Since the pandemic began, remote online authentication has helped close the social distance gap, close deals without personal contact, and thus maintain business continuity.
Making RON a legally acceptable form of documentation went from a peripheral problem to country law in 28 states on July 8, with more expected to have its own regulations in the coming weeks and months saying goodbye.
With this increased RON implementation, Notarize, a Boston-based provider of electronic notarial services, announced that total revenue increased 400% in the second quarter.
"It's more than 1000% year over year. It's bananas," said Pat Kinsel, CEO of Notarize, in an interview. The company has added a variety of new customers to its list in the past few weeks, Kinsel said. "We work with two of the country's ten largest lenders, United Wholesale Mortgage and Guaranteed Rate, other public clients like Redfin, Stewart Title, Realogy and others."
Kinsel predicts that business will continue to grow.
"Many of these accounts are now doubling with us every month. I don't see any slowdown in growth rates over the next six months. If we had more notaries in the beginning, we would have grown even more," he said. "We brought about a thousand notaries onto the platform during this period."
On July 7, MISMO announced that Notarize – together with eNotaryLog – was the first company to complete the new RON certification program. Meeting requirements includes analyzing credentials, identifying the borrower, maintaining an audio and video record of the attestation, storing records and audit trails. MISMO has launched the certification program to promote a stronger rollout of RON and to ensure that those who do electronic locking meet MISMO Remote Online Notary Standards.
Industry advocates who have long tried to get lenders on board with such technologies are quick to point out how helpful this was for their early users.
"Real estate transactions will continue to be completed during the COVID-19 pandemic due to advances in digital mortgage technology, including the increasing adoption of remote online authentication as a safe and convenient option," said Mike Fratantoni, president of MISMO and chief economist at Mortgage Bankers Association senior vice president of research and industrial technology said in a press release.
At federal level, Senator Mark Warner [D-Va.] And Senator Kevin Cramer [R-N.D.] Introduced the SECURE Notarization Act as a bipartisan law in March. In addition to notaries, it is supported by the Mortgage Bankers Association, the National Association of Realtors and the American Land Title Association.
"The SECURE Notarization Act brings the notary process into the 21st century and enables people to complete documents safely while following recommended health and social practices in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic," said Cramer in a press release at the time of the launch Law.
While state-to-state specifications would continue to be a problem, federal RON law would only require a notary to operate.
"There will be no difference between states, there will always be complexity in the proper execution of an RON transaction," said Kinsel. "What is made clear is that the rules of this state, as long as they reach a minimum threshold, are accepted nationally for all applications."