WASHINGTON (AP) — The government's consumer finance watchdog says the growing market for reverse mortgages is getting confusing, and that could cost some seniors extra cash or even their homes.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said in a report released Thursday that reverse mortgages are not being used as Congress intended.
Reverse mortgages allow elderly homeowners to withdraw equity from their homes. The CFPB says the purpose was to provide income for borrowers during retirement.
The agency's study found that consumers are getting reverse mortgages at younger ages, increasing the risk that they will go broke later in life.
It says 70 percent of reverse mortgage borrowers receive lump-sum payments, which can be squandered quickly. Borrowers are more likely to face foreclosure because they run out of money to pay property taxes.