The AZ RON law became effective April 1, 2021 and immediately I stopped getting refis and few purchases and sales. The signing companies and title companies that used to call me started using RON platforms for their signings.
I had a refi last week. The signer said they would have done the whole thing on Notarize but the wife had no credit history so the automated system couldn’t ID her. That’s the only reason I was called. These loan signings are done entirely online by notaries who are not licensed or regulated by AZ. Notarize has taken a lot of the loan signing business in AZ but they are not hiring AZ notaries. They are doing the same thing in other states. This is not good for AZ consumers or AZ notaries. Many AZ notaries will go out of business and leave AZ with a shortage of notaries. In addition the platforms and and do sell the signers information. If you are an NSA in AZ and not on a RON platform how did it affect your business?
I’m an AZ notary and have chosen not to do online notarizations. Call me old school but I don’t trust the technology and don’t want something to come back to haunt me long after I’ve stopped doing notarizations.
But I can’t say if my choice has hurt my business much. 2021 continued to present me with far more opportunities than I could possible handle. I purposely started cutting back last spring, having grown weary of knocking out 20-25 refi closings a week–and working 50 to 60 hours. The money was great, but this was to be a retirement gig, not a full time job. With the gradual rise in interest rates, when coupled with market saturation, I am seeing something of a decline in new opportunities. So many people have already refinanced; the pool of prospects is shrinking. Another blip or two in interest rates and the party will be over rover.
Lastly, there are far too many notaries in our market. Many will be looking for other means of making a living as 2022 unfolds.
In the RON world this has been going on for ten years. The first RON transaction was done by a Virginia notary for Illinois property, Illinois was not a RON state at the time.
First real estate RON closing that is.