Contrary to what many notary signing agents have been led to believe, reverse mortgage closings are not much different than conventional loan closings. There is no special training required. In some cases the loan officer will be present. That takes some of the burden off of the notary signing agent, because they can answer any additional questions the borrower may have. I say 'additional questions' because most of their questions have already been answered. These people have been counseled, making for some of the smoothest closings you will ever have. And keep in mind that, just as with conventional loans, we are not there to explain the terms of the loan. If the borrower does have any questions regarding them, as always, refer them to their loan officer.
There are some documents in the reverse mortgage loan package that are unique. And you'll find a few nuances, such as 2 Notes and 2 Deed of Trusts. These don't cause a problem, and are not difficult to explain to the borrower. The Complete Handbook of Loan Documents, Chapter 3, has just about all of the information you need, including many of the documents you can expect to find. Also, you will normally receive the documents in more than enough time to familiarize yourself with them. Usually the title company will include a set of instructions for the notary signing agent. If you want to learn more about this type of mortgage, read: The Mortgage Encyclopedia, by Jack Guttentag, beginning on page 194. He gives a thorough explanation of them -- 14 pages in all. You might also be interested in reading: Reverse Mortgages for Dummies, by Sarah Glendon Lyons and John E. Lucas. It goes into even more detail, but more than what is expected of a notary signing agent. I have also devoted an entire page on my website to reverse mortgages.
How long do these closings last, and what should you expect?
Many notary signing agents are reluctant to accept an assignment to do a reverse mortgage closing, because they believe they will take an inordinate amount of time. I haven't found that to be the case. Another concern that notary signing agents have is that the borrowers are old and need special attention. Yes, it's true. But then, all borrowers need special attention. One thing you will find is that they may find it a bit difficult to read the documents. It's not a bad idea to carry a reading glass in your bag or briefcase. Also, you might want to allow them to take a moment to get up and stretch. I had one borrower whose knees bothered him when he sat for a long time. Their hands might get cramped too. Carry soft-grip pens. Pay attention to their body language. If they appear to be uncomfortable, find out what can be done to make things more comfortable for them. For the most part though, reverse mortgage borrowers are not much different. And you might find even fewer problems. Older people are wiser.
So don't hesitate to accept an assignment to do a reverse mortgage closing. It adds to your repetoire, and makes you a more complete notary signing agent.