NMP - July 2018 - 16

✒

States Adopting
Electronic Notarizations
By Gavin T. Ales

A

JULY 2018 n National Mortgage Professional Magazine n

NationalMortgageProfessional.com

16

s lenders and borrowers look more toward
fully-electronic loan closings, state laws have,
in some cases, been slow to match the desire
of the industry. Over the past few years,
however, more and more states have sought to
modernize their notary laws so that they would
explicitly support electronic notarizations and, in some cases,
also remote notarizations.
While existing laws at both the federal and state level have
technically allowed the conduct of an electronic closing for
many years, through the federal ESIGN Act and state Uniform
Electronic Transaction Act (UETA) laws, notary laws continued
to reflect a paper-oriented world. In 2012, Virginia became the
first state to allow remote notarizations which was a huge
leap forward to conducting a home loan closing with the ease
consumers have become accustomed to expect from our
pervasive use of technology in conducting many transactions
in their daily lives.
In 2017, several states updated their notary laws to support
electronic notarizations and, in the case of Texas, also
updated their laws to support remote notarizations. Passed in
2017, these bills will become effective July 1, 2018. In May
2017, both Washington and Colorado enacted versions of the
Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts (RULNA) under Senate
Bill 5081 and 132, respectively. Washington's bill will be
effective July 1, 2018. Colorado's bill was partly effective Aug.
9, 2017, but the RULNA provisions will become effective July
1, 2018.
The RULNA, which is drafted by the Uniform Law
Commission, specifically provides for both electronic and
non-electronic notarizations and ensures compliance with the
federal ESIGN Act, as well as the UETA and the Uniform Real
Property Electronic Recording Act. So far in 2018, Minnesota
and Vermont have also enacted RUNLA legislation, effective
in 2019, to make 11 states which have adopted RUNLA.
Texas passed House Bill 1217 in May 2017. The bill follows
the Virginia model in allowing notarizations to occur not only
when the signer is physically present with the notary but also
allows for the personal appearance to occur via electronic
means such as a Webcam. The bill expands the means for
personal appearance to include "appearing by an interactive
two-way audio and video communication." Notarizations
performed using this means are termed "Online Notarizations"
or "Remote Notarizations." When completing the notarial
certificate for an Online Notarization, the Notary Public must
also include the means used for personal appearance. The
Texas bill is effective July 1, 2018.
Nevada, Indiana and Tennessee also recently passed bills
in 2018 to allow for remote notarizations. These acts will
mostly become effective in 2019.
Considering these laws, it would appear the industry is now
getting the support it needs to implement fully electronic
closings.

nmp news flash

continued from page 15

process using much less human
capital than otherwise would
have been required without our
technology."
Motto Mortgage Joins the
Fight to End Hunger

Motto Franchising LLC is on a
mission to end hunger in America,
one bag of food at a time. The
franchisor of Motto Mortgage has
announced a program that aims to
do just that, "Mission Against
Hunger."
"Mission Against Hunger is
about helping and feeding our
neighbors," said Motto Franchising
President Ward Morrison. "It's a
distressing fact that, according to
Hunger Free Colorado, more than
one in seven Americans struggle
with hunger, and one in six
children worry about how they'll
get their next meal. And we want
to help do something about it."
Motto Mortgage Loan
Originators will provide their
homebuying clients with reusable
bags to fill with nonperishable food
items. Instead of throwing food out
during a move, the buyers have an
easy way to clean out their
pantries or cupboards and help
feed someone at the same time.
The filled bags are delivered to
local food banks, schools and
other charitable organizations who
serve hungry people in need.
"Too much perfectly good food
ends up in the landfill. And every
bag filled is another opportunity for
someone to have a good meal,"
said Morrison. "In addition to
making bags available to new
homeowners, Motto Mortgage
brokerages will promote the effort,
get people thinking differently
about food they don't want and
even host food drives in their
communities. Mission Against
Hunger starts with the donation
bags, but it actually goes much
further than that."
CFPB Drops Probe of Zillow

Gavin T. Ales is chief compliance officer with
Torrance, Calif.-based DocMagic Inc. He may be
reached by phone at (800) 649-1362, ext. 6446 or
e-mail Gavin@DocMagic.com.

SPONSORED EDITORIAL

Zillow has announced that the
Consumer Financial Protection
Bureau (CFPB) will not bring
enforcement actions against it

following an investigation of its
marketing practices over concerns
of violating the Real Estate
Settlement Procedures Act
(RESPA).
The Seattle-based company
made the announcement via a
filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission (SEC),
noting that the CFPB was probing
whether Zillow was guilty of "comarketing" for allowing real estate
agents and other housing-related
professionals to share in
advertising costs on its site. Zillow
first announced that the CFPB
probe was underway in an SEC
filing from May 4, 2017.
"On June 22, 2018, the
Company received a letter from
the Bureau stating that it had
completed its investigation, that it
did not intend to take enforcement
action, and that the Company was
relieved from the documentretention obligations required by
the Bureau's investigation," Zillow
said in the filing.
The CFPB did not issue a public
statement on the matter.
Survey Finds Concern Over
Inflation-Fueled Rising Rates

When it comes to challenging
facing the mortgage world,
industry professionals are most
concerned about the return of
rising inflation and its impact on
rates.
According to a survey of 105
mortgage industry professionals
conducted by Genworth Mortgage
Insurance, 79 percent of
respondents cited both higher
interest rates based on increased
inflation (49 percent) and the reemergence of alternative mortgage
products (30 percent) as the two
biggest challenges of the year.
Loosening credit standards were
cited by 17 percent of respondents
while four percent were agitated
over excess liquidity in the
mortgage market.
On the positive side, the survey
respondents pointed to removing
legal uncertainty for lenders
originating FHA loans (44 percent)
and lower compliance cost for
lenders (30 percent) as the best
ways to improve borrower access
continued on page 20


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