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New FHA Electronic Signature Standard is Good News for REALTORS®

Real estate agents are yet another step closer to eliminating the need for pen and paper when signing real estate transaction documents. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced in a Jan. 30 statement that it now recognizes electronic signatures for lender-originated documents on both reverse and forward single-family mortgages.

Previous FHA policy only allowed for eSignatures on third-party documents such as sales contracts and other documents not controlled by the lender. Now the FHA will also honor other electronic signatures originating from lenders, such as servicing and loss mitigation documents, FHA insurance claims and real estate owned (REO) contacts. E-signatures are not yet accepted on the mortgage note itself, but will be at the end of 2014.

A real estate agent’s  job will become increasingly easier as more and more transaction documents are recognized as legally binding. Gone will be the days when real estate agents need to print, fax, scan or even hand-deliver signed documents. Time savings will be the biggest benefit to agents, but decreased costs affiliated with printing, postage and storage will bring more savings as well.

eSignature Security, Protocols and Benefits:
However, the increased convenience of electronic signature technology brings with it the need for highly-secure, accurately-prepared and properly-presented documents. The FHC alone has listed stringent requirements in Mortgage Letter 2014-03, which defines how electronic signatures must be obtained.

This is one of the many reasons why DocuSign® is the official and exclusive eSignature solution for members offered under the REALTOR Benefits® Program. DocuSign® is a leading provider of electronic transaction and signature management technology which brings DocuSign for REALTORS® Plus offering the following benefits to REALTORS® and their customers:

  • FHA Compliance—allows you to present signed documents that adhere to all FHA eSignature protocols.
  • Negotiation & Markup—allows you to negotiate your deal in one file. This solution tracks all contract changes, routes all changes for initial and provides a complete and clean contract with negotiation history once all parties agree to the terms.
  • In-person Signing—you don’t have to be in a separate location to use DocuSign®. In-person signing allows your clients to sign documents on the spot, no waiting to send at a later time.
  • Watermark—writing and agreeing to contract details is easier than ever! Just send a draft for review to be sure the details are correct. The “Draft” watermark follows the document so it cannot be saved or printed and treated as a final document.
  • Agent Roles—allows you to work with agents who do not have a DocuSign® subscription to keep the transaction paperless.

Learn more about how the National Association of REALTORS®’ partnership with DocuSign® will help buyers, sellers, brokers, agents and mortgage lenders drive faster and highly-secure home loan closings.

Please share your experiences in the space below if you have used DocuSign® to generate more-improved processes with your clients and real estate colleagues.