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How a Reverse Mortgage Proved Useful After a Natural Disaster

“We were about to initiate our mortgage application when our community was hit by tragedy.”

We can have everything perfectly planned and ready to go, and then disaster strikes.

When we least expect it, an emergency situation can present itself that causes us to rethink everything we thought we knew and challenge our assumptions about how we can power through and get to a positive resolution.

Two years ago, Dave was in the process of applying for a Reverse Mortgage when his community was hit by devastating fires leaving his neighborhood susceptible to landslides.

Dave grew up in Montecito, an area that is close to Santa Barbara and moved away for college and a professional stint in London, England. But, he was able to return and has lived there for 37 years. Since, his home has undertaken remodels and expanded from a two bedroom into a four bedroom with a family room and other upgrades.

Before the fires and the subsequent landslides, Dave was in the process of obtaining a Reverse Mortgage — a process he was a bit skeptical about. “In the early years” Dave recalls, “it had a bad reputation but legislation improved that reputation. So, it came as much more of a possibility for us than before.”

Devastating fires in the mountains above Montecito left us susceptible to landslides. When we explained our situation to FAR, they understood exactly what we described. Well aware of the situation in Montecito, they quickly rolled up their sleeves to help us out.

— Dave, Real HomeSafe Customer

The key for Dave was being able to find a new and strategic way to tap into the equity of the house while being able to stay in the home for a period of time.

The challenge for Dave came in the aftermath of the Thomas Fire that ravaged areas around Santa Barbara and Montecito in 2017. While the fire spared his home, the barren hills above his home were susceptible to a debris flow from massive rains that destroyed a number of homes, too. This brought into question whether or not it would impact the ability to get a Reverse Mortgage, but also the dependency on getting an accurate appraisal.

The underwriting team at FAR worked to carefully make the case on the backend of the negative implications that being in a disaster zone didn’t affect the ability to get his loan through.

This story represents how unique the path to retirement can be. Sometimes there are challenges and tough decisions to be made. For Dave, a Reverse Mortgage was a savvy and productive tool that helped reach his goals and live the life he truly desired.

Because of FAR’s hard work, going above and beyond, we were able to assure that our home value had not decreased.

— Dave, Real HomeSafe Customer

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Finance of America Reverse LLC borrowers have been compensated for their participation. Statements are their own.