We’re glad that you’re taking some time to read this blog to learn more digital closings. Whether you’re an FNF agent, other real estate professional or a buyer/seller wanting to know how you can use technology to make your upcoming closing more modern, welcome to this education space.
For those of you who don’t know, the FNF Family of Companies is an industry-leading group of title insurance underwriters dedicated to providing the best expertise and resources for our agents and their customers. One of our resources is this website. Another is our podcast, FNF UNPLUGGED.
For one recent episode our very own Chuck Cain sat down with Nicole Booth, the Executive VP of Public Affairs at Notarize, to discuss a hot topic in the title industry: Remote Online Notarization, which is known by RON. Notarize is one of our FNF Solution Partners for RON closings, all of whom can be found here. FNF and our partners have rapidly adapted during the pandemic as state governments adopted RON legislation to allow consumers and title professionals to perform the closing process completely online. Nicole is an expert on the subject and delves into the changing landscape on the “FNF UNPLUGGED” podcast. Here are a few highlights!
RON Prevents Fraud
Many RON skeptics worry that it increases the risk of fraud when closing a home, but Nicole says the opposite! RON utilizes multiple levels of protection to combat fraud at every step. RON technology requires multi-factor password and ID verification, so all parties are confident in who they are dealing with. Homebuyers can see and speak with a notary live on video and anyone can leave the transaction at any time if they do not feel it is secure. The notary’s journals are stored, encrypted and a digital seal is placed on the documents when they are completed, making it easy to see if they are modified in the future. If any questions or claims arise from a closing, you can just look back at the recorded video of the entire process! These layers of protection combine the safety of the traditional closing process with the convenience of technology in your own home.
What Do Lawmakers Think About RON?
When Nicole talks to lawmakers about RON, she tells them three things:
- RON saves people time
- RON decreases mistakes and prevents fraud in the closing process
- When you combine steps one and two, everyone saves money
Once they learn that, the question is not if RON should be adopted but when. As with any new technology, the key to getting legislators, title professionals and consumers alike to realize this is education. Luckily, FNF and Notarize have great resources for anyone to learn more about RON.
RON is here to stay
The pandemic may have pushed governments to accelerate the adoption of RON legislation, but don’t mistake the movement for a pandemic fad. Virginia was the first state to adopt RON way back in 2011 and the wave has been building ever since. Many of you in states that passed RON prior to 2020 may have offered the service pre-pandemic, but in the last two years the issue has certainly been pushed to the forefront. Ten states passed permanent RON laws in 2021, bringing the total to 38 states with RON legislation on the books. As Congress and federal regulators follow the states’ lead, RON should be here for good.