E-signatures promise to simplify real estate transactions quite a bit, and the industry has worked for a number of years to create standards that everyone can agree to with the aim of making them more widely used than they are today.
The Federal Housing Administration gave this effort a big boost back in January when it released a policy that greatly expands what it will allow to be signed electronically. As a result, many of the documents that are part of the file for an FHA-backed loan can now be signed electronically.
More still needs to be done before the actual loan note can be signed electronically, though. “Given that it is the mortgage record that affects the securities and other uses of that document,” says Patricia McClung, FHA acting director of program development, “a little more time is needed.”
The goal is to make that document eligible for electronic signatures by January 2015. “It’ll follow behind by about a year, but we expect to support the e-note as well,” she says.
That will be a game-changer for borrowers applying for FHA-backed financing. But FHA’s policy is also of importance beyond its share of the loan market, because once the agency allows an electronically signed note, it will put in place standards that others in the industry can follow.
NAR met with FHA on its January policy change. In the four-minute video above, NAR Senior Policy Representative Bill Gilmartin talks with McClung.