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What Happens if You Inherit a House with a Reverse Mortgage?

Inheriting a home is often seen as a blessing, a tangible piece of a loved one’s legacy left behind. But what if the inheritance has a financial twist, such as a reverse mortgage? This situation can quickly become a complex puzzle for heirs to solve. Understanding what happens if you inherit a house with a reverse mortgage is crucial for navigating the potential legal and financial ramifications and exploring the best options for moving forward, including the possibility of selling the home to a cash investor.


Understanding Reverse Mortgages

What to do when you inherit a house with a reverse mortgage.

A reverse mortgage is a financial product designed for homeowners aged 62 and older, allowing them to convert part of the equity in their home into cash. The homeowner can receive funds as a lump sum, monthly payments, or a line of credit. Unlike traditional mortgages, the borrower doesn’t need to make monthly mortgage payments with a reverse mortgage. Instead, the loan is repaid when the borrower moves out, sells the home, or passes away.

The Implications of Inheriting a House with a Reverse Mortgage


When a property owner with a reverse mortgage dies, the heirs are faced with several options regarding the inherited property. Here’s what you need to know:

Notification and Timelines: Heirs must promptly notify the lender of the borrower’s death. The lender will then send a due and payable notice, outlining the mortgage repayment terms. Heirs typically have 30 days to decide on their course of action but can request extensions to buy time for decision-making and execution, usually up to 12 months.

Repayment Options: Heirs have three primary options to address the reverse mortgage:

Repay the loan: This can be done through personal funds, refinancing, or securing a new loan.

Sell the property: If the home’s value exceeds the reverse mortgage balance, heirs can sell the property, pay off the reverse mortgage, and keep the remaining equity.

Deed in lieu of foreclosure: If selling the home or paying off the debt is not feasible, heirs may opt to sign the property over to the lender.

Appraisal and Equity: It’s essential to get an appraisal on the inherited home to understand its current market value. If the property value is more than the reverse mortgage balance, there’s positive equity that can be beneficial if the heirs decide to sell. If it’s underwater (owing more than its worth), heirs are not personally liable for the deficit unless they choose to keep the home.

Selling the Home to Cash Investors

Sell Your House For Cash Without An Agent


One of the quickest and most straightforward ways to deal with an inherited house with a reverse mortgage is to sell it, especially if maintaining the property, refinancing, or paying off the mortgage isn’t viable. Cash investors can be a particularly attractive option for several reasons:

Speed of Sale: Cash investors often close sales much faster than traditional buyers, sometimes within a week. This is crucial for heirs who need to settle the reverse mortgage promptly to avoid accruing interest or facing foreclosure.

As-Is Purchase: Many cash investors buy homes “as-is,” meaning heirs don’t need to spend time or money on repairs or upgrades to make the property marketable.

Avoiding Foreclosure: If heirs are unable or unwilling to repay the reverse mortgage, selling to a cash investor can prevent the lender from foreclosing on the home, preserving the deceased’s credit legacy and potentially salvaging some equity.

Considerations Before Selling


Before proceeding with the sale, it’s essential for heirs to:

Consult with a real estate attorney: This helps understand the legalities of the reverse mortgage agreement and the implications of selling the property.

Evaluate the market: Understanding current market conditions can help decide whether selling to cash investors is the best financial decision.

Consider tax implications: Inheritance and capital gains taxes can affect the net proceeds from the sale. Consulting with a tax professional can offer clarity and planning strategies.


Inheriting a house with a reverse mortgage presents a unique set of challenges and decisions for heirs. While the situation might seem daunting initially, understanding the available options, including the potential to sell the property to cash investors, can provide a viable solution. Taking proactive steps to manage the inherited property not only honors the legacy of the loved one but also ensures that the heirs can navigate the process with minimal financial and emotional stress.

Sometimes, the best option is to sell the house, and if that’s the case, EZ Sell Homebuyers is Google’s top-ranking Home Cash Buying team in Ohio with the highest number of Google reviews. We buy houses in all Ohio cities (DaytonColumbusCincinnatiClevelandToledo, and Akron). Whether you are trying to avoid foreclosure, inherited a property you do not want, dealing with a divorce, or are fed up being a landlord dealing with tenants, we can help. If you need to sell your house in Ohio fast, we offer cash for homes in Ohio!

FAQ: Inheriting a House with a Reverse Mortgage

1. What is a reverse mortgage?

A reverse mortgage is a loan available to homeowners aged 62 and older, allowing them to convert part of their home equity into cash without the need for monthly mortgage payments. The loan is repaid when the homeowner moves out, sells the home, or dies.

2. What happens when you inherit a house with a reverse mortgage?

Upon inheriting a home with a reverse mortgage, heirs face several key steps and decisions. They must notify the lender about the borrower’s death, decide whether to repay the loan, sell the property, or sign it over to the lender, and assess the property’s value and equity.

3. What are the repayment options for heirs?

Heirs have three main options:

  • Repay the loan through personal funds, refinancing, or securing a new loan.
  • Sell the property to pay off the reverse mortgage and potentially keep the remaining equity.
  • Opt for a deed in lieu of foreclosure if they cannot afford to repay the loan or sell the property.

4. How do heirs notify the lender, and what are the timelines involved?

Heirs must promptly inform the lender of the borrower’s death. They typically have 30 days to decide on their course of action but can request extensions, usually up to 12 months, to facilitate decision-making and settlement.

5. What if the home’s value is less than the reverse mortgage balance?

If the home is “underwater” (worth less than the mortgage balance), heirs are not personally liable for the deficit, provided they don’t wish to keep the home. They can choose to walk away without financial repercussions.

6. Why might selling the home to a cash investor be beneficial?

Selling to a cash investor can be advantageous for quick closure, avoiding repairs and upgrades, and preventing foreclosure. This option is often faster and less complicated, allowing heirs to settle the reverse mortgage without additional financial burden.

7. What should heirs consider before selling the inherited property?

Before selling, it’s crucial for heirs to consult with a real estate attorney to understand the legalities, evaluate the market to ensure it’s the right financial decision, and consider tax implications with a tax professional to understand how the sale affects inheritance and capital gains taxes.

8. Are heirs personally liable for the reverse mortgage debt?

No, heirs are not personally liable for the reverse mortgage debt as long as they do not wish to retain ownership of the property. The financial responsibility ends with the sale or transfer of the property back to the lender.

9. Can heirs keep the inherited property?

Yes, heirs can choose to keep the property by repaying the reverse mortgage debt, either through refinancing, securing a new loan, or using personal funds.

10. How can heirs navigate the process with minimal stress?

Understanding the available options, consulting with professionals (real estate attorneys and tax advisors), and evaluating the financial implications can help heirs manage the inherited property efficiently, honoring their loved one’s legacy while minimizing financial and emotional stress.

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