Texas Voters Will Decide: Should Seniors Have a New Option for Reverse Mortgages?
Austin, TX - Proposition 5 on the November 5 Constitutional Amendment ballot would allow a Texas senior, age 62 or older, to purchase a new principal residence and obtain a reverse mortgage within a single transaction. It would also require reverse mortgage lenders to expand currently required counseling to borrowers to include disclosure of the specific behaviors that can lead to foreclosure on a property.
According to Senator John Carona, the legislative author, Proposition 5 gives "seniors access to reverse mortgages for purchase, a financing tool available nationwide that provides homeowners with the opportunity to save money, while offering flexibility in the purchase of a new home. This law will be unique to Texas, however, in that it offers increased consumer protections, including a 12-day disclosure period."
Others are concerned that reverse mortgages are complex financial products that consumers struggle to understand. Making good decisions is difficult even after required counseling. Homeowners could lose a lifetime of home equity as a result of fraud, scams, misleading advertising, aggressive sales tactics and discriminatory practices sometimes associated with reverse mortgages.
"To have a say on this and 8 other ballot propositions, eligible Texans must vote in the November 5 election," says Linda Krefting, Chair of the League of Women Voters of Texas Education Fund. "For those not already registered to vote, the voter registration deadline for this election is October 7."
The nonpartisan LWV-Texas Education Fund Voters Guide for the Constitutional Amendment Election with the ballot language, an explanation, and balanced arguments for and against each proposition plus helpful information on the new photo ID requirement and other aspects of voting will be available on www.lwvtexas.org and www.VOTE411.org (in English by Sept. 23 and in Spanish by Sept. 30) and distributed in print by local Leagues and through many libraries. A Constitutional Amendment page on www.lwvtexas.org provides additional information on the constitutional amendment process and proposals considered by the 2013 Texas Legislature.
Voters can check to their registration by calling the county voter registrar or online at https://team1.sos.state.tx.us/voterws/viw/faces/SearchSelectionVoter.jsp. Eligible voters needing to register can complete and mail the application form at http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/voter/reqvr.shtml.
Early voting is from October 21 to November 1. Voters can vote at any county location during early voting. Election Day is November 5 with polls open from 7 am to 7 pm.
Attachment: LWV-TEF Texas Voters Will Decide Series 2013
The nonpartisan League of Women Voters of Texas Education Fund (LWV-TEF) encourages informed and active participation in government and works to increase understanding of major public policy issues. LWV-TEF never supports or opposes candidates for office, or political parties. LWV-TEF provides objective information in Voters Guides and VOTE411.org that voters need to understand voting requirements and cast an informed ballot.