A court decision involving reverse mortgages could help provide the leverage Texas bankers have long awaited to join the rest of America in offering general-purpose home equity loans.

The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals decided in First Gibraltar Bank vs. Dan Morales, attorney general of Texas (93-8170) to overrule a lower court's decision and allow an Office of Thrift Supervision regulation to pre-empt the homestead provisions in the Texas Constitution that prohibit reverse mortgages.

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