Real Estate Trends

Electronic Remote Online Notary (RON) in Michigan

March 20, 2019 - Posted by Debbie Bartlett - EVP, Title & Closing Operations


Electronic remote online notary (RON) closings are soon to become the new normal in Michigan. As a Realtor, if you haven’t been experimenting with them, you’re not partnered with the right team of professionals. There are two prerequisites to making this offering to your customer - which is an offering of convenience.

(1) The County where the property is located must fully e-record both deeds and mortgages. Most counties first adopt and allow mortgages to be e-recorded and later add deeds, as e-recording deeds requires tax certification by an office down the hall, the County Treasurer, which may require additional training, software, etc. The map below provided by Simplifile depicts in dark green those counties in MI they have boarded that record both deeds and mortgages. Light green depicts recording of mortgages only. Gray records neither. If you do business in a light green or gray county, you need to voice to that County’s Register of Deeds your desire for them to fully e-record deeds and mortgages so that you can participate in RON closings. If they know there is a demand for it, it may move its way up the priority ladder quicker.


(2) If there is a Lender involved in the transaction, they must agree to having their documentation signed electronically. Currently, some do and some don’t. But they are progressing in that direction. Much of their hesitation involves whether or not they need a paper note with ink - or if their organization is technologically advanced enough to utilize an e-note and an e-vault where their electronically signed note is securely transferred and sold almost immediately to the secondary mortgage market post-closing. Some lenders may portfolio their loans or it may be an in house commercial loan and they may not be concerned with this. We’ve developed hybrid closings to accommodate all facets. Perhaps we close electronically with a seller only because the lender is not in a position to close electronically. Perhaps the lender will allow everything to be signed at a RON closing, but would like to paper out the note. There are many variables and lots of options.

I’ve been in this business for over 36 years and there is a huge paradigm shift happening in the way we conduct closings. I compare offering the convenience of a RON closing to a customer -vs- a round table closing to this: Would you rather drive an hour in a snow storm and walk through a mall for several hours looking for a product - which you may or may not find, and then take an additional hour to drive back home- OR would you rather go home after work, log in to - find the product it - read the reviews - order it - and have it appear on your door step the next day - free shipping? When a customer is given the choice of a RON closing - they have the convenience of first reviewing the documents electronically, getting their questions answered, then logging on to their computer in the convenience of their own home and setting up a signing on demand, 24/7. Gone is the day when we need a buyer or seller to take time off work, travel, fight traffic and find a parking spot, just to put ink on paper. With 45% of the mortgages in 2018 having been executed by millennials, and the prediction that they will comprise 50% of our workforce by next year alone, be prepared for the question - can’t I just do it on my phone? You need to stay ahead of the curve. Ready or not, this is the future.

Please contact CSS if you are interested in testing the waters with your first RON closing.


Top 5 Takeaways from ALTA One 2019
Nov 1, 2019 by Maura A. Snabes, Esq., CES®, CLTP - Sr. Underwriting & Compliance Counsel
3 Harmful Real Estate Scams To Know And How To Avoid Them
Sep 26, 2019 by Debbie Bartlett - EVP, Title & Closing Operations

Fraudsters continue to implement new strategies to divert wire transfers in connection with real estate transactions. One of the most recent...

Continue Reading
Title & Closing For Regional Lenders: Time for a New Centralized Model!
Sep 16, 2019 by Jerome Jelinek - CEO

While regional lenders have historically narrowed working relationships to a few AMCs and home equity title, valuation & flood vendors, the...

Continue Reading
Opportunity Zones vs. 1031 Exchanges—Can They Co-exist?
Aug 13, 2019 by Maura A. Snabes, Esq., CES®, CLTP - Sr. Underwriting & Compliance Counsel

Many real estate investors are familiar with the parameters and tax advantages of a Section 1031 tax-deferred exchange to defer the payment of...

Continue Reading
Cannabis Real Estate Transactions: Weeding Out The Confusion
Jul 10, 2019 by Beccy Clennan - Manager of Commercial Title & Escrow

Has the passage of recent Marijuana laws made the real estate industry in Michigan more confusing? Closing a cannabis transaction could be easier...

Continue Reading
2019 Summer Newsletter
Jul 8, 2019 by Maura A. Snabes, Esq., CES®, CLTP - Sr. Underwriting & Compliance Counsel

What's New:

Summer is FINALLY here, the temperatures are increasing, and so is real estate activity! A strong job market and low mortgage rates...

Continue Reading
How to Cater to the Millennial Homebuyer
May 28, 2019 by Debbie Bartlett - EVP, Title & Closing Operations

The Millennial Homebuyer is projected to dominate the housing market in the not too distant future. Sharing audience traits and characteristics...

Continue Reading
Advantage AVM Cascade: Get Better Results and Lower Costs
Apr 22, 2019 by Kevin Ingles - Vice President Customer Development

An AVM Cascade could help your bottom line in a multitude of ways. Are you interested in reducing origination turn-times with limited additional...

Continue Reading
Electronic Remote Online Notary (RON) in Michigan
Mar 20, 2019 by Debbie Bartlett - EVP, Title & Closing Operations

Electronic remote online notary (RON) closings are soon to become the new normal in Michigan. As a Realtor, if you haven’t been experimenting with...

Continue Reading
Use of Electronic Signatures & Remote Online Notarization
Mar 19, 2019 by Jerome Jelinek - CEO

Many in the lending community still harbor reservations over the use of electronic signatures and remote online notarizations. This article is...

Continue Reading
Cyber-security Protection Checklist
Feb 13, 2019 by Eric Henke

A cyber-security breach could lead to serious financial and reputational damage for your customer. Please help ensure that your customers are...

Continue Reading
Hybrid Appraisals: A Viable Alternative to Traditional Appraisals?
Feb 13, 2019 by William Janke

Hybrid appraisals have become more prevalent and accepted by the lending industry as an alternative to traditional appraisals. Benefits to lenders...

Continue Reading