A new technology startup has launched a mobile notary scheduling platform that is aimed to provide reverse mortgage companies with additional oversight and control during the loan closing process.
Phoenix, Ariz.-based Notaroo looks to combine its own technology with up-to-date mortgage lending practices and professional mobile notaries in an effort to streamline HECM loan closings with “speed, efficiency and transparency,” the company says according to a press release.
How a no-show notary inspired Notaroo’s creation
The impetus for the creation of Notaroo came out of a particularly troublesome loan closing experienced by Todd Ausherman, the founder and CEO of Notaroo, during the last day of the month to sign loan documents.
“A loan officer who was working for me at the time had worked tirelessly to get a reverse mortgage for his client that came down to the wire,” Ausherman tells RMD. “As reverse mortgages often create a family-type of responsibility for lenders, this loan officer was emotionally invested in his borrower’s financial strife. It wasn’t just a loan, it was personal.”
The complications increased with the then-recent implementation of program changes facing the reverse mortgage industry as a whole, necessitating action on this particular loan closing to have its documents signed that night. With everything in order, a notary was finally assigned, who subsequently no-showed, Ausherman says.
“Watching that loan officer’s distress over doing everything possible to get his borrower to a safer financial situation, only to have it all fall apart literally at the 11th hour was crushing,” Ausherman says. “Morale was affected, we all felt terrible and frustrated. That sticks out in my mind.”
Notaroo was designed to give lenders more control over those kinds of situations, Ausherman says.
“As loan originators, we are constantly juggling several balls to originate a loan from start to finish,” he says. “If a tool like Notaroo existed at that time, we would not have felt like we were ‘handing the ball off’ at such a critical time for our borrower.”
What reverse mortgage industry players will recognize
In terms of what those working in the reverse mortgage industry will recognize about what Notaroo brings to the table, it can help provide speed needed for those committed to a positive borrower experience without the sacrifice that can often come with that speed, Ausherman says.
“Until Notaroo, there has been no solution for creating a replicable, brand-able experience for connecting notaries to borrowers,” he says. “We understand the human element, while also providing the on-demand component necessary to make the in-home process consistent and something that can be counted on quickly on an as-needed basis.”
Reaction from others in the reverse mortgage industry has been positive, Ausherman says, partially due to the fact that Notaroo’s benefits primarily affect the back end of the loan.
“The key element is that we are not adding any new burdens or additional workflows for our partners,” he says. “The benefit to using Notaroo happens on the back end, and how we get to know each client’s specific pain points to tailor the technology to them.”
Notaroo can also take into account the unique realities inherent to the process of closing a reverse mortgage loan, which is often a far more consultative process than closing a traditional mortgage loan.
“The upfront portion of gathering documents and making a borrower feel like they are working with someone who can be trusted is essential to reverse mortgage application signings,” Ausherman says. “It is our emphasis on building out technology around these pieces, as well as in making sure that the notaries are properly equipped and prepared for a reverse mortgage application or closing that makes us stand out in the industry.”