Reverse mortgages are becoming increasingly more popular, and it’s in the best interest of notary signing agents to learn as much as possible about these loans, and get experience closing them.
Notary signing agents can play a key role in reverse mortgages because, by having a notary signing agent do the closing, it enables the client to stay at home. This is especially beneficial for those borrowers who are not able to drive, are confined to a wheelchair, or for some other reason. The notary signing agent can bring the loan documents to the borrower”s home, or wherever they choose to do the signing. I recently did a reverse mortgage closing at a Red Robin restaurant, because that is where the borrower wanted to do the signing.
For the experienced notary signing agent, learning how to close these loans should pose no problems. Although there are some documents that are unique to a reverse mortgage loan package, the signing procedures are basically the same as with a conventional loan.
There is a book that I highly recommend to notary signing agents who want to learn more about reverse mortgages. It’s the Complete Handbook of Loan Documents and Transactions: The Notary Signing Agent’s Guide to Common and Uncommon Forms and How to Notarize Them. Reverse Mortgages are covered in Chapter 3. Just about every document in a reverse mortgage loan package is included, along with an explanation. Some of the documents have ‘Notes’ attached to them. For example, there is a note explaining why there are 2 Deeds of Trust and 2 Notes.
There is another training option for notary signing agents. Bancserv is offering reverse mortgage training on its website. The PowerPoint presentation is very well put together. Notary signing agents who want to sign up can visit the Bancserv website.
Between those two sources, that should be all the training that a notary signing agent needs in order to do reverse mortgages. You will no doubt also receive instructions from the title company that hires you.
Of course, the best training is actually doing the closings. These normally go very smoothly, because the borrower has been well-counseled. They are already very familiar with what they are signing, and most of their questions have already been answered. And keep in mind that, just as with conventional loans, notary signing agents are not there to explain the terms of the loan.
Notary signing agents may be reluctant to accept an assignment to do a reverse mortgage closing because they believe that it will take an inordinate amount of time. I haven’t found that to be the case. Another concern is that the borrowers are old and need special attention. You may encounter some borrowers who do. I once had a signing in which the borrower’s wife was bed-ridden. He was able to sit at the table, but she had to lie on the couch in the living room. Fortunately the borrower’s daughter was there to help with the signing. She would shuttle the papers from her father to her mother for me. You may also find that the borrowers will want to take a moment to get up and stretch. They aren’t able to sit for long periods of time. Their hands might get cramped too. Carry soft grip pens. Pay attention to their body language. If they appear uncomfortable, find out what can be done to make things more comfortable for them.
All of this is part of the training too — learning how to deal with the various situations that you will find yourself in. Most of it will come from experience.
By all means, do not hesitate to accept an assignment to do a reverse mortgage closing. It adds to your repertoire, and makes you a more complete notary signing agent. And you will get to meet some interesting people too.