The first entirely remote mortgage closing just happened

Illinois borrower used online notarization tool

Welcome to the brave new world of online borrowing. For the first time ever, a U.S. family closed a mortgage remotely using only electronic signatures.

The closing for a $290,000, 30-year mortgage on the Mueller family’s home in Illinois from Michigan lender United Wholesale Mortgage used technology from the online notary service Notarize. The borrowers talked to a notary via Skype and had to verify their identity by answering a set of questions and hold up their driver’s licenses, the Wall Street Journal reported.

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In the past, so-called e-mortgages still required the physical presence of a notary at the closing or a pen-on-paper signature.

“We’ve purchased thousands of what we call electronic mortgages or e-notes where it is paperless, but this is the first transaction that we’re aware of where it was an entirely remote electronic online closing with all of the documents electronically signed,” Freddie Mac executive Samuel Oliver told the Wall Street Journal.

According to the Journal, the closing took half an hour. Notarize’s Adam Pase said five states currently allow remote notarization: Virginia, Texas, Nevada, Ohio and Montana. [WSJ]Konrad Putzier