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Welcoming Title Agents to the New Age of Online Closings

When we launched Notarize for Mortgage in August, we said it was only the beginning of our efforts to transform the home buying and mortgage closing experience. Today, we’re announcing the next iteration of the Notarize Mortgage Platform with a suite of new services that enable title agents to connect and collaborate with lenders, buyers and sellers around online closings.

The first version of Notarize for Mortgage focused on lenders. It allowed them to create and manage online closings for their borrowers and to generate, execute and transfer eNotes (electronic promissory notes) into the secondary market. With the subsequent launch of our Mortgage API and our other efforts since, we’ve been making it ever more efficient for lenders to automate their closings online.

But, lenders aren’t the only group that matters. To put it simply, you can’t close a loan or buy a home without a title agent. They’re essential in the mortgage process with lenders and they also direct their own real estate transactions when no lender is even involved.

So, we’re thrilled today to release a series of capabilities to enable title agents to create their own online closings, to pair up with lenders to facilitate their online closings, to discover where they can offer an online closing to their borrowers and who will insure it, and to work with customers online to review their documents before connecting with one of our notaries to sign.

Notarize for Title Agents

Notarize for Title Agents is a new service to enable agents across the country of all sizes to serve buyers and sellers online. For the first time ever, the entire closing workflow can be conducted online. If you’re a title agent, you can:

  • Offer an entirely online closing to your buyers and sellers. Zero paper. Zero travel.
  • Create your own online closings for things like all cash transactions, when you just need the seller docs executed online, or trailing documents.
  • Walk your clients through the closing package online or rely on Notarize to do so.
  • Give the OK to Close - authorize your client to execute the closing package with one of our notaries.
  • Reduce errors and ensure proper execution - no more missing signatures!
  • Save money and provide better service - accelerate every aspect of the closing.
  • Eliminate printing, driving and shipping fees.
  • Integrate your existing tools with the Notarize Mortgage API.

We’ve been working with a few title agents to get this right and are excited to open the platform to agents across the country. The kicker, the platform is free for title agents of all sizes to register for and maintain access to; a fee is charged per transaction akin to the notary fee that often occurs in offline closings.

The Notarize Title Network

Once registered on our platform, Title Agents may serve lenders by becoming a member of the Notarize Title Network. Once a member, you will appear as an available title partner when a lender attempts to close a loan in your area. To ensure a high level of service, all members of the Title Network must be trained to the Notarize Platform before they can serve lenders’ online closings. Whether your agency is big or small, Notarize will give you the tools and training you need to serve lenders and borrowers online.

And so, by joining the Notarize Title Network you can also:

  • Work with lenders online - receive, review and administer lender orders for online closings.
  • Walk borrowers through the closing package online and give the OK to Close.
  • Utilize the Platform to instantly return the closing package to your lenders once executed.

When lenders select you as their title agent for a particular closing, the order will appear in your Notarize for Title Agents dashboard where you can immediately take control, review the documents, add your own, and lead the lender and your clients to complete the transaction. If you have an existing relationship with a lender that is using Notarize for Mortgage, this selection can be automated so you can continue to fulfill all of your lender’s closings.

Whether you’re joining the platform to create your own transactions or the Title Network to serve lenders’ closings, you can integrate with the Notarize for Mortgage API to manage the process from your own systems and tools. For example, if you work with ResWare, we’d love to work with you to get your instance integrated with Notarize as part of our partnership announced a few months ago.

The Notarize Smart Routing Service - answering where can you close online & who you can work with.

While our notarizations are accepted nationwide, It’s not yet possible to close a mortgage online in every state - we’re still working to gain approval or to pass legislation in various jurisdictions across the country. And, not all counties will accept an eRecording. Given this dynamic, virtually all of our partners have told us they don’t like the added complexity of determining if and where they can perform an online closing and who they can work with for each transaction. And, to be frank, there’s a ton of misinformation in the market about what is and isn’t possible where.

To solve this problem, we’re launching the Notarize Smart Routing Service today. It tracks:

  • Which counties accept the eRecording of online notarizations
  • Where title agencies within the Notarize Closing Network offer their services (on a county level)
  • Where various underwriters are willing to insure different types of transactions (I.e. purchase vs. refi on a state level)
  • Which agencies in the Title Network work with each underwriter on our platform to understand if there is an agent : underwriter pairing in a particular area
  • Where various secondary market investors are willing to purchase loans (on a state level)

The Service allows someone to immediately discover if a loan is eligible for an online closing, which title agencies can support it, who will insure it, and which secondary market investors will purchase it. We are working to expose this service via API so our partners can automate this discovery process and build workflows into their systems directly.

We will continue to update and adapt this service. As new title agencies join the Notarize Title Network and as title underwriters and investors update where they’ll insure and purchase loans, we’ll update the service to immediately expose these changes to participants on our platform. This will help us to immediately onboard new partners, expose them to transactions and expand into new markets as allowed. It has the added benefit of insuring that no loan can be executed on the Notarize platform without the prior consent of any participant.

How to get started

Today, we’re excited that Stewart Title, ValuAmerica, Community Closing Network, Florida Agency Network, and Commonwealth USA Settlements, LLC are joining the Notarize Platform as the founding members of the Title Network. We’re working with these groups to serve closings and to iterate on our platform.

We’re eager to open access far and wide. If you’re a title agent of any size, our goal is to make it dead simple for you to serve buyers, sellers and lenders online. We’d love to work with you. Please request access here and we’ll get the on-boarding process started.

If you’re a title underwriter or secondary market investor interested in serving online closings, please reach out to partnerships@notarize.com.

We’re thrilled to welcome Title Agents to the new era of online closings and aim to expand the Notarize Title Network as quickly as we can. Today marks the launch of Notarize as a platform to serve the industry at large, a big step toward enabling everyone to close online, and marks our efforts to make the entire online closing process much simpler for everyone involved.

If you’re a title agent, we’ve been working toward this day for nearly three years and hope to serve you. Together, we hope to provide everyone the closing experience they’ve always wanted - online. anytime.

And, there’s much more to come :)

- Pat

You have notarization questions, we have notarization answers. While we at Notarize pride ourselves on providing helpful resources (like this blog!) to demystify notarization, we’re not lawyers and don’t give legal advice. Pro tip: always check with your own attorneys, advisors, or document recipients if you have further questions about notarization or digitally notarized docs.

How Champion Title Made Early eClosing Investments To Prepare For The New Normal

Bill Reilly always has one eye on the future. As the Founder of Champion Title & Settlements headquartered in Northern Virginia, his foresight has been crucial to Champion’s success for two reasons: it helps Champion Title continuously exceed the expectations of its customers, and it maintains the company’s status as a leader in the highly-competitive settlement space.

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