First American Title Expands Remote Online Notarization Availability


First American Title Insurance Company has expanded remote online notarization (RON) availability for residential real estate transactions via the company’s direct and agency division operations.

That means more home buyers, sellers and borrowers will have greater flexibility and convenience, not to mention the safety of closing their home purchase or refinance transactions remotely.

As state laws governing the use of RON have evolved in response to both the pandemic and consumer preferences, First American has accelerated the use of RON with the company’s preferred RON platform, Notarize, and currently offers title insurance on RON-executed real estate transactions in 32 states, with additional states to follow.

“Providing consumers with the much-asked-for option to close their real estate transactions remotely reflects our commitment to leading the digital transformation of the title and settlement industry,” says Chris Leavell, chief operating officer, First American Title, in a release. “We’ve seen a dramatic increase in the adoption of RON across all our settlement operations and are now initiating and closing more than 1,000 RON transactions per month, in addition to the growing number of RON transactions lenders are initiating. This is an emerging industry norm, and we expect the overall volume of RON transactions to increase further in the months ahead.”

RON adoption has skyrocketed, with category-leading provider Notarize seeing real estate volume growth of 800% since 2019. Each month, RON volume grows as demand increases for a more convenient, cost-saving, and secure digital experience.

While the adoption of RON is increasing across all types of real estate transaction closing scenarios, including those in which the lender initiates the use of RON as an option, First American has seen the greatest interest in RON in the seller-side of residential transactions, which involve fewer documents and do not include a promissory note.

First American Title’s Direct division offers RON closing options to buyers, sellers and borrowers through a centralized team of certified RON specialists. The company’s Agent Advantage team provides title agents with RON capabilities through a variety of options, including strategic partnerships with Notarize and other platforms. First American Title’s Agency division also offers an e-closing toolkit and a comprehensive collection of training resources to help title agents implement e-closings in their operations.

First American’s efforts to accelerate the adoption of RON builds on the company’s success providing e-closing services to lenders via First American Docutech and through First American’s broader settlement operations. As First American completes additional integrations and launches new innovative technologies, RON adoption is expected to further accelerate.

Photo: Kelly Sikkema

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