As she was getting on in years and her resources dwindled, Virginia Rayford took out a special kind of mortgage in 2008 that she hoped would help her stay in her three-bedroom Washington rowhouse for the rest of her life.
Rayford, 92, took advantage of a federally insured loan called a reverse mortgage that allows cash-strapped seniors to borrow against the equity in their houses that has built up over decades.
But the risks of the financial arrangement are stark — and today the frail widow finds herself facing foreclosure.
Under the terms of the loan, Rayford can defer paying back her mortgage debt that totals about $416,000 until she dies, sells or moves out. She is, however, responsible for keeping up with other charges — namely, the taxes and insurance on the property.
The loan servicer, Nationstar Mortgage, says Rayford owes $6,004 in unpaid taxes and insurance. If she cannot come up with it, she stands to lose her home in Washington’s Petworth neighborhood.
“I’ve cried a million nights wondering about where I am going to be,’’ Rayford said.
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