Reverse Mortgage and
For more than a decade, AARP
Foundation has provided independent,
trustworthy guidance on the pros and
cons of reverse mortgages. In 2010,
we provided free assistance to locate a
certified Reverse Mortgage Counselor
to more than 14,200 people; fulfilled
70,300 requests for our educational
materials; and tallied 111,000 informational inquiries about reverse mortgages on our website.
Legal Win: Negotiating
Rights for Long-Term
For Sherri Corum of New Mexico, our
assistance means that the families of
other institutionalized loved ones will
have a better chance at a legal remedy
when something goes wrong.
In addition to reverse mortgage assistance, the Foundation’s foreclosure
prevention program reached another
48,715 seniors who were in danger of
losing their homes.
Sherri brought a wrongful death lawsuit
against the owner of the assisted living
facility where her mother lived before
her death. Sherri’s lawsuit claimed her
mother suffered numerous injuries,
pain and suffering, mental anguish
and humiliation while living there. The
senior living center moved to dismiss
the suit, citing a mandatory arbitration
provision in its admission agreement,
which Sherri’s mother’s husband had
signed when his wife first moved into
In all, AARP Foundation helped more
than 244,000 older people with these
two housing issues in 2010.
These mandatory arbitration clauses
frequently appear in long-term care
admission contracts. They often pose
problems because of the emotions
involved and because many families
cannot afford the time or money that
drawn-out legal proceedings entail.
Experienced attorneys from AARP
Foundation Litigation filed a friend-of-the-court brief on Sherri Corum’s
behalf. Their brief detailed the vulnerability of people who need long-term
care, but whose rights are compromised by the legal waivers they or their
caregivers must sign in order to gain
admission to many facilities.
The appellate court denied arbitration
because the husband did not meet the
requirements of New Mexico’s health
care surrogacy laws. This win for the
family clarified the importance of
meeting all statutory requirements in
electing a surrogate.