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Navigating The New Title Closing Process

Benchmark Title Agency LLC > COVID 2019 Industry News  > Navigating The New Title Closing Process

Navigating The New Title Closing Process

As a result of social distancing and related measures, the title closing process has changed. During a traditional in-person closing, the familiar notary process results in “wet” signatures of both the signer and notary. Due to current circumstances, there are now additional notarization methods that may be able to be utilized; such methods are known as Remote Online Notarization (“RON”) and Remote Ink-Signed Notarization (“RIN”)

We have prepared a chart for your comparison of the varying types of notarization processes.

Benchmark Varying Types of Notarization

Download Notarization Process Chart


Since RON is not permitted in New York, the below information is specific to the RIN method:

Pursuant to Executive Order No. 202.7, as extended until 5/7/2020, Audio/Visual notarizations (RIN) will be permitted in New York State. The use of Audio/Visual technology (Zoom, Webex, etc.) is permitted under the following conditions:

  • ID is presented during the audio/visual session – not before or after signing;
  • Audio/visual allows for direct interaction between the party signing the document (“Signer”) and the notary public (“Notary”);
  • Notary is a licensed NY Notary;
  • Signer must be present in the State of New York and must affirmatively represent that he or she is physically situated in the State of New York;
  • Signer must sign while the Notary watches via audio/visual means;
  • Signer must send a copy of the signed document to the Notary on the same day it was signed; and
  • When the Notary receives the document, the notary must affix its notary seal and sign.
    The Notary should transmit the notarized document back to the Signer. RIN produces a wet signature from the Signer and Notary.
  • Note: The Notary can pre-date documents to the date of the original execution as long as the Signer sends all original documents – with wet signatures – back to the Notary within 30 days, along with a copy of the electronically notarized version.

A link to the EO can be found by clicking here.

Although lenders have been reluctant to accept notarization pursuant to the RIN method, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have both recently issued guidance on temporary flexibilities for closings, which includes minimum requirements to permit RIN.

A link to their guidance documents may be found by clicking here.

As always, please contact our underwriting staff with any questions.

Jean Partridge
Chief Counsel & Managing Member
Jason Bergman, CRE®
VP & Senior Underwriting Counsel