HECMs and the Rights of Non-Borrowing Spouses

Under rules applicable to all HECMs written after August 4, 2014, non-borrowing spouses (NBSs) can avoid being evicted following the death of HECM borrowers. If the surviving NBS assumes ownership of the house and meets other obligations of ownership including payment of property taxes, she can remain there indefinitely. Further, an NBS can be any age when the HECM is taken out, but the younger she is, the less the amount that the HECM borrower can draw.

Under this new rule, all spouses will have their tenure protected. If they are 62 or older, they are co-borrowers, and if they are younger than 62 they are NBSs with protected tenure. But note that the rule does not protect the tenure of dependent children resident in the house, or spouses who marry HECM borrowers after the HECM is taken out.

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