12 U.S.C. § 1715z-20 - Insurance of home equity conversion mortgages for elderly homeowners

Cite as:12 U.S.C. § 1715z-20
Currency:Current through P.L. 116-135 (03/26/2020)
 
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(a) Purpose

The purpose of this section is to authorize the Secretary to carry out a program of mortgage insurance designed-

(1) to meet the special needs of elderly homeowners by reducing the effect of the economic hardship caused by the increasing costs of meeting health, housing, and subsistence needs at a time of reduced income, through the insurance of home equity conversion mortgages to permit the conversion of a portion of accumulated home equity into liquid assets; and

(2) to encourage and increase the involvement of mortgagees and participants in the mortgage markets in the making and servicing of home equity conversion mortgages for elderly homeowners.

(b) Definitions

For purposes of this section:

(1) The terms "elderly homeowner" and "homeowner" mean any homeowner who is, or whose spouse is, at least 62 years of age or such higher age as the Secretary may prescribe.

(2) The terms "mortgagee", "mortgagor", "real estate," 1 and "State" have the meanings given such terms in section 1707 of this title.

(3) The term "home equity conversion mortgage" means a first mortgage which provides for future payments to the homeowner based on accumulated equity and which a housing creditor (as defined in section 3802(2) of this title) is authorized to make (A) under any law of the United States (other than section 3803 of this title) or applicable agency regulations thereunder; (B) in accordance with section 3803 of this title, notwithstanding any State constitution, law, or regulation; or (C) under any State constitution, law, or regulation.

(4) MORTGAGE.-The term "mortgage" means a first mortgage or first lien on real estate, in fee simple, a first or subordinate mortgage or lien on all stock allocated to a dwelling unit in a residential cooperative housing corporation, or a first mortgage or first lien on a leasehold-

(A) under a lease for not less than 99 years that is renewable; or

(B) under a lease that has a term that ends no earlier than the minimum number of years, as specified by the Secretary, beyond the actuarial life expectancy of the mortgagor or comortgagor, whichever is the later date.

(5) FIRST MORTGAGE.-The term "first mortgage" means such classes of first liens as are commonly given to secure advances on, or the unpaid purchase price of, real estate or a first or subordinate lien on all stock allocated to a dwelling unit in a residential cooperative housing corporation, under the laws of the State in which the real estate or dwelling unit is located, together with the credit instruments, if any, secured thereby.

(c) Insurance authority

The Secretary may, upon application by a mortgagee, insure any home equity conversion mortgage eligible for insurance under this section and, upon such terms and conditions as the Secretary may prescribe, make commitments for the insurance of such mortgages prior to the date of their execution or disbursement to the extent that the Secretary determines such mortgages-

(1) have promise for improving the financial situation or otherwise meeting the special needs of elderly homeowners;

(2) will include appropriate safeguards for mortgagors to offset the special risks of such mortgages; and

(3) have a potential for acceptance in the mortgage market.

(d) Eligibility requirements

To be eligible for insurance under this section, a mortgage shall-

(1) have been originated by a mortgagee approved by the Secretary;

(2) have been executed by a mortgagor who-

(A) qualifies as an elderly homeowner;

(B) has received adequate counseling, as provided in subsection (f), by an independent third party that is not, either directly or indirectly, associated with or compensated by a party involved in-

(i) originating or servicing the mortgage;

(ii) funding the loan underlying the mortgage; or

(iii) the sale of annuities, investments, long-term care insurance, or any other type of financial or insurance product;

(C) has received full disclosure, as prescribed by the Secretary, of all costs charged to the mortgagor, including costs of estate planning, financial advice, and other services that are related to the mortgage but are not required to obtain the mortgage, which disclosure shall clearly state which charges are required to obtain the mortgage and which are not required to obtain the mortgage; and

(D) meets any additional requirements prescribed by the Secretary;

(3) be secured by a dwelling that is designed principally for a 1- to 4-family residence in which the mortgagor occupies 1 of the units;

(4) provide that prepayment, in whole or in part, may be made without penalty at any time during the period of the mortgage;

(5) provide for a fixed or variable interest rate or future sharing between the mortgagor and the mortgagee of the appreciation in the value of the property, as agreed upon by the mortgagor and the mortgagee;

(6) contain provisions for satisfaction of the obligation satisfactory to the Secretary;

(7) provide that the homeowner shall not be liable for any difference between the net amount of the remaining indebtedness of the homeowner under the mortgage and the amount recovered by the mortgagee from-

(A) the net sales proceeds from the dwelling that are subject to the mortgage (based upon the amount of the accumulated equity selected by the mortgagor to be subject to the mortgage, as agreed upon by the mortgagor and mortgagee); or

(B) the insurance benefits paid pursuant to subsection (i)(1)(C);

(8) contain such terms and provisions with respect to insurance, repairs, alterations, payment of taxes, default reserve, delinquency charges, foreclosure proceedings, anticipation of maturity, additional and secondary liens, and other matters as the Secretary may prescribe;

(9) provide for future payments to the mortgagor based on accumulated equity (minus any applicable fees and charges), according to the method that the mortgagor shall select from among the methods under this paragraph, by payment of the amount-

(A) based upon a line of credit;

(B) on a monthly basis over a term specified by the mortgagor;

(C) on a monthly basis over a term specified by the mortgagor and based upon a line of credit;

(D) on a monthly basis over the tenure of the mortgagor;

(E) on a monthly basis over the tenure of the mortgagor and based upon a line of credit; or

(F) on any other basis that the Secretary considers appropriate;

(10) provide that the mortgagor may convert the method of payment under paragraph (9) to any other method during the term of the mortgage, except that in the case of a fixed rate mortgage, the Secretary may, by regulation, limit such convertibility; and

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