Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Fred Thompson Wants Poor Old People to Buy Sleazy, Gov't-Backed Reverse Mortgages
Gawker ^ | August 25, 2010 | Jim Newell

Posted on 08/25/2010 12:55:22 PM PDT by luckybogey

This sleazy ad has been on cable news all day. Former presidential candidate and country bear Fred Thompson wants old people to get "Absolutely FREE," government-backed reverse mortgages. What do we know about this shady company Thompson is endorsing?

...Oh right, and they're government-backed! That's how investors get paid. (Fred Thompson, a true Fiscal Conservative, makes a big point of this "full government backup" in his terrible ad.)

Reverse mortgages are available to homeowners who are 62 years old or older and own their homes outright or have a substantial amount of home equity, according to the HUD site. The vast majority of reverse mortgages are insured by the Federal Housing Administration, through the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) program.

The reduced fees on reverse mortgages are a result of another important industry development: investor demand for securities backed by those mortgages, Bell said. These securities are backed by Ginnie Mae, based on a reverse mortgage insured by the FHA, he said, and with that combination, "you have a very secure investment."

But would ex-Senator Fred Thompson, America's most trustworthy conservative political figure, endorse financial products from a company of sleazy repute?

It just so happens that this company, American Advisors Group, was sued by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan in February:

Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed lawsuits against two mortgage brokers for using unfair and deceptive marketing practices to solicit seniors for reverse mortgages.

"These companies used extremely misleading language in their advertising, sometimes even disguising their loans as government benefits that borrowers don't have to repay," said Madigan. Many consumers have reported that they didn't even know these offers were for reverse mortgages or a loan of any kind added Madigan.

(Excerpt) Read more at gawker.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: elderabuse; ethics; fredthompson; mortgages; realestate; reversemortgages; thompson
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-94 next last
I voted for Fred... This brothers me...

Fred Thompson American Advisors Group (AAG) Commercial for Reverse Mortgage

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkg8IH7e_6U

American Advisors Group Announces Senator Fred Thompson as National Reverse Mortgage Spokesperson

http://rismedia.com/2010-06-15/american-advisors-group-announces-senator-fred-thompson-as-national-reverse-mortgage-spokesperson/

1 posted on 08/25/2010 12:55:28 PM PDT by luckybogey
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: luckybogey

Fred Thompson American Advisors Group (AAG) Commercial for Reverse Mortgage

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkg8IH7e_6U

American Advisors Group Announces Senator Fred Thompson as National Reverse Mortgage Spokesperson

http://rismedia.com/2010-06-15/american-advisors-group-announces-senator-fred-thompson-as-national-reverse-mortgage-spokesperson/


2 posted on 08/25/2010 12:56:23 PM PDT by luckybogey
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: luckybogey
I gave Fred $400 of my hard-earned money, and he didn't even bother actually running for President.

He's just another ac-tor playing a part.

3 posted on 08/25/2010 12:57:18 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum ("The only stable state is one in which all men are equal before the law." -- Aristotle)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: luckybogey

Just another acting job for Fred.


4 posted on 08/25/2010 12:57:36 PM PDT by Retired Greyhound
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: E. Pluribus Unum

I donated $100... Will not do it again!


5 posted on 08/25/2010 12:59:22 PM PDT by luckybogey
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: luckybogey

Reverse mortgages can actually be a great thing for people.

I also know of the ability to buy people’s life insurance policies. You aughta hear Ed McMahon’s wife talk about it. They were broke, and he was not likely to live more than a few years.

So they have an existing multi-million dollar policy and a company pays them (Ed and his wife) a part of the face value to be the beneficiary. They then make all the payments to keep the policy in force and when he dies, they get the money. It is a real win-win.

It is good for both sides of the situation. The only ones it may hurt are the previous beneficiaries.

I think reverse mortgages can actually be a pretty good thing.


6 posted on 08/25/2010 1:00:34 PM PDT by RobRoy (The US Today: Revelation 18:4)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RobRoy

Maybe reverse mortgages are ok for some. I’m not sure! They don’t make a lot of sense to me.

BTW: Fred has a new book...

