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News from the MBA Advocacy Update

MBA, ALTA Partner on Model Online Notarization Legislation
April 3
Last month, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) signed into law SB 372, permitting remote online notarizations in the Hoosier State. With this law, which passed nearly unanimously in the state House and Senate, Indiana joins Virginia, Montana, Texas and Nevada in a growing movement to enact such legislation. And it reflects efforts by the Mortgage Bankers Association and other industry trade groups in getting states to adopt a nationwide standard for electronic notarizations.

MBA Submits Letter to Secretary Mnuchin on FinTech Regulation of Non-Depository Institutions
March 30
As a follow-up to a meeting with Treasury Department Staff discussing MBA's principles for financial technology (FinTech) regulation, MBA sent a letter  to offer further thoughts on how to best support emerging financial technologies and innovation policy in the mortgage market. With Treasury set to release a report on the regulation of non-bank financial institutions and how they utilize FinTech, the letter covers several topics MBA members believe require careful consideration. MBA points to modernization of the current regulatory framework, barriers to innovation, issues of regulatory arbitrage and prioritization of agency resources as well as the need for authoritative guidance. The letter discusses several examples of current outstanding issues that require the immediate attention of regulators, examples of emerging solutions to the barriers faced by the industry today, and the potential benefits of developing technologies to improve the consumer experience.

Indiana Approves Law Enabling Remote and Electronic Notarial Acts
March 13
On Tuesday, Governor Eric Holcomb signed SB 372 which allows Indiana to join Virginia, Montana, Texas and Nevada in permitting remote online notarizations (RON). This is the first state in 2018 to enact such legislation and it was passed with only one nay vote across both chambers. It was also enacted shortly after the release of the National Association of Secretaries of State's Revised National Electronic Notarization Standards. A coalition of members from MBA and the American Land Title Association (ALTA) worked together with the Indiana MBA to seek enactment of this new law, which embraces the MBA-ALTA model bill for RON released last December. Moreover, Section 61 of the law requires the Indiana Secretary of State to promulgate new RON rules, and Section 63 includes a new Chapter of Indiana statute for Remote Notarial Acts. This provision states that the new RON law will apply after June 30, 2019.  SB 372 embraces the needs of a changing landscape that increasingly necessitates the use of online, mobile and other electronic means to serve consumers. For more information, please contact William Kooper (202) 557-2737 or Kobie Pruitt (202) 557-2870).    

National Association of Secretaries of State Approve Remote Online Notarization Standards
Feb 23 
This week at their Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) took a big step to drive uniformity across states in the adoption of remote online notarization (RON) when the NASS Remote Electronic Notarization Task Force met to review and affirm draft RON standards. The group had developed its original in-person, electronic notarization standards in 2006 and the Task Force began meeting two years ago to update them. The Task Force's addendum to the NASS in-person electronic notarization standards to accommodate RON were adopted and can be viewed here. Ahead of the meeting, MBA and the American Land Title Association (ALTA) wrote to the co-chairs expressing support for their proposal. Both associations believe the NASS standards will provide strong consumer protections for all users of this technology, as well as help mitigate risks when bringing this new technology to the marketplace. Moreover, the NASS standards are consistent with the MBA-ALTA model state legislation to permit RON, which can be reviewed here along with other RON campaign materials.

MBA and ALTA Express Support for Remote Notarization Standards Proposed by Task Force of State Secretaries of State
Feb 16
MBA and the American Land Title Association (ALTA) this week wrote to the co-chairs of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) Remote Notarization Task Force to express support for their proposed set of uniform standards for the regulation of Remote Online Notarization (RON). The letter encouraged Task Force members to approve the proposed standards as written at their upcoming meeting in Washington, DC on February 18, 2018, which MBA and ALTA representatives will attend. The considerations presented in the draft standards will provide strong consumer protections for all users of this technology, as well as help mitigate risks when bringing this a new technology to the marketplace. The NASS proposal, as written, is consistent with the MBA-ALTA model state legislation to permit RON, which can be reviewed here along with other RON campaign materials.  

House Financial Subcommittee for Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Holds Hearing on FinTech 
Feb 2 
On Tuesday the House Financial Subcommittee for Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit held a hearing entitled "Examining Opportunities and Challenges in the Financial Technology ("FinTech") Marketplace". The hearing opened with discussion over the role of FinTech and its ability to spur the economy through partnerships with financial institutions. Questions from the Committee members included the effect of "patchwork regulation" on FinTech and the role of FinTech in aiding financial institutions reach underserved communities. Concerns over security were raised by members, in which several witnesses explained that data security was at the forefront of many if not all FinTech firms. The regulation of Fintech in the United States became a focus as the witnesses advocated for regulatory "sandboxing" similar to the programs found in the United Kingdom. The MBA will continue to monitor the FinTech space and report on any developments in the FinTech regulatory framework and technological innovation.  

NYDFS Announces Enhanced Cybersecurity Examination Process
Jan 26
The New York Department of Financial Services released a memorandum indicating that the Department will be enhancing its supervisory oversight and examination process of regulated financial institutions by adding a number of specific questions relating to cyber security to its first day letters. These will be issued by the Department in connection with its examinations starting this month. The memorandum goes on to say that the Department's intent is to assist companies in identifying and managing risks by adopting measures to protect them consistent with its  2017 cybersecurity regulation. To read the memorandum, click here.

MBA and ALTA Release Model State Legislation for Remote Online Notarization
Jan 12
 In late December, MBA and the American Land Title Association (ALTA) collaborated to prepare model legislation that would provide the basis for any state to adopt a remote online notarization process for real estate finance transactions. The model bill is based on the framework of legislation enacted during 2017 in Texas which represents a well thought out compromise among multiple industry stakeholders and also reflects the input received from members of both associations. If enacted in the states, it would provide legal certainty and serve to establish uniform requirements across the country. Towards that goal, during 2018 state legislative sessions both MBA and ALTA will be working together, and with their state and local association partners, to advocate for enactment of the model bill. To assist in that effort, MBA has created a resource center of key advocacy materials to assist in the campaign.