Our Real Estate World of All Things “E” eClosing, eNotary and More

Chuck Bowman talks about the basics of a title policy

In order to talk cyber, the real estate world had to create a new dialect to describe new electronic documents and processes, especially those surrounding a real estate transaction, which has historically been paper intensive.

Below are definitions to guide our readers through the 2020 articles about all things “e”.

eClosing: The act of closing a mortgage loan electronically. This occurs through a secure electronic environment where some or all of the closing documents are executed and accessed online.

eNotary: Electronic notarization is a process whereby a notary affixes an electronic signature and notary seal (where required) using a secure public key to an electronic document. Some states issue an eNotary commission in addition to a traditional notary commission.

eMortgage: A mortgage loan where the critical loan documentation, specifically the promissory note (e-note), is created electronically, executed electronically, transferred electronically, and ultimately stored electronically. This often includes a wet-signed security instrument.

eNote: An e-note is another term for an e-mortgage. An eNote is an electronic version of what was traditionally a paper document. An eMortgage is created when an electronic promissory note is produced. An eClosing produces an eMortgage if the promissory note is signed electronically.

eVault: Provides the ability to accept, receive, and securely store electronic mortgage documents post-closing and prior to investor delivery.

Hybrid closing: an eClosing process where certain key documents (e.g., note, security instrument) are printed on paper and traditionally wet-signed, while other documents throughout the process are signed electronically.

Remote Notary: A legally commissioned notary public who is authorized to conduct notarizations over the internet via digital tools and a live audio video call. All notaries, no matter how they perform their service, must watch as someone signs a document.

SMART Doc: An electronic document created to conform to a specification standardized by MISMO. A SMART Doc can lock together data and presentation in such a way that it can be system-validated to guarantee the integrity of the document. SMART is an acronym meant to explain the purpose of the document standard — to make documents securable, manageable, achievable, retrievable, and transferable.

Chuck Bowman