Televangelist Pat Robertson gives inaccurate advice about money
On Tuesday, a popular long-time televangelist advised one of his 700 Club “partners” to take out a reverse mortgage on her home, stating that “as long as you are alive and living in it,” the bank wouldn’t foreclose on your home.
The woman, simply identified as “Maria,” had contacted Robertson because she was having trouble making ends meet and still working at the age of 67 “because retirement money does not cover our basic expenses.” Maria stated she has been a “700 Club Partner” for a long time and is now considering a reverse mortgage; she wrote to Robertson to get his advice on the situation.
Robertson told Maria that she wouldn’t ever have to pay off the reverse mortgage, but that someone would. Robertson said that “someone” is “namely, the United States taxpayer.” Robertson goes on to opine that a reverse mortgage isn’t “a good deal for the taxpayers, but for most people it’s a pretty good deal.” Actually, a reverse mortgage is where the bank offers to send you a set amount every month, creating a loan on your home over the long term; after you move out (or pass on), the bank takes your house and you owe (and own) nothing. The American taxpayer is not generally affected in the transaction at all.
The 700 Club, which is Pat Robertson’s long-running television ministry, is the flagship program for CBN, the Christian Broadcasting Network. Pat Robertson, who has a net worth of about $100 million, never recommended that perhaps Maria should stop being a 700 Club partner, the least expensive level being $240 a year (higher levels are progressively more expensive and include a Chairman’s Circle membership for just $10,000 per year), but he did advise her to talk to a financial adviser.