The U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires that homeowner(s) interested in pursuing a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) receive mandatory reverse mortgage counseling regarding the implications of and alternatives to a reverse mortgage from a HUD-approved HECM counseling agency.

We are required by HUD regulations to provide you with a list of reverse mortgage counseling agencies.

This list must include all HUD-approved counseling intermediaries that can provide telephonic counseling, as well as five (5) counseling agencies within your local area, state or both, with at least one of the local agencies located within a reasonable driving distance for the purpose of face-to-face counseling.

Top Reverse Mortgage Counseling Agencies

Counseling AgencyAvailabilityHECM Price JUMBO Price PhoneWebsite
Cambridge Credit Counseling24-48 Hrs. $125$125888-764-7460Website
QuickCert, Inc. 24-48 Hrs. $125$125888-383-8885Website
Smart Money Housing24-48 Hrs. $125$150800-403-3807Website
DebtHelper.com24-48 Hrs. $145$145800-920-2262Website
Hancock Community Development, Inc24-48 Hrs. $130
Hope Inc.1 Week $175 N/A888-776-0155Website
Money Management International (MMI)1 Week $175 $175 877-908-2227Website
GreenPath Financial Wellness2 Weeks$199 $199 888-860-4167Website
Clearpoint Financial Solutions2 Weeks$175 N/A877-877-1995Website
Counseling turn times are approximate and last updated 03/01/2021

Steps to receiving your reverse mortgage counseling certificate

  1. Request your pre-counseling document set (Includes loan comparison, closing cost worksheet, amortization schedule, TALC – total annual loan costs)
  2. Have these mandatory documents available: HUD document titled “preparing for your counseling session” and NCOA booklet “use Your Home to Stay Home” (.PDF versions provided below)
  3. Determine whether you wish to see a counselor in person or obtain counseling by phone
  4. Call around and check counselor availability and pricing. Some counseling agencies only accept payment upfront while others allow you to put their fee into the reverse mortgage closing costs
  5. After you have finished your counseling you will receive three copies of your certificate in the mail and have the option to have your counselor fax or email a copy of the certificate to your lender

In-Person HECM Counseling Locator 

Search our newest interactive map that locates HUD approved agencies nearby with in-person availability.

Counseling for those with vested interest

  • Independent reverse mortgage counseling is required prior to closing for the borrower and co-borrower, who will have a vested interest at closing
  • Power of Attorney or Guardian/Conservator must be counseled on behalf of any borrower(s) or vested owner(s) that are legally incompetent. (Note: POA for convenience is not permitted at this time)
  • CA and AZ – Counseling must be completed prior to application
  • TX – Counseling must be completed at least 5 days prior to closing. A counseling certificate in Texas is valid for 180 days. Note: See state regulations for additional requirements and timing.

Counseling FAQs

What is reverse mortgage counseling?

The counseling on a reverse mortgage is an independent session conducted by a third party. It is a requirement for all reverse mortgage loans. The purpose of the counseling is to ensure that all borrowers and spouses understand what a reverse mortgage is and their obligations when they have one.

How long is a reverse mortgage counseling certificate good for?

A reverse mortgage counseling certificate is valid for 180 days. For HECM loans in most states, the certificate must be current at case number assignment, but the loan can close if the certificate has expired. In some states like Texas, for example, the certificate must be unexpired at time of closing or the borrower would have to complete another counseling session prior to loan closing.

Why is counseling a requirement to get a reverse mortgage?

A reverse mortgage loan is a complex financial instrument and therefore the counseling is required as a safeguard for the consumer. FHA and reverse mortgage lenders need to be sure that all reverse mortgage applicants truly understand what a reverse mortgage is and their requirements as a homeowner obtaining a reverse mortgage.

Who is required to complete reverse mortgage counseling?

All borrowers on the loan as well as any non-borrowing spouses are required to be counseled. Additionally, any Remainderman of a Life Estate or any other parties who hold title to the property and who are not eligible borrowers, must also be counseled for the reverse mortgage.

Are the heirs responsible for reverse mortgage debt?

There is no personal liability for the reverse mortgage loan to the borrower or their heirs. The sole collateral for the reverse mortgage loan is the property. If the property value is lower than the accrued loan balance on the reverse, the heir does not have to satisfy the balance of the reverse mortgage loan and can simply sign a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure to the lender and move on with no further obligations.

What happens after your counseling session? 

After you have completed your counseling you will be mailed a certificate of completion (view sample certificate). This Counseling certificate should be signed and returned to your lender if you wish to proceed with the processing of the loan. No 3rd party services may be ordered,  such as Appraisal, Title, Escrow, until the lender has your signed certificate in hand.

Additional Documents for CA Homeowners