A Woodbury company settled state charges Monday that it mailed misleading advertisements about reverse mortgages.
New View Mortgage Corp. agreed to pay a $12,500 fine and not misrepresent reverse mortgages in future advertisements under an agreement with State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
In the settlement agreement, New View did not admit or deny the attorney general's allegations.
The company mailed letters to nearly 10,000 New York senior citizens, in envelopes marked "Economic Stimulus Notice," according to Schneiderman's office. The mailings were "designed to look like official government notices," and they contained misleading statements, such as "No Monthly Mortgage Payments Required Ever!" and "Your heirs WILL inherit all remaining equity," the attorney general's office said.
In fact, seniors who take out reverse mortgages still must make tax and insurance payments, and the mailing did not disclose that their heirs must pay off the reverse mortgage if they wish to keep the home, according to the attorney general's office.
The New View executive who signed the agreement, Corey Margulefsky, declined to comment Monday. On its website, New View states that it "prides itself on attaining and maintaining the highest ethical and moral standards in the industry." The attorney who represented the company in the settlement agreement, Bonnie Nachamie of Merrick, also did not return a call.
A reverse mortgage is a home-equity loan that allows eligible senior citizens to draw down their home's equity and defer payments until they die, sell the home or move out.
"Fees and other charges can be high in some cases," the attorney general's office said in a statement.