Marcy......Here's my best attempt at replying....Just as with any type of mortgage, loan or legal banking transaction, there are "several types."
You need to know that "reverse mortgage" can be so varied and complex that financial experts strongly advise attending an intensive class or reverse mortgage seminar before even contemplating applying.
I have looked into this in depth. What I can say after my education is that a reverse mortgage is in NO WAY as simple, cut & dry 1-2-3 as the TV commercials make them seem. Not by a long shot. What these commercials do is merely come close to summing up the possible bottom line.There's a LOT in the process to get there.
I can also tell you that it is vital to check out numerous lending institutions that offer reverse mortgages. Again, every lender has their policies and procedures.
Bottom line? Is it a good idea? It can be and it's worth investigating thoroughly. It can also be disastrous. Caveat emptor! I hesitate to use the term "rip off." Instead I would ask, "Just how much does ANYTHING run by the government ever result in positive benefit to the American public?? That's a good question to search the answer to.
I came to the decision I'd say, "Yeah, thanks, but no thanks."