With 22 states, including Florida, now having remote online notarization (RON) laws, the lending industry finally has the legal tools to realize the dream of purely digital loan closings. RON laws allow documents to be notarized while the signer and the notary are sitting in different cities, states or countries. When done right, RONs have the ability to make lending safer and more efficient, which regulators such as the CFBP have recognized. And through a remote online closing office using RON capable notaries as closing officers, these laws allow lenders additional scalability.

For years, people have been allowed to electronically sign (e-sign) agreements, contracts and other documents. Through existing statutes, e-signed documents have the same weight as their wet ink or paper equivalents. And e-signed documents are now commonplace. That is, unless a document has to be notarized. While documents can be e-notarized, oftentimes they are not, partially out of custom and because the notary and the signer are together in the same room, the perception has been that it is simply easier to have things signed the old fashioned way. Because of these reasons, documents that require notarization still largely use wet ink signatures with notary stamps or seals. The result being that what often starts off as an electronic transaction is forced back into a paper-centric world.

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