Stewart Title and eSignLive Move Forward with eClosingRoom

April 1, 2004

Montreal, April 2, 2004 — On Feb. 1, 2004, Stewart Information Services Corporation and Canadian company Silanis, a provider of automated business solutions, commenced with the development of the Stewart eClosingRoom. The eClosingRoom, a Web-based paperless closing solution will enable Stewart Title to realize its goal of providing a completely paperless closing process for the real estate industry and consumers.

Darren Ross, director of Electronic Commerce, Stewart Information Services Corp., is managing the development of the eClosingRoom and its integration into SureClose, Stewart’s transaction management system, with Silanis.

“With the combination of electronic commerce, electronic document preparation and delivery, automated workflow and transaction management, the virtual transaction folder, and electronic closings, signatures and recording, title offices will have the ability to dramatically streamline the entire process from origination through post-closing and policy delivery,” said Ross. “This will result in an improved real estate transaction process for the title company, realtor, lender and most importantly, the consumer.”

The elimination or significant reduction of paper and paper-based processes enable title offices to save time and money associated with the physical preparation, handling, printing, storing and archiving, delivery, etc. of real estate closing and loan documents/packages. By implementing a paperless process, title offices improve their workflow and business process, increase productivity, reduce errors and omissions, improve overall transaction turn-time and increase their capacity to handle more title/closing orders.

The eClosingRoom will designate and separate electronic closing and electronic mortgage transaction documents into three groups, along with their status (signed, pending, completed, etc.) so the user will not need to make that distinction.

The three document groups are:

  • Documents that need to be reviewed and/or accepted but do not require signature – i.e., disclosures, consent forms, etc.,
  • Documents that need to be signed but do not require notary/witnessing, and
  • Documents that need to be signed and require notary/witness signature.
  • “One of the best features of the eClosingRoom is its ability to allow the consumer to e-sign the non-notary/witnessed signature documents prior to the actual closing,” said Ross. “Signing the documents ahead of time reduces the amount of time spent at the closing and the number of documents required to be signed at the closing, saving the  consumer time and ultimately  increasing the title company’s capacity to handle more closings.”

The eClosingRoom employs three separate e-signing methods:

  • “Click to Sign” – little yellow “stickies” appear next to the space where a signature or initials is required; users click the arrows online via their Web browser to sign the document.
  • Real-Time Signing – customers sign a small LCD signature pad to capture a handwritten signature at the closing.
  • Digital Signatures – Utilized by those parties serving in a Notarial role in the transaction, this method combines a  captured, digitized handwritten signature, a digitized image of the Notary’s stamp/seal and/or any additional data as required for the Notarization, and a digital certificate (either self-signed or issued through a 3rd party Certificate Authority such as Verisign).  Notaries can notarize the executed documents either individually or the entire completed closing package all at once.

Once a closing has been made, the recordable documents are flagged and may be sent electronically to the county clerk/recorder in those jurisdictions where electronic recording exists.

Upon its initial release, the eClosingRoom will be available only through SureClose. But the application is currently being developed as a stand-alone product that could be used with any Stewart technical platform. It is envisioned that the eClosingRoom will be delivered and available to selected Stewart Title offices by June 2004.

The technology and the electronic closing process should be intuitive and easy to use for all parties, particularly the consumers and/or notaries required to actually electronically execute closing documents. Internet-based solutions are ideal as they provide the electronic closing capabilities to anyone, anywhere at any time, where Internet access is available. The eClosingRoom is hosted in a .net environment, utilizes existing e-commerce standards, plugs into EC-Gateway and also utilizes Stewart Standard XML.

“Innovation is on the way to improve the consumer’s closing experience,” said Ross. “To my current knowledge, we will be the first and only title company/underwriter with electronic closing capabilities for our customers.”

About Silanis

Silanis Technology is the leading provider of solutions that automate the Business Approval Process. The company’s award winning desktop and server-based solutions leverage electronic signature and approval technology to achieve total automation. With over 1,000 customers across government, mortgage, auto finance, insurance, banking and FDA regulated industries, Silanis has over a decade of experience in developing and delivering solutions that work the way organizations do. Government customers include NIH NIAID, USPS OIG, US Mint, and an enterprise license with both the US Joint Chiefs of Staff and the US Army.


Mary Ellen Power
(514) 337-5255 ext. 1117
[email protected]