For the past two years, Attorney Noel DiCarlo has been working tirelessly alongside a working group at the Real Estate Bar Association and other interested parties on drafting a bill that if passed, will revolutionize real estate closings. The bill, when passed into law, would make remote online notarization ("RON") a permanent feature of real estate closings. Di Carlo was featured in a recent Lawyers Weekly article discussing the importance of RON, and why REBA has been at the forefront of drafting and working to pass this important legislation.
‘“As one of the principal authors of the bill, we are very strongly behind it and are hopeful it will pass,” says Di Carlo.’ But real estate attorneys are concerned. If we can conduct closings virtually and not in person, are we harming consumers? Will there be more fraud and undue influence? Will this jeopardize the required attorney's involvement in closings?
“Di Carlo says she understands those concerns. “Remote online notarization is a very easy way for these out-of-state ‘notary factories’ to come into Massachusetts,” Di Carlo says. But she adds that REBA has worked to ensure that there are sufficient safeguards for Massachusetts lawyers in the proposed Senate bill. “We believe our customs and conventions are reflected in this bill,” Di Carlo says. “Primarily, that mortgage lending in Massachusetts is run by attorneys.”
While change in long standing practices can seem unnerving, Reba has been working hard to ensure that the bill as drafted preserves the values of the industry.
“The statute also authorizes the Attorney General’s Office to bring an action against any party that demonstrates a pattern of noncompliance,” Di Carlo says. “The idea is that if you have large national companies coming in and trying to work around attorneys, there’s a real danger that they are going to be brought to task.”
For questions or comments on the bill, don't hesitate to reach out to Noel!