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.

SoftPro, based in Raleigh, NC, offers a mature suite of products, designed specifically for the closing and title industry. Our mission is to serve our client base, with best-in-class products and services. Our products are modular so we don't force you to buy anything you don't need. You can always add on as your business grows. Unlike other software companies, we view the sale as the beginning of the relationship rather than the end. North American Title Insurance Company (NATIC) is a seasoned title insurance underwriter, helping title agents to achieve their individual business goals for more than 50 years. Today, the company conducts real estate settlement services in 39 states and the District of Columbia through a network of experienced, independent agents.