From house to poorhouse: An analysis of reverse mortgage portrayal in selected media advertisements
Bercaw, L. (2014). From house to poorhouse: An analysis of reverse mortgage portrayal in selected media advertisements. Journal of Poverty, 18(2), 150-168. DOI: 10.1080/10875549.2014.896305
Over the past decade, a growing number of older Americans have sought reverse mortgages as a means of converting home equity to cash. Although this model of using one’s home as a resource may benefit seniors experiencing financial crises, recent advertisements have portrayed mortgage reversion as a free cash-generating machine, dispensing large sums of money to all senior homeowners with no strings attached. This media analysis provides an historical backdrop against which 10 recent advertisements are reviewed, finding that most ads fail to provide a complete picture of mortgage reversion, thus preying upon older adults, especially those living in poverty.