British Property Award Winner 2017
The first digital mortgage has been signed for a house in Rotherhithe,
south-east London and entered into the Land Register — an indication
that the home-buying process could at last be simplified using modern
In a significant first step, borrowers will be able to log in to an
online account to sign their mortgage deed online, at a time and place
that suits them.
As any home owner knows, there is a huge amount of paperwork involved in
the house buying process, which often needs to be filled in by hand and
signed in front of a witness before being sent by post.
Even remortgaging your home, a much simpler process, can feel
unnecessarily archaic as owners are required to fill out multiple forms
by hand (often repeating information already supplied) and hunt for
documents such as leases.
The new digital mortgage service allows borrowers to securely confirm their identity via GOV.UK Verify, which is already used for government services including online tax returns and benefits applications.
They can then log in and sign their mortgage deed — a legally binding
document that transfers ownership of the property to the mortgage lender
as security for the loan — without putting pen to paper.
Borrowers will also no longer require a witness to their signature and
there'll be no risk of documents getting lost in the post.
The Land Registry said the move is part of wider efforts to simplify the home buying process.
The service is currently being tested out for home owners remortgaging,
in a collaboration between HM Land Registry, Coventry Building Society,
Enact Conveyancing and GOV.UK Verify.
But, once rolled out, the new ‘Sign your mortgage deed’ service will
mean borrowers will be able to digitally sign their deed online and
won’t have to get their signatures witnessed.
We are looking forward to rolling this out nationally and will be
working with more conveyancers and lenders to do so," says HM Land
Registry chief executive and chief land registrar, Graham Farrant.
At the moment this service is only available with re-mortgages but it
has the potential to be extended to purchases in the future.
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