The COVID-19 pandemic has been a worldwide sweeping crisis. The way of the world has changed in a shockingly short period of time. Real estate closings are no exception. Firms like ours have had to adapt, rapidly, to this new world. What does this mean? Among other things, it means embracing the use of new technology, and new laws.
as of January 1, 2020, Remote Online Notarization is authorized in Florida, meaning, real estate documents can now be remotely notarized online, avoiding the personal interaction that previously was required to have signatures notarized. However, there are a few caveats. First, the signer must have a device with video and audio capabilities (PC, laptop, or tablet with webcam and microphone). The use of a smartphone is not the preferred method for online notarization. Second, the signer must have access to high-speed internet and use the Google Chrome web browser. Third, the signer must answer correctly certain personal questions asked by the online notary to verify his or her identity. In addition, many lenders are not yet allowing all of their mortgage documents to be e-notarized. This is a developing issue, and the hope is that lender restrictions change to allow clients and closing agents the ability to avoid required personal interaction. Dunlap Moran works with several third-party e-notary platforms that are fully functional to allow documents to be correctly and legally e-notarized. Please call or email us for more information if you are interested in utilizing this service for your transaction. Finally, Dunlap Moran is actively working towards having an in-house Remote Online Notary (RON), which will only increase the availability of this service.
we all welcomed the advent of the “e-signature”. Contracts, closing documents, closing statements, etc. can now, in many cases, be e-signed. When combined with e-notarization, this can result in an entire closing being conducted online! Dunlap Moran uses efficient and intuitive technology for e-signing, making the execution of documents very simple. You can even e-sign documents from your phone (however, see above regarding e-notarization from your phone). Dunlap Moran also now has top of the line videoconferencing technology in our conference rooms allowing for live attorney consultations and in-office signings to be joined by Realtors, lenders and other relevant parties from a safe and comfortable distance!
For those closings where technology advancements are not the answer, we still have the option of sending a mobile notary to the signers’ location using a mobile notary company/service. Most such companies/services that we work with are still functioning during this time. When all else fails, Dunlap Moran still offers in-office signings utilizing strict procedures and protocols developed by the Firm to ensure the safety of our clients and our staff and attorneys.