Business

Kitsap Bank now offering reverse mortgages

In today’s economic climate, homeowners are mulling over a variety of options to make ends meet and keep their homes.

Kitsap Bank, through a partnership with the Security Reverse Mortgage Company of Gig Harbor, began providing customers the option of reverse mortgages earlier this month.

“Many of our customers are looking for a solution that will allow them to maintain their independence and stay in their homes, while remaining payment-free and financially secure,” Kitsap Bank President and CEO James Carmichael stated in a news release. “Our decision to offer a reverse mortgage is part of Kitsap Bank’s commitment to providing the community with products and services which enhance our neighbors’ financial well-being.”

Reverse mortgages are federally backed, regulated and insured by the Federal Housing Administration and allow customers ages 62 and older who own their own homes and have equity in their homes to “turn the value of their home into cash in the form of a lump sum, line of credit or monthly cash advance,” according to Kitsap Bank. People who use a reverse mortgage typically do not have to pay anything until they sell or permanently move out of their homes.

“Reverse mortgages have been an option for people for a considerable period of time and I think that in economic times like now people may be looking for an option to have an extra cash flow,” said Kitsap Bank spokeswoman Shannon Childs.

She said people have shown an interest in reverse mortgages and have contacted the bank and the Security Reverse Mortgage Company for more information.

“People who are interested in this are being referred to Security Reverse Mortgage,” she said.

Childs said the Security Reverse Mortgage Company specializes in reverse mortgages and receives positive feedback from customers on a regular basis.

“They’re a local company that is very well-respected,” she said. “They have a proven track record in customer service.”

Childs said a reverse mortgage is not for everyone and the professionals at the Security Reverse Mortgage Company will decide if it is a good option for individual homeowners.

“It’s something that really needs to be carefully investigated,” she said. “It’s an appropriate solution for some people, but it really needs to be investigated.”

Childs said other local banks, credit unions and mortgage companies may be offering similar services.

“I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there were other banks or credit unions doing this,” she said.

Kitsap Bank and the Security Reverse Mortgage Company will offer informational seminars about reverse mortgages to its customers. Childs said she expects seminars to begin in January or February.

For information on reverse mortgages, Kitsap Bank and the Security Reverse Mortgage Company, click here.

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