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Fri, 02/28/2014

Stewart Title and Mountain America Credit Union have partnered to electronically close an FHA loan for the first time ever at a Utah title office. The companies conducted the closing March 17 using Mountain America’s eClosing platform branded as Quick CloseSM powered by Stewart’s eClosingRoom technology, in conjunction with DocMagic eSign compliant loan documents.

“Being the first lender in the country to conduct a live eClosing of an FHA loan and doing it with Quick Close and Stewart is truly an exciting event for us,” said Amy Moser, vice president of mortgage services for Utah-based Mountain America.

Glenn Clements, group president of direct operations for Texas-based Stewart, said his company was absolutely “thrilled” to join with Mountain America in making history.

“Today marks two very momentous transactions in Utah and for the real estate industry as a whole,” said Clements. “One, for the first time in the industry’s history we were able to electronically close an FHA loan on a home purchase, and then immediately following that closing, we eClosed a refinance transaction with an FHA loan.”

The closings took place at Stewart Title’s Bonneville Superior office in Midvale, Utah. Stewart had the first electronic closing in the country in May 2005.

According to a Stewart Title press release, Quick Close makes all of the documents in a transaction available online for the parties of the transaction to review and approve before closing. This helps avoid surprises at the closing table.

At the history-making closing in Utah, all of the documents with the exception of the FHA mortgage note were generated and signed electronically. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s recent announcement on electronic signatures for FHA-approved mortgages made this possible by allowing the parties to eSign all documents, with the exception of the FHA mortgage note.  The announcement states that the agency will begin accepting electronically signed notes as of Dec. 31, 2014.

“With the first Quick Close of an FHA loan, we have removed the barriers of acceptance of eClosings for the mortgage industry, which will have a tremendous impact on how we can better serve our ecologically-conscienced customers in the future — regardless of the type of loan.” said Nancy Pratt, director of eStrategy for Stewart Title.

“With Quick Close you can not only eSign, but also eNotarize and eRecord the closing package in the title office, delivering a fully paperless and ‘green’ eClosing experience for all participants.”

According to Moser, Mountain America has been more than pleased with the results since implementing its Quick Close platform in 2010.

“It gives us a tremendous competitive advantage because it enables us to provide superior customer service to credit union members who demand an efficient loan experience,” Moser said.

The “real story” behind the e-closing in Utah is the availability of technology to help lenders execute a fully paperless mortgage, agreed Tim Anderson, director of eServices for DocMagic.

“There really is no excuse now not to provide this service to borrowers, who have been demanding it for some time,” Anderson said.

Anderson also emphasized the point that improved compliance risk management is an additional benefit of paperless lending.

“The ability to provide electronic proof as evidence of compliance will be critical for lenders in the future,” Anderson said. “When documents remain electronic, it’s easier to create and maintain an audit trail that can support the lender during a bank audit.”

DocMagic is the leading provider of fully-compliant loan document preparation, compliance, eSign and eDelivery solutions for the mortgage industry.

As featured by The Title Report, March 2014