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:

The Mortgagee must annually determine if the property remains the principal residence of at least one Borrower and must require the Borrower to annually certify to his or her continued residence in the property securing the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM).

Where an Eligible Non-Borrowing Spouse was identified at closing, the Mortgagee must obtain an additional certification from the HECM Borrower confirming that his/her Eligible Non-Borrowing Spouse remains his/her spouse and his/her Eligible Non-Borrowing Spouse continues to reside in the property as his/her Principal Residence.

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 2015-02 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: https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/administration/hudclips/letters/mortgagee 

    Any questions may be directed to the FHA Resource Center at Toll-Free Telephone Number (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 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