With these structural changes helping move electronic contracts forward, their intersection with Covid-19 precipitating the acceptance of digital tools is pushing the industry into the next cycle of innovation. “We’re now at the beginning of this cycle and having made the investments in our technology over the last two decades, we are well positioned as an industry leader,” says David Co, Head of Document Custody at Deutsche Bank.
That cycle has begun in earnest, with the virus forcing alternatives to the person-to-person interaction and wet ink-signing. Among these tools is the ability to electronically notarise mortgage documents remotely. In the US, notary guidelines at the state and county levels were always an impediment to the advancement and adoption of digital mortgages. Since the pandemic, electronic notarisation in the form of Remote Ink-Signed Notarisation (RIN) and Remote Online Notarisation (RON) have been spotlighted as practical tools to allow mortgages to close while keeping the individuals involved safe. Remote notarisation legally permits eNotes to be used to allow the mortgage origination to be completely remote and electronic.
RON has received increasing attention3. It uses an audio visual medium; vendors such as NotaryCam enable users to connect to a live notary and confirm their identity face-to-face on a webcam to complete the notarisation process. RON so far has been formally adopted by 24 states, while others have implemented temporary Covid-related executive waivers. Pending RON legislation at the Federal level could make RON an acceptable and enforceable standard in most parts of the US with potential passage after the 2020 elections.
As document custodian, Deutsche Bank will accept RON and RIN notarisations where they are allowed as part of the review process, regardless of whether eNotes were employed or not.
Before Covid-19, eNotes were growing at a modest pace as the industry collaborated on solutions to facilitate broader adoption, including acceptance of RON. “Then everyone was told to stay home, and industry collaboration ignited with a new and passionate purpose,” says Co.