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Abstract

This student note explores the plight of elderly home-owners whose income cannot meet their expenses, and the federal legislation designed to meet their needs, specifically the Reverse Annuity Mortgage (RAM), which draws on home equity to provide monthly cash payments to homeowners. The author explains the legislation authorizing the RAM, describes the pros and cons of different forms of the RAM for elderly homeowners, and suggests modifications that will allow homeowners maximum support without sacrificing their other sources of income, such as Social Security payments and tax benefits. The author also explores New York state legislation dealing with the RAM, differentiating between the Shared Appreciation RAM and the Fixed Rate RAM. The Note proposes that the New York system is preferable to elderly homeowners, and advises against amending the law.

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