Do reverse mortgages carry risks for consumers?

While reverse mortgages can provide real benefits, there are also risks. One substantial risk arises from the ability of the consumer to access the equity in the home through large lump payments. With such large sums available, some consumer might be pressured to obtain products that are not appropriate. Another risk involves failure to provide for taxes, insurance, and maintenance. Another concern is that the borrower might overlook the substantial fees and costs associated with this product, which are usually paid up front.

If you don't fully understand how much the loan will cost, how much can be borrowed, or the circumstances under which the loan can become due, then the risk increases that you may have agreed to a product or engaged in a transaction that is not appropriate or suitable for you.