The HECM (Home Equity Conversion Mortgage) program is hands down the most misunderstood financial tool ever. Very few folks understand many of the complicated securities strategies like 10 year swap rates or options straddles. But when you mention those things the first reaction is not “OMG we’ll be ruined and so will our offspring!” People know they don’t know! But mention a reverse mortgage to your hair stylist, your smartest in the family son-in-law or your knee surgeon and you will hear all about the catastrophes that will befall you. I threw in the knee surgeon because one of my clients was told by this learned man that if she got a reverse mortgage she couldn’t stay in the hospital for any length of time or there would be padlocks on the house when she arrived back home. I’m not making this up! By the way I am doing complimentary knee surgery on Saturdays now. I read an article about it in The New York Post so I’m ready to slice and dice! Things are improving, thanks to open minded professionals who are looking at fact, not fiction. But as this week’s edition illustrates, it’s surely a battle.