“Teaching the Pig to Dance”


7 posted on 08/25/2010 1:04:14 PM PDT by luckybogey
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: luckybogey

I never understood this comercial. What’s the difference from an equity loan?

No one is giving money away to anyone unless you are an illegal alien, so this has to amount to an equity loan of some sort.


8 posted on 08/25/2010 1:04:24 PM PDT by Frenchtown Dan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RobRoy
"Reverse mortgages can actually be a great thing for people."

They sure as hell can be. My Mom made out like a bandit!! With the amount she got, she could buy back her house for cash, and have a bundle left over!!

9 posted on 08/25/2010 1:04:58 PM PDT by moehoward
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: E. Pluribus Unum

I sent him $100.
His office sent back a note addressed to a combination of my name and my wife’s name. I still get stuff from the RNC with the same misspelling.


10 posted on 08/25/2010 1:05:35 PM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (Impeachment !)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: luckybogey

My what big teeth you have, grandma Fred...

Another product of “fiscal” conservatism and the destruction of traditional FAMILY-societal relationships.

Makes the sheeple easier for the Fabian wolves to eat....


11 posted on 08/25/2010 1:05:51 PM PDT by LomanBill (Animals! The DemocRats blew up the windmill with an Acorn!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RobRoy

I guess the answer for some is to sell the property and move into a old folks home.


12 posted on 08/25/2010 1:06:37 PM PDT by Marty62 (marty60)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: luckybogey
I voted for Fred... This brothers me...

Why? It's just capitalism. Sounds like the complaint that JD Hayworth did ads for getting government grants. And now we're stuck with that traitor McCain for another six years.

13 posted on 08/25/2010 1:07:04 PM PDT by TigersEye (Greenhouse Theory is false. Totally debunked. "GH gases" is a non-sequitur.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: luckybogey

I’m about convinced that Fred needs to stay to acting and to smacking down Michael Moore and otherwise leave politics alone.


14 posted on 08/25/2010 1:07:09 PM PDT by DannyTN
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: luckybogey

Making those stupid commercials lost him all credibility with me.


15 posted on 08/25/2010 1:08:42 PM PDT by FourPeas (God Save America)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: moehoward
Ditto for my Brother-in-Law in California.

But you gotta pay for the usual stuff that homeowners pay for, and I'm over all that.

16 posted on 08/25/2010 1:09:30 PM PDT by Does so (The buck stops there! No, over there! No, wait, over there!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: luckybogey
Although I was a bit surprised to see former senator Fred Thompson hawking reverse mortgages on TV, I didn't think the ad was 'sleazy' or 'terrible'. It was very professional, in my opinion.

Still, the accusations Jim Newell makes on the Gawker website are a bit disturbing and raise some questions. I would like to hear Fred Thompson's explanation of this reverse mortgage program and the reasons (besides a paycheck) for his agreeing to be associated with AAG, which seems to have some legal problems.

However, I found Newell's piece to be exceptionally strident, with lots of bombast but little substance, except to make the case that Mr. Newell doesn't like reverse mortgages and thinks Fred Thompson is a sell-out for doing the AAG commercial. I'm not so quick to condemn Fred but I would like to know more than Newell's piece delivers.

17 posted on 08/25/2010 1:09:38 PM PDT by Jim Scott
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Frenchtown Dan

It’s not a loan. The bank buys back the equity you own in your house and you are free to do with that money whatever you want. For some seniors, especially those who have no need to pass on their property to an heir, it can give them cash for living expenses they otherwise would have to take from accumulated savings.


18 posted on 08/25/2010 1:09:38 PM PDT by andy58-in-nh (America does not need to be organized: it needs to be liberated.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: luckybogey

Frankly, it is not too cynical to say that a politician, ANY politician, will choose money over ethics whenever facing a choice between the two.


19 posted on 08/25/2010 1:09:46 PM PDT by AEMILIUS PAULUS (It is a shame that when these people give a riot)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LomanBill

The best definition of a “Fiscal Conservative” is “neither”


20 posted on 08/25/2010 1:09:52 PM PDT by UCFRoadWarrior (JD for Senate ..... jdforsenate.com. You either voting for JD, or voting for the Liberal...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: luckybogey

They guy is probably just glad to have a job in Obama’s America.


