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HM Land Registry processes UK’s first-ever digital mortgage

The first-ever digitally signed mortgage deed has been filed into the Land Register, in a move that could transform the way people buy property.

On Thursday, it announced that Coventry Building Society and Enact Conveyancing had signed a digital mortgage for a property in Rotherhithe, South East London.

To do this, the organisations used the “Sign your mortgage deed” service from HM Land Registry, which requires the mortgage applicant to have an account with the government’s identity service, Gov.UK Verify.

The government claimed that, in future, it shouldn’t be necessary “for a witness to watch as the homeowner applies an ink signature to a paper mortgage deed”, and then sends it in the post to the conveyancer or solicitor.

It believes that digital mortgages will be more efficient and secure for homeowners, lenders and conveyancers. The new service is part of an ongoing digital transformation of HM Land Registry with the aim of implementing “quicker and simpler digital services and improved use of technology” and “making transactions instantaneous where possible”.

Over the past few months, Coventry Building Society and Enact Conveyancing have been beta testing the newservice to “enable borrowers to securely verify their identity before digitally signing their mortgage deed online”.

Graham Farrant, chief executive and chief land registrar at HM Land Registry, said that the organisation has “secured a simpler and faster service for the benefit of homeowners”.

“We are looking forward to rolling this out nationally and will be working with more conveyancers and lenders to do so,” he explained.

Peter Frost, chief operating officer of the Coventry Building Society, said that the service enabled his organisationto “speed-up property transactions”.

He continued: “Initial feedback has been very positive, with customers finding the process simple, quick and secure. Although this initiative has started with re-mortgages we’re excited about the potential for it to be extended to purchases in the future.”

Ben Carroll, managing director of Enact Conveyancing, added: “We emphasise innovation that benefits our customers and improves their experience, so we are extremely pleased to join HM Land Registry and Coventry Building Society on this pioneering effort to transform the conveyancing process.

“This fully-digitised journey will mean that a customer can sign their mortgage deed online at a time and place of their choosing, securely underpinned by the GOV.UK Verify platform.”


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