With over 30 years of domain experience, more than a decade ago we set out to master the electronic real estate and mortgage ecosystem. What began as a simple journey to streamline the transaction for our customers turned into what seems like a lifetime commitment. Thank goodness we received some very early and salient advice. “Eliminating the stress and associated friction around the antiquated systems, mounds of paper, faxes, scanners and overnight couriers seems like a no–brainer, but this will take you longer than you can ever imagine—it only took us 17 years to get broad adoption for the ATM machine,” said an ATM entrepreneur, visionary and adviser to Settleware. Good news, bad news. The real estate and mortgage transaction is one of the most complicated and highest liability transactions that a consumer will ever participate in. We understood that many different companies/agencies/stakeholders touched the transaction and we needed to meticulously secure “buy-in” from each one in order for the industry as a whole to move forward with a pure paperless and digital transaction. Secure electronic signatures were the glue to connect all parties, documents and vendors over the Internet.
We engaged industry experts and pioneer in the early years and by the summer of 2007, with Fannie Mae and MERS e-Registry final certification, we achieved kismet—the first electronic and digital transaction over the Internet—without a single piece of paper. County recorders/registrars, title, escrow settlement, lenders and secretaries of state (notaries) were all on board.
The primary objection to scale nationally was that 100% of transactions required a professional notarization, and until every secretary of state was on board with e Notary they could not scale nationally—“let’s just wait it out.” Although we processed thousands of successful electronic notarizations since 2004, from California to North Carolina, today only a handful of U.S. states are actually on board with any type of e-Notary – presenting a monumental challenge and barrier. So we continued to innovate and devoted resources to build out IP protections (Int’l and U.S. Patents, ‘Continuations’ and patents pending). We firmly believed that it just made too much sense that, at some point, all parties would not want to be tethered to paper and all the associated stress/friction.
In 2010, robo-signing hit the headlines so we knew we needed to change the tools and guarantee a digital face-to-face meeting with the signer/borrower and notary. We needed the most sophisticated and highest level security tool that would enable us to leapfrog over the obstinate status quo. We also needed 100% assurance that the signer and notary were who they said they were, and needed solid evidence to go to court with versus the “he said-she said” type of argument that is so prevalent today. In addition, absolute verification as to the originality and integrity of the document, guaranteeing that there would be no manipulation once electronically-signed, was paramount and our highest priority.
We were fortunate that the Commonwealth of Virginia shared the same insight and vision, and on July 1, 2012 remote video notarizations became legal, regardless of where the signer is located. Hence, the birth of NotaryCam —the first patented process that connects all parties and documents in a virtual signing room and records/stores the entire ceremony as solid digital evidence.
We have successfully handled thousands of requests from all over the World Quick 90 second video: https://notarycam.com/how-it-works/