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Defending Your Computer, Part III

National Mortgage Professional
Aug 22, 2002

Get ready for digital signaturesLee Howlettelectronic signatures, online transactions, digital services On October 1, the Internet lending circle became complete, as the "Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act" went into effect. Signed by President Clinton on June 30, this Bill allows the entire closing to be transacted online. This process is a natural extension of the digital options we have been offering lenders that allow borrowers to close "anytime, anywhere." Companies that are in the convenience closing business have been waiting for this digital freedom for a long time. Many will form strategic relationships with application service providers (ASP), which will provide the technology platform for all the parties to communicate around a closing. As a result, the lender will electronically deliver the closing packages to the Mortgage Broker and affiliated service providers; the borrower will access and review closing packages online via a secure log-in; and the closing transaction manager will edit the documents, appending the title and HUD disclosure information, and addressing any borrower concerns in the closing package. So, what does this require of the lender? It requires a commitment to understand the technology, and a willingness to shepherd the process with consumers to fulfill their expectations of an electronically convenient closing. This last point is very important. The consumers who are savvy enough to want this service will have high expectations of the provider. These "early adopters" are typically more sophisticated and more knowledgeable than the average consumer. They are accustomed to better service, and they use the Internet for one purpose above allconvenience. So, your service as a lender had better be simple, fast, and efficient. In reality, digital closing is not a dramatic change from what mortgage professionals have been doing all along. It simply expands on what's been offered by presenting it in an online format. Wrapping outstanding customer service around the process will still win the day when all is said and done. Lenders must begin to understand digital closingsthey will become a part of your business. If you dont offer the digital closing option, then you may not have a chance to transact business with sophisticated consumers again. You have to get into it for the same reasons you became involved in Internet lending. It's the next logical step. Lee Howlett is President of Integrated Loan Services (ILS). He may be reached at (800) 842-8423 or E-mail
Aug 22, 2002
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