MortgageAARP Legal Counsel for the Elderly (LCE) recently settled a class action lawsuit on behalf of reverse mortgage holders charged for excessive “drive-by” property inspections.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development allows only one drive-by inspection per month to protect the lender’s interest in the property securing a reverse mortgage loan. The inspections cost about $20 each, and if conducted repeatedly, the fees can add up but may go unnoticed.

The problem surfaced when a 95-year-old D.C. woman with a reverse mortgage fell about $2,000 behind on property taxes and insurance payments. The mortgage company sued to foreclose, and she turned to LCE for help. An LCE attorney noticed the lender had been charging for several drive-by inspections per month, reducing her equity in the home where she lived for 50 years.

LCE urges reverse mortgage holders to examine their statements and call the lender about any questionable fees.

For help, call LCE at 202-434-2120.