Reverse Mortgage Law and Legal Definition

A reverse mortgage is a loan from the U.S. Government for 50% to 75% of the value of a home owned by a homeowner aged 62 and older. Instead of making monthly payments to a lender, as with a regular mortgage, a lender makes payments to the homeowner. The funds from a reverse mortgage are tax-free. The loan doesn't have to be repaid in the homeowner's lifetime, however, when the homeowner dies, the money received plus approximately 4% interest is repaid by their estate. The loan is repaid when the homeowner ceases to occupy the home as a principal residence, due to the homeowner (the last remaining spouse, in cases of couples) passing away, selling the home, or permanently moving out.