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How Does RON Work?

Remote Online eClosing (“RON”) is a new, technology-driven notarial process that allows the signer to appear before the notary over a live audio-video feed when executing digital documents.

Step 1 Identity Verification

RON uses the latest identity verification technologies to make notarizations more secure.
A. Signer passes a knowledge-based identity quiz
B. Signer submits ID for review
C. Third-party software performs forensic test on ID

Step 2 Audio-Video Conference

The notary and signer talk to each other over a webcam in real-time and observe the necessary digital documents.

Step 3 “Tamper-Sealed” Documents

The notary adds a “tamper-seal” to date/time-stamp the notarized documents.  The seal will indicate whether any of the documents are altered in the future.  The signer downloads a PDF of the completed, digitally signed and digitally notarized, document.

Step 4 Audit Trail and Notary Records

Like with traditional notarizations, the notary keeps a journal logging the basic details of the notarization.  The journal can be kept in a secure digital format that includes a video of the notarial act, which can be used to prove who actually digitally signed the document.

Click here if you would like more information on our digital settlement services.

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Evaults-&-Enotes

eVaults and eNotes

What does a vault have to do with an eClosing? Plenty. As eClosings become more common, fundamental elements of the mortgage process will change. For example, instead of a paper promissory note, you may have an eNote and eVault. The note is one of the key lender documents within a loan package that borrowers sign at closing. It’s the borrower’s written promise to repay the loan within the specified term. The note is also very important to investors who buy and sell them on the secondary market. The note plays an important part in a mortgage backed security. Think of an eNote as the electronic version of a paper note. The eNote gets electronically signed instead of wet signed at closing. You must be able to identify the original version of the eNote. Think of the electronic version as a PDF. There could be infinite versions of it floating around. How do investors know the version they are buying is the original?  To solve this, the mortgage industry got smart and did two things:

  1. They created the MERS eRegistry, the legal system of record for identifying the controller and location of the authoritative copy of the eNote.
  2. Created standards for how to store eNotes in something called an eVault.

eVaults are technology platforms that are built to support the handling, status, and storage of eNotes. They always have integrations to the MERS eRegistry and often have integrations to other eVaults and trading partners. The MERS eRegistry is the librarian of the eNote world. It tracks who controls each eNote and in which eVault it is stored. When a lender creates an eNote, they register it with the MERS eRegistry  which notifies the librarian of the controller and location of the eNote. If you are exposed to an eNote, now you know what a vault has to do with it.

For more information on eClosings, visit www.republictitle.com/evolve

Click here to go to our YouTube page to see more of our helpful videos. 

eVaults and eNotes

The NEw World of eclosings

The New World of eClosing

Welcome to the world of eClosing!  There are many new terms to become familiar with when discussing digital settlement and eClosings. The transition to eClosing has created a plethora of new terms including In-Person eClosing, Remote Online Notarization, RON, Hybrid eClosing, etc. and we want to help you get familiar with the language and how it all works.

A few questions that will come up when discussing eClosings are:

1.     When are we signing?

2.     Where are we signing?

3.     How are we signing?

What is eVolve?

eVolve is Republic Title’s Digital Settlement and Signing Services Division and provides a new, convenient, and alternative experience in buying/selling real estate. Republic Title is leading this transformation and developing innovative and secure ways to evolve this process for our customers. Technology and added convenience are constantly changing the way people conduct business. When our customers have scheduling conflicts — whether it’s a busy day in the office or traveling on vacation — Republic Title is able to facilitate the transaction through one of our premium closing services, either at a place of business through our Mobile First experience or through our Remote Online Notary eClosing experience. Our dedicated team of professionals will provide our customers with a clear understanding of what is being signed and why it’s needed, ensuring a worry-free closing from anywhere in the world. For more information about eVolve or eClosings, visit our website at: https://rttprod.wpengine.com/evolve

What is an eclosing

What is an eClosing?

An eClosing involves using some combination of electronic documents, electronic signatures, electronic notarization, or electronic recording. An eDocument, or electronic document, is a digital document as opposed to a scanned image of a paper document. An eSignature is a process used to apply a signature to an electronic document in place of a wet ink signature. An eNotarization is a process of applying the notary’s electronic signature and notarial seal to an electronic document. eRecording is the process of recording the electronic document in the county records in its original form.

What is eVolve?

eVolve is Republic Title’s Digital Settlement and Signing Services Division and provides a new, convenient, and alternative experience in buying/selling real estate. Republic Title is leading this transformation and developing innovative and secure ways to evolve this process for our customers. Technology and added convenience are constantly changing the way people conduct business. When our customers have scheduling conflicts — whether it’s a busy day in the office or traveling on vacation — Republic Title is able to facilitate the transaction through one of our premium closing services, either at a place of business through our Mobile First experience or through our Remote Online Notary eClosing experience. Our dedicated team of professionals will provide our customers with a clear understanding of what is being signed and why it’s needed, ensuring a worry-free closing from anywhere in the world. For more information about eVolve or eClosings, visit our website at: https://rttprod.wpengine.com/evolve

RON-Prevails-During-Winter-Storm-Uri

RON Prevails During Winter Storm Uri

As most things go lately every event seems to be of a historical nature.  Winter Storm Uri that blanketed the state in a frigid white frosting and forced millions of people to improvise on the little things like heat and water was nothing short of such an event.  However, the real estate market kept pushing forward through the bitter cold, frozen roads and rolling blackouts.  Thanks to a new, technology-driven notarial process called Remote Online Notarization (“RON”), real estate closings continued and Buyers and Sellers were able to keep their contractual commitments even though mother nature was trying to dictate otherwise.

“The level of satisfaction expressed by our customers was maintained and even excelled despite freezing temperatures, power outages, icy roads and diminished water levels.  This was in large part due to the expedient technology of RON.  RON has empowered our team of professionals to be at their most productive in accomplishing superior customer satisfaction levels, all while executing their duties in remote locations.” said Audriana J. Laws, Vice President/Escrow Officer with Republic Title’s eVolve Division.

What exactly is Remote Online Notarization?

Remote Online Notarization (”RON”) is a technology-driven notarial process that allows the signer to appear before the notary over a live audio-video feed when executing digital documents. Our dedicated team of professionals provide our customers with a clear understanding of what is being signed and why it’s needed ensuring a virtual closing experience with the signing party being located practically anywhere in the world.

In the case of Winter Storm Uri, that meant signing parties were closing virtually during the rolling blackouts or in some cases no power at all from their homes, hotel rooms, vehicles, and other numerous locations where some variation of power and internet was available.

“Having the capability to close so many transactions and service our customers during the most treacherous weather we have seen in our state was a true testament to the value of the RON eClosing model and the technology Republic Title has available.  The roads were so bad that a typical mobile notary was not an option.  As long as we had an internet connection and electricity, or in some cases a full charge on the laptop battery, we were able to close transactions via live audio-video feed seamlessly.  The sheer volume of closings we completed under these circumstances would not have been possible without Remote Online Notarization. The software platforms that we use to conduct these virtual eClosings provide a painless experience for both the Digital Closer and the Signer.” said Robin Riggs, Vice President/Escrow Officer with Republic Title’s eVolve Division.

So how does Remote Online Notarization work?

Through a technology-driven notarial process the signer will go through the below five steps:

  1. RON Vetting Requirements | Signers must be able to verify minimum personal information and personal device vetting requirements to conduct a RON session.
  2. Identity Verification | Using the latest identity verification technologies, the signer will take a knowledge-based identity quiz and submit ID for review.
  3. Audio-Video Conference | The notary and signer talk over webcam in real-time and observe the necessary digital signatures and seals being added to the digital documents.
  4. Tamper-Sealed Documents | The notary adds a tamper-seal to date/time-stamp the notarized documents. The signer downloads a PDF of the completed, digitally signed and digitally notarized document.
  5. Audit Trail and Notary Records | Like with traditional notarizations, the notary keeps a journal logging the basic details of the notarization.

Republic Title has fully embraced the digital closing experience and has a dedicated division, eVolve, focused on the digital settlement approach of the real estate transaction. eVolve is able to provide a new, convenient and alternative experience in buying/selling real estate.  We invite you to eVolve with Republic Title in your approach to closing on your next real estate transaction.

For information on digital closings, please visit www.republictitle.com/evolve

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5 Benefits of eClosing

Many types of documents need to be signed in a real estate transaction.  A number of factors are driving the real estate industry to transition from traditional paper and wet-ink signings to electric signatures on digital paperless documents.  This is known as a digital closing or more commonly called an eClosing.

CONVENIENT

Review documents in advance and ask questions of the appropriate parties.

Close from any location.*
If wet-signing is required a mobile closer or in a few instances a mobile notary may be utilized.

ECO-FRIENDLY

Reduced use of paper.

Reduced carbon footprint of shipping and storing physical documents.

EFFICIENT

Earlier document delivery.

No redundant paperwork.

Shorter signing appointments.

Shorter funding times.

NEW EXPERIENCE

Streamlined closing.

Automated data validation.

Close on your real estate transaction interactively through a virtual closing room.

SECURITY

Multi-factor authentication (MFA).

Knowledge-based authentication (KBA).

Quickly identify any altered documents.

Click here for print version.

*A remote online notary may be required

eClosing 101: Hybrid, In-Person and Remote Online

Broadly speaking, eClosings fall along a continuum that include three basic types – hybrid, in-person, and remote online. These methods incorporate varying amounts of the eClosing elements. In today’s blog, Dennis Pospisil, Senior Vice President/Digital Settlement and Signing Services, breaks down the different types of eClosings.

Hybrid eClosing “Hybrid” (“procedural” documents only closing) – At the low-end of the spectrum is the Hybrid or procedural documents only eClosing. This “entry-level” eClosing only involves electronic documents that do not need to be notarized or recorded, such as loan disclosures and settlement statements. The remainder of the closing takes place in a traditional manner.

All parties appear in person at the closing table, but some documents are signed electronically and some, typically collateral, notarized, and witnessed loan documents are wet signed. For documents that are electronically signed, generally one electronic signature is applied across all documents. Hybrid eClosings are the most popular and most widely used type of eClosing.

In-Person eClosing In-person – The middle-tier approach to eClosing involves electronically recording electronic documents with electronic signatures and electronic notarizations.  The closing takes place in-person utilizing a shared computer or tablet.

All parties appear in person either at the settlement agent’s office or in the presence of a mobile notary, and all documents are both signed and notarized electronically. Very few closings are full eClosings because a large percentage of lenders are not ready to have the note electronically signed.

Remote Online eClosing Remote Online eClosing (“RON”) is a new, technology-driven notarial process that allows the signer to appear before the notary over a live audio-video feed when executing digital documents.

Click here if you would like more information on our digital settlement services.

What Is An eClosing And How Does It Work?

An eClosing involves using some combination of electronic documents, electronic signatures, electronic notarization, and electronic recording.

  • An electronic document is a “native digital” document, as opposed to a scanned-in image of a paper document.
  • An electronic signature is a sound, symbol, or process applied by the signer to an electronic document in place of a wet-ink signature. eSignatures can take many forms, but the three most common versions are holographic (aka hand-drawn with a mouse, finger, or stylus), cursive typeface, and standard typeface.
  • An electronic notarization is the process of applying the notary’s electronic signature and notarial stamp or seal to an electronic document.
  • And lastly, electronic recording is the process of recording the electronic document in the county records in its original digital form without breaking the document’s tamper seal. This is different than the form of electronic recording that exists in many jurisdictions today which simply involves uploading a scanned-in image of a paper document.

An eClosing is the electronic execution of some or all real estate closing documents in a secure digital environment.  eClosings allow for a more efficient and streamlined closing experience for sellers, borrowers, lenders, and third parties.

eClosings can occur in several different variations ranging from Hybrid eClosing to In-Person eClosing to Remote Online eClosing.  Key documents such as the promissory note and security instrument can be printed to paper and wet-signed, while other documents are signed electronically. Our website can provide you more information on the different types of eClosings.

eClosing real estate will provide many benefits including:

  • Electronic access to documents prior to the closing
  • Faster closings
  • Fast commission check for the real estate agent, typically

In an eClosing, whether hybrid, full or remote online, you will need an online platform to house documents electronically and to enable electronic signatures and electronic notarizations. These types of platforms are typically referred to as online collaboration platforms or digital closing platforms.

For more information on eClosing, please contact our eVolve team.

Expediting eClosing and RON in the Current Environment

There is no question that the current pandemic has significantly reshaped every aspect of our daily lives. When it comes to real estate closings, there is also no question that the need for contactless, virtual mortgage closings is real and urgent.  Before COVID-19, eClosings were growing at a modest pace as the industry collaborated on solutions to facilitate broader adoption, including acceptance of Remote Online Notarization (RON). Then everyone was told to stay home, and industry collaboration ignited with a new and passionate purpose.

As Harry Gardner, Executive Vice President of eStrategies for Docutech™, a First American® Company, pointed out in a recent HousingWire webinar, coronavirus has shifted the digital mortgage closing from a “nice-to-have” into a “must-have.” The number of settlement services providers offering digital mortgages has nearly doubled during the pandemic. The current environment has changed the RON eClosing debate from “Why should we do this?” to “How can we do this now?”

In response to the need to facilitate contactless real estate closings, governmental agencies, the GSEs, lenders, and settlement services are all moving with a new sense of urgency to enable borrowers to close on the home of their dreams easily via digital connections.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced expanded acceptance of RON-closed eNotes, now in 45 states plus the District of Columbia. A number of state governors signed executive orders permitting forms of RON, and pending RON legislation at the Federal level could make remote notarizations legal everywhere. More county clerks are getting on board with the idea that remotely notarized Deeds of Trust are legally valid and should be accepted for eRecording, a very significant step toward nationwide RON acceptance. This kind of progress on the state and local level is what we have been waiting for to truly achieve a paperless mortgage.

Perpetually focused on customer experience, Docutech offers RON capabilities within Solex eClosing.   Now, notaries can eSign and eNotarize documents remotely while the borrower benefits from the same streamlined experience application through closing. No need to meet in-person, secure and convenient.

One of the most important considerations for moving RON eClosing into mainstream operations is the concept of eEligibility. Mark Ladd, Vice President of Regulatory and Industry Affairs at Simplifile, explained the nuances of eEligibility, referencing the “three legs of the stool” as Recordability, Insurability, and Marketability. Understanding your recordability, knowing if the underwriter will insure the transaction, and, if you’re connected with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, knowing if they will accept that eNote in the secondary market. Understanding how “e” each transaction can be, as early in the process as possible, provides lenders with support for the three legs of the stool.

 Source:  https://blog.docutech.com/expediting-eclosing-and-ron-in-the-current-environment-what-you-need-to-know-now

Expediting eClosing and RON in the Current Environment – What You Need to Know Now

Republic Title completes their 100th RON in 2020

Republic Title is proud to announce that we have completed 100 Remote Online eClosings in 2020.

What is a Remote Online eClosing and how does it work? 

Remote Online eClosing takes place…wait for it…online! The signer and the notary need not be in the same room, or even in the same state!

This type of eClosing allows all parties to be remote and perform the closing through videoconference via a webcam. All documents are signed and notarized electronically during the videoconference. This is the most highly regulated type of eClosing, and special commissions are required to electronically notarize documents. Remote online eClosings are very popular and useful for the seller side of the transaction since, in most cases, there are no loan documents involved for the seller.

Republic Title has completed these 100 Remote Online eClosing through eVolve, our newest digital settlement and signing services division, which provides an alternative closing experience for sellers, buyers and real estate agents.  eVolve’s approach is to provide a completely digital real estate closing process from start to finish, through the delivery of title and escrow services by way of secure collaboration and Remote Online eClosings.

eVolve has been operating in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas market for the past 12 months and will allow Republic Title to handle digital transactions in every major market in Texas (including Austin, San Antonio and Houston).