Digital Closing Updates

Well, RON is back in the news again. Over the summer things were looking good for the SECURE Act when it passed in the House of Representatives. However, this important federal legislation has now hit a roadblock in the Senate, following opposition from California’s senators who believe RON closings are less secure and have a higher potential for fraud. Fortunately, there is widespread adoption of RON at the state level. We’re not there yet, but we are inching closer to a federal law.

Meanwhile, a recent survey from Solidifi, a leading settlement services provider, shows that many borrowers still want an in-person closing and only 19% of respondents preferred RON. Of those who prefer a face-to-face process, 60% want paper documents, 25% would choose a hybrid process.

Traditional, in-person closing ceremonies are often encouraged by loan officers and real estate agents for purchase transactions. But an in-person ceremony doesn’t have to mean paper and wet-ink signatures; it can involve the use of eSignatures and eNotarization (i.e., IPEN). Jim Voth, the Managing Director of our Digital Mortgage Practice, recently wrote about this trend in MBA Newslink, and, later this month, Tim Cooper will be speaking about it at the Maryland Mortgage Bankers Association.

After two and half years of the pandemic, the creation of nearly 2 million eNotes and new studies showing that digital closings can save somewhere between $300 and $400 per loan, you’d think the business case for RON and digital closings would be obvious. But apparently not everyone is there yet.



FirstClose and Evolve Collaborate on Digital eHELOC Solution

FirstClose, a fintech provider of data and workflow solutions for home equity lenders, and Evolve Mortgage Services are partnering to automate the HELOC origination process. The new solution will enable lenders to approve HELOCs within 7 minutes and eClose lines within 7 days.

The solution reduces time to close from weeks to days with automated workflows, including ordering of required settlement services. It uses RON eClosing to decrease closing time from 50 minutes to 15 minutes. In addition, it allows investors to eRegister and board loans the same day for quicker, accurate funding.



M&A News

MeridianLink, a leading LOS, has acquired OpenClose, a fintech company that specializes in residential mortgage software solutions for banks, credit unions and mortgage lenders.

Commenting on the announcement, Nicolaas Vlok, CEO of MeridianLink, said: “Combining the strengths of our organizations is great for the industry as we further enable our customers to deliver fast, frictionless mortgage lending experiences, from application through closing.”




Falcon Names Kara Ward General Counsel, Managing Director

We are excited to welcome Kara Ward to the Falcon team! Kara brings more than 14 years of experience in banking, finance, housing, as well as deep knowledge of the legislative and regulatory process. She is especially well- versed in complex, cross-governmental matters with intricate legal, policy and financing aspects.

Commenting on the new addition to the Falcon team, Armando Falcon said: “Kara’s role will be to focus on the intersection of consumer financial services innovation and government. Her expertise perfectly aligns with sectors our firm is actively serving: the single-family mortgage market, Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), small business lending, and federal grants/loan guarantee management. In addition, she has deep experience with distributed ledger technology (blockchain) and cryptocurrency. Kara will be a valuable addition to our growing consulting team as well as a key strategic counselor to our government, private sector and digital transformation clients.”



The Benefits of Blockchain- Backed Mortgages

Lenders can use blockchain technology to originate fully digital, tokenized mortgage assets on the chain. How does it work, and how can mortgage companies benefit from integrating with this technology?

Check out what Daniel Wallace, Figure‘s GM of Lending, has to say about the benefits of originating and managing mortgage assets with blockchain technology.




Upcoming Events

Join Tim Cooper at the Maryland Mortgage Bankers and Brokers Association’s Breakfast & Learn session November 16. Tim will be joined by Brendon Weiss from EscrowTab, Todd Ewing from Federal Title and Allison Cole from Union Bank & Trust for an in-depth discussion on IPEN, the reason for the recent surge in popularity and the key differences from RON.



Have an eMortgage related news item you want to share? Want to make sure you and your team are on our distribution list? Have a question about Falcon’s digital mortgage advisory services? Send us a note at [email protected]

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