Reverse Mortgage

The concept of reverse mortgage, although new in India, is very popular in countries like the United States. Recently, National Housing Bank (NHB), a subsidiary of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), released draft norms of reverse mortgage (the final guidelines are awaited). Following are some of the key features of the scheme from the draft norms.

1. Reverse Mortgage Loans (RMLs) are to be extended by Primary Lending Institutions (PLIs) viz. Scheduled Banks and Housing Finance Companies (HFCs) registered with NHB. The PLIs reserve their discretion to offer Reverse Mortgage Loans. Prospective borrowers are advised to consult PLIs regarding the detailed terms of RML as may be applicable to them.

2. Eligible Borrowers:
• Should be Senior Citizen of India above 60 years of age.
• Married couples will be eligible as joint borrowers for financial assistance. In such a case, the age criteria for the couple would be at the discretion of the PLI, subject to at least one of them being above 60 years of age. PLIs may put in place suitable safeguards keeping into view the inherent longevity risk.
• Should be the owner of a self- acquired, self occupied residential property (house or flat) located in India, with clear title indicating the prospective borrower's ownership of the property.
• The residential property should be free from any encumbrances.
• The residual life of the property should be at least 20 years.
• The prospective borrowers should use that residential property as permanent primary residence. For the purpose of determining that the residential property is the permanent primary residence of the borrower, the PLIs may rely on documentary evidence, other sources supplemented by physical inspections.

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