Nationwide mortgage signing service company The Closing Exchange (TCX) has always been specifically focused on serving the reverse mortgage industry with its hundreds of reverse-trained notaries. But especially during the unusual times due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the company is taking additional actions to ensure closings go smoothly.
Enabling e-signings for parts of the reverse mortgage transaction, for one, can be a boon to the efficiency of loan applications, in general, and comes into play especially during the pandemic. TCX is also bringing other new innovations to the reverse mortgage lifecycle through its offerings as professionals find themselves having to adapt to the unique realities of these unusual times.
The competitive advantage of specialized training
By ensuring that its corps of notaries are specifically trained to understand the intricacies and differences of the reverse mortgage industry, TCX has the ability to function with a high level of compatibility and competence in the things that make the business so unique, while also making an effort to innovate on the typical lifecycle of a reverse mortgage closing.
With its ability to facilitate and manage signings of multiple types such as e-signings, hybrid e-signings or even remote online notarizations (RON), the company is uniquely suited to fulfill the needs of lenders in executing their documents in a timely manner, while embracing new technologies that have the ability to push the reverse mortgage industry into new territory. This can also help to further align some processes between the forward and reverse mortgage arenas.
After conversations with some of its reverse mortgage clients, TCX began to hone in on the value of providing a service through a dedicated reverse mortgage training and specialization process for its notaries. Since there are many nuances to reverse mortgage signings and closings, having a corps of notaries who are trained from the beginning to understand the specific differences relating to reverse mortgages helps TCX to provide this highly specialized service.
“We have built an elite reverse mortgage-trained panel of notaries, who really truly understand what it is like to work with seniors,” says Alan Frelix, CEO of TCX. “They have a passion for working with seniors, they understand the differences between a forward mortgage and a reverse mortgage and can conduct a signing in a way that meets the needs of everybody we’re working with to deliver a great experience.”
This understanding also allows the company to identify ways in which the processes of the business can be further advanced.
Adapting to the new realities of COVID-19
Given the new challenges presented by the pandemic – particularly among the at-risk senior population – the company recognized the need to offer an even safer, more caring closing. The Closing Exchange has taken steps to provide a fast, contact-free experience, which helps increase pull-through rates for the lender while keeping any concerns that seniors may have about their own safety at the forefront of the process.
As part of this effort, The Closing Exchange provides “Curbside ClosingsTM” for lenders and for title companies.
“The model basically is [that] the notaries will show up in masks and gloves. They will approach the borrower’s door, introduce themselves through the door or a window, and then place the documentation on the doorstep for the signer,” Frelix says.
Observing social distancing, the notary will then step back to allow the borrower to retrieve the documentation. The borrower will then sign the documents using their own pen within the view of the notary, all while the notary is conducting the same processes that they normally would in terms of verifying the borrower’s identity at a safe distance or through a safe barrier.
“Or, the notary can show up and if the borrower’s comfortable with it, they can come in, be set up within the home in a socially distanced way, passing the documentation wearing gloves and mask with each party using their own pen,” Frelix says.
This was a process that TCX developed in the early days of the pandemic, and the company has seen notable of success using this approach.
How TCX is optimizing the reverse mortgage closing
The specialization that The Closing Exchange’s reverse mortgage-trained notaries exhibit is something the company feels can offer a competitive advantage, especially in the current climate, Frelix says.
“It really starts with having an understanding of the demographic…our training program gives that to notaries,” Frelix says. “Understanding how the demographic is shifting is key: there is a segment of seniors that are more tech-savvy than others and the reverse mortgage industry should utilize the digital tools available to provide safe, efficient and convenient experience.”
To learn more about The Closing Exchange and how it is transforming the reverse mortgage signing experience, visit www.theclosingexchange.com/.