Liberty Reverse Mortgage - formerly known as Liberty Home Equity Solutions - has been in business since 2004 and helped 74,000 seniors tap into the equity in their homes in that time. Widely acknowledged as one of the best reverse mortgage companies in terms of support and guidance, Liberty focuses on doing the right thing by its customers, with integrity and personal care at the heart of its proposition.
Liberty’s focus is entirely on reverse mortgages - or Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) loans as it prefers to call them - so you can be sure they know the market inside out. Two different types of HECM are available – standard or for purchase. The former allows you to access cash, while the latter can be used to raise funds to pay off an existing mortgage if you want to move - and most likely downsize - your home. Liberty is licensed in all 50 states, but does not currently offer consumer-direct retail lending in Hawaii, New York, South Dakota, and Utah.
Liberty Reverse Mortgage review: Application process
Application process: Online initially, then by phone
Fees and interest rates: Fees confirmed during application, price promise on rate
Service: Eligibility calculator, great resources, excellent customer reviews
- Easy-to-use and attractive website
- $500 credit if not closed within 60 days
Unlike some finance based websites, Liberty’s homepage is remarkably clear of clutter, yet manages to tell you lots at the same time. Everything is well-signposted too, so if you can’t find what you need straight away, it shouldn’t take you long to track the information down.
You can fill out a form in order to receive a free eGuide to reverse mortgages, but most people are likely to be drawn in the first instance to the free eligibility calculator. However, be warned that you will have to give up some personal information in order to find out how much you are eligible for, and can expect a call from Liberty soon after - if you want an estimate without sharing your phone number, American Advisor Group is a better option.
As with all reverse mortgage applications, the process is not a quick one, with Liberty saying it will take between 30 and 45 days from start to finish. There is also a commitment to close a loan within 60 days of receiving an application and HUD Counseling Certificate which, if not met, will see $500 credit issued towards closing costs.
As mentioned earlier, the initial online form-filling paves the way to a Liberty representative contacting you by phone, at which point the advice that needs to be imparted and the application process proper will begin.
Liberty Reverse Mortgage review: Fees and charges
- Accessible fee information
- Price promise on rate
Liberty makes it relatively easy for prospective customers to find out about the fees that they are likely to face. Many finance companies hide fee information in really hard to reach spaces, but with Liberty, they are accessible directly from the bottom of the homepage. The dedicated page sets out everything clearly, revealing which fees are charged for what reason, and how they are likely to be calculated.
Exactly how much a customer will be charged remains unknown until further down the application process, but Liberty does give some useful insights that others perhaps don’t. A good example is the revelation that the “true interest rate” is half a percent above the quoted rate because it will include the annual FHA’s ongoing Mortgage Insurance Premium charges.
When you do find out your interest rate, however, Liberty has a price promise in place, which means if it cannot match or beat a competitor’s program offering, you will receive a $100 VISA gift card.
Liberty Reverse Mortgage review: Service
- Information-rich website
- "Exceptional" service
Liberty’s website is excellent, with all the information that a new customer might need front and center. If you have any questions about anything - how a reverse mortgage works, eligibility and requirements, pros and cons - the answers should not be more than a click away.
Phone lines are manned 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST, while weekly updates will keep you informed of progress. Liberty also claims it should be possible to complete the entire loan application process without leaving home if you choose.
Customers are generous in their praise of Liberty, with reviews on Consumer Affairs leading to a rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 across the 238 ratings submitted in the past year. Its service is described as “exceptional” and the guarantees are welcomed too. Liberty is also A+ rated with the Better Business Bureau and has been accredited since 2005.
Should you use Liberty Reverse Mortgage?
Liberty Reverse Mortgage is crystal clear in its objective to help people secure a reverse mortgage and just as clear in its approach to making sure this happens. The website is well-designed and extremely accessible, with everything you might need to know readily at hand. All of the potential deadlines are explained and the application process laid bare, while the guarantees over rates and loan completion provide a little something extra should things not go quite as planned.
The need to pass on your contact details in order to find out if are eligible might deter some, while more upfront fee information would be welcome of most reverse mortgage providers. However, past customers certainly appreciate Liberty’s efforts, and it seems that everything is in place to ensure future customers are not disappointed too.