Reducing the Risk of COVID-19 Spread with the SECURE Notarization Act

Our team at A.Y. Strauss wants to reassure you that we are committed to supporting you and your business during these unprecedented times. We have implemented our own business continuity plan and our firm is fully operational to assist you remotely. While we realize that you will be tackling your own challenges, please know that we are readily available to support you and your businesses as you navigate through this constantly changing marketplace.

We are seeing a dramatic increase in virtual escrow closings as in-person meetings become suspended and we are closely following the proposed SECURE Notarization Act which was introduced in the United States Senate last week. If passed, this legislation would allow for remote electronic notarization in the United States of documents through electronic visual and audio communication between the notary and signatory who are not physically present at the same location. Multifactor authentication and other technology would be implemented to prevent tampering and fraud. The passage of this legislation would ultimately reduce risks of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as transaction participants would be able to execute important business documents that require notarization without leaving their homes. This is especially important for the real estate community across the country since recordation requires notarization. We are especially hopeful about the bill becoming law at the federal level since several states already permit remote online notarizations, those states that did not previously permit remote online notarizations are quickly following suit as this past week an executive order was authorized enabling remote notarization in New York and a similar bill was passed in the New Jersey State Assembly.

We look forward to continuing to provide updates on important developments that may affect your business practices and, in the meantime, our entire team is here to support you during this challenging period.