As remote and electronic commerce is sharply increasing due to recent events surrounding the Coronavirus, the real estate community has proactively engaged with the U.S. Congress to enhance the ability to perform real estate closings in an innovative manner. The proposed SECURE Notarization Act (The Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote and Electronic Notarization Act) would permit the electronic notarization of documents. This Act, if passed into law, would permit immediate nationwide acceptance of remote online notarization of documents. While laws regarding notarization are generally based on state level laws, this Federal law would work in concert with state laws and not preempt most state specific safeguards.
The law would require sophisticated technology involving tamper-evident controls to prevent fraud through multifactor authentication of signatory identification as well as audio-visual recording of the notarial act. The draft bill would also allow for signatories outside of the U.S. to take advantage of the remote online notarization for certain matters, which would include U.S. real estate transactions.
The real estate team at Barton is closely monitoring this proposed legislation and is taking the necessary steps to implement said procedures as soon as they are available, so as to provide a seamless client experience during these times. Partnering with our data security and business continuity teams at the firm, the real estate group at Barton remains committed to using the latest and best practices to ensure that our clients and their transactions remain on track and are timely consummated.