What happens if you inherit a house with a reverse mortgage?

What happens if you inherit a house with a reverse mortgage?

What happens if you inherit a house with a reverse mortgage?



Inheriting a house can be both a blessing and a responsibility. However, when the inherited house comes with a reverse mortgage, the situation becomes more complex. A reverse mortgage is a loan available to homeowners aged 62 and older, allowing them to convert a portion of their home equity into cash. But what happens if you inherit a house with a reverse mortgage? This article will explore the implications and options available in such a scenario.

Understanding Reverse Mortgages

Before delving into the topic, it’s important to grasp the basics of reverse mortgages. Unlike traditional mortgages, where homeowners make monthly payments to the lender, reverse mortgages provide homeowners with funds based on the accumulated equity in their homes. The loan is repaid when the homeowner sells the property, moves out, or passes away. If the homeowner passes away, the responsibility for the reverse mortgage falls to the heirs.

Options for Heirs

1. Repay the Loan: One option for heirs is to repay the reverse mortgage in full. This can be done by using personal funds, refinancing the loan, or selling the inherited property. Repaying the loan allows the heirs to retain ownership of the house.

2. Sell the Property: If the heirs are unable or unwilling to repay the reverse mortgage, selling the property is another viable option. The proceeds from the sale can be used to repay the loan, with any remaining funds going to the heirs. It’s important to note that if the sale price is less than the outstanding loan balance, the lender may require the heirs to pay the difference.

3. Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure: In some cases, heirs may choose to transfer ownership of the property to the lender through a deed in lieu of foreclosure. This option allows the heirs to avoid the time and expense of the foreclosure process. However, it’s essential to consult with legal and financial professionals before pursuing this option, as it may have implications for the heirs’ creditworthiness.

Considerations for Heirs

When inheriting a house with a reverse mortgage, there are several important factors to consider:

1. Outstanding Loan Balance: The first step is to determine the outstanding loan balance on the reverse mortgage. This information can be obtained from the lender or loan servicer. Understanding the loan balance will help heirs make informed decisions regarding repayment or sale options.

2. Property Value: Assessing the value of the inherited property is crucial for determining the feasibility of repayment or sale. Hiring a professional appraiser can provide an accurate valuation and assist in making informed decisions.

3. Communication with the Lender: It is essential for heirs to establish open lines of communication with the lender or loan servicer. They can provide guidance on available options and help navigate the process of inheriting a house with a reverse mortgage.


Inheriting a house with a reverse mortgage presents unique challenges and decisions for heirs. Options such as repaying the loan, selling the property, or transferring ownership through a deed in lieu of foreclosure are available. Assessing the outstanding loan balance, property value, and maintaining communication with the lender are crucial steps for making informed choices. Consulting with legal and financial professionals is highly recommended to navigate this complex situation successfully.


1. reversemortgage.org
2. hud.gov
3. aarp.org
4. consumerfinance.gov