While there is some flexibility about the sequence of events, there are also rules that dictate what steps must be completed before other actions.  A simplified listing of the steps follows:

  1. Meet with a Reverse Mortgage loan advisor to get an overview and determine if you might qualify for a Reverse Mortgage. Review and narrow choices for the lenders’ loans that may be best for your specific situation. Be sure to invite family members or trusted advisors who you might like to include in the meeting.
  2. Attend counseling with an independent HUD-approved mortgage counselor for HECM loans and lender approved counseling agency for Proprietary loans (and be sure to obtain the ORIGINAL Counseling Certificate). Then wait the California-mandated cooling off period of 7 calendar days.
  3. On the 8th day after counseling, complete a loan application, providing the necessary supporting documentation (like photo ID, proof of Social Security Number, etc) that will be required for steps that follow.
  4. Be available to meet with the appraiser who will visit your home. (for a HECM loan, this step cannot take place until your loan advisor obtains an “FHA Case Number”.)  The appraiser will briefly measure and photograph your home and get an overview of your neighborhood. He/she will also look for key items of “safety and security” such as smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, double strapped water heater, etc. The appraiser’s report preparation will later be done at his home office where he/she gathers information about similar properties in your neighborhood.
  5. Await updates from your loan advisor as he/she gathers information and submits the loan to the lender for review and underwriting. This process may involve providing clarification of information provided by you or providing additionally requested information.
  6. Upon learning that your loan has been approved  or “cleared for close’, work with your loan advisor to establish a signing/closing date. For this step, you will need to confirm the amount of monies to be drawn at close, if you have opted for an initial cash withdraw.  The step involves the coordination of 5 different parties – including you, the loan originator, the lender, the escrow company and an independent notary, so flexibility is important.
  7. After document signing, you then enter the “3-day right of rescission period”, a time during which you may opt to discontinue with the loan process, should you determine a Reverse Mortgage is not right for you. Otherwise, your loan will be “closed” and “funded” on the business days following the end of the 3-day rescission period.