The quiet comeback of reverse mortgages

reverse-mortgageBy John F. Wasik | The New York Times

When Peter and Joyce Hill wanted to buy a home in a community for people 55 and older in an area they had always admired in Lancaster County, Pa., they used a reverse mortgage to finance building in that development.

“A reverse mortgage gave us the option to build what we wanted,” said Peter Hill, 79, who retired two years ago from a career in telecom engineering. “That appealed to us.”

Reverse mortgages — which let homeowners 62 and older tap their accumulated home equity without facing monthly payments in return — earned a bad reputation over the years when they were subject to widespread abuses by lenders.

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