Many homeowners have beliefs about how a CHIP Mortgage works but are not clear on the main benefits and protection offered by the program.
Top 3 Misconceptions About a CHIP Mortgages:
1. The Bank Owns Your Home.
Over 50% of Canadian homeowners over the age of 65, believe the bank owns your home once you’ve taken a reverse mortgage. Not true! The bank simply registers their position on the title of the home the same as any other bank would register a mortgage. The difference is in the collection of payments on the mortgage. With a CHIP Mortgage the home owner does not have to make payments. The mortgage payments can be capitalized back into the mortgage. The full amount of principal and interest is payable when the home is sold or the homeowner(s) die.
2. Your Estate Can Owe More Than Your Home
A CHIP mortgage cannot seek any further compensation from the borrower – even if the collateral asset (property) does not fully cover the full value of the loan upon payout of the mortgage. Therefore, when the last homeowner dies (and the reverse mortgage is due), the estate will never be responsible for paying back more than the fair market value of the home. The estate is fully protected – this is not the case for almost any other mortgage loan (specifically secured lines of credit) in Canada, which is full recourse debt.
3. The Best Time to take a Reverse Mortgage is at the End of Your Retirement
- 91% of Canadian seniors have no plans to sell their home (CBC News “Canadian Boomers Want To Stay In Their Homes As They Age).
- You are missing out on a huge tax-saving opportunity by not taking out CHIP mortgage in the beginning of your retirement.
“Research has consistently shown that strategic uses of reverse mortgages can be used to improve a retiree’s financial situation, and that reverse mortgages generally provide more strategic benefits when used early in retirement as opposed to being used as a last resort.” – Jamie Hopkins, Forbes
In Canada, a CHIP reverse mortgage can be set-up to provide homeowners with a monthly draw out of the approved amount. For example: client at age 65 is approved for $240,000 and decides to take $1000/month. This is deposited into the clients’ bank account over the next 20-years. They use those funds to increase their monthly cash flow or invest the money till they turn 71. Interest accumulates in the CHIP Mortgage only on the amount drawn (i.e.: not on the full dollar amount at the onset).
This strategy allows clients to draw down less income from their savings/investments to support their retirement lifestyle. In turn, this can create some excellent tax savings, since home equity is non-taxable. Imagine lowering your nominal tax bracket by 5 – 10% each and every year over a 20 year period! The tax savings can be huge. You are also able to preserve your assets allowing them to grow which can generate a higher rate of return when invested over a greater period of time.
Courtesy of Pauline Tonkin, AMP – DLC Innovative Mortgage Solutions