The pandemic has changed the way people do everything from work to school to grocery shopping and medical appointments, and the real estate industry has struggled to keep pace with the demand for digitization. HousingWire recently spoke with EscrowTab co-founder Brendon Weiss about how lenders can streamline their eClosings with the help of IPEN.
HousingWire: What are some of the potential challenges lenders and borrowers face with the traditional in-person signing process and how can In-Person Electronic Notarization, or IPEN, solve some of these challenges?
Brendon Weiss: Lenders and owners will agree, the traditional in-person signing process has long been plagued with inefficiencies. The challenges that come with traditional methods used to complete in-person signatures are not “new” obstacles; they were only created After evident in recent years as digitalization has accelerated in an increasingly technological world. Can you imagine needing to pay for your groceries in cash or by check? We neither. Soon, we believe that printing and signing hard copies of loan documents will also be a thing of the past.
Electronic In-Person Notarization (IPEN) is rapidly gaining traction across the industry with lenders, title agencies, and settlement firms due to its convenience, cost savings, and improved experience of the borrower. IPEN allows a signer and a notary signing agent in the same location to apply the signer’s electronic signatures to digital documents. The notary signing agent is then authorized to eNotarize the documents without any paper involved.
To better understand the benefits of IPEN, first consider the implications of facilitating traditional in-person notarization. All documents are paper records, which have a financial cost to print, costs related to administrative hours of preparation, processing and maintenance. Paper records may be more susceptible to data security risks or human error, such as skipped pages or misplaced signatures. Handling tangible paper records with or without having to correct for human error can lead to a delay in processing.
As the traditional in-person notarization process can involve hundreds of paper documents, you also lose the green appeal of modern borrowers who expect a paperless process.
IPEN enables electronic locks with improved security, compliance and accessibility for all parties involved and, according to the vendor, can be implemented faster than other solutions available on the market. An IPEN solution such as EscrowTab helps streamline closing operations with reduced loan lifecycles, while adding value to the borrower experience with convenient full electronic closing options.
HW: IPEN offers lenders and borrowers a level of automation that a traditional signature does not. How do current market conditions require flexible and convenient solutions like EscrowTab?
computer: In an era of high margin compression and low closing volume, implementing a solution like EscrowTab would position lenders and title agencies for streamlined efficiency across your business.
While some solutions take months to implement, EscrowTab bypasses system integration bottlenecks and allows companies to start realizing cost savings as soon as possible.
EscrowTab’s solution is designed to work as close to paper as possible, except better. This includes features such as allowing real-time document changes without redrawing documents, and the ability to erase a single page if a borrower signs in the wrong place. And because all of EscrowTab’s services – DocPrep, eNote creation, eClosing, and eVault – were designed and built in-house, everything works seamlessly for the benefit of users.
HW: Why would a lender, title agency, or settlement company choose an in-person electronic notarization (IPEN) method over remote online notarization (RON), which has been talked about in the media for a few years?
computer: In-Person Electronic Notarization (IPEN) has been around for many years, often referred to as electronic notarization. Even though this type of notarization is legal nationwide and has versatile advantages over other notarization methods, few companies offer a simple and intuitive product based on IPEN.
Only 40 states have legislation in place allowing the use of RON. Of those 40, several are still operating under temporary emergency orders issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Temporary orders may – for now – still authorize the use of RON; however, there is no guarantee that states with temporary policies will pass permanent legislation.
A national IPEN solution offers simplicity and consistency for the mandatary notary and the borrower. In states where RON is approved for use, all parties must meet multi-factor verification requirements. Acceptable multi-factor requirements are state-specific and may include knowledge-based authentication (KBA), automated government-issued photo ID authentication, or visual ID inspection. identity using two-way video technology. Accessing multi-factor verification requirements may not be feasible for all parties, who may have inadequate technology or feel intimidated by the process.
When using IPEN methods in eClosings, tangible paper documents are eliminated, but the in-person connection that is highly valued by many borrowers, title companies and signing agents remains. Tech-savvy borrowers can feel confident going through a streamlined electronic closing process with guidance from an industry professional by their side.
HW: What does EscrowTab bring to the market that lenders and title agencies haven’t experienced yet, and how will you continue to bring value to the industry?
computer: The past few years have forced the global adaptation to remote work – not just work, but adaptation to living a digital life. It’s safe to assume that the accelerated acceptance of digitized transactions is a trend that borrowers would like to see trickle down to other processes, especially if it translates to increased convenience for all parties. Borrowers’ expectations for efficiency will only increase. For lenders and title agencies, the question is no longer “if” you should offer electronic closing solutions, but rather “how?” »
There are many electronic closing solutions that lenders and title agencies can choose from to ensure borrowers have a modern and secure experience. Where EscrowTab is ahead of the competition is our simplicity and accessibility – and the ability for lenders to maintain their current processes.
EscrowTab uses in-person electronic notarization using an EscrowTab compatible tablet and stylus. We are the only eClosing platform that allows borrowers to sign notarized documents and electronic notes with a forensically verifiable handwritten electronic signature on every page that needs to be signed.
Lenders can implement eClosings without adapting existing operations to new software, significantly reducing the time and resources required for the post-closing quality control process.
With EscrowTab, lenders can also count on their trusted partners – title agencies and settlement companies – to move this process forward. Lenders simply ship documents to title agencies as they do today, allowing title agencies and settlement companies to do what they do best: make loans.
Title and settlement will become more efficient for their organizations, for lenders, and to close loans the way borrowers expect – technology-driven and environmentally friendly.
EscrowTab delivers non-stop efficiency because it’s designed to work seamlessly with the processes that lenders, title agencies, and settlement companies already have in place. We’re here to help simplify, not complicate, your business with a truly plug and play electronic fence solution.
To learn more about transparent electronic closures and IPEN, visit escrowtab.com.