Mahwah, N.J.-based reverse mortgage lender Longbridge Financial announced today the launch of a new mobile application (or “app”) designed to offer servicing information and interaction to its borrowers. Based on the tools offered by the servicing website the company launched in 2019, the app is available now for Apple devices running iOS from the platform’s App Store, as well as for Android devices from the Google Play Store.
The application features all of the same services offered by the browser-based website platform, offering a more on-the-go friendly variation in the app so borrowers can gain instant access to account information, including loan summary details, recent transactions, access to forms needed for occupancy and/or draw requests, as well as a database of answers to the most frequently asked servicing questions.
Having also introduced the ability to view and print online account statements from the servicing website, that functionality will also be available inside the mobile app, according to the company.
Changing the borrower experience
One of the ways the introduction of a mobile application is expected to impact the experience of the end-user is by giving an additional path to access key information and details about their loan, wherever they may be. The servicing website had an abundance of these features already, but optimizing those features into a dedicated application designed specifically for mobile devices will help give customers more readily-available access to the necessary information.
“Our servicing website launched in May 2019 in response to requests from our customers. While we were the first lender to launch a servicing website at the time, the site was designed primarily for desktop usage, so those on mobile devices were only able to access the website-view,” says Richard Burke, head of servicing and vendor risk management at Longbridge. “Now with our mobile app, we’re able to give our customers everything they’d be able to get on the website, all in the palm of their hand — not to mention a better visual and user experience. Since the application was designed for mobile devices, it will make for seamless navigation versus trying to view the full website on a mobile device.”
Development of the mobile app took over a year to bring to market in partnership with Longbridge’s technology partners, and the company has high expectations for the app’s ability to streamline the process of customer service, according to Burke.
“The first of its kind, it’s an exciting launch as we continue to seek ways to improve customer service and enhance our ability to communicate with our customers in the ways that they wish to receive information,” he says.
The app and its servicing features are available universally to both Longbridge’s borrowers of more traditional Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECMs), as well as borrowers who have opted for one of the company’s “Platinum” proprietary reverse mortgages, Burke says.
In addition to providing a more robust mobile experience for the borrower, Longbridge also expects that the availability of the app will give greater latitude to the company in terms of offering as many paths as possible to customers who are increasingly in need of additional options.
“As the only active lender and servicer with a mobile servicing app, this is the latest in our commitment to provide the best service to our customers,” Burke tells RMD. “We’ve found that more customers are expressing their preference to receive communications in ways other than a phone call, and the app gives us the ability to do so by pushing out notifications.”
Some more timely issues, for instance as it pertains to the ability for reverse mortgage customers to request a delay of a loan being called due and payable in accordance with HUD’s COVID-19 relief measures, are not yet implemented into the app. Plans are in development, however, according to Burke. These can include mobile push notifications informing borrowers of the availability of such measures, since the app is designed to allow for push notifications to users’ devices.
Future technology opportunities
Longbridge is hopeful that the creation of this servicing app is just the beginning of what it hopes to bring to the table in terms of the incorporation of technology into the reverse mortgage business, Burke says.
“We are always looking to incorporate the latest technology to both improve our internal processes and provide a streamlined experience to all of our borrowers,” he explains. “Our goal is to leverage technology wherever possible in helping to educate more borrowers and prospective borrowers on the many benefits of a reverse mortgage when compared to other home equity products.”
Since the company launched its servicing website in mid-2019 and with the launch of this new mobile application, Longbridge has demonstrated a dedication to incorporating new technologies into the reverse mortgage industry and could not have accomplished these goals without its customers, Burke says.
“While these are certainly designations that we’re proud of, we couldn’t have brought these innovations to life without our customers,” he says. “The website came in response to our customers requesting additional ways to access all the servicing capabilities of their loan. Based on the feedback we received about this site, we knew that a mobile application was the next step. Now, we’re able to offer our customers all the functionality and features they’ve come to expect from our Servicing department right on their mobile devices.”
The availability of important loan information to borrowers, particularly with the ability to now use electronic statements as opposed to paper ones, the concept of having immediate access to key borrower-centric tools is a goal the lender says it will continue to try and reach.
“With the same information received monthly via paper statements, these online capabilities are designed to provide customers with immediate access to view, print, download and save statements,” Burke says.
The app, called “myReverseAccount” and developed by the Reverse Technology Group (RTG), is available via the Apple App Store for iOS devices and the Google Play Store for Android devices. Longbridge’s borrowers are in the process of being notified about the app’s availability. For wholesale partners, Longbridge encourages them to get in touch with their account executives for more information.