Finance of America Reverse (FAR) will be transitioning to private label servicing for its proprietary HomeSafe reverse mortgage product, as well as conducting direct outreach to its borrowers on matters of account statements and communications.
“We are private-labeling so that we can have a more direct connection with our borrowers,” said FAR president Kristen Sieffert an emailed statement to RMD. “While the origination process might last a few months, the servicing experience often continues for decades, which creates significant opportunity to go above and beyond for our borrowers.
Creating a positive borrowing experience is something that FAR sees as a major opportunity to differentiate its service from other offerings, and made this the right time to enact this shift, Sieffert added.
“As part of our push toward becoming a holistic retirement solutions provider, transitioning to private label servicing for our HomeSafe products is a natural first step toward fostering deeper connections with our borrowers so that we can find ways to wow them,” she said.
Keeping borrowers informed through a more direct line of communication will allow the company to be more reflexive to certain unexpected borrower needs that may arise, including hardships or other life events that could impact their loan, Sieffert explained.
“Private label servicing is the first among several steps we’ll be taking over the coming months to add value to relationships with our borrowers and our partners who originate many of our loans,” she said.
Sieffert also indicated a reflexive attitude on the part of FAR in predicting the opportunities and challenges that a change like this will present for both their proprietary borrowers and the business as a whole. “We expect that we’ll be engaging in more and regular dialogue with borrowers, likely at first about their loans, but later about the additional services we’ll be making available to them,” she said.
One of the actions that FAR took included establishing an internal ‘Borrower Engagement’ team, focused on creating satisfying experiences for borrowers.
“In order to achieve this goal, we refocused some existing resources, added new members to this team and provided immersive training designed to ensure that not only will borrowers be able to successfully get to work on retirement, they can truly thrive,” Sieffert said.
Among the expanded initiatives for borrower communication is a campaign that FAR calls “Living My Bucket List,” which includes a branded gift box that will be mailed to borrowers that contains a canvas tote bag, along with a card that explains the change to private label servicing. The card will also express the company’s commitment to be a resource for the borrower. Additional programs and partnerships granted through a borrower’s use of the HomeSafe product will be featured on a new website, WelcomeToFAR.com, which is expected to go live in late December.
FAR also indicated that they are looking at the possibility of private label servicing for non-proprietary offerings like the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM). They’re not quite ready to make the shift into that territory just yet, though.
“As with our HomeSafe suite, FAR will continue to leverage subservicers [for HECM], but will look to implement private label servicing over the coming year,” Sieffert said.
Written by Chris Clow