A pilot program by the National Council on Aging sets out to help seniors who have reverse mortgages and who are struggling to pay property taxes and home owners' insurance.

While reverse mortgages can help seniors to stay at home, these funds may be depleted over time, Barbara Stucki, vice president for home equity initiatives at NCOA, said in a public statement about the program. With economic conditions putting pressure on many of these borrowers, we want to assess the services and supports to help them remedy their delinquencies and stay at home. NCOA is collaborating with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association for the program.

The agencies will partner with senior service community partner agencies in Miami, Houston, Detroit, and Los Angeles to identify ways to assist seniors with reverse mortgages who are at risk for foreclosure.

The program will work with seniors in pursuing local tax relief options and identify other financial, legal, and housing solutions in helping to resolve delinquencies. The program will also help borrowers who need to move to a more affordable or supportive housing development, if necessary.

This problem is primarily a result of a faltering economy -- lowering home values and losses in retirement savings -- and our members feel a strong responsibility to help guide those in need through this rough time, says Peter Bell, the president of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association.

Source: NCOA Teams With HUD and NRMLA to Assist Reverse Mortgage Borrowers Who Have Difficulty Paying Property Taxes and Insurance, National Council of Aging (Jan. 6, 2011)