniors] without any other options,” said Peter Bell, chief executive of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association. “But a reverse mortgage can be a useful part of a retirement plan. However, you shouldn’t use it as a bailout.”

Most recently, a report by researchers at Ohio State University found that changes to the reverse mortgage market could help reduce default rates among borrowers who don’t have to undergo the same type of financial assessments as are done for traditional loans.

The Ohio researchers examined a pool of 30,000 seniors counseled for reverse mortgages between 2006 and 2011. As part of its intake of information, the agency pulled people’s credit scores. The FHA requires borrowers to go through pre-loan counseling.

As it turned out, borrowers with low scores were more likely to have trouble paying their property taxes and homeowner’s insurance. Under the FICO credit-scoring model, the score range is 300 to 850. The higher the score, the lower the risk.

The Ohio researchers concluded that if lenders held to a FICO credit score threshold of 500, this could reduce the percentage of people getting a reverse mortgage by 3.2 percent but would lower the predicted default rate by 12.4 percent.

“People have to realize, this is still a mortgage,” said Stephanie Moulton, associate professor and director of doctoral studies at Ohio State and one of the co-authors of the reverse mortgage report.

To get more information about reverse mortgages, go to www.hud.gov and search for “Reverse Mortgage.”

“For the right person in the right situation, a reverse mortgage can be a sustainable way for seniors to age in place,” said FHA Commissioner Carol Galante. “But converting your home’s equity into a source of cash requires careful consideration with the help of an experienced housing counselor.”

Although the TV commercials make a reverse mortgage sound super-simple, there’s a lot to consider. So please proceed with caution.

Write Michelle Singletary at The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071 or singletarym@washpost.com. Comments or questions may be used in a future column, with the writer’s name, unless otherwise requested. To read more, go to http://wapo.st/michelle-singletary.

Article source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/reverse-mortgages-no-fast-ticket-to-retirement-easy-street/2014/09/18/0213c06c-3dea-11e4-9587-5dafd96295f0_story.html

Consumer Alert: Housing Rights Program Assists Arkansas Consumers

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Article source: http://insurancenewsnet.com/oarticle/2014/09/18/consumer-alert-housing-rights-program-assists-arkansas-consumers-a-556991.html