Lenders and lawmakers call for remote notarization

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BOSTON (SHNS) – During much of the pandemic, homebuyers and other consumers who have to do notarized transactions were able to do so virtually.

Now, with this option expiring by the end of the year, lawmakers and bankers are making another effort to keep the changes in place. Representative Carmine Gentile introduced a law (H 1602) that would allow most oaths or affirmations administered by a notary to be taken electronically, and during a judicial committee hearing on the bill on Wednesday, several Mortgage bankers and real estate executives have said remote options have proven popular. during the pandemic.

With these emergency-era provisions set to expire on December 15, they urged lawmakers to implement a permanent system similar to remote online notarization, or RON, that 38 other states have authorized.

“At the start of the pandemic, we had to provide emergency tools to consumers. Now we have the opportunity to take that experience and really learn from it and create RON status for Massachusetts, ”said Debbie Sousa, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Mortgage Bankers Association. Industry representatives have told lawmakers, however, that they hope to see changes in Gentile’s bill before it is passed. They said they were drafting proposed wording that would allow a fully remote notarization process with detailed steps that would help protect consumers.

Randi Marshall, head of government relations for the Zillow real estate platform, told the committee that Gentile’s bill, as drafted, “would still require individuals to ink a paper document and then return those documents. to the notary before the end of the transaction “.

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