First Electronic Signature Closing in Massachusetts Conducted by Old Republic Title

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SEPTEMBER 29, 2000

Boston?Stephen Wilson, President-Old Republic Eastern Title Company, Inc. and Lawrence F. Scofield, Sr. Vice President, New England States Manager, Old Republic National Title Insurance Company are pleased to announce that on September 29, 2000 Old Republic National Title Insurance Company insured the first electronic signature closing in the history of Massachusetts. The closing took place in Old Republic National Title Insurance Company?s Boston office and was conducted by Old Republic Title?s Agent, John Gosselin.

Parties to this transaction were:

Lender: Bank of America

Settlement Agent: Gosselin & Associates, P.C., Winchester, MA

Software Developer: iLumin Corporation, Orem, Utah

Integrator: Deloitte & Touche, IT Group E-Government Initiative

Title Insurer: Old Republic National Title Insurance Company

 

 

This electronic signature closing demonstrates the effectiveness of the new legal rights under the Federal Electronic Signature Statute (E-SIGN) passed recently by Congress. Our title insurance policy insured the validity and effectiveness of the electronic signatures.

Old Republic Title?s conference room was set-up with the appropriate data lines to facilitate the closing. iLumin Corporation provided Digital Handshake ? Server, its software program to facilitate the closure of automated legally binding transactions over the Internet from start to finish, Deloitte & Touche provided technology support, and Mr. Gosselin orchestrated the overall closing. All parties to the transaction entered an iLumin Online Signing Room ? placed their electronic signatures on the electronic documents where appropriate, and according to that individuals roles and responsibilities. Through use of the iLumin?s Digital Handshake Server, the borrowers also entered the iLumin Online Signing Room, put in their passwords and executed the promissory note electronically. In addition, they executed the lender?s copy of the mortgage electronically. The Borrowers also executed original paper documents for registration with the Essex South Registry District of the Land Court.

The Southern Essex District Registry of Deeds was involved in the first TEST of E-Filing in Massachusetts. The documents from the TEST were recorded in the traditional fashion by Attorney John Gosselin representing the Bank.

The Southern Essex District Registry of Deeds is looking forward to continuing testing and developing a prototype for electronic recording within the bounds of all applicable Massachusetts statutes. The Registry?s interest and cooperation was appreciated by all participants.

This is an exciting development in the world of real estate closings. Old Republic Title is proud to be associated with each of the parties who enabled this first electronic signature closing in Massachusetts. Old Republic Title has crossed a new frontier with this development.

For the seventh consecutive year the Old Republic Title Insurance Group (ORTIG) has received the highest overall financial strength ratings in the title insurance industry, providing assurance to our customers that we have the financial strength to stand behind our title policies. No title underwriter has matched our AA- rating from Standard & Poor?s and our A1 rating from Moody?s Investors Service.

Demotech has given us their highest rating, an A". In addition, we are the only title underwriter in our peer group (total assets of more than $100 million) to receive an A+ rating from LACE Financial Corporation for six consecutive years (LACE?s highest rating).

We have received a financial strength rating of ?AA-? (Double-A-Minus) from Fitch, the international rating agency formed by the merger of Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co. (DCR) and Fitch IBCA.

We are one of the nation?s largest title insurance insurers, operating in 48 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, through a national network of Company-owned offices, subsidiaries, authorized agents, and approved attorneys. We are a wholly owned subsidiary of Old Republic International Corporation, a Chicago-based multi-line insurance company.