Supporting Mortgage Brokers During COVID-19
In this essential update:
MSA’s back-up measures for 'paper' docs and 'paper' settlements.
- We identify the risks
- MSA's Measures for the 3 touch-points most at risk
- How you can help.
This announcement is to outline the contingency measures we are taking to ensure there is no impact on home loan customers. We do this to give you peace of mind AND secondly because you may have a role to play with some measures. As a law firm, MSA National is deemed to be an essential business and will continue to open.
Preventative Measures: Go Digital & Paperless
Your role is to promote the use of paperless digital solutions as much as possible because they meet the social distancing requirements and will give your clients peace of mind. Whenever you have the option, always choose digital. Here are 3 solutions that you need to embrace and opt into:
IDYou – verification of Identity – both in person and remote. If you are unable to meet with your clients in person this App has the functionality to perform a VOI remotely. For more details on participating lenders and how-to sign-up visit: www.idyouapp.com.au
ARNECC have just released new guidelines allowing remote verification of identity. Please check with each lender direct on whether they will accept VOI done remotely using IDYou.
DigiDocs – MSA’s e-Sign solution is completely paperless in participating states and participating lenders. This means that the home loan pack is dispatched digitally, signed at the click of a mouse and dispatched back to us electronically. No need for post and no need for paper. If a lender gives you the option, always choose our DigiDocs solution for a risk-free quicker settlement.
PEXA – you have no role to play apart from being aware that MSA will always opt for and push for PEXA settlements whenever possible. This has helped MSA rise to 3rd on the PEXA leader board, behind just 3 of the 4 major banks.
If all loan settlements are processed in this way, we will have no problems. What about paper loans and paper settlements?
The Risks: Paper Documents and Settlements
Customers are confined to home and cannot get to mail the documents back to MSA. We always include a return express-post envelope but in these circumstances, any confinement and panic will keep people from leaving their home.
MSA’s offices are shut down due to an outbreak in our building and we are unable to print and dispatch the documents and receive the returned documents This risk is remote because MSA has 7 facilities nationally, all of which act as back-up for each other.
Australia Post ceases deliveries of post due to a complete shutdown.
Settlement rooms are shut down and/or MSA’s ability to attend those rooms is compromised.
How You Can Help With Critical Touchpoints
There are 3 critical touchpoints in the process that may become impacted by the risks listed above. Please note that the solutions listed below is subject to the consent of each lender we represent. Our staff are able to advise you what is possible on a case by case basis.
Sending and Signing Home Loan Documents
If for whatever reason we are unable to print and dispatch documents in the usual way via Australia Post our back-up plan is to email documents to borrowers and/or you as their broker. You and/or the customer's role is to print the documents, collate accurately and sign accurately. We will include specific instructions on what to do.
Witnessing Of Documents:
If signing documents requires a JP or Solicitor witness (e.g. as is the case in QLD) and the customer is unable to attend in person with that JP or solicitor, MSA will accept a document to be witnessed via video conferencing, This will be approved on a case-by-case basis upon request. The process will be as follows: The customer will sign the document on a video conference. The same document must be posted to the witness, who will in turn sign the document and mail it to MSA National. We suggest that they also email MSA a scanned copy in advance of the original.
It is up to the witness to ensure that the document that is witnessed is held up to the camera for identification. It is also up to the witness to ensure that the customer has voluntarily signed the document(s). The witness will have to sign a declaration in a form prepared by MSA to that effect.
Returning and Verifying Home Loan Documents
Our email will contain instructions on how to collate and where to dispatch the documents. In the event our office locations are shut for whatever reason we will ask you and/or the customer to scan and email the documents back to MSA. Our staff will rely on that scanned copy to verify the documents.
In some circumstances we will rely on you or the customer to hold the original documents in safe custody to be handed over on or before settlement. Specific instructions will be provided in our communication. Where it’s a purchase we will only accept safe custody with the customers legal representative.
In circumstances where we rely on scanned copies, we may require a recorded video or audio call with you and/or the customers to verify that you/they are holding the originals and to confirm acceptance of the terms. Our staff will send that conference link to you and/or the customers if and when required.
As an alternative, in some circumstances you and the customer can collect and drop off the paper documents from any of our 7 office locations. We would advise you which location on a case by case basis.
Settlement Attendance – NON- PEXA
In the event we cannot attend settlements in person, we will proceed to settlement by other means. The following alternative process will be a last resort to ensure that a settlement does not fall over. In all cases it is subject to consent by our funding lender.
For purchases we will appoint the customers legal representative to collect the title deeds and other documents and hold them in escrow on our behalf. We will fund their trust account to facilitate funding of all stakeholders. We will accept a written undertaking from the principal of the law firm to forward the original title deed and other documents to us as we nominate.
For refinances we will exchange funding electronically with the outgoing bank and they will forward us the title deed and discharge by means and at the location we direct on a case by case basis.
As you can see from the outline above, there are multiple measures we can adopt in the case of an emergency to ensure that each and every file makes it to settlement. The main thing is to work as a team to be creative and try and adopt a process that not only delivers a result but does it with low risk to the lender.
For any enquiries, please contact:
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or our individual team managers you deal with on a day to day basis. They are all across these measures.
Ayhan Baba, CEO