eClosing Mortgage California: The Future of Home Buying

  • By NotaryCam

  • 13 June, 2024

Buying a home in California just got a whole lot easier, thanks to eClosing. This digital mortgage process is revolutionizing the way we buy homes, making it faster, more convenient, and more secure than ever before. No more mountains of paperwork or endless trips to the bank – with eClosing mortgage California, you can close on your dream home from the comfort of your couch.

But what exactly is eClosing mortgage California, and how does it work? Simply put, eClosing is the process of closing a mortgage electronically, using digital documents and signatures. This means you can review and sign all your closing documents online, without ever having to step foot in a title company or lender’s office.

What Is an eClosing?

An eClosing is the digital version of traditional mortgage closings. Instead of sitting at a table surrounded by stacks of paperwork, you can close on your home from anywhere with an internet connection.

Types of eClosings

There are a few different flavors of eClosing mortgage California:

  • Hybrid eClosing: Some documents are signed electronically, while others (like the promissory note) are signed the old-fashioned way with pen and paper.
  • In-Person eNotarization (IPEN) eClosing: All the documents are digital, but you still have to sign the notarized ones in front of a notary.
  • Remote Online Notary (RON) eClosing: Everything is done online, including the notarization, which happens over video chat.

Benefits of an eClosing

The biggest perk of an eClosing over a traditional closing? Convenience. No more taking time off work or arranging childcare to attend a closing.

You can close on your own schedule from the comfort of your couch. eClosings also reduce errors and speed up the process, because digital documents are easier to organize and review than a stack of paper. And if there’s an issue, it can be fixed with a few clicks instead of redoing the entire packet.

How an eClosing Works

The eClosing process will vary depending on your lender and the type of eClosing, but here’s the general idea:

  1. Your lender sends over the digital closing package for you to review.
  2. On closing day, you’ll meet with the closing agent (either in-person or virtually) to sign the documents electronically.
  3. If you’re doing a RON eClosing, you’ll also meet with the notary online to verify your identity and get the notarized documents stamped digitally.
  4. Once everything is signed, the transaction is complete and you’re a homeowner.

The most comprehensive eClosing software platforms provide total end-to-end mortgage preparation, closing and post-closing capabilities.

The Difference Between a Full eClosing and a Hybrid eClosing

While a full eClosing is entirely digital, hybrid eClosings still have one foot in the paper world. In a hybrid eClosing, some of the documents are signed electronically, but the promissory note and other notarized documents are still signed with a regular pen. This can be a hybrid process in which certain key documents, such as the promissory note and security instrument, are printed to paper and wet-signed, while other documents are signed electronically.

Different Types of Hybrid eClosings

There’s no one standard way to do a hybrid eClosing. Lenders can mix and match which documents are electronic vs. paper based on their preferences and local laws. Some common hybrid setups:

  • Promissory note and security instrument on paper, everything else electronic.
  • Notarized documents on paper, non-notarized electronic.
  • Closing Disclosure and note on paper, the rest electronic.

Full eClosing vs. Hybrid eClosing: Which Is Better?

Full eClosings offer the most benefits in terms of convenience and efficiency. But hybrid eClosings can be a good stepping stone for lenders who aren’t ready to go fully digital.

The key is making sure the hybrid process is still more convenient than a traditional paper closing. If the borrower has to print and sign too many paper documents, it defeats the purpose.

Remote Online Notarization (RON) in California

RON is the secret sauce that makes full eClosings possible. Let’s break down how it works in the Golden State. Remote online notarization allows documents to be notarized without the signer and notary being in the same room.

The entire process happens over a secure video call. During the call, the notary verifies the signer’s identity, watches them sign the document electronically, and then adds their digital notary seal and signature.

How Does RON Work in California?

California passed a RON law in 2022, but it doesn’t go into effect until 2025. Until then, California lenders can only offer RON closings for properties in other states that have active RON laws. When California’s law does kick in, here’s how it will work:

  1. The signer and notary connect over a state-approved audio-video platform.
  2. The notary verifies the signer’s identity using knowledge-based authentication and credential analysis.
  3. The signer signs the document electronically while the notary watches.
  4. The notary completes the notarial certificate, including information about how the signer was identified.
  5. The notary adds their electronic seal and signature to the document.

Requirements for RON in California

To offer RON closings in California, lenders and title companies will need to use a state-approved RON platform. The platform must meet certain security and record-keeping requirements. Notaries who want to perform remote online notarizations will need to:

  • Hold a traditional notary commission from the state.
  • Complete a RON-specific training course.
  • Use a state-approved RON platform.
  • Keep an audio-video recording of each RON session for at least 10 years.

The eClosing Process: Step-by-Step

Every eClosing is a little different, but most follow the same basic steps. Here’s what you can expect as a borrower. Before the big day, your lender will send over the loan closing package for you to review.

This will include all the documents you’ll be signing, like the promissory note and deed of trust. Take your time going through the package and jot down any questions you have. Your loan officer should be available to help you understand anything that’s unclear.

You may also need to set up an account with the eClosing platform your lender is using. This is typically pretty straightforward – you’ll just need to provide some basic info and create a login.

Closing Time: Enabling the Transaction

When closing day arrives, you’ll log into the eClosing platform to start signing. Depending on the type of eClosing, you may sign entirely online or in-person at the title company. If you’re doing a hybrid eClosing, you’ll sign some documents electronically and some with ink.

For a full eClosing, you’ll sign everything electronically using a mouse, trackpad, or your finger on a tablet. As you’re going through the documents, the closing agent will be available to answer any last-minute questions. Once all the documents are signed, the transaction will be complete.

Post-Closing: Finalizing the Deal

After the closing, the lender will review the signed documents to make sure everything is in order. If there are any errors or missing signatures, they’ll reach out to get them fixed. Once the lender gives the final thumbs-up, they’ll disburse the loan funds and the title will be transferred to you.

Congrats, you’re officially a homeowner! The whole post-closing process is much faster with eClosings since the documents are already digital. No more waiting for the mail or dealing with lost paperwork.

What You Need for an eClosing Mortgage California

To participate in an eClosing, you’ll need a few key things: At minimum, you’ll need a computer or mobile device with internet access. The device should have a camera and microphone if you’re doing a RON eClosing with video notarization. You’ll also need a modern web browser like Chrome, Firefox, or Safari.

Some eClosing platforms may have additional requirements, so it’s a good idea to check with your lender ahead of time.

Document Preparation

Your lender will prepare the digital closing package and send it to you for review. If you have any questions or spot any errors, let them know right away so they can be addressed before closing. You may need to provide some additional documentation, like proof of insurance, before the closing can proceed, but your lender will let you know what’s needed.

Identity Verification

For a RON eClosing, you’ll need to verify your identity with the notary. This usually involves answering some personal questions and showing a government-issued ID, like a driver’s license or passport.

The notary will also do a credential analysis to make sure your ID is legitimate. This is all done online through the RON platform.

Advantages and Disadvantages of eClosings

eClosings have a lot of benefits, but there are a few potential drawbacks to be aware of. The biggest advantages of eClosings are convenience and speed. You can close on your own schedule without taking time off work or arranging childcare.

eClosings also reduce errors and make it easier to catch mistakes. Digital documents are easier to review than paper, and the eClosing platform will flag any missing signatures. Another big perk is the money you can save.

A recent study by Marketwise found that eClosings can save lenders $444 per loan. Those savings can be passed on to you in the form of lower fees.

Disadvantages of an eClosing

The main downside of eClosings is that they’re not available everywhere. Lenders are still in the process of adopting the technology, and some states have restrictions on RON. There’s also a bit of a learning curve if you’ve never done an eClosing before.

The platforms are designed to be user-friendly, but it may take a minute to get oriented. Some people also prefer the personal touch of an in-person closing. If you have a lot of questions or want to build a rapport with your loan officer, an eClosing may feel a bit impersonal.

The Role of Title Companies and Lenders in eClosings

Title companies and lenders both play key roles in making eClosings happen. Here’s a quick overview of their responsibilities.

The title company is responsible for preparing the closing documents and coordinating the eClosing process. They’ll work with the lender to make sure all the documents are in order and ready for signing. During the closing, a representative from the title company (usually called a closing agent or settlement agent) will guide you through the document signing process.

They’ll be available to answer any questions you have along the way. After the closing, the title company will handle the final steps, like recording the deed and disbursing the funds. They’ll also issue the title insurance policy.

Lender Responsibilities

The lender is responsible for preparing the loan documents and making sure they meet all the necessary legal and regulatory requirements. They’ll work with the title company to get the documents ready for the eClosing. During the closing, the lender will review the signed documents to make sure everything is in order.

If there are any errors or missing signatures, they’ll work with the title company to get them fixed. After the closing, the lender will disburse the loan funds and start servicing the loan. They’ll be your main point of contact if you have any questions or issues with your mortgage.

Collaboration Between Title Companies and Lenders

Title companies and lenders have to work closely together to make sure the eClosing goes smoothly. They’ll typically use a shared platform to prepare and review the documents. The title company will also provide the lender with evidence of title insurance and other required documentation, which helps the lender fund the loan with confidence.

In some cases, the title company and lender may even be the same company. This is called a “captive title company.” The benefit of a captive title company is that it can streamline the eClosing process since everything is under one roof.

Key Takeaway: 

eClosing in California is revolutionizing the home buying process, making it faster and more convenient by moving everything online. From hybrid to full digital closings, you can now sign documents from your couch, saving time and money. But remember, not all lenders offer this yet, and RON isn’t available until 2025.

FAQs in Relation to eClosing Mortgage California

How does eClosing work?

eClosing digitizes the mortgage process. You sign documents online, often with a notary joining via video call.

Does California allow remote closing?

Yes, California lets you close your mortgage remotely using digital tools and online notarization.

How long does recording take after closing in California?

In Cali, recording happens fast—usually within 48 hours of closing. County systems speed it up.

Can mortgage documents be signed electronically?

Absolutely. Most mortgage docs can get the e-signature treatment, streamlining your home-buying journey.


eClosing mortgage California is the future, and it’s easy to see why. With its speed, convenience, and security, eClosing offers a better way to buy a home. No more wasting time on paperwork or worrying about missing signatures – with eClosing, you can close on your dream home in just a few clicks.

So if you’re ready to take the leap into homeownership in California, consider eClosing your mortgage. Imagine unlocking the door to your dream house – this method makes it more than possible; it makes it smart. And with more and more lenders offering eClosing options, there’s never been a better time to buy a home in the Golden State.