Safeguard Your Home’s Equity: Find a Knowledgeable Loan Provider

Wisconsin senior homeowners are like the millions of others exploring ways in which a reverse mortgage can help them leverage their home’s equity. Here are some tips to locating a reputable reverse mortgage lender in Wisconsin.

FHA Lender Limits and How They Affect a Reverse Mortgage

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) sets mortgage limits across the nation on a county-by-county basis. Mortgage lenders use these figures when calculating how much mortgage a homebuyer may be approved for in accordance with FHA loans. However, the same limits are key factors used to determine a homeowner’s eligibility for the federally insured FHA and HUD Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM).

Average homeowners fare well with the limits and are often able to leverage a generous percentage of home equity. Borrowers that are limited under FHA regulations are those with very high value homes. In these cases homeowners often turn to proprietary reverse mortgage options that offer greater equity flexibility.

Wisconsin FHA limits vary a bit. Most of the 72 counties sit right about the national average. Exceptions are counties that comprise the area surrounding Madison and Milwaukee, Kenosha County, and counties in Wisconsin adjacent to the Minneapolis-St. Paul Minnesota area.

Find a HUD Lender in Wisconsin

The U.S Department of Housing (HUD) and the FHA work hand-in-hand to provide consumers with timely information and affordable homeowner and homebuyer programs. They are not to be confused with mortgage companies, however. HUD and the FHA do not approve home loans or lend money.

HUD provides reverse mortgage borrowers with:

Visit the HUD website for a FHA-approved lender list. The list is searchable by state, so you can locate Wisconsin lenders and indicates those that have experience with the HECM reverse mortgage.

Single Purpose Reverse Mortgages Available in Wisconsin

Wisconsin is one of 25 states that provide a type of single purpose reverse mortgage. The Wisconsin Property Tax Deferral Loan is administered by the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority. Qualifications for the Wisconsin Property Tax Deferral include:

  • Homeowners must be age 65 or older.
  • They must hold title to the property/home.
  • Must use the residence as a primary.
  • Income must not exceed $20,000 annually.

This is a lien against the home’s equity and the maximum allowable is $2,500 per year to pay for property taxes, exclusively. The loan is assessed an interest rate, adjusted annually. The deferral comes due when the home is sold or the borrower dies.

Types of Reverse Home Mortgage Providers in WI

Here is a sample of the types of companies licensed to originate reverse mortgages in Wisconsin.

  • Bank of Elmwood is a HUD-approved lender and a Wisconsin based company. This retail bank provides customers with an expansive menu of personal and business services and products, as well as reverse mortgages.
  • Financial Freedom is one of the nation’s largest volume lenders of reverse mortgages and is particularly well known for its very popular jumbo reverse mortgage the Cash Account Advantage. FF also offers the HECM and the Fannie Mae Home Keeper.
  • Tomahawk Community Bank is a Wisconsin company and a HUD-approved lender. The bank offers personal and business services, as well as mortgages and reverse mortgages, including the HUD HECM.