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RISMEDIA, January 28, 2009-If you’re over 62 and a homeowner you have a unique opportunity to get significant, spendable value from your home, even if you still hold an existing mortgage. Recently, LendingTree launched a reverse mortgage service for interested senior homeowners looking to talk with lenders who can help them consider using the equity they have built in their home.

Senior homeowners have spent years, often decades, building up equity in their homes. An increasingly common practice of homeowners over the age of 62 is to obtain a reverse mortgage (also known as a HECM, a home equity conversion mortgage) which gives qualified senior homeowners a proven solution to help fund their retirement needs. In addition, and importantly to most independent seniors, a reverse mortgage allows them to live in their home as long as they wish.

Reverse mortgages may be a good option to consider for some, but before moving forward, it’s important to fully understand how they work. The following helpful advice comes from the LendingTree Smart Borrower Center:

1. Reverse mortgage candidates must be at least 62 years of age, have significant equity in their property, and be looking for a reverse mortgage on their primary residence only.

2. Anyone who intends to apply for a reverse mortgage is required by law to complete a 45-minute counseling session with a HUD (Housing and Urban Development) approved counselor*.

3. The sum from a reverse mortgage can be paid to you in a couple of different ways; all at once in a single lump sum of cash; as a regular monthly loan advance or as a credit line that lets you decide how much cash to use and when to use it; or you may have the option to choose a combination of any of these payment plans.

4. The amount of cash you can get from your home’s equity is determined by a number of factors including your age, your home’s value and location, and current interest rates.

5. Reverse mortgages may have tax consequences, could affect eligibility for assistance under Federal and State programs, and may have an impact on the estate and heirs of the homeowner.

For more information, visit www.lendingtree.com.

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