HousingWire spoke with Altisource Vice President of Product Ben Hall about the increased adoption of remote online notarization (RON) and how Altisource supports lenders looking to move to full eClosings.
HousingWire: The COVID-19 pandemic has fueled the conversation around wider adoption of digital mortgage capabilities like remote online notarization (RON) and eClosings, with several states enacting temporary emergency measures for remote notarizations. How do you think this will affect the closing landscape?
Ben Hall: The COVID-19 pandemic is an impetus to move toward virtual closings. People want to limit contact with strangers, and while some lenders and governments have been reluctant to embrace RON and eClose options, they need to serve their customers and meet them where they are.
The need to social distance will surely incentivize lenders and governments to implement RON and eClose options. In addition, the added convenience of eClose for both lenders and customers will likely create long-term adoption after COVID-19.
HW: How is Altisource positioned to help lenders add RON to their closing process?
BH: Altisource can work with lenders to create a solution that works for them. We can provide full RON closing solutions or create a hybrid option that meets their needs.
With in-house notaries, the ability to integrate with different platforms and an underwriter who has approved RON closings in 40+ states, we are well situated to accommodate the needs of our lenders. Since 2018, we have closed more than 9000 purchases electronically.
HW: In addition to reducing in-person interaction during this time of social distancing, what are the benefits of RON?
BH: In addition to social distancing, there are a few major benefits of using RON.
The first is the multifactor authentication method to verify the identity of the signer. This method is arguably even more secure than an in-person verification especially given that in-person meetings may mean the signer has their face covered with a mask.
Secondly, RON signings provide a very quick and smooth post-closing process which can speed up the funding.
Lastly, as every document is electronically signed and available electronically for all parties involved, the use of paper is almost not required which saves money and the environment.
HW: How can lenders and their partners take the step from hybrid eClosings to full eClosings?
BH: One of the first things that lenders need to do is to get in touch with their investors to ensure they are on-board with electronic closings and – more specifically – will accept electronically signed notes.
The adaptability and approval need to start at the investor levels. The incentive for lenders to move in this direction is that eClosings can make the funding process more streamlined and seamless. If a lender is registered with MERS, eClosing can become even more secure since eNotes are safely stored in MERS eRegistry/eVaults.
HW: How do Altisource solutions help facilitate full eClosings?
BH: Altisource is a leader when it comes to mortgage and real estate technology. We integrate with various lender platforms to create a seamless experience for customers. Our background in this space sets us apart and enables us to work with customers and lenders to create eClosing solutions that works for them.
Altisource provides support for clients at every step, from closing loan packages electronically with hybrid eClose, to full eClose and even RON-signed electronic closings. We offer an in-house network of fully vetted, certified and trained eNotary professionals capable of performing RON signings in approved states.
Our web-based platform digitizes the closing process to help you realize savings on operational costs and improve regulatory compliance with detailed audit trails, signature logging and more.