First American Title Insurance Company announced Thursday that it has partnered with Notarize to expand and accelerate adoption of remote online notarization (RON).
RON capabilities will be available through the company’s Direct and Agency division operations, making it possible for homebuyers, sellers and borrowers to close their home purchase or refinance transactions remotely.
Founded in 2015, Notarize enables users to obtain notarization of a document remotely through their online portal. Since 2019, the company said its volume of real estate transactions has grow over 800%.
Virginia was the first state to approve RON legislature, roughly a decade ago, but it took several years for other states to begin following suit. With the pandemic and changes in consumer preference, more states have begun passing RON legislature. In 2020, adoption of RON rose 547% according to a survey from the American Land Title Association.
In a Q&A with HousingWire earlier in December 2020, Notarize CEO Pat Kinsel put it simply, saying, “There’s no going back to the days before RON.
In its analysis of Q2 2021 figures surrounding mortgage and real estate closings, FundingShield found an overall increase in the risk of wire and title fraud, with two in five (40%+) transactions categorized as high risk.
Presented by: FundingShield
“Almost every business has been forced to redesign every customer interaction,” he said. “It’s no longer possible for someone to safely pop in to sign something. If the industry can continue to reimagine how they serve their clients and rewire how they work, RON should and will be further implemented.”
Due to the rise in demand for RON services, the Mortgage Industry Standard Maintenance Organization (MISMO) launched its RON compliance certification program in April 2020. Notarize is currently one of 14 companies that has received RON compliance certification, including eNotaryLog, Black Knight, Snapdocs, Nexys, DocuTech, Pro Notary and Pavaso.
Through Notarize, First American currently offers title insurance through RON-executed real estate transactions in 32 states. First American’s Direct division offers RON closing options to buyers, sellers and borrowers through a team of certified RON specialists. Title agents are given the capabilities through the company’s Agent Advantage team, which provides agents with access to and partnerships with various platforms, including Notarize.
As the company launches new platforms and RON legislature is passed in more states, allowing for the expansion of Notarize, First American expects to see further acceleration of RON adoption.
“We’ve seen a dramatic increase in the adoption of RON across all our settlement operations and are now initiating and closing more than 1,000 RON transactions per month, in addition to the growing number of RON transactions lenders are initiating,” Chris Leavell, the chief operating officer of First American Title, said in a statement. “This is an emerging industry norm, and we expect the overall volume of RON transactions to increase further in the months ahead.”