May 11, 2021

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FHA Loan Rules For Refinancing and Reverse Mortgages: A Reader Question

109A reader asks, “We were told to get a reverse mortgage, while applying for a reverse mortgage my husband was under the impress that we did not have to make a mortgage payment. He did not make 2 payments. We have never misses a payment including the 28 years we owned our first home. The person who recommend the reverse mortgage did not explain. explain the process to us, once the paper work was competed he told us that we had to pay 85 thousand dollars in order to get a reverse mortgage, which came as a shock to us and since we could not afford it we dropped out of the program.”

“Now we need to defiance as our mortgage is $1250. a month and our condo fee is $861 a month. I lost my job in 09 and my husband who is self employed lost accounts due to the economy. Our current mortgage rate is 6%. We are. Struggling too meet our mortgage etc. Any help would be appreciated.”

It’s not entirely clear what the reader’s question is, but there are some important issues raised here that are worth addressing.

FHA loan rules do not allow skipped payments in any case–when refinancing the loan must be brought up to date one way or anotheliner. That can mean the borrower pays any missed mortgage payments before loan closing, or in some cases it may mean including the missed payments into the loan amount.

The bottom line is that the loan must be current at the time the loan closes.

Another issue raised here involves the FHA HECM loan program, sometimes called a reverse mortgage. It’s true that FHA Home Equity Conversion Mortgages don’t require a mortgage payment, but this is only effective under the terms of the new loan, once the loan has closed.

Additionally, FHA HECM loans are for mortgages that are either paid in full or close to being paid in full. They would not be available to borrowers who aren’t close to having the original loan paid in full.

HECM loans require counseling as a condition of loan approval, and all borrowers must be informed as to their rights and responsibilities under the FHA HECM program. HECM loans can be declared due in full if the terms of the program (including occupancy and staying current on all property taxes) are violated.

Do you have questions about FHA home loans? Ask us in the comments section. You can get information about applying or getting pre-approved for an FHA loan at, a private company and not a government website.



Joe Wallace - Staff Writer

By Joe Wallace

July 25, 2014

Joe Wallace has been specializing in military and personal finance topics since 1995. His work has appeared on Air Force Television News, The Pentagon Channel, ABC and a variety of print and online publications. He is a 13-year Air Force veteran and a member of the Air Force Public Affairs Alumni Association. He was Managing editor for for (8) years and is currently the Associate Editor for

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About was launched in 2010 by seasoned mortgage professionals wanting to educate homebuyers about the guidelines for FHA insured mortgage loans. Popular FHA topics include credit requirements, FHA loan limits, mortgage insurance premiums, closing costs and many more. The authors have written thousands of blogs specific to FHA mortgages and the site has substantially increased readership over the years and has become known for its “FHA News and Views”.

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