Credit agency to offer reverse mortgage counseling

Thursday, December 31, 2009

A federal government grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will allow Credit Counseling of Arkansas (CCOA) to provide free reverse mortgage/home equity conversion mortgage (HECM) counseling well into 2010.

Beginning Jan. 1, HUD's grant will cover the cost -- normally $125 per session -- of the counseling. CCOA will offer the counseling free of charge until the $18,000 in grant funds are exhausted.

A HECM loan allows homeowners age 62 or older to borrow against the value of their primary residence. If the owner is still making payments on the home, the HECM can account for that and ease the burden of those on a fixed or limited income. A variety of available options provides homeowners with greater financial flexibility in their golden years.

Those who opt for a reverse mortgage/HECM loan must receive counseling before applying for a reverse mortgage. Meeting with a HUD-approved reverse mortgage counselor at CCOA fulfills that requirement.

HECM/reverse mortgage counseling is available at CCOA offices in Fayetteville and Bentonville, or over the phone. Sessions take about an hour and clients simply seeking more information are welcome.

CCOA is a nonprofit organization that has provided free financial education and counseling in northwest Arkansas and beyond since 1995. To learn more about reverse mortgage options, visit CCOA at www.CCOAcares.com or call (800) 889-4916.

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