With over 30 years of domain experience, more than a decade ago we set out to master the electronic real estate and mortgage ecosystem. What began as a simple journey to streamline the transaction for our customers turned into what seems like a lifetime commitment. Thank goodness we received some very early and salient advice. “Eliminating the stress and associated friction around the antiquated systems, mounds of paper, faxes, scanners and overnight couriers seems like a no–brainer, but this will take you longer than you can ever imagine—it only took us 17 years to get broad adoption for the ATM machine,” said an ATM entrepreneur, visionary and adviser to Settleware. Good news, bad news. The real estate and mortgage transaction is one of the most complicated and highest liability transactions that a consumer will ever participate in. We understood that many different companies/agencies/stakeholders touched the transaction and we needed to meticulously secure “buy-in” from each one in order for the industry as a whole to move forward with a pure paperless and digital transaction. Secure electronic signatures were the glue to connect all parties, documents and vendors over the Internet. (US e-Sign Act passed June 2000.) Good news: the electronic transaction would become the de facto standard in every industry across the globe!
We engaged industry experts and pioneers and by the summer of 2007, with Fannie Mae and MERS e-Registry final certification, we achieved kismet—the first electronic and digital end-to-end transaction over the Internet—without a single piece of paper. County recorders/registrars, title, escrow settlement, lenders and secretaries of state (notaries) were all on board. Early on we were able to identify and change all the initial “red flags” (NO) to “green” (GO). Soon thereafter, the market imploded and technological advances took a backseat to survival overnight—most lenders changed from “green” (GO) to “yellow” (WOW!).
The primary objection was that nearly 100% of their transactions required a professional notarization, and until every secretary of state was on board they could not scale nationally—“let’s just wait it out.” Although we processed thousands of successful electronic notarizations since 2004, from California to North Carolina, today only 17 U.S. states are actually on board with e-Notary legislation on the books, still presenting a monumental challenge and barrier. So we continued to innovate and devoted resources to build out IP protections (Int’l and U.S. Patents #7,127,406, #8,204,807 with ‘Continuations’ and patents pending). We firmly believed that it just made too much sense that, at some point, all parties would not want to be tethered to paper and all the inherent stress/friction.
In 2010, robo-signing hit the headlines so we knew we needed to change the tools to allow for a digital face-to-face meeting with the signer and notary. It needed the most sophisticated and highest level security tools that would enable us to leapfrog over the obstinate status quo and inertia of the remaining 33 states. We also needed 100% assurance that the signer and notary were who they said they were, and needed solid evidence to go to court with versus the “he said-she said” type of argument that is so prevalent today. In addition, absolute verification as to the originality and integrity of the document, guaranteeing that there would be no manipulation once electronically-signed, was paramount and our highest priority.
We were fortunate that the Commonwealth of Virginia shared the same insight and vision, and on July 1, 2012 remote video notarizations became legal, regardless of where the signer is located. Hence, the birth of NotaryCam—the first patented process that connects all parties and documents in a virtual signing room. Further, NotaryCam also provides a secure, verifiable and independent witnessing service for high-valued business transactions, notary not required, providing irrefutable evidence to any oral or written contract or agreement.
We have successfully completed transactions around the sale of a franchise business, health care directives, living wills, affidavits, deeds and powers of attorney. We’re seeking partners and licensees to join us with this game-changing service and look forward to working together well into the future. Now available in all 50 states and can be executed anywhere in the world —Tomorrow’s Future Today! Quick 90 second video: https://notarycam.com/how-it-works/