21 posted on 08/25/2010 1:09:58 PM PDT by anniegetyourgun
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: luckybogey

Sad. If he had been paying attention - he could have been President. I think Dick Wolf screwed him over.


22 posted on 08/25/2010 1:10:23 PM PDT by Frantzie (Imam Ob*m* & Democrats support the VICTORY MOSQUE & TV supports Imam)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: luckybogey

I considered a reverse mortgage in 2007 when my house was worth 50% more than it is today. Bad move passing on it back then!


23 posted on 08/25/2010 1:10:32 PM PDT by shove_it (have a nice day)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Jim Scott

The words “Illinois Attorney General” ought to have tipped you off to the political tendentiousness of the article’s premise.


24 posted on 08/25/2010 1:11:11 PM PDT by andy58-in-nh (America does not need to be organized: it needs to be liberated.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: luckybogey

Just why did he have to make those stupid commercials? Can’t any famous conservatives stay above the fray?


25 posted on 08/25/2010 1:11:46 PM PDT by paulycy (Demand Constitutionality Now: Islamo-Marxism is Evil.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: luckybogey

Someone better tell the author of this bilge that the lefty liberal Henry (AKA ‘Fonzie’) Winkler has commercials touting the same thing.....reverse mortgages.


26 posted on 08/25/2010 1:11:50 PM PDT by arbee4bush ( "promoted by GOD to be a mother" Palin 2012!!!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: luckybogey

Just why did he have to make those stupid commercials? Can’t any famous conservatives stay above the fray?


27 posted on 08/25/2010 1:11:59 PM PDT by paulycy (Demand Constitutionality Now: Islamo-Marxism is Evil.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: luckybogey

I’m having some trouble understanding this. The article says they’re brokers. Is Fred advertising for the brokers of loans, or for lenders? Last time I checked, brokers brokered, they didn’t lend.
And then “114,692 reverse mortgages were made in fiscal year 2009, compared to 157 in 1990, when people had actual money.”
Wasn’t 1990 when reverse mortgages were a new thing? Maybe 19 years later there are a lot more of them because they are something consumers actually want.


28 posted on 08/25/2010 1:12:24 PM PDT by 668 - Neighbor of the Beast
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: TigersEye

I agree with your point and he has the right to make money for his family. However, I feel the commercial is “unbecoming” of a respected statesman for fiscal conservatism and I have lost respect for the man.


29 posted on 08/25/2010 1:13:43 PM PDT by luckybogey
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: luckybogey

“What do we know about this shady company . . .”

Gawker didn’t do the research, and jumped to a conclusion all in one sentence.

People wonder why nobody buys newspapers. Now these tools run internet based rags. You can’t even GIVE propaganda away.

As for Thompson, I admit having the same strange feeling. There is a MASSIVE demand for RM’s to back securities based on them. These securities are selling like hotcakes.

For me, this market for RM’s is looking bubblish. The point on which these RM’s pivot is the appraisal of the underlying asset - the home.

A veteran in their home for 40 years, that bought for $25,000 (2,500 sf) is probably being offered a LOT less than what they would have 6 years ago to be sure. They are probably being offered less than what the market will bear as well.

Bank sits on fully paid off assets until the market recovers. The veteran makes $175,000 on a $200K RM, but in reality the bank probably makes another $50K to $100K in future equity on the asset. The geezer, they figure, would never realize that in this market. Since the bank will outlive the geezer, the bank vultures the extra 100 kilobucks.

Who loses? The estate, probably. Maybe the kids that have been footing the bills.

Truly, RM’s are EXACTLY like taking candy from babies at this point. Every time the housing market falls, the assets the geezers are sitting on go up in value to the bank.

More than that, the banks making the RM’s are picking up the assets from failed banks MINUS the bad loans, which are being picked up by the taxpayer (the inheritors of geezers estate). The big banks are being turned into absolute monsters right now in all of this. It is ALL UPSIDE for them. Community banks are getting killed.


30 posted on 08/25/2010 1:14:19 PM PDT by RinaseaofDs
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: andy58-in-nh

It’s not a loan. The bank buys back the equity you own in your house and you are free to do with that money whatever you want. For some seniors, especially those who have no need to pass on their property to an heir, it can give them cash for living expenses they otherwise would have to take from accumulated savings.


There is no problem with the Reverse Mortgage on its own....the problem is that Thompson, who was supposed to be a “conservative”, is pushing “Governemnt Backed” R-M’s....Government Backed real estate deals are a big reason why our economy tanked. Thompson is doing nothing more than endorsing Business Socialism

However, Reverse Mortgages cannot be done on homes “underwater”....and many elderly in southern states are very underwater on the homes. Most Florida elderly folks cannot do R-Ms because they are so underwater


31 posted on 08/25/2010 1:14:29 PM PDT by UCFRoadWarrior (JD for Senate ..... jdforsenate.com. You either voting for JD, or voting for the Liberal...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: AEMILIUS PAULUS

Where is the ethical conflict in doing those commercials? Frankly I’m more angry that Fred played McCain’s stalking horse in the ‘08 primary.


32 posted on 08/25/2010 1:14:33 PM PDT by TigersEye (Greenhouse Theory is false. Totally debunked. "GH gases" is a non-sequitur.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: luckybogey
However, I feel the commercial is “unbecoming” of a respected statesman for fiscal conservatism and I have lost respect for the man.

Sounds like a perfectly emotional reaction devoid of logic to me. Jealous that he's making some money?

33 posted on 08/25/2010 1:16:47 PM PDT by TigersEye (Greenhouse Theory is false. Totally debunked. "GH gases" is a non-sequitur.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: andy58-in-nh

Ok, so they are slowly taking over your home each time you request some money.

This may not be so bad in a robust economy, but I’ve lost about 200,000 in equity over the past 2 years alone without borrowing a dime, and I’m sure it’s the same all over if not worse. The American dream is turning into a nightmare.

When your equity doesn’t grow, then I don’t think this is a good idea, and I guess Thompson needs to pay off campaign debts.


34 posted on 08/25/2010 1:17:13 PM PDT by Frenchtown Dan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: luckybogey

“So when all of these old people die and suddenly their kids can’t sell their houses to make up the $1 million they owe on their $400,000 homes, blame Fred Thompson entirely.”

Eh? If a lender is stupid enough to lend $1M on a reverse mtg, is he entitled to sue the heirs of the person who mtgd the place? I mean, if you take a rev mtg on your $400k house, and when you die you’ve somehow managed to squeeze $1M out of the lender, he gets your $400k house, right? What if that’s all you had? Your kids owe him something?


35 posted on 08/25/2010 1:19:16 PM PDT by 668 - Neighbor of the Beast
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: luckybogey

Its been running for a few weeks. Before Fred they had Peter Graves, but he passed away. Before Graves, they had Robert Wagner. Fred must believe in this particular company. I can’t imagine he’d sign on if it was not a good thing for people.


36 posted on 08/25/2010 1:20:30 PM PDT by Deb (Beat him, strip him and bring him to my tent!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: luckybogey
Maybe reverse mortgages are ok for some. I’m not sure! They don’t make a lot of sense to me.

There's nothing inherently wrong with reverse mortgages, and for some people they make a lot of sense. Many people end up retired with little or no income and only one big asset: their house. By then, their house is probably even paid for (or nearly so). A reverse mortgage basically lets them sell the house (or a part interest in it) to the company in exchange for a regular monthly payment, and the right to continue to live in the house for the remainder of their lives.

They get the security of a place to live and a regular dependable income for life. The only people that lose out are their beneficiaries, if any. But hey... it's not their money anyway.

37 posted on 08/25/2010 1:23:25 PM PDT by Ramius (Personally, I give us... one chance in three. More tea?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Deb
Fred stood against Ray Blanton and the Dixie Mafia in his younger days. I think Fred can do just about what he wants because he took a great risk in his life by uncovering Ray Blanton’s antics.
38 posted on 08/25/2010 1:24:41 PM PDT by vetvetdoug
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: luckybogey

Stupid old fool ought to get a reverse mortgage and see how he likes it.


39 posted on 08/25/2010 1:25:00 PM PDT by thethirddegree
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RobRoy

Thank you RobRoy, for setting this thread straight.

There is an awful lot of ignorance on this thread.


40 posted on 08/25/2010 1:25:20 PM PDT by DCPatriot ("It aint what you don't know that kills you. It's what you know that aint so" Theodore Sturgeon))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Deb

RMs are totally legit and for many seniors who have a lot of equity in their home, it’s a reasobable way to meet monthly expenses.

The kids are screwed out of the inheritance but tough sh!t....Get a job.


41 posted on 08/25/2010 1:25:44 PM PDT by traderrob6
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: RobRoy
It is good for both sides of the situation. The only ones it may hurt are the previous beneficiaries.

Darn tootin! I am so hurt that Ed didn't leave me anything. Well he COULD have!

Serious now, it was his money while he lived, he did right for himself, as is right and proper. Beneficiaries (and particularly prospective beneficiaries, which is what they really are) should not be confused with creditors.

42 posted on 08/25/2010 1:26:07 PM PDT by 668 - Neighbor of the Beast
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Jim Scott

I look at Gawker all the time, love their ‘Blind Items’, but they are DISTINCTLY progressive in political outlook; meaning they demean and ridicule conservatives, especially the Tea Party, Sarah Palin, Rush, etc. I avoid any story there with a political hook.


43 posted on 08/25/2010 1:29:47 PM PDT by HarleyWoodrowMantz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: UCFRoadWarrior
Some, perhaps, but the elderly as a group are far less likely to be underwater on their home than younger people. More of them live in paid-for homes, just by virtue of them having already had a full life to pay off the mortgage.
44 posted on 08/25/2010 1:29:56 PM PDT by Ramius (Personally, I give us... one chance in three. More tea?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: luckybogey

Fred has always been an empty suit. That’s why he was a good actor.


45 posted on 08/25/2010 1:30:01 PM PDT by Pining_4_TX
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: vetvetdoug

Was that a Tennessee story? He does seem like he’s earned the right to accept any job he wants without nit-picking by people who pick nits.


46 posted on 08/25/2010 1:30:12 PM PDT by Deb (Beat him, strip him and bring him to my tent!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: luckybogey

I’m not sure why anyone (except possibly the heirs of folks with most of their assets in a paid-up house) thinks turning one’s house into an annuity one can live in is “sleazy”.

As with all financial instruments, one has to make sure that a reverse mortgage is expected to perform as desired and understand what risks are involved and be willing to assume them.


47 posted on 08/25/2010 1:30:48 PM PDT by The_Reader_David (And when they behead your own people in the wars which are to come, then you will know. . .)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: andy58-in-nh
It’s not a loan. The bank buys back the equity you own in your house and you are free to do with that money whatever you wan

You are dead wrong....all Reverse Mortgages are loans...the bank owns nothing. The homeowners have title to the property...They are no different than a conventional mortgage....you can pay them off anytime you choose.

Get your facts straight before you mis inform fellow FREEPERS... I have originated 100's of RM's and know what I'm talking about

48 posted on 08/25/2010 1:32:25 PM PDT by RVN Airplane Driver ("To be born into freedom is an accident; to die in freedom is an obligation..)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: traderrob6

I know that my Grandmother got one many years ago when they were first offered and it has saved her home and her life. Of course I’m sure the bank didn’t expect her to live to be 93.


49 posted on 08/25/2010 1:32:38 PM PDT by Deb (Beat him, strip him and bring him to my tent!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: The_Reader_David
As with all financial instruments, one has to make sure that a reverse mortgage is expected to perform as desired and understand what risks are involved and be willing to assume them.

But that would require people to take responsibility for their actions! What kind of monster are you?

50 posted on 08/25/2010 1:32:43 PM PDT by thesharkboy (<-- Looking for the silver lining in every cloud, since 1998)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 47 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-94 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson