What are the ongoing requirements for HECM Borrower and Non-Borrowing Spouse certifications?

Mortgagees throughout ongoing Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) servicing must keep copies of the following HECM Borrower and Non-Borrowing HECM Spouse certifications in their servicing files.

Annual Borrower Certification:
Borrowers that identify themselves as being married with a currently Eligible Non-Borrowing Spouse must submit the Borrower Certification: Eligible Non-Borrowing Spouse each year.

Death of Last Surviving Borrower Certification:
Upon the death of the last surviving borrower, the Mortgagee must obtain the Eligible Non-Borrowing Spouse certification from any Eligible Non-Borrowing Spouse within 30 days of receiving notice of the last surviving borrower’s death and then no less than annually thereafter for the duration of the Deferral Period.

Eligible Non-Borrowing Spouse is No Longer Eligible Certification:
If an Eligible Non-Borrowing Spouse, identified at closing, ceases to be married to his/her HECM borrower spouse for any reason other than death or fails to reside in the property as his/her Principal Residence, the Deferral Period that would prevent the displacement of such Non-Borrowing Spouse will no longer be in effect. The borrower must submit the certification described in Mortgagee Letter 15-02 within 60 days of the date the Non-Borrowing Spouse becomes ineligible.

The Mortgagee must also obtain and keep supporting documentation confirming the reason, such as a divorce decree or death certificate, in the HECM case files.

For more information see Mortgagee Letter 2015-02 at

Any questions may be directed to the FHA Resource Center at Toll-Free (800) CALLFHA (225-5342) or by email to answers@hud.gov.  Persons with hearing or speech impairments may reach this number by calling the Federal Information Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

All policy information contained in this knowledge base article is based upon the referenced HUD policy document. Any lending or insuring decisions should adhere to the specific information contained in that underlying policy document.

Topic Number: KA-02470