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The use of electronic promissory notes is growing exponentially


Mortgage lenders and originators looking for more evidence of the digital revolution have a staggering new statistic to wrap their heads around: The use of electronic promissory notes during the first quarter of 2019 grew by nearly 5,000 percent compared to the previous year.

eSigningAccording to MERSCORP Holdings, a technology company that works with the financial-services industry, its member institutions — including lenders and originators — registered about 19,000 electronic promissory notes, or eNotes, to the MERS eRegistry during the first three months of 2019. Compared to the 375 eNotes registered in first-quarter 2018, that’s a spike of 4,967 percent.

There have already been more eNotes added to the registry in the past first quarter than there were all of last year, when 17,000 eNotes were registered. There are now 109,000 outstanding active eNotes, representing some $28 billion of residential mortgages.

The MERS eRegistry is the mortgage industry’s system of record for identifying the holder of the authoritative copy of an eNote. Since an eNote can be digitally signed, its use streamlines the electronic closing process without requiring paper forms or physical notarization. Its format ensures that it remains legally enforceable in all 50 states, with authenticity verifiable by independent third parties. Several notable lenders are members of the registry, including Quicken Loans, loanDepot, Guaranteed Rate, PrimeLending, Redfin, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo.

Traditional boundaries between the lending and technology sectors are already blurring, with young borrowers pushing the lending industry toward innovation. The precipitous growth of eNote use is a key indicator that the mortgage industry is embracing further digitization of the lending process.

“As the industry continues to migrate toward a fully digital process, the early movers gain efficiencies and can remain most competitive in the market,” said Christopher McEntee, senior director of corporate development for the Intercontinental Exchange, parent company of MERSCORP. “We’re excited about the rapid adoption of eNotes and we expect to see a continual rise as more participants invest in next-generation infrastructure.”


 

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