Matt Hansen: Get Your Back Up Off the Wall: Support MBA RON Advocacy Efforts
Matt Hansen is founder of SimpleNexus, Lehi, Utah, an industry-leading homeownership platform used by more than 37,000 loan officers and 300+ mortgage corporations nationwide. Under Hansen’s leadership, SimpleNexus has become one of the fastest-growing software companies in the nation and has been recognized on both the Inc. 5000 list and Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 list. He was honored earlier this year as an MBA NewsLink Tech All-Star.
For years eNotary firms, the Mortgage Bankers Association and the American Land Title Association have quietly shouldered the burden of lobbying local and federal legislators to enact remote online notarization legislation. And their efforts have yielded great progress.
In just a few short years, RON legislation has been adopted by 35 states. But to extend RON legislation nationwide, lenders are going to have to get their “back up off the wall” and join MBA efforts to press rulemakers for laws that enable homebuyers and the real estate finance industry to benefit from modern business practices that so many other industries already enjoy.
The Lender Case for RON
Five or more years ago, most lenders didn’t have an urgent need to perform remote notarial acts. After all, the mortgage technology ecosystem had not yet matured enough to support fully digital closings. But today is different. A global health pandemic has leapfrogged digital closing processes to the top of lenders’ to-do lists and forever raised the bar for consumers who expect a virtual option for conducting business. If you’re not already convinced, here are the reasons you should be vested in RON:
Better Borrower Experience
Fast and secure, RON provides consumers with a convenient way to close on a home that aligns with their service expectations. Consumers have grown accustomed to relying on apps and websites (i.e. “remote online” tools) to carry out all aspects of their life – from ordering coffee and managing finances to conducting business and maintaining interpersonal relationships. Providing them with the flexibility to close on their home from anywhere via mobile or online tools helps increase borrower satisfaction and foster stronger borrower relationships.
A recent study conducted by ClosingCorp found that 82% of borrowers who purchased or refinanced a home between March and September 2020 preferred eSigning documents prior to closing. Further, more than two-thirds of borrowers stated they would prefer remote closings over in-person closings in the future.
The cat is out of the bag. Moving forward, flexibility to conduct business online will be requisite for customer satisfaction.
For businesses and borrowers alike, time is money. By eliminating hours spent driving to closings, mobile notary agents can schedule more closings per day. Borrowers who may be deployed in the military or are purchasing a home from out of state can save thousands of dollars in travel expenses it can take to attend in-person closings. And best of all, RON-enabled eClosings cut time spent printing, scanning, faxing and mailing documents back and forth while also saving on expenses related to paper, ink, shipping and physical document storage.
Improved Speed and Accuracy
eClosing and eNotary platforms have intelligent workflows that automatically collate documents and highlight fields that need to be filled or signed. Built-in bumpers prevent closings from being completed until all fields have been eSigned or eNotarized, eliminating delays associated with missed signatures and saving time on post-closing quality control.
What are you waiting for?
From eClosing platforms to eVaults the technology structure exists on the lender end. The vast majority of U.S. counties e-record. The final roadblock to enjoying a well-oiled end-to-end digital mortgage experience is national legislation that enables RON for real estate transactions.
Lenders, as job creators that play a vital role in fulfilling the housing needs of your communities, your word carries a great deal of weight with elected officials. The Mortgage Action Alliance (MAA) – an extension of the MBA that organizes real estate finance industry professionals to lobby local and federal officials – already has the template letters, talking points and experts to support you. They just need more local businesses like yours to join the network and lend your voice in meetings with local and federal representatives.
Recently the MBA-endorsed, bipartisan bill S. 1625, the Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote and Electronic Notarize Act of 2021, was introduced to the Senate. Lawmakers need to hear directly from you to explain how RON affects you, your company and consumers. Join MAA and reach out to MBA Grassroots Advocacy Specialist Rosie Sheehan to see how you can get involved.
Together we can push for modernized laws that improve real estate finance transactions for businesses and consumers.
(Views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect policy of the Mortgage Bankers Association, nor do they connote an MBA endorsement of a specific company, product or service (although in this case, they almost certainly do). MBA NewsLink welcomes your submissions. Inquiries can be sent to Mike Sorohan, editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org; or Michael Tucker, editorial manager, at email@example.com.)