Once-troubled reverse mortgages poised for rebound

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

WASHINGTON (AP) — Advertised as a path to an affordable retirement, federally insured reverse mortgages are showing signs of a rebound. They're drawing the scrutiny of regulators seeking to reduce historically high default rates that have cost the government billions.

Industry analysts expect strong growth as the housing market improves, particularly in once hard-hit Sun Belt areas including Phoenix, Miami and San Diego, California, and aging Americans find value in growing old in their homes.

Philadelphia, where many families have lived in the same neighborhoods for generations, has ranked at the top for reverse mortgages awarded since 2011. That's according to an analysis of Federal Housing Administration data for The Associated Press by Reverse Market Insight.

Philadelphia was followed by Los Angeles, Washington and Chicago.