The government's new foreclosure relief options for non-borrowing spouses of reverse mortgage customers will add to loan servicers' costs, and some question how many consumers they will actually help.

Under the new policy, the Federal Housing Administration is retroactively opening up eligibility for the foreclosure deferment to additional spouses who did not cosign the loans of deceased borrowers. The FHA leaves it to servicers' discretion whether to offer deferments, based in part on servicers' assessment of whether individual cases meet the criteria.

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