Real Borrower Story: Louis & Connie Cooper

August 21, 2019

Louis & Connie Cooper

Seventy-two-year-old Louis Cooper and his wife Connie own a beautiful California home nestled in the warm suburbs of North Hollywood. They’ve delighted in many summers lounging in the sparkling blue pool in the back yard. About seven months ago, they closed on a reverse mortgage for their home, and since then, they’ve been enjoying life. In fact, they are enjoying their reverse mortgage so much, they are getting another one!

“I’m in the process of refinancing our reverse mortgage,” Louis explains. “In the period since we had gotten our first reverse mortgage, there’s been a positive cash advancement to the amount our house is worth.”

Refinancing a reverse mortgage is an opportunity that many existing reverse mortgage borrowers take advantage of. Oftentimes, it means lower interest rates and a higher available line of credit due to an increase in equity. For Louis and Connie, it was an obvious decision.

“My American Advisors Group reverse mortgage professional Craig Vercnocke called me one day to tell me that they had a new program and that the government had lowered the ceiling on interest rates,” Louis shares.  “More money was available to me at a lower cost, so why would I say no to that?”

Louis and Connie first applied for a reverse mortgage about a year ago, having seen American Advisors Group spokesperson Fred Thompson on their television.

“My personal feeling is, I’m impressed with Fred Thompson as a person and as a senator,” Louis explained. “To me, he is a down to earth and honest person who wouldn’t put his name on something that wasn’t a good product. His sincerity was what encouraged me to look into reverse mortgages, so I sent for a free brochure and DVD.”

Louis and his wife had a credit score of over 800, but they owed money on their home as well as on both their cars. Although they weren’t in dire financial trouble, they found that they would have to move money around their bank accounts at the end of every month to budget for paying bills. “There wouldn’t be extra money left to go anywhere or do anything,” says Louis.

A reverse mortgage became attractive for them not because there were lots of things they wanted to purchase. There was no big ticket item or a big plan to buy something particular. They simply wanted to live daily life with the money to pay for simple everyday things without any financial worries.

“All we really wanted to do is enjoy what’s left of our lives in retirement. I wanted a load off my mind not worrying about overspending on everyday items just so that I can pay utilities. I wanted to be able to afford to buy what I need to buy every day, and know I can still make those utility payments.”

With that intent in mind, Louis called American Advisors Group, and was connected with Craig Vercnocke, who would become his reverse mortgage professional.

“Craig is a good guy. We both play the guitar and hit it off right away. In talking with Craig, he was able to explain in layman’s terms all my questions about reverse mortgages. He’s very well-informed and brought me at ease with the process of a reverse mortgage. He also gave me a list of unbiased reverse mortgage counselors from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, who informed me that a reverse mortgage is government-insured.”

Louis and Connie then spoke to their five children. It was important to them to know their children’s concerns about their possible decision to get a reverse mortgage.

“In talking with my kids, they told me they support whatever I wanted to do. I am a lucky father because I have five kids that do very well for themselves and wouldn’t need a dime of our money anyway. But even so, I still wanted to leave them something, and I learned that leaving them an inheritance won’t be a problem. In doing the math with Craig, we calculated that even with a reverse mortgage loan, there will be a good amount of money left from the home once it is sold. That money will all go to them.”

With their children’s support, Louis and Connie decided to go forward with their reverse mortgage loan.

“It has made life enormously easier,” says Louis. “We are now able to do some of the things we wanted to do but didn’t have enough money to do. I’ve put in safety rails around our home and pool, and eventually we want to paint it. We visited Yosemite, which we haven’t done since we were a young married couple raising five young kids. We now get to enjoy driving up the coast. And I have the peace of mind that if anything were to happen to me, Connie would be able to live here in our home comfortably. We pay our home’s taxes and insurance, and I maintain it very well, especially our pool. I don’t have any more financial worries.

“I would recommend a reverse mortgage without any doubt at all. Connie and I would not be going through refinancing our reverse mortgage with American Advisors Group if it weren’t going to benefit us. I wouldn’t be signing paperwork again. I think my reverse mortgage professional Craig Vercnocke is a great guy, and I have faith in American Advisors Group. And my wife and I have just been so happy since we got our reverse mortgage.”

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