FHA Loans Go Green with E-closings in Utah

March 18, 2014

Less than two months after the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) expanded its electronic signature policy, Stewart Title announced the first electronically closed FHA loan in partnership with Mountain America Credit Union.

Two loans, one refinancing and one purchase mortgage, were closed at Stewart’s Bonneville Superior Title Company in Midvale, Utah,

Mountain America’s eClosing platform – branded as Quick Close – was made possible through Stewart’s eClosingRoom technology, powered by SureClose, in conjunction with DocMagic eSign compliant loan documents.

“Stewart Title is thrilled to be able to support Mountain America in this endeavor,” said Glenn Clements, group president of direct operations for Stewart. “Today marks two very momentous transactions in Utah and for the real estate industry as a whole. Both made history, but perhaps the best part was how we are transforming the closing process for our customers with an improved closing experience.”

The FHA enacted its e-sign policy on Jan. 30. It allows mortgage lenders and servicers to use e-signatures on the FHA's documents for insurance endorsements, servicing and loss mitigation, insurance claims and real estate owned property sales. FHA plans to begin accepting e-signatures on forward mortgage notes at the end of the year.

With Quick Close, all of the documents in the transaction were available online for the parties of the transaction to review and approve before closing—creating more informed buyers and sellers and avoiding any surprises at the closing table. Then, at the closing all of the documents with the exception of the FHA mortgage note were generated and signed electronically. FHA’s recent announcement made this possible by supporting the ability to e-sign all documents, with the exception of the FHA mortgage note.

FHA plans to begin accepting e-signatures on forward mortgage notes at the end of the year. Freddie Mac began accepting e-signatures on documents for the mortgages it purchases in 2001, followed by Fannie Mae in 2002. In 2004, the first electronically signed promissory notes, or e-mortgages, were originated. Stewart recorded its first electronic closing in May 2005.

“Being the first lender in the country to conduct a live e-closing of an FHA loan and doing it with Quick Close and Stewart is truly an exciting event for us,” said Amy Moser, vice president of mortgage services for Utah-based Mountain America. “We implemented Quick Close for our customers in 2010. It gives us a tremendous competitive advantage because it enables us to provide superior customer service to credit union members who demand an efficient loan experience.”

Contact ALTA at 202-296-3671 or communications@alta.org.