Quicken Loans closes mortgage refi with online remote notary – Detroit Free Press
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified the first mortgage lender to implement remote online notarization. Pontiac-based United Wholesale Mortgage was first, to use RON in 2017 in Virginia. Quicken Loans said it is the first to use RON in Michigan.
Home and business owners who’ve had to go through a series of hurdles to close a mortgage can now breathe a sigh of relief.
Quicken Loans recently closed a contract using remote online notarization, becoming the first mortgage lender to close using RON in Michigan. The electronic closing consists of the borrower and the notary signing off on a mortgage from separate locations using the internet and an audio/video connection, eliminating the need for the two parties to meet in person, the company said in a news release.
Bill Banfield, the executive vice president of Capital Markets, said the e-closings are secure and help to eliminate mistakes that will have to be corrected post-signing.
“Step by step, a notary can walk the borrower through the document,” he said. “And then they can make sure that they sign in every single place that needs to be signed and that each document is fully understood.”
The contract was a refinance transaction for a metro Detroit homeowner that was completed by Quicken Loans. The e-closing was finalized Dec. 13 by Julie Felts, a notary for title insurance provider, Amrock. Nexsys Technologies, a Detroit-based financial technology company, provided its Clear Sign eClosing platform. Clear Sign was launched in April, and more than 60,000 mortgages have closed on the platform.
“What’s most exciting for me are the possibilities that this new technology opens for home buyers and those looking to refinance here in our home state,” said Jay Farner, CEO of Quicken Loans in the news release.
“Imagine a home buyer who is halfway across the country on a vacation or business trip being able to close the mortgage for their family home, or a busy nurse who only has a very short time window that doesn’t allow them to leave their workplace. I can’t wait to see all the ways we continue to make the mortgage experience easier for our clients in Michigan and throughout the country.”
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Pontiac-based United Wholesale Mortgage became the first mortgage lender to complete a virtual e-closing using a RON in 2017. UWM’s procedure allowed a borrower in Chicago to close on a home there with a notary in Virginia in 2017, the Wall Street Journal reported at the time. UWM’s procedure allows borrowers to Skype or FaceTime with their notary to complete the closing live. The company partnered with Notarize, a online platform that legally notarizes documents.
Currently, 22 states have passed or enacted RON laws, such as Arizona, Florida, Indiana and Kentucky. Michigan passed its own bill last year. Consumers in any state can work with Quicken Loans, Amrock and Nexsys to complete an e-closing. However, the type of e-closing available to them depends on the state’s laws.
In addition to RON, there are two other types of e-closings: hybrid and in-person electronic notarization. For a hybrid e-closing, the consumer and notary meet to complete a mortgage closing with both traditionally and digitally signed documents, while an IPEN closing involves the two parties meeting face-to-face, but all documents are signed digitally. All three e-closings are available to use on Clear Sign.
“Michigan took proactive measures to allow both eNotarization and Remote Online Notarization in December 2018, and Nexsys worked closely with the Secretary of State in getting our platform fully approved to accept closings,” Michael Lyon, the executive vice president of Nexsys Technologies, said in the news release.
“We are proud and humbled that Clear Sign was the first e-closing platform to close a RON transaction in Michigan. This was particularly important to us, since it’s our home state. Now we’re setting our sights on neighboring states and won’t slow down until all our clients have the ability to close their mortgage from anywhere, anytime.”