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‘Uniformity’ Needed for Remote Online Notarization

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), American Land and Title Association (ALTA), and the National Association of Realtors (NAR) collaborated to craft a draft model emergency notarization order.

A release from ALTA stated that the model is designed to create “uniformity” and provide legal certainty for use of remote notarizations in states promoting social distancing measures.

Paul Anselmo, CEO, Evolve Mortgage Services, said COVID-19 emphasized the need for standardization amongst all vertical sin the mortgage process.

“The efforts made by every lender, settlement provider, and realtor to assure a safe, transparent process for the consumer were challenging when every state had different rules around Remote Online Notarization,” Anselmo said. “It is important that the process is one that assures each transaction was performed with the integrity, consistency, and security necessary to assure the asset is sellable and enforceable.”

He added: “When lenders move forward in their support of RON, the only way transactions can scale is to have that standardization in every state. Without standardization, it is impossible to adopt and embrace 50 different ways to conduct business and maintain any resemblance of control. Every vendor should be operating using the proper security protocols as outlined by the MISMO RON Standards even if a state has adopted more formal rules and regulations around RON or offers a remote ink-signed notarization alternative.”

The release added that “State advocates are encouraged to use the model order, draft request letter, and one-pager as appropriate in their state.”

“A home is a basic need and real estate finance is an essential service supporting that need. During any current or future periods of state or local shelter-in-place orders, this essential business infrastructure must be able to continue to operate,” the release from ALTA stated. “Indeed, freezing this part of the economy is not an option for consumers, and can have a multibillion-dollar impact on the American marketplace.”

ALTA added the inability to purchase or sells a home could have a punishing financial effect on consumers.

“Home sellers should not have to take their homes off the market when they need to sell it in order to fulfill their contractual obligations to purchase another home and a potential home buyer who needs to move for job a change cannot pause that activity without significant financial consequences,” ALTA said.

According to ALTA, laws for Remote Online Notarization (RON) have been enacted in over 25 states.

About Author: Mike Albanese

A graduate of the University of Alabama, Mike Albanese has worked for news publications since 2011 in Texas and Colorado. He has built a portfolio of more than 1,000 articles, covering city government, police and crime, business, sports, and is experienced in crafting engaging features and enterprise pieces. He spent time as the sports editor for the "Pilot Point Post-Signal," and has covered the DFW Metroplex for several years. He has also assisted with sports coverage and editing duties with the "Dallas Morning News" and "Denton Record-Chronicle" over the past several years.

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