"Reverse mortgages" allow older homeowners to convert part of the equity oin their homes into cash without having to sell their homes or take additional bills. You receive money from the lender and don't have to pay it back as long as you live in your own. Thes three basic types of reverse mortgage are:

  1. single-purpose reverse mortgages, which are offered by some state and local government agencies and nonprofit organizations;
  2. federally-insured reverse mortgages, which are known as Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECMs), and are backed by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD); and
  3. proprietary reverse mortgages, which are private loans that are backed by the companies that develop them.