MReport June 2017

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

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30 | TH E M R EP O RT FEATURE FEATURE T hanks to countless advances in technol- ogy, society relies less on paper and more on digital processes than ever before. This shift has brought with it new methods for traditional processes, like sending an email instead of distributing a memo, accessing bank account information online instead of in person, or video-calling someone instead of waiting on a letter. These changes didn't happen overnight, but they have become the new norm. Another change we're seeing from technology is in notariza - tion, the official process of verify- ing a document's signer and the authenticity of the signing process. The paper-based method of hav- ing documents notarized can now be an electronic process that reduces paper usage and can even save time and money. There are two types of electron - ic notarization available: e-nota- rization and remote notarization. E-notarization is completed much like a traditional paper notariza- tion, requiring the signer to physi- cally appear before a notary public, but it is electronically notarized us- ing a digital signature. Remote no- tarization takes it one step further by using audio-video technology to perform an online notarization remotely, giving the signer freedom from having to physically appear before a notary public. This technology was introduced several years ago, and its imple - mentation is gaining momentum. To see how e-notarization and remote notarization are being used today, take a look at some of their many applications. Real Estate B uying property is rarely a quick process. From finding a real estate agent to viewing current listings, making an offer, going un- der contract, and securing the right property can take weeks, even months. And once you've secured the property, another lengthy process, the closing, begins. For every real estate transaction, there is a series of documents that must be signed by the appropriate parties and notarized. Because of demanding schedules, very few people ever show up to the closing table with every party present. Typically, the seller must go to his attorney's office to sign the deed and other documents in advance and then have them overnighted or hand-delivered to the buyer's at - torney. The buyer then meets with his attorney to sign the forms, and a settlement agent notarizes the appropriate documents. The current real estate closing method is not only inefficient, it is also costly. All the fees associ- ated with hand-delivering forms, manually updating paper docu- ments, and physically traveling to an attorney or title agent's office could be significantly reduced— even eliminated—with remote notarization of e-mortgages. Landlord Tenant Evictions T o authorize an eviction, a landlord must complete an unlawful detainer document and have it signed and notarized. With remote notarization, this form and all other uniform court documents can be signed and notarized without traveling to physically meet with a notary public. And thanks to legislative efforts in Virginia, uniform court documents can even be submitted to the state's court database elec- tronically instead of in person. Powers of Attorney B ecause this type of document involves selecting someone to make decisions on another person's behalf, it must be prop- erly signed and notarized to be valid. Powers of attorney are often associated with wills or health- care decisions, but they can also involve real estate transactions or finances. With remote notariza- tion, designating a power of attorney is less complicated than with the traditional method, as it can be executed remotely, saving you time and money. Financial Services T here are certain bank docu- ments, such as loan forms or the opening of a safe deposit box, that require a notarization to authorize the transaction. Bank officials are often licensed to perform notarial acts, and with e-notarization, they can execute them electronically, reducing paper usage and making transactions more convenient for the customer. With the rise of robo-advisors and digital wealth-management platforms, remote notarization is also a great solution for the invest - ment and securities industry, as it allows users to obtain required notarizations without breaking the digital momentum. Consumer Use T here are other types of docu- ments, such as a waiver of liability, that often require notari- zation and can now be completed electronically. The greatest benefit Modernizing Notarizing The technology-driven digitalization of notarization means maximum efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and convenience for the otherwise paper-heavy mortgage industry. By Pem Guerry

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