How Social Distancing and Stay-at-Home Restrictions Have Impacted Online Notarization Solutions?


In a world where fraudsters rely on shortcuts to sabotage business processes and customer experience, businesses need to embrace notarization to authenticate documents to safeguard their interests. Before the COVID-19 pandemic took the world by storm, most entrepreneurs did not see the need to automate their notarization solutions to seal their real estate transactions. It took social distancing and stay-at-home measures due to COVID-19 for businesses to realize the power of Remote online notarization (RON) on their operational goals.

If your business has not decided to automate your notarization solutions, the following reasons will convince you otherwise.

How remote online notarization (RON) works?

Long before RON existed, entities looked for notary representatives to witness a person sign critical documents. A notary’s primary role is to verify if the person’s signature and stamp are authentic. Both parties made wet signatures: A face-to-face procedure that could not be successful when one party was absent.

 The conventional notary system still exists for conservative people who have not embraced online notarization when applying for a mortgage. A lender was supposed to visit your home and make you sign all the documents you might require when applying for loans. A notary also accompanied the lender to authenticate the critical documents on behalf of the borrower. However, social distancing and stay-at-home restrictions have compelled real estate parities to switch to transacting online as a way of avoiding physical interactions.

How COVID-19 has impacted remote online notarization?

From the current ongoing real estate closings, it is evident that COVID-19 has become a blessing in disguise for mortgage lenders and borrowers alike. The pandemic has impacted real estate in the following ways:

1. The National Notary Association has switched from physical meet-ups to online transacting

The success of an online platform depends on how it protects interested parties from encountering the Coronavirus due to physical interactions. It gets interesting. Remote real estate closings are not practical in some places. However, the National Notary Association (NNA) has revised its guidelines to suit the needs of notarization parties.

For example, if you are looking to own a home as a first-time buyer and need notarization services, all you need is to link up with a notary via platforms such as Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom. The notary must be a person who understands how different states operate when it comes to offering such services. To ensure both the notary and signer fulfill social distancing measures, they must decide on one place where they will pick the documents.

2. Notarization companies have to produce valid certification before providing notary services

Currently, notarization companies in almost 23 states have embraced RON compliance standards to prove their services are legal and binding. A notarization company will need to embrace e-notarizations to stay relevant in the real estate industry. With more mortgage startups penetrating the housing market, RON transactions will carry the day.

Since notarization services are compliant-sensitive, a notary must ensure the signer provides a valid ID for inspection. The notary reserves the right to withhold the documents until the transaction is complete. Remember, social distancing is all about protecting the interests of both parties. That means both the signer and notary must operate through the window before the signing process is complete.

3.  RON radicalizing the real estate industry

The future of real estate is in e-Recording. The Property Records Industry Association (PRIA) has already issued mandatory compliance for mortgage companies investing in RON. That means if you want to upgrade to RON as a housing lending company, you need to ensure it conforms to your respective state’s jurisdiction.  The primary goal of remotely processing documents is to ensure smooth transacting during uncertain times. If you are based within the 23 states legislature, find out if your state has already passed remote notarization legislation.

The future of online notarization relies on mortgage lending companies’ ability to provide automotive notary services. Unlike traditional notarization services, RON allows individuals to respect social distancing rules to protect the interest of both parties. While e-notarization does not guarantee safety from Corona Virus as RON, e-notarization can somehow protect both parties from suffering the impact of electronic transmission of documents contrary to mailing paperwork with wet signatures. If you are a lending institution that has not embraced e-Notarization solutions, the time to upgrade your systems is now.


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