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Reverse Mortgage Conservatorship Q&A - Ask ARLO™

Hello! I’m ARLO™, your personal guide to navigating the complexities of reverse mortgages, with a special focus on the conservatorship process.

Start by entering your question into the search box below to discover if we’ve already provided answers.  If your query remains unanswered, feel free to submit it—I’m here to provide you with comprehensive, personalized information!


So far 2283 of your questions answered by ARLO™
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Expert Answers You Can Trust!

ARLO™ is moderated by All Reverse Mortgage, Inc. CEO & industry expert Michael G. Branson, with over 45 years of experience in the mortgage banking industry.

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Answered By Our Experts

Question From Jon on 10/28/2021
Does title have to be changed (probated) when one borrower dies to do a refinance to do a new reverse mortgage?
Expert Answer
Hello Jon,
If both borrowers were on title and the old vesting was set up with right of survivorship of the spouse (joint tenancy and not tenants in common), there is usually no probate required and the title company will record an affidavit of death.  
However, if you live in a state that has strong heirship laws (like Texas) or the title was held in some manner that directed the separate interests to be divided upon the death of one of the title holders as could be the case with some vesting or trusts, etc., there may be other considerations.  
Your lender should be able to let you know very quickly what will need to be done to complete a refinance though and long before you incur any costs so do not be afraid to contact a lender and ask.
Question From Bee C. on 10/16/2021
Widowed 94-year-old senior is being removed from her homestead and forced into nursing home. She is under guardianship by court. Under Texas law does she have to move out of her home of 50 years?? Value of present homestead if approx. $200,000.
Expert Answer

Hello Bee,

I am sorry, but this is a question for an elder attorney practicing in Texas.  Based on your question, I don’t think this has anything to do with a loan of any kind let alone a reverse mortgage.  You should have your friend contact an attorney to protect her rights.

Question From Ledra S. on 8/09/2021
I'm my sister conservator I want to pay off my sister loan against her house using my own money. How do I protect myself and my sister, so this doesn’t happen again? I want my sister to stay in her house.
Expert Answer

Hello Ledra,

I am afraid I really can’t answer this question.  I don’t know what “this” is when you ask how you protect yourself and your sister so “this” doesn’t happen again.  If you are referring to her taking out a loan against the property, you really need to speak with an attorney to determine the best way to accomplish your goals. 

I don’t know if just having you file a loan/lien against the property when you pay off the other loan would be sufficient is that is your goal because while that would put you in first lien position and may protect the money you put into the place to pay off your sister’s current loan, I don’t think it would necessarily stop any future lenders or creditors from placing other liens on the property behind your lien. 

I don’t know if putting you on title with your sister would resolve your issues or not, but it would certainly be something you could discuss with your attorney.  I do know that your sister would need to be on board with any of these options as she would need to sign any legal documents necessary to either transfer the title or to create the new lien. 

Question From Kristopoher R. on 7/26/2021
Can a conservator or GAURDIAN. Of the surviving. Spouse. That isn't. The loan attained maintain the house if that surviving spouse is placed in a court appointed nursing home?
Expert Answer

Hello Khristopher,

I am not sure by the question I fully understand what you are asking so to let me spell it out and hope I answer your question.  If the conservator or guardian is the spouse of the borrower and was the spouse at the time the loan was closed, then that spouse will qualify under HUD’s eligible non-borrowing spouse guidelines if that spouse also lives, and has always lived, in the home. 

In that case, the spouse/conservator could remain in the home under a deferment of the due provisions of the loan.  HUD just recently changed their guidelines to include previously non-eligible spouses as long as they meet these requirements (and they continue to live in the home and pay the taxes, insurance and all other property charges as due). 

If however you are not the spouse of the borrower or were not the spouse at the time the loan was closed, then you would not be eligible for deferment of the borrower’s requirement to repay the loan when the borrower left the property and permanently moved to a nursing home. 

At that time the loan would become due and payable, and it would be up to your court approved duties to determine if you could refinance the loan to keep the home or if the home would need to be sold at that time to repay the reverse mortgage. 

I can’t advise you, but it may even take specific court orders to complete any of the needed actions depending on what the current conservatorship/guardianship papers from the court grant you authority to do.

Question From Susan F. on 6/04/2021
A conservator has a court order stating, "Petitioner has been granted the powers under Probate Code Sections 2590 and 2591 to engage in transactions real estate and finance transactions without Court approval if such transactions benefit the conservatorship estate." Will this along with an attorney letter specially stating a reverse mortgage be sufficient to procure a reverse mortgage?
Expert Answer

Hello Susan,

I am sorry, but I cannot give you a definitive answer with the information given here.  We are not attorneys and cannot give legal advice.  I don’t know the code sections you cite or for what state or federal civil codes.  I can only assume that if you mention probate codes, that there is also effect of an individual who has passed and not just the individual for whom you hold conservatorship but I don’t know that for certain or how that fits into it either. 

Typically, once you have already established a court-ordered conservatorship, you can do whatever the conservatorship grants you the powers to do but I would tell you that without even knowing what state this is from, a lender would need to get the actual documents and have them reviewed by their legal staff to determine if they were sufficient as is or if there would need to be any further approvals granted based on their review. 

Question From Deborah H. on 10/03/2020
101 year old woman transferred her FL homestead to she and her son as JTWROS. Now she needs a reverse mortgage to pay for home health care and later, perhaps a nursing home. other son is becoming mom's plenary guardian. Can guardian obtain reverse mortgage without Jt tenant's consent?
Expert Answer

Hello Deborah,

All parties on title must consent to a new loan.  There are several ways the loan may be completed, especially if the son is also living in the home, but it will take the cooperation of each individual on title.

Question From Doyle W. on 7/12/2020
My parents had a reverse mortgage loan and at the time of the loan they were both Incompetent. The loan was taken out in 2015 my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 1990 And My dad was Diagnosed with COPD in 2000. What can I do I need to do?
Expert Answer

Hello Doyle,

Borrowers lacking competency can still get a reverse mortgage utilizing a properly executed Power of Attorney that meets HUD requirements.  They can also use a court ordered conservatorship if neither retains competency and the court assigns a conservator.  

I am not a physician and do not know all the ramifications of COPD but my understanding is that while it is a difficult lung disorder, I’m not aware of the illness rendering patients incompetent to direct their affairs as is the case with Alzheimer’s.  

If your father was mentally competent and had Power of Attorney for mom or another individual had Power of Attorney (POA) for one or both, the loan could have been closed legally with the person retaining the POA attending the counseling and signing the loan documents.

I would suggest you look at your parent’s paperwork if you are able to locate it and see how the loan was closed.  If dad acted as mom’s POA under a validly signed POA (one that she signed before her doctors determined she was no longer capable of understanding and directing her own affairs), the loan was closed in accordance with the law and HUD requirements. 

If you can’t find their paperwork, you may need to contact an attorney to determine the next step you need to take because unless the borrowers have already given the lender authorization to work with you, the lender cannot by law, divulge any information to a third party about the loan.

It could be that you need to apply for a conservatorship if dad is not competent now, but your attorney would need to advise you in that regard.  If dad is still competent but just ill from the COPD, he can still sign an authorization for you to work with the lender and they with you on all things concerning the loan.  

Once the lender has verification of the conservatorship (the legal right for you to work on behalf of your parents) or the signed authorization from dad, they can work with you and provide you information on the loan.  I would really encourage you to see if you can find their original paperwork as that would be the fastest and least expensive way to determine how the loan was closed.

Question From Judy B. on 1/20/2019
My sister and I recently gained Conservatorship and Guardianship of our 79 yr old mother who was diagnosed with Dementia. She had applied and received a Reverse Mortgage prior to all the Court Proceedings. She took out about $50K, paid a few bills and deposited the remainder of the funds in her Edward Jones Account. After all this happened, we were awarded Conservatorship. The situation now is--she lives in Kentucky, I live in Tennessee and my sister lives in Florida. Reverse Mortgage statements continue going to her address along with Withdrawal Coupons. We are afraid she is going to withdraw another large amount from her RM account and spend it frivolously before we get a chance to straighten out everything with the RM co. She has gotten herself in tremendous debt over the years and we are trying to clean up her mess. I have faxed a copy of the court ordered documents to the Reverse Mortgage Company showing we have permanent Conservatorship over our mother. I guess my question is if my mom sent a coupon request in to the company, would they honor it and send her the money despite having a faxed letter on hand stating not to distribute any more money to her and having copies of the court order.
Expert Answer

Hi Judy,

They should not, but I would not leave it to chance!  Have you spoken with the company yourself and verified the receipt of your information and right to conduct business on your mom’s behalf?  I would also send a registered letter to the company with signed receipt required giving them legal notice of your court appointed duties and putting them on notice that they are not to disburse any funds whatsoever without your express consent.  The withdrawal form is one that is automatically included and goes with every statement, but I would not take any chances and would make sure I had the documentation.

Question From Leticia S. on 8/21/2018
How to get conservertership on someone with severe dementia to obtain a reverse mortgage to pay for home care husband is fine wife has dementia.
Expert Answer

Hello Leticia,

It has to be done through the court.  I would suggest that you contact an elder care attorney and they can walk you through the process and give you an estimated timeframe for the courts in the area where the case would have to be heard.  Just remember that the person requesting the conservatorship should also ask for the specific right to apply for a reverse mortgage while in court as that will be needed for the loan when a conservatorship is being utilized.

Question From Ruth G on 1/30/2018
I am a co-borrower on a reverse mortgage. The property is split in two lots with one lot having my husband's name & his deceased wife's name on that lot. My name and my husband's name is on the lot with the house but both lots are on the reverse mortgage. My husband had an old will from when his 1st wife was alive that his kids have tried to push through probate to gain executorship. My husband said he had a new will, naming me as executor, but gave a copy to one of his children for safe keeping and now it is non existent. I do not know what lawyer he was using at the time. I have found a partial document on his computer & a hand written note, naming executor. I have been in court trying be named executor. What are my options regarding the reverse mortgage? His children want to take the house from me.
Expert Answer

Hello Ruth,

I am not an attorney and therefore not allowed to give legal advice.  I would strongly recommend that you obtain competent legal representation as this sounds extremely unusual to me.  As a lender, I can tell you that we cannot put a reverse mortgage loan on two parcels, especially one that has another individual’s name on it other than our borrowers.  I would find it extremely unlikely that a lender would cross-collateralize more than one parcel with a reverse mortgage and especially so if the second parcel had a different individual’s name on it as that would create a cloud on title.  Talk to an attorney and let him/her tell you for sure.

Question From Clifton on 12/29/2017
Wife diagnosed with Alheimers. Went to Atty immediately and got DPA. Seven years later, now told DPA no good, need conservatorship. Need money to care for wife but can't get any out of the house and can't sell it as it is in Trust and they won't believe DPA. ????
Expert Answer

Good Afternoon,

Unfortunately that is one of the areas that we  do run into more than we would like to.  HUD cannot afford to have the mortgage challenged by family members years later saying that the borrower was not competent to sign the power of attorney and therefore the loan should be ruled invalid and that is why their rules for the use of powers of attorney and with incapacitated borrowers are what they are.  As you yourself just stated, you didn’t get the Power of Attorney until AFTER your wife was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and therefore, the Power of Attorney itself may be subject to challenge as to its validity if any family members were so inclined at any time in the future.

Have you looked into the conservatorship?  I know it is more time consuming and will cost some money to complete but it is an option and probably the best one at this time.  Your attorney can tell you how the process would work and probably handle the entire procedure for you if this is what you feel is best.  And I know it is late to say this now in your case, but this is why I personally have told all family members to be sure to have not only a will but trusts and POA’s completed long before you ever think you will need one.  As you are now finding out, if you wait until after a diagnosis of illness or an accident that impairs the mental capacity, then the POA may not be accepted as valid since there is no way to ascertain whether or not the individual actually had the capacity to know the full implication of the document they were signing at the time, thereby making it invalid.  

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Author Michael Branson
About the Author, Michael G. Branson |
Michael G. Branson CEO, All Reverse Mortgage, Inc. and moderator of ARLO™ has 45 years of experience in the mortgage banking industry. He has devoted the past 19 years to reverse mortgages exclusively.
Reverse Mortgage Conservatorship Q&A – Ask ARLO™
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