The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed House Bill 3962, also known as the Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote and Electronic Notarization (SECURE) Act of 2022, with a vote of 336-90. This bill would create federal minimum standards to allow notaries nationwide to use remote online notarization (RON) during real estate closings.  

The long and winding road to the SECURE Act

Since the pandemic began, RON adoption skyrocketed out of necessity and has become common practice for many businesses looking to deliver digital closings. Currently, 42 states have issued RON legislation to increase remote signing options. 

While state-level legislation helped title and mortgage providers offer more digital options to consumers during COVID-19, the state-by-state legislative path has resulted in a wide variety of RON requirements across states. This irregularity has led to a lack of standardization, making it especially challenging for national title operators to scale their digital closing offerings or for national mortgage lenders to approve RON transactions. These legislative hurdles have made it difficult for the industry as a whole to adopt RON during closings. 

A big leap forward to remove digital closing obstacles 

This nationwide legislation has the potential to reduce barriers that have historically limited title, escrow, and mortgage providers from offering RON and digital closings to their clients. If the SECURE Act becomes federal law, it will allow for the nationwide use of remote online notarization technology and set universal baseline standards for RON usage. This would add much-needed consistency to the remote online closing process. 

This new legislation would also allow businesses to use RON during closings regardless of the state they’re operating in. With federal legislation allowing RON and universal standards to conduct RON eClosings, multi-regional title operators could create a consistent process for RON eClosings and scale the offering across state lines.

While not all homebuyers and sellers demand a fully-digital RON eClosing, title businesses benefit from having a comprehensive offering that includes traditional “wet” closings, hybrid eClosings, and fully-digital eClosings with RON. With greater closing optionality, title agencies can draw in a larger pool of potential clients and offer greater flexibility for consumers to close when and how they want. 

The title industry has experienced a substantial technological transformation over the last few years. The passing of this legislation is an important signal that the industry is continuing to stride towards a more digital future. Companies can take advantage of this momentum by investing in technology that enables them to deliver a variety of closings types. Learn more about how you can use Qualia RON to provide a modern closing experience for your clients by connecting with a Qualia expert today. 

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