8 Key ‘E’ Definitions

May 16, 2017

Trying to explain electronic mortgages and closings to your customers and staff can be difficult. Use these definitions to help aid the conversation and discussion.

E-mortgage: A mortgage loan where the critical loan documentation, specifically the promissory note (e-note), is created electronically, executed electronically, transferred electronically and ultimately stored electronically. This often includes a wet-signed security instrument.

E-note: An e-note is another term for an e-mortgage. An e-closing produces an e-mortgage if the promissory note is signed electronically.

E-closing: The act of closing a mortgage loan electronically. This occurs through a secure electronic environment where some or all of the closing documents are executed and accessed online.

E-vault: Provides the ability to accept and receive and securely store electronic mortgage documents post-closing and prior to investor delivery. 

Hybrid closing: E-closing process where certain key documents (e.g., Note, Security Instrument) are printed to paper and traditionally wet-signed, while other documents throughout the process are signed electronically.

Remote Notary: A legally commissioned notary public who is authorized to conduct notarizations over the internet via digital tools and a live audio video call. All notaries, no matter how they perform their service, must watch as someone signs a document.

Electronic Notary: Electronic notarization is a process whereby a notary affixes an electronic signature and notary seal (where required) using a secure Public key to an electronic document. Some states issue an e-notary commission in addition to a traditional notary commission.

Smart Doc: An electronic document created to conform to a specification standardized by MISMO. A SMART Doc can lock together data and presentation in such a way that it can be system-validated to guarantee the integrity of the document. SMART is an acronym meant to explain the purpose of the document standard – to make documents Securable, Manageable, Archivable, Retrievable, and Transferable. 

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