Thursday, August 11, 2011

Docusign--Gone With the Wind?

Agents are always looking for ways to help their clients save time, energy and money during the real estate process.  Last year, after much skepticism, I purchased a virtual signature program called Docusign.  The premise of Docusign is that you can mark up a contract with virtual signature/initial tags in pdf format and send it via email to your clients for their virtual signature.  The process is accepted by the attorney general in all 50 states and has a verification process and affidavit that is supposed to protect consumers. 

Upon first use of this product, not only was I hooked but my clients loved it!  Why drive to my office or print out a bunch of paperwork that is subject to change daily until a contract is negotiated fully?  Why scratch through, highlight and mark up illegible faxed copies to the point they look like hieroglyphic nonsense?  Here was Docusign, the latest and greatest in real estate mobility and technology, available even as an app on iPhone and ipads and other smart devices.  Wow!  We were really making progress from the days of old, when I had to drive into my office to even retrieve voice mails!

Fast forward to today, after a year of Docusign investment, docs and templates saved online and the rest of my team signed up for this amazing service we get this--Notification on Monday that one of my buyers who is getting a conventional loan, needs to come in and give a "wet" signature because conventional lenders are no longer allowing Docusigned contracts.  Apparently, there has been fraudulent activity and lenders are trying to double-back and prevent future incidents.  Funny thing is, FHA and VA loans are still OK with it and allowing virtual signatures.  Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but given recent history, who REALLY needs to be watching out for fraudulent activity on our behalf?  Is this yet another example of private industry being ahead of the curve or is this just one more hurdle that buyers have to cross while trying to bolster the economy pretty much on their own?

The other interesting instance that has occurred with Docusign took place on a foreclosure that one of my buyers was purchasing.  We submitted the offer via Docusign  using virtual signatures, well before this recent notification took place (the good 'ol days) and was informed that we could not use the virtual signatures.  I met with my client, received "wet" signatures and resubmitted the offer.  Of course, this took several days and by the time the offer was sent to the other agent via scan, the quality was seriously compromised.  We did receive the signed offer back from Fannie Mae and guess what?  They used Docusign or another form of virtual signatures.  I guess the message to take from that is that the government is to be trusted and couldn't be fraudulent...hmmm...feels like a rerun of X files...

Monday, August 01, 2011

Detering Theives...Article in Weekend Paper...

Maddie, my 11 year old daughter pointed this article out to me over the weekend, she really liked the
"burglar's perspective" of the article.  I casually read it and found it very well-written and interesting.  Then a good friend and business associate of mine, Harry Davis of CPI Security sent the article out in an email today.  I thought that you too might find it helpful and who knows, it could save your life and personal belongings.  Stay safe and vigilant!!