The COVID-19 pandemic and the need for social distancing turned mortgage closing on its head. Suddenly, the highly paper-intensive, face-to-face closing process needed to be digitally enabled – and quickly. The desire to keep up or be left behind prompted many lenders to fast-track their digital transformation to support end-to-end digital mortgage closings.
For many lenders, remote online notarization (RON) was a step in the right direction, enabling notaries and borrowers to sign documents and close loans in a contactless environment. Many states enacted emergency measures to accelerate the use of RON. And it worked. According to a survey from the American Land Title Association, RON adoption increased a staggering 547 percent in 2020.
The benefits of remote online notarization
In 2020, RON became an essential service to ensure closings continued uninterrupted. RON leverages digital mortgage technology to complete the notarial process when parties can’t be in the same physical location as the notary. With RON, the notary participates through live videoconferencing with the borrower and notarizes the documents virtually. This approach satisfies the regulatory compliance associated with documents, including recording the deed of trust.
But the benefits of RON span well beyond a global crisis. Now more than ever, lenders need RON tools that empower and optimize their mortgage workflow. RON provides lenders with the opportunity for greater flexibility and efficiency, and ultimately, the ability to meet and exceed customer expectations and gain a competitive advantage.
As a result, RON technology has moved from a “nice to have” to an essential component for lenders, ensuring a truly remote digital experience for mortgage transactions. However, no single RON tool covers all mortgage closing scenarios. Lenders should look for a technology platform that lets lenders select and activate the best-fit RON solutions to complement their mortgage product portfolio.
ClosingCenter’s RON Hub: Your closing, your way
At the closing stage, lenders and their settlement agent partners require maximum choice and flexibility for completing fully remote transactions. A digital closing platform with multiple integrated RON providers enables lenders to select the RON solution that works for them – from paper-based to hybrid to fully digital.
The most successful organizations will integrate RON in a way that meets their needs today – and enables their digital evolution in the future. Wolters Kluwer eOriginal’s ClosingCenter helps lenders simplify closing by connecting borrowers with notary signing agents in a secure, digital closing room. Lenders can choose from ClosingCenter’s ecosystem of trusted RON partners to complete their deals quickly and easily.
The pandemic narrative is still unfolding, and its impact on mortgage lending continues to evolve. But there’s no question lenders are proactively accelerating their digital transformations. Borrowers now expect, rather than demand, a digital mortgage experience. By eliminating in-person contact and accelerating the speed and convenience of the closing process, RON has become a critical piece of the digital mortgage puzzle.