Matt Hansen of SimpleNexus: Rally for RON with MBA
Matt Hansen is founder of SimpleNexus, Lehi, Utah. Under his leadership, SimpleNexus has become a leading homeownership platform for loan officers, borrowers, real estate agents and settlement agents, touching one in every seven U.S. mortgage loans. Hansen is recipient of numerous industry recognitions, including the MBA Tech All-Star Award and HousingWire Tech Trendsetter Award.
In recent years mortgage lenders have taken sweeping measures to provide consumers with mobile and online service options. But there’s a boulder in the way of progress. Remote online notarization (RON), a process that enables lenders to facilitate virtual closings for consumers, lacks federal legislation that would make it universally permissible across all U.S. states.
To date, 10 states, including Texas and California, have not passed RON-enabling legislation, hindering the housing finance industry’s ability to provide a broad swath of American homebuyers with the safety and convenience of a remote online closing ceremony.
The lack of federal RON legislation is not just standing in the way of modernizing a notoriously cumbersome experience for the millions of consumers who engage in a mortgage transaction each year. It prevents lenders from modernizing processes at the expense of their business, consumers and the broader housing economy.
RON is a proven process improver. A recent independent study by MarketWise Advisors on the impact of eClosing with Notarize’s RON functionality revealed that full eClosing – a process in which the entire closing package is digitized, eSigned, and eNotarized – can save lenders up to $444 per loan and title agents up to $100 per loan. That is because eClosing enables lenders to close more loans faster with the same number of people (or fewer), while also improving loan quality by preventing missed signatures and facilitating general error reduction. Full eClosed loans also have the benefit of condensing the post-close to secondary market timeline, further improving internal processes and cost savings.
These sorts of cost management measures could not be timelier. According to the MBA’s Q4 2021 Mortgage Bankers Performance Report, the average cost to originate a mortgage loan reached an all-time study high of $9,470 at the end of last year after rising for six consecutive quarters. With the decreased volume and revenue margins that come with a purchase market, it is especially important that lenders be able to manage costs.
For the mortgage industry to effectively power the U.S. housing economy, it is imperative lenders are afforded the opportunity to keep pace with modern business practices and consumer expectations.
Thankfully, we have a strong team backing us: the MBA. For the last few years, national RON legislation has been a priority for the MBA. But even though the MBA is one of the most powerful lobbies on the Hill, there are limits to what it can do without your help.
Lenders, as job creators that play a vital role in fulfilling the housing needs of your communities and enabling generational wealth building, your word carries a great deal of weight with elected officials. The MBA needs more businesses to amplify its message.
At this year’s National Advocacy Conference, which takes place April 26-27 in Washington D.C., MBA is coordinating with association partners and members to encourage Congress to cosponsor and support the passage of the Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote Online Notarization Act (SECURE Notarization Act) of 2021. Introduced in the US House (H.R. 3962) and Senate (S. 1625) with bipartisan support, if passed, the SECURE Notarization Act would permit immediate nationwide use of RON with minimum standards necessary to protect consumer data and provide certainty for the national use and interstate recognition of RON. States with existing RON laws on the books would retain the flexibility to implement their own RON standards.
MBA already has the template letters, talking points and experts to support you. They just need more local businesses like yours to lend their voice in meetings with local and federal representatives. If you haven’t already, register to attend the MBA National Advocacy Conference or reach out to the MBA to learn how you can get plugged in.
Together we can advocate for 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. 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.)