Mortgage refinancing to become paperless

Applications to refinance will become paperless in three Australian states as the transition to electronic transactions is rolled out.

Victoria, NSW and Western Australia have announced changes to refinancing lodgement procedures, effective 1 August 2017.

Property Exchange Australia Ltd (PEXA), the digital conveyancing network powered by Property Exchange Australia, will be used with the states’ respective land and property agencies to lodge refinancing transactions.

In Western Australia, PEXA will be used for “all eligible commercial, standalone mortgages, discharges of mortgages and refinances,” PEXA said, while in Victoