Electronic signatures are becoming more widely adopted according to a Seattle, Wash.-based company that provides digital signature services.
DocuSign, an on-demand electronic signature service, said in a recent announcement that more lenders are opting to use their service to "quickly, easily and safely obtain electronic signatures on documents leading to better customer service, faster loan completion and lower costs."
Rather than faxing, hand delivering or mailing documents to customers for their signature, DocuSign said users deliver the document over the Internet via an e-mail address.
Setting up a permanent signature with DocuSign is free, the company says, and takes less than five minutes to complete.
Superior Mortgage branch manager Heather Bolgen said she has been using DocuSign for a year and has found that borrowers and loan officers alike appreciate the convenience of corresponding electronically and capturing signatures making for quicker completion of the mortgage process.
"I use it to send out all my applications, disclosures, and credit explanation letters," Bolgen told MortgageDaily.com. "It saves time; the application is in my hands within five minutes -- and time is money in the mortgage business."
Regarding security, DocuSign CEO Court Lorenzini said its electronic signature process provides the tools to triple-check for accurate identification; through e-mail address and password; through voice communication with an access code; and ID Check, a service they license through Fair Isaac.
"DocuSign has been deemed superior to a pen and paper transaction in a courtroom setting," Lorenzini told MortgageDaily.com.
Real estate purchase transactions will take less time, he said, because all parties can preview the paperwork and sign the documents before the closing, and it allows for the instantaneous ability to redraw documents. However, Lorenzini said County recorders do not have the tools to accept electronic signatures, so notarization of documents still necessitates face-to-face interaction.
DocuSign can store documents electronically, Lorenzini said, adding that if a document is ever challenged, it can be found. This would also reduce errors and missed disclosures, he said.
Ellie Mae Chief Technology Officer Limin Hu said in an e-mailed statement that the use of electronic signatures is increasing but "it's still in its infantry."
"DocuSign's server-based electronic signature technology is a great way for mortgage origination software to incorporate electronic signature technology," Hu wrote.
Hu added, "Ellie Mae has a plan to incorporate electronic signatures in our offering, but not yet today."
The cost associated with the service is calculated on envelope and page "capacity," DocuSign's Web site says, with a minimum amount capacity purchase of $120.