Electronic mortgages likely to be introduced in England and Wales

The Land Registry in England and Wales has launched a consultation on proposals to allow it to introduce new digital conveyancing and registration including e-mortgages.

It is seeking responses from the property industry and individuals to changes that will allow it to change the rules so it can move forward with fully digital conveyancing documents with e-signatures.

It also wants to introduce new statutory services and be more flexible in terms of opening hours to the public and overall modernise and simplify the services that it offers and seeks responses by 05 April 2017 and a report will be published by the end of June.

‘The amendments will make it simpler and quicker to interact with us and will allow us all to benefit from digital technology,’ said Graham Farrant, chief land registrar.

‘The purpose of this consultation is to give customers a chance to see and comment on the proposals before legislation is brought before Parliament. We welcome participation so I would urge everyone to give us their views,’ he added.

One of the biggest changes will be the introduction of electronic mortgages. Initially this will be where there is no change of ownership, for example when the registered proprietor simply wants to take out a mortgage or re-mortgage their property.

Once that service is established, further developments will be made in the service such as mortgages for corporate borrowers. In due course the Land Registry intends to introduce electronic transfers and other electronic documents such as leases might be introduced later if there is a demand.

It will work by the conveyancer creating an e-mortgage by accessing the Land Registry service and completing the reference and the borrower’s details, and that will create the electronic mortgage deed. The conveyancer will provide contact details for the borrowers and give the borrowers the link they will need to gain access to the e-mortgage deed in order to sign it electronically.

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