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There’s No Place Like Home: The Implications of Reverse Mortgages on Seniors in California

A reverse mortgage allows a senior to borrow against the equity in her home in order to access funds. In most cases, the senior must own her home free and clear, or nearly so. A reverse mortgage loan provides a borrower with a lump sum of cash, monthly payments, or a line of credit. The term “reverse” refers to the fact that instead of the borrower making a monthly payment to the lender, the lender makes payments to the borrower. The money need not be repaid until the borrower dies or
leaves her home permanently, or in some cases after a fixed number of years passes. Generally the borrower or her estate then sells the home in order to pay the debt.