Notaries Prepare for Online Signings

Notaries and New York 202.7

What does New York Executive Order 202.7 mean for notaries?

As part of the pandemic response, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order concerning online notarizations. The order opens the door for closings performed in New York to be done remotely, at least temporarily.

The change in notary procedures allows commerce to continue without contributing to the spread of the virus. For example, deeds are legal documents that transfer real estate from seller to buyer and must be notarized. The audio-video notarization allows real estate closings to continue without violating social distance rules.

Times Herald-Record

How are Notaries Affected?

The truth is, we don’t know. There are a lot of deals being made right now to keep the banks doing business. And New York State Executive Order 202.7 would be a part of that.

Here is what we do know.

The governor’s order removes a lot of rules that governed how a signing occurs. This is happening all across New York state. This is a break on national rules on a significant number of loans. The repercussions of this are yet to be seen.

Right now it allows New York notaries to act as an online notary to perform closings. The notary involved, as well as the location of the signing, must both be in New York. The property itself does not need to be in New York, but the closing and online notary must both be in New York.

What the long term effects are remains to be seen. We all know online notarizations are on the horizon, but we don’t know if this will speed things up, or if people will game the system and make people put the breaks on. If we had to bet, it would probably be on the former.

How About Rules?

There are a lot of caveats to this law, as well as social interactions that would affect how a loan closing is performed.

Social distancing. A new phrase to most of us until a month or two ago, but a phrase that dominates our lives now. The new rules are designed to allow closings while keeping social distancing.

It is affecting closings, not just in New York, but across the country. Some buyers refuse to leave their house and that causes signings to go awry. Some buyers are asking the notary to slide the docs under the door.

But, I’m sure we all know that is a no-no.

The rules seem endless, but we suppose that is what you do when you don’t have any.

Notaries Under the New Online System

The world is changing. It is transitioning more quickly than any of us could imagine (minus a few doomsday preppers, who are looking like geniuses now). What comes from it is going to alter a lot of things.

We imagine that the federal regulations on certain rules will return soon. But, it will only accelerate the move to online signings. Proponents of online signings will use this as a casus belli.

There will still be a significant amount of signings that will need to be done in person.

Why Not Online or Mobile?

Exactly, why not?

Even with the day online notaries are on the horizon, that does not mean that every signing will be online. There will be a lot of signings that will still have to be done in person.

So just like we are looking at the possible realities of the future, so should you.

This is part three of our series on the coronavirus and the wider effects it has on our industry. It is amazing how quickly things have changed.

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