8 Things Realtors, Loan Officers, and Closing Agents need to know about Virtual Closing and RON
As the country begins to shift to a new normal following the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, many title companies, closing agents, realtors, and lenders are looking to virtual online closings to complete real estate transactions.
The legalization of Remote Online Notary, or RON, makes e-closing and online loan closing possible.
Today we’re going to discuss 8 Things Realtors, Loan Officers, and Closing Agents need to know about Online Closing and Remote Online Notary.
1. Notary RON License
In order for the Notary Signing Agent to notarize the documents online, they must be approved by the state to do Remote Online Notary (RON). This is an additional credential that not all commissioned notaries or certified Signing Agents have obtained. Qualifications vary by state.
In Florida, online notaries are required to take an additional training class, obtain a higher value notary bond, purchase E&O insurance, and contract with a state approved RON service provider.
2. Connected Device
The borrower is required to appear remotely in real time, and thus will need a video enabled device with internet capabilities. Most RON providers test the signers audio visual capabilities before the session can begin.
RON licensing is not available in all 50 states yet, however Florida allows their remote online notaries to notarize any individual across the country and worldwide. The Florida notary must physically be in Florida, however the signer can be anywhere in the world, so long as the documents pertain to US related transactions.
For example if a US citizen was residing in another country, but needed to sign off on a real estate transaction taking place in the states, that citizen could appear remotely in front of a Florida online notary, and execute the closing documents remotely.
3. Identity Verified
Just like with an in person notarization, the signer’s identity must be verified. With online notary, the state requires the signer to electronically verify their identity before the notarial act can begin.
The borrower must present adequate ID and undergo credential analysis and knowledge based authentication (KBA) thru the RON service provider. The signer must prove their identity by answering knowledge based security questions. This is done securely, at the start of the session. Once the signer has verified their identity, the notary can begin the session.
5. Recorded Session
The RON service provider hosts the online meeting, with video chat within the notary portal. In the system, they can see and speak to each other, just like with other video meeting platforms. The Notary Signing Agent can administer oaths, and electronically sign the documents.
The session is recorded and saved in the electronic notary journal for 10 years, in case the validity of the notarial act is ever called into question.
6. No Missing Fields
The Signing Agent receives the loan documents in advance and prepares the documents to be signed online. The Signing Agent will digitize the document by mapping each field the borrower will need to sign to enable the borrower to sign on the correct lines.
Then during the virtual closing, the Signing Agent will walk the borrower through the document, ensuring each required signature, initial, and date line is completed. In addition, all of the blanks are highlighted in yellow on the signers screen, making the signing process easy and intuitive for the borrower.
7. Secure Documents
The RON Service Provider is responsible for maintaining security and encryption of the session, and must meet all of the state regulated security criteria. The session is encrypted and is considered HIIPA compliant, keeping all of the borrowers NPPI safe and confidential. All communication sent from the portal is also secure. The electronic notary journal is maintained and secured by the RON service provider.
8. Immediate Delivery
Luckily, the loan officer doesn’t have to wait for the documents to be scanned back. The notary portal automatically sends the completed notarized documents via secure email immediately after the notary session ends. It’s almost instant. Gone are the days of waiting hours for fax backs.
The utilization of Remote Online Notary takes the guesswork out of remote loan closings, making virtal e-closing more accessible nationwide. The immediacy of online notary services revolutionizes the way interstate and international real estate transactions can take place.
As many businesses continue to work remotely due to shelter in place orders nationwide, virtual closing is a safe and viable tool to help borrowers close on real estate transactions from the safety of their own home.
Contact Florida Notary Corp today to talk about your online closing goals. Our team of licensed notaries and certified signing agents are standing by to help you get started!