Mortgage rates, loan limits and forbearance

We cover the increase in conforming loan limits for Fannie and Freddie and what forbearance numbers and record-low rates could mean for the housing market.

Untying business growth from the housing market cycle

Lenders need business growth that is not linear and is not tied to the market cycles – leveraging automation technology can help.

The practical use of AI for LOs

The combination of tightly-packed schedules and intensive oversight means augmenting loan officer’s efforts with intelligent systems is more relevant than ever.

HousingWire's 2020 Tech Trendsetters

This year’s list of Tech Trendsetters certainly earned their status as the industry was met with incredible challenges and new opportunities.

Title/Escrow

The vote is in: Borrowers want RON

STRATMOR study shows consumers calling for remote closings

This year, remote online notarizations have taken a major step forward as more borrowers than ever are using eClosing platforms. And the consensus is in: borrowers like RON.

A new study conducted by ClosingCorp shows borrowers who completed purchase and refinance transaction during COVID-19 were very satisfied with their experience, and even hope eClosings will continue in the future.

“As we’ve seen throughout 2020, this crisis is accelerating adoption and acceptance of e-transactions, and when things return to normal, eSigning and eClosings will be the new normal and consumers will like it better,” ClosingCorp CEO Bob Jennings said.

The survey showed 95% of borrowers said their closings were efficient and 90% said they were satisfied with their closings, most of which involved eSigning and remote closings. A full 89% of these buyers and 84% of refinancers said they eSigned their disclosure, closing documents, or both.

And at 55%, more than half of these borrowers said their closing was conducted remotely, and not in traditional locations, likely through RON or drive-through closings.


How a pragmatic approach to eClosings helps lenders succeed during COVID-19 and beyond

An eClosing strategy that succeeds in any environment is built on two key concepts. Find out what those are here.

Presented by: Snapdocs

For those who had closed on a mortgage in the past, this time around, 79% of respondents said that technology played a bigger role in the current transaction.

The end result? About 82% of these borrowers said they preferred eSigning documents before closing and more than two-thirds of borrowers said that in the future they would prefer remote closings over in-person. The borrowers who were less comfortable with remote closings tended to be in the 55 and older age range.

Due to COVID-19 and stay-at-home orders imposed across the U.S., RON closings became one of the best options for consumers as they continued to buy homes and refinance loans in a pandemic.

In fact, a partnership between Realogy Title Group and Notarize that has sought to accelerate the adoption of remote online notarizations hit a milestone in the first half of 2020. Spurred by the impact of the coronavirus, the partnership closed more than 1,600 RON transactions in the first half of 2020, a more than 200% increase over the 500 RON transactions that they closed in all of 2019, the companies told HousingWire.

“Despite the disruption caused by the pandemic and the workarounds that the lending and title companies have had to quickly put in place, borrowers continue to be satisfied with the mortgage closing process,” STRATMOR Group Senior Partner Jim Cameron said.

“Not only does the new survey align with what we’ve seen historically through STRATMOR and CFI Group’s ongoing MortgageSAT borrower satisfaction survey program, it suggests that the more electronic – or ‘e’ –each step in the process becomes, the higher the satisfaction.”

The survey, conducted in early September, interviewed more than 690 borrowers nationwide who had purchased or refinanced a home since March 15, 2020. Approximately 15% of the respondents were homebuyers, 79% were refinance customers and 6% were both. Among the homebuyers, 35% were first-time buyers. The survey was sponsored by ClosingCorp and jointly designed with STRATMOR Group.

Comments

  1. I guess they forgot to checkout the 13 pages and counting of bad/poor reviews on trustpilot of the leading company in remote closings, Notarize. Consumers are still having trouble passing the identity vetting process as the questions are outdated, most still don’t know how to use a webcam and the wait time for a remote notary is longer than it would take for an in person notary to complete the closing. RON won’t likely make it to the mainstream for at least another 5 years or more, that is, if it survives a court battle. To date, not a single online notarization has been challenged in court. Most escrow officers and underwriters I speak with, say that’s reason enough to wait and see how this unproven tech shakes out.
    Matt Miller, President and Founder
    The California League of Independent Notaries

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