Samantha Budzyn Joins Roundtable Panelists to Discuss Closings Amidst COVID-19
The American Land Title Association (ALTA) and the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) teamed up for a unique virtual event this year. Professionals from the title insurance and settlement services industry attended the 2020 ALTA and MBA Digital Closing and eMortgage Boot Camp to learn more about navigating the digital closing process. Among the many popular sessions was the roundtable topic “What’s the Difference? RON vs RIN.”
Virtual attendees listened as the panel of subject matter experts from various organizations in the industry discussed their experiences during the pandemic with Remote Online Notarization (RON).
“It’s been a unique situation,” said panelist Samantha Budzyn of Nexsys Technologies. “States are adapting and trying to make things work within the environment of this pandemic.”
She was speaking particularly of the recent adoption of Remote Ink Signed Notarization (RIN), which some states have legislated as part of their temporary executive orders. The primary similarity between RON and RIN is that they’re both remote closing processes, where the notary and consumer are in separate locations.
The most notable differences between RON and RIN are the format of the signing and the level of security.
RON is a fully digital closing process where the consumer and notary communicate online via secure audio-visual platform and includes a series of ID verification procedures. In a RIN closing, the documents are ink-signed on paper while the consumer and notary communicate digitally via video platform. The paper documents must then be shipped back to the settlement agent.
Among the concerns voiced by the panelist is that RIN does not have the same data security and protections in terms of credential analysis such as the knowledge-based authentication (KBA) questions used in a RON closing.
According to the discussion, it seems unlikely that states will push for legislation that permanently allows the use of RIN. But the extent to which RIN is used as a temporary measure is an example of how states have needed to become fluid in the current environment.
Despite some of the barriers to entry many companies and vendors face, whether it’s lenders, settlement agents or notaries, the discussion reflected an increased urgency for states to consider permanent legislation allowing the use of RON closings. In states like Georgia, New York, Pennsylvania and South Carolina, where legislators are getting closer to adopting RON, multiple panelists noted that their organizations would forgo RIN closings in areas where RON is allowed once the legislation is passed.
“We’ve all had to be creative in the last several months to figure out how to make this work,” said Budzyn. “We’re in such a paper-heavy environment, and although I don’t think anybody could have predicted we’d be here six months ago, we have to be adaptable and move forward.”