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MISMO Unveils Remote Online Notarization Standards

MISMO has released remote online notarizations standards for a 60-day public comment period—in a bid to ensure lenders avoid the inefficiency of dozens of state-level protocols.

The aim is for the standards to face a rigorous review from organizations and industry participants—that demonstrates the standards are ready for broad use across the mortgage industry. Once the comment period is completed, the standards could be elevated to Candidate Recommendation status.

Over the past few years, a number of states have enacted laws allowing the use of audio-visual communication devices to notarize documents in real-estate transactions. These devices have provided borrowers, homebuyers and sellers the convenience of signing their closing papers online from a remote location.

At the same time, the mortgage industry asked MISMO to develop standards to promote consistency across the states that passed RON legislation. MISMO’s RON standards enable states to adopt consistent practices that make it possible for lenders and other industry participants to adopt new procedures to meet consumer demands for convenience and an improved experience. The comment period will remain open from Feb. 19 to April 22, 2019.

Oddo: Aim is to facilitate common “processes, procedures and technology requirements.”

“As new state laws legalizing remote online notarizations are passed and await implementation, MISMO’s remote online notarization standards provide a blueprint for regulation that secretaries of state can use to expedite the development of draft regulations,” said Eddie Oddo, vice president of corporate business solutions at First American Title Insurance Co. “The proposed standards are designed to enable all mortgage industry participants, including various state officials, to adopt standard processes, procedures and technology requirements for implementing remote online notarizations which will promote consistency nationwide.”

The new standards include credential analysis, borrower identification, capturing and maintaining a recording of the notary process electronically, audio and video requirements, record storage and audit trails. MISMO is communicating with secretaries of state across the U.S. to encourage the adoption of the standards in their respective regulations. Uniformity of regulations benefits all parties that might use RON services, from lenders to notaries to consumers.

In addition to creating standards, the MISMO Remote Online Notary Workgroup is developing best practices, implementation guides and other educational materials to help industry participants leverage the standards in their businesses.

The comment period is also intended to afford work group participants who worked on the proposed RON standards at least 30 days’ notice prior to final release of the standards to review them and disclose any applicable Patent Rights, as defined by MISMO’s 2018 Intellectual Property Rights Policy.

The Mortgage Bankers Association and the American Land Title Association collaborated to prepare model legislation that provides the framework for any state to adopt a RON process.

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