My spouse has died and was a borrower on a reverse mortgage. What are my rights?

Surviving spouses of reverse mortgage borrowers have rights. If you were married to the borrower at the time of the loan, you have the right to stay in the home after the borrower dies. This protection applies even if you were not listed on the reverse mortgage loan.

Unfortunately, the reverse mortgage lender may try to violate your rights.

The lender is required to communicate with you about the loan. If you were not a borrower, you are required to establish within 90 days that you have a legal right to stay in the home. You need to provide documents the lender requests. These documents could be a will, death certificate, court order, or marriage certificate. You must also continue to meet the other requirements, including paying property fees, taxes, and property insurance, and keeping the home in good condition. You must not live outside of the home for more than 12 months.

If you are a surviving spouse and were NOT married to the borrower at the time the loan was made, your rights are more limited. You may still have options as an heir to the deceased borrower. Please see, What rights do the family of a reverse mortgage borrower have when the borrower dies?

There are strict deadlines on exercising your rights. We suggest that you consult with an attorney as soon as possible after the death of your spouse.

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