Volume 1, Issue 1

Reverse Mortgages: A Financial Planning Device for the Elderly – Celeste M. Hammond

An analysis of the merits of reverse mortgages from individual and public policy perspectives is the subject of Professor Hammond’s article. She argues that the elderly’s typical “house rich, but cash poor” problem warrants approval of a method which allows the elderly to tap their home equity for income purposes while allowing them to remain in their homes. Professor Hammond analyzes other means for tapping equity and finds each lacking in its ability to accomplish the standard goal. She also describes the three types of reverse mortgages currently available. Finally, Professor Hammond sets forth a list of legal issues that remain as obstacles to the broad use of reverse mortgages and suggests ways in which these obstacles can be overcome, including federal preemption through the use of banking laws, the adaption of the AARP’s Model Act, and Fannie Mae’s drafting uniform forms for mortgage properties geared to each state’s laws.

Celeste M. Hammond is Professor, John Marshall Law School , B.S., Loyola University , J.D., University of Chicago Law School. Professor Hammond acknowledges the excellent cheerful help of Therese Clark, J.D. 1993, John Marshall Law School , and dedicates this article to Helen E. Stachnik , a longtime real estate broker and her mother.