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Black Knight acquires DocVerify to boost RON capabilities

27 states allow remote online notarizations

Black Knight has acquired DocVerify to boost its e-notarization capabilities.

Black Knight announced the purchase of the privately held company on Thursday, without disclosing the terms of the transaction.

“The acquisition helps accelerate Black Knight’s goal of digitizing the entirety of the real estate and mortgage continuum as DocVerify’s trusted and proven digital document verification capabilities are already seamlessly integrated with Expedite Close, Black Knight’s digital closing platform,” the mortgage company said in a statement.

The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated efforts in the mortgage industry to adopt technology such as remote online notarization, known as RON, to create a lending process that is completely digital.

The purchase of DocVerify will move the lending process “closer to a secure paperless environment through the digitization of the document validation process and a highly secure eNotary solution that our mortgage and real estate clients can leverage to offer a 100% digital closing,” Black Knight said in a statement.

As technology moves toward paperless transactions, state laws have lagged. Only 27 states have laws that enable their notaries to conduct remote notarizations, Ballard Spahr said in an Aug. 10 report. The states with RON statutes include Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

Some of those states, such as Maryland, require the notary to be physically located in the state where the document is signed.

Nearly every state that doesn’t currently allow RON has pending legislation to allow it, Ballard Spahr said. Some, such as New York, have allowed it on a temporary basis because of the pandemic.

The New York directive was originally effective through June 5 and has now been extended to Aug. 29, Ballard Spahr said.

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