By Micah Guiao
Heartland Finance has been helping seniors live in better retirement with its reverse mortgage, more so this coming International Day of Older Persons on Friday.
The aging population can benefit from reverse mortgages, especially those who are retiring with debt. The process involves borrowers using home equity as collateral to generate income to either fund their retirement or transform a home to be more aged-friendly.
Having this type of financial freedom is important since 91% of elder abuse happens in the home, with 67% of acts committed by the person’s son or daughter, according to a report from Senior Rights Victoria.
As such, Heartland Finance provides certain safeguards to ensure that customers are free of harm and coercion throughout the financial decision-making processes and the duration of the loan.
“We carefully look out for any signs of potential financial abuse or other forms of abuse,” said Sharon Yardley, head of operations at Heartland Finance. “Our people are trained to identify any potential signs of vulnerability along with situations where there is not a clear benefit for our customer. As part of our application process, we also ask if the application is being made under any undue pressure or influence.”
Customers are encouraged to seek independent legal advice as part of the application process to understand the agreement that they are making.
On top of this protection, Heartland also offers a lifetime occupancy promise, no negative equity guarantee, flexible loan repayments, equity protection option and a month-long cooling off period.
Should a customer experience financial abuse, Heartland Finance has the right to delay or reject the loan, request permission to speak with other family members or, in extreme cases, contact the police to arrange a welfare visit or fraud check.