Is the Inverse Mortgage a Scam? New Program Promises Mortgage Payoff inside of 5 Years

If a mortgage could be paid off in five years or less, without it costing homeowners an extra cent, why wouldn't every homeowner in America be doing it? Because they don't know, or because they're too wise? Although the former may be the case for many, I certainly hope the latter is the answer for most.

A real estate finance consultant company, who shall remain nameless here, claims it has the secret to paying off your mortgage in five years or less, without you paying any more on your monthly payment or adding to the principal mortgage of your real estate loan. They call it an inverse mortgage.

Now, this company, which is not a mortgage brokerage or a bank, claims that all you have to do is pay your mortgage payment every three weeks, instead of every four. In addition to this one tiny change, you'll need to go to work for the company, recruiting other people to do the same. Of course, they say this is not a pyramid structure, although the way you cut into your mortgage and build wealth is by banking some of each payment that comes in for everyone you recruit, after the initial three. Incidentally, this company will take one of your payments at the end of the year for hiring you to recruit more people into their program.

Hmm, not a pyramid scheme or multi-level marketing? I don't claim to be an expert in these areas, but I certainly know the basic structure, and you probably do too. Doesn't a program requiring you to get others to buy something with the idea of you receiving a residual benefit from each recruit sound a lot like multi-level marketing? It does to me.

I may be a skeptic, but there are a few basic problems with the inverse mortgage and with this real estate finance program.

1. This company has been around for less than one year, and after some exhaustive research, I can't find one person who has ever actually made money or cut into their mortgage as quickly as the company says one can.

2. In the last 20 years, there hasn't been a revolutionary idea for reducing your mortgage, without paying more or without doing something like a bi-weekly mortgage (a completely legitimate, if unnecessary, approach to mortgage reduction). Why is it that this new company ? not even mortgage people ? has suddenly come up with something that true experts with 50 or more years of experience in the industry have not?

3. This one is the most alarming reason to be skeptical. In addition to the strange notion of recruiting people to take part in this program, the sponsoring company wants you to turn over your bank account information, so it can debit your account monthly to supposedly pay your mortgage.

So, is the inverse mortgage a scam? I can't say unequivocally that it is, because I don't have any true evidence to say so. The many years of experience in mortgage and investment real estate that I do have, though, tell me to beware of any program that looks too good to be true. This one does.

Mark Barnes is an investment real estate and real estate finance expert. Get his free mortgage finance course at Mark is also the author of the new novel, The League, a shocking, sports-related conspiracy. Learn more about his suspense thriller at

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Mortgage Refinance Sources 2005