Mobile Notary and RON Services Expedite Loan Modification Process
Speed and accuracy are essential in the loan modification space, as servicers strive to control costs and borrowers look to get back in good standing with their lenders. Having a reliable, hands-on settlement services partner that provides mobile notary and remote online notarization (RON) services is key to servicer success.
“Servicers across the country have told us that post-signature errors cost them time and money,” says Alison Scaramozzino, assistant vice president, Loan Modification – Settlement Services at ServiceLink. “Once they move to our mobile notary solution, they see dramatic declines in their error rates. When borrowers hire a notary directly, error rates can be higher than 25%. ServiceLink’s error rate is less than 1%, because we vet our notaries carefully; each of them is highly experienced in real estate transactions.”
Having a team of mobile notaries poised to carry out in-person signings is just one aspect of a successful loan modification closing strategy, Scaramozzino adds. Servicers need to accommodate borrower demand for remote signings as well.
“RON enables borrowers to sign their documents remotely if that’s their preference. It also benefits servicers by streamlining the process and freeing notaries to certify more documents in less time,” she says. “ServiceLink can provide RON services in all eligible states, in compliance with legislation that enables borrowers to access notaries located in the 41 states that have, to date, enacted RON laws. While in-person mortgage signings are more common than RON signings today, we look for RON to become the preferred method in the near future.”
Why a Mobile Notary/RON Solution Is Ideal for Loan Modification
While servicers focus on improving their pull-through rates on loan modifications, borrowers seek to get through the process as quickly as possible so they can move forward. An integrated mobile notary/RON solution addresses both of these goals.
“Borrowers have a lot on their minds as they navigate whatever financial hardship has brought them into the loan modification space. Our settlement services team engages them in the process, empowering them to decide where and when they would like their mortgage signing to take place. We give them peace of mind by reassuring them their documents are being handled appropriately and expeditiously,” Scaramozzino explains. “We also lift the burden of their needing to find and meet with a notary, by assigning a notary from our national panel.”
This customer engagement can be of tremendous benefit to the servicer, because it keeps the process moving quickly from customer engagement through signing — and beyond. ServiceLink notaries ensure proper management of the documents post-signature, and a dedicated quality assurance team provides a rigorous post-close quality check that minimizes errors to that less-than-1% standard.
The Value of Top-Notch Mobile Notaries
When borrowers seek out their own notaries, quality could suffer. Errors multiply, usually because the selected notary is not well-versed in mortgage documents and processes. Servicers who have qualified notaries at their disposal avoid those errors and ensure smoother signings.
“ServiceLink manages a national network of more than 12,500 notaries and attorneys, who are all experienced in real estate transactions,” Scaramozzino shares. “We hold all notaries to the same high standard: To join our panel, they must have completed at least 200 mortgage signings and have two or more years of notary experience.”
In fact, ServiceLink notaries have average tenure of eight years, and many have been on the panel for more than 20 years. Each notary receives a monthly scorecard to help them see how they are performing and what percentage of the available work in their market is coming to them. They are incentivized to perform well, which results in panel-wide accuracy, speed and reliability.
The quality assurance team that backs the notaries ensures that documents meet all state and county signing guidelines before directing them back to the servicer or directly to the county for recording.
RON Capabilities Grow in Importance
RON started gaining real traction during the pandemic, as people looked for alternatives to face-to-face contact through virtually every aspect of life. Now that digitization has taken hold in the mortgage signing space, there’s no turning back. Consumers, servicers and lenders alike see the benefits of RON — namely that it eliminates the need for in-person meetings, optimizes notaries’ time, and results in fewer inconsistencies, such as missed signatures, initials and dates. All of this can significantly reduce the time and human effort required.
Of course, the nature of electronic mortgage signings calls for strict risk mitigation measures. States have been cautiously adopting RON (albeit at an accelerated pace over the past two years), and counties are setting their own standards for what they will and will not accept related to RON filings. A state may, for example, allow RON, but certain counties within that state may refuse to record electronically notarized documents. This is another area where a settlement services provider with deep expertise can be invaluable.
“In addition to working with amazing technology partners to set up integrations between our system of record and RON platforms, we actively watch what’s happening with legislation from state to state and county to county so we can navigate varying requirements on behalf of our servicer partners,” says Scaramozzino. “We provide RON services nationwide, including knowing whether individual documents may be filed electronically or need to be submitted in another form. We follow all filing and record retention guidelines issued by states and counties.”
In addition to RON, ServiceLink provides eSigning services for eNotes, deferral agreements and other non-notarized transactions, as part of a hybrid closing solution. In certain circumstances, borrowers can sign ancillary documents prior to the wet sign or online notarization.
An Integrated Solution to Ease Loan Modification Challenges
A solution that incorporates both mobile notary and RON services builds new efficiencies into the loan modification process. Servicers can be assured of smooth, accurate transactions, and borrowers can resolve their financial issues quickly and move forward with confidence.
“We manage the process from start to finish — docs coming in, to docs going out,” says Scaramozzino. “That provides peace of mind for servicers as well as borrowers.”
To learn more about ServiceLink’s mobile notary solutions and RON services, visit svclnk.com/servicers/default/close.