HUD Announces Changes to the Federal Reverse Mortgage Program

September 11, 2017

Seniors sometimes secure and use a reverse mortgage to pay for “in-home” long-term care. Specifically, a reverse mortgage allows a homeowner who is at least 62 years old to use the equity in his or her home to obtain a loan that does not have to be repaid until the homeowner moves, sells, or dies. In a reverse mortgage, the homeowner receives a sum of money from the lender, usually a bank, based largely on the value of the house, the age of the borrower, and current interest rates. There are many factors to consider before deciding whether to proceed with a reverse mortgage.  Before proceeding with a reverse mortgage, federal law requires the homeowners to meet with a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) counselor to help individuals make an independent and informed decision as to whether a reverse mortgage is right for them. While a reverse mortgage may NOT be a viable option for most people, in the right circumstance (after careful consideration of the financial and other factors), some will decide to move forward with a reverse mortgage.

Thus, for those considering, or already moving forward with, a reverse mortgage, understanding the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) recently announced changes to the federal reverse mortgage program is critical. Citing the need to put the program on better financial footing, HUD will raise reverse mortgage fees for some borrowers and lower the amount homeowners can borrow.

To start, HUD is changing the mortgage insurance premium fees that homeowners pay in order to obtain a loan. Currently, homeowners pay 0.5 percent of the value of their home as an upfront mortgage insurance premium on smaller loans, but homeowners who take out a loan that is more than 60 percent of their home’s value pay a 2.5 percent premium. The new rule will require homeowners to pay a standard 2 percent upfront mortgage insurance premium. Homeowners considering a large reverse mortgage may want to wait until after the new rules go into effect. To offset the upfront costs, the annual mortgage insurance premium rate will be dropped from 1.25 percent to 0.5 percent.

In addition, HUD is lowering the amount that homeowners can borrow. The average borrower at current interest rates will be able to borrow only around 58 percent of the value of their home, down from 64 percent.

The changes are set to go into effect on October 2, 2017. The changes will only affect borrowers who take out new loans; they will not affect existing loans.  The August 29, 2017 Mortgagee Letter announcing these changes can be found at:

For additional information regarding reverse mortgages, visit:


The Elder Law Center, P.C. (subsidiary of Mickey, Wilson, Weiler, Renzi & Andersson, P.C., is located in Sugar Grove, IL, Kane County, in the Chicago Western Suburbs, phone number: 630-844-0065.




Update on Proposed Medicaid Rule Changes

March 2, 2011

Our office has just been informed that the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (J-CAR) has received the Department of Human Services’ Second Notice regarding the proposed rule changes to implement the changes to the Medicaid eligibility rules mandated by the DRA. Our office has not yet had an opportunity to review the Department’s most recent version. It is our understanding, however, that some revisions have been made to the original version of the proposed rules. More information will follow, once we have had an opportunity to review the rules. We encourage you to periodically check our website for updates.

Click here to review the actual documents filed by the Illinois Department of Human Services.

New Attorney Catherine E. Malesky Joins the Elder Law Center

August 25, 2010

We are pleased to announce that Catherine E. Malesky has joined the Elder Law Center, P.C. as an associate attorney. She is a graduate of the Chicago-Kent College of Law where she received the CALI Award for Highest Grade in Law, Literature and Feminism and Political Asylum and Refugee Law Seminar. Before joining the firm, Catherine was a staff attorney for the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit in Kane County. 

Catherine’s knowledge and sincerity make her well-equipped to work with our clients and provide them with the best legal representation possible. To reach Catherine, call 630.844.0065, or email her at

Open House- National Healthcare Decisions Day, April 16, 2010, Elder Law Center, Aurora, IL

March 14, 2010

The Elder Law Center, P.C. is giving back to the community on April 16, 2010 in support of National Healthcare Decision Day.  The Elder Law Center, P.C., along with other national, state and community organizations, are leading a massive effort to highlight the importance of advance healthcare decision-making.   As a participating organization, the Elder Law Center, P.C. is providing information and tools for the public to talk about their wishes with family, friends and healthcare providers, and execute written advance directives in accordance with Illinois state laws.

Specifically, on April 16, from 10a.m. to 2p.m., Elder Law Center, P.C. is welcoming the public to an open house at their offices at 2111 Plum Street, Suite 201, Aurora, Illinois 60506.  During the open house, three free informational workshops will be conducted by our Managing Partner, Connie Renzi, at 10:30a.m., 11:30a.m. and 12:30p.m.  At the conclusion of the workshop, you will have the option of working with Mrs. Renzi to create and execute, free of charge, a durable power of attorney for health care specifically for you.  A health care power of attorney allows you to document the person you select to be your voice for your healthcare decisions if you cannot speak for yourself.  If you are interested in completing this important legal document free of charge at our workshop, please call May Rygh at 630.844.0065, ext. 109 to reserve your seat.

If you do not have time for a workshop or just simply want information about advance care planning and advance directive forms, please come to the open house on April 16, 2010, between 10a.m. and 2p.m. where refreshments will be served and staff will be available to answer your questions.

To learn more about the Elder Law Center, visit our website at

We look forward to seeing you on April 16 in honor of National Healthcare Decisions Day!

Get Involved in National Healthcare Decisions Day — April 16, 2010

February 22, 2010

Elder Law Center, P.C., along with other national, state and community organizations, is leading a massive effort to highlight the importance of advance healthcare decision-making—an effort that has culminated in the formal designation of April 16 as National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD).

NHDD organizers are asking interested organizations and individuals throughout the country to help raise awareness about the importance of advance care planning on this special day—and throughout the year. To help realize this goal, they have created a Web site with information and tools for the public to talk about future healthcare decisions and execute written advance directives (healthcare power of attorney and living wills) in accordance with their applicable state laws.  For more information, visit the Web site at

Organizations and coalitions interested in participating are encouraged to sign up at the NHDD Web site. State coordinators are also being recruited to develop statewide networks and outreach activities. For details, visit

Solutions for Financial Challenges of Today’s Senior

April 28, 2009

May 20, 2009 – 11:00am – 1:00pm
Solutions for Financial Challenges of Today’s Senior. Presented by – Elder Law Center, P.C., Oswego Community Bank and Veritrust Financial. Traughber Jr. High School, 61 Franklin Street, Oswego, IL. RSVP at 630-554-3411.