eClosing Masterclass: Navigating Closing Challenges in 2021

Recently, First American Docutech produced an informative eClosing masterclass webinar hosted by HousingWire. The event focused on helping better clarify the eClosing process and how lenders can get started to enable the optimization of the closing process as the demand for mortgage loans shifts emphasis from refinance to home purchase.  

The masterclass professors included Fred Gooch, Operations Counsel and Senior Vice-President of Compliance for First American Docutech; Mark Ladd, Vice-President of Regulatory and Industry Affairs for ICE Mortgage Technology; and Nicole Booth, Executive Vice-President of Public Affairs for Notarize.

Given the high origination volume in today’s market, as lenders seek to optimize production efficiency as well as the borrower experience, the ability to close a loan faster and more conveniently is helping lenders achieve core objectives. It’s an effective way to reduce costs associated with paper processes and gain a competitive advantage.

The panel clarified the most common components of eClosings, as well as the variety of options available to digitize the parts of the closing workflow that make the most sense for individual lenders. The program focused on mastering the transition to eClosing, how to start with a hybrid approach, and build from there to deliver an end-to-end digital experience.

Strong housing market and the age of eClosing
Given the forces driving the shift from a refi to a purchase market, with more lenders embracing the digitization of the origination workflow, the use of eClosing technology in the past year has gained significant momentum as evidenced by a 400% increase in the growth of mortgages with an electronic closing component and 127% increase in the number of companies transacting on the MERS® eRegistry.

Consumers, for their part, have developed a set of “e-expectations.” They now expect their transactions to be as digital and as easy as possible. The best way to deliver that and the excellent borrower experience that results is to digitize as much of the workflow as possible. The panel agreed: that’s where the industry is going. 

A checklist for making the transition to eClosing
During this eClosing masterclass, the experts shared insights and perspectives as well as a checklist for getting started with eClosing and a guide to best practices.

Key best practices included:

  1. Define the scope of the eClosing project. Lenders must first determine if they want to start with a hybrid offering allowing for eSigning of ancillary docs only or if they are ready to implement a full eNote eClosing.
  2. Plan with your technology partners. It’s foundational to map out a plan for implementation with your loan origination system, document and eSign technology partner, and borrower portal/POS. Technology partners can share lessons learned, best practices and provide the guidance needed for a successful rollout.
  3. Determine system, operational, and investor readiness. Assessing your current technology systems, employee and stakeholder training needs as well as investor acceptance are all vital to achieving the desired goals.

To view the masterclass for yourself, access checklists and current industry resources including the latest on RON acceptance, click the link below.

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