The reverse mortgage was invented to help seniors facing economic hardship access the equity in their homes. But these loan products are complicated, expensive and ripe for abuse, which lead a reader named Fred to ask DailyFinance's Laura Rowley for some advice. Here's what she told him:
Before the Great Recession, U.S. consumer debt had risen fairly steadily for more than a decade. With the downturn, it finally dropped...until December's small rise. However, a longer look at the trend of ever-rising debt shows that America is still extraordinarily overextended.