First ever digital mortgage deed accepted by the Land Registry!

Recently the use of new digital mortgages has commenced after the land registry accepted the first electronically signed mortgage deed.

The online authentication was carried out as part of a trial by Coventry Building Society.

The Land Registry is hoping that the process of signing mortgage deeds will not only be quicker but also more secure for homeowners, conveyancers and lenders as the need for deeds to be physically signed and witnessed will be replaced.

Chief land registrar, Graham Farrant, explained that: “By working with partners in the industry, we have secured a simpler and faster service for the benefit of homeowners.

“We are looking forward to rolling this out nationally and will be working with more conveyancers and lenders to do so.”

Why are these changes taking place?

The introduction of the new electronic mortgage deed is only a fragment of the Land Registry’s plans to renovate the conveyancing market by involving more online services. Its expectations are to be able to include technology, so it can then create transactions instantly for wherever you are.

Initially, the service is getting tested on people who are remortgaging their properties. However, if the trial is successful the service will also be offered to people purchasing properties.

Who will the changes affect?

It is great news for those who are living in England and Wales and are looking to remortgage.

Gone are the days of searching for someone to witness you sign your papers and then risk losing them in the post as you return them to the Land Registry and this is all thanks to the use of new technology.

People are now able to electronically sign their mortgage deed at their leisure as they can verify their identity by accessing the Governments secure Verify platform.

Although this service is only accessible to those who are remortgaging via Coventry Building Society, it is the aim of the Land Registry to make this service available to customers who are remortgaging through other lenders nationwide in the near future.

What is the background?

Essentially the move is a part of the land registry’s transformation plan, it is aiming to become one of the world’s top land registry for simplicity, speed and an unrestricted approach to its data.

The Land Registry receives almost 20,000 requests to alter the land register every day, and in 2016 to 2017 approximately 650,000 requests were received by post.

By 2020 the Land Registry is hoping that 95% of these transactions will be digitised and automated.

Another target is to register all the land and property in Wales and England and to publish a large amount of the data the Land Registry holds to enable people who are interested in the property market to use the data.

The Land Registry protects ownership of property and land across Wales and England which is collectively worth an estimated £4tn, with approximately £1tn of this being mortgaged.

Kirsty Rogers, Pali Ltd

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