by Bob Sparrow
(Nine years ago, this month Suzanne and I started writing together – it wasn’t exactly this blog then; we called it Morning News In Verse, where we provided examples of what we could do in our new-found business, call Red Posy, a business of writing rhyming tributes. At that time in this space, we would take the four sections from the national newspaper, USA Today, main news, sports, business and entertainment, and write some rhyming news items. In March 2012, we closed our Red Posy business (I think it was due to too much business!), but found that we really enjoyed writing together, so decided to just write and post a new blog, From A Bird’s Eye View, every Monday about ‘Life’s Little Observations.’ My reason for this brief, albeit rather mundane history of this site, is that what with Word Press expenses, GoDaddy annual fees, the cost of website analytics, up-dating plug-ins, Akismet anti-spam software and Wordfence website security, not to mention Suzanne’s and my valuable time and effort, all coming to you free of charge, we decided that we needed a sponsor to help absorb some of these on-going expenses. And so, my reverse mortgage business leaped into the breach. We ask that you please indulge us as I provide four of my, ‘true-life’ reverse mortgage experiences that I needed to put up on my new business website: https://bobsparrow.myloanofficer.us/about. We will have then satisfied our ‘commercial obligation’ and will press on with the usual drivel that you’ve become accustom to in this space).
These stories are true, the names have been omitted to protect the innocent and to keep me from getting sued.
- HEY, YOU SMASHED MY CAR!
After dinner at a restaurant in Orange, I backed out of my parking place and scraped the fender of a car parked behind me. Don’t you hate that sound of metal on metal?!! So, I stopped, got out of my car and wrote on the back of my business card, “Sorry I bumped into your car, my contact information is on this card”. The next day I got a call.
“Is this Bob?”
“You ran into my car last night”
“Yes, I’m sorry, I can have my insurance company take care of it”
“Nah, that’s alright, I’m in the auto business and can have that buffed out without a problem, but I noticed from your card that you were in the reverse mortgage business and I’d like to know more about how it works”
So, I made an appointment for the next day, when I got there, the good news was that he had already had the car dent buffed out; the bad news was that he was living on ‘leased land’, and a reverse mortgage cannot be done on lease land. So no deal, but I initially thought about a ‘car accident market plan’, but quickly dismissed it as a bit too risky.
2. TOO OLD FOR A REVERSE MORTGAGE?
A man called me asking about reverse mortgages; one of his first questions was, “Is there an age limit for getting a reverse mortgage?” I said there is a minimum, 62, but no maximum age limit. He said, “Not even 104?” I responded, thinking that he didn’t sound like he was that old, “Not even 104”, I replied. He then proceeded to tell me that his mother-in-law was 104 and she had been bed-ridden for a number of years and that the in-house care they were providing her was taking a toll on the family’s budget. And since the 104-year-old was still living in her home that had plenty of equity, we did a reverse mortgage for her that enabled her to keep the long-term care in her house, without affecting the family’s finances. No, she’s not alive today; she passed away about a year ago.
3. I THINK MY HOUSE COULD ROLL AWAY
A lady in Hemet called asking about reverse mortgages; she was a real talker, probably lonely and finally got someone on the phone that would listen to her for as long as she wanted. She said I was referred to her by someone she trusted and proceeded to tell me everything I needed to know about how she was living, what she did in her spare time, how her cat was doing (not that well) and on and on. From the numbers she gave me, it sounded like she could do a reverse mortgage, so I scheduled a time to go out to Hemet and give her a proposal. On my drive out to Hemet, about 80 miles one way, she calls me and sheepishly tells me that her house is not a ‘regular’ house. I asked, “Does it have wheels?” “Well, it could”, she replied. Oh great, I’m thinking I’m driving over 150 miles today to tell her that we can’t do a reverse mortgage on a mobile home. When I get there, I find out that it’s not a mobile home, but a ‘manufactured’ home – and we can, and I did, do a reverse mortgage for her, but not without getting regular up-dates on her cat.
4. THE KING IS DEAD, LONG LIVE THE QUEEN
I got a call from nice, young lady (young is a relative term in ‘reversemortgagees’ – typically someone in their mid to late 60s) wanting some information about reverse mortgages. I asked her some questions and determined that she and her husband could be eligible, so made an appointment to do a proposal. I arrived and met the lady of the house, who was just as sweet as she sounded on the phone and then met the husband, who was gruff, rude and bombastic. He proceeded to tell me how successful he’d been in business, but someone really screwed him over these last few years and he had been given some bad advice about some investments. He treated his wife as a sub-human, in fact, he treated me that way also. But I bit my tough and we did the loan. The wife thanked me; the husband just grunted. The next week, I got a call from the wife. Her husband had just passed away! Yes, less than one week after the loan had closed! I may have heard a hint of glee in her voice in this otherwise sad bit of news, but she seemed most concerned about whether the reverse mortgage that had just funded was ‘still valid’. I told her, “Yes, you can live there, mortgage-free, for as long as you want”. I think that made her happy, or perhaps something else already had.
And now back to our regularly scheduled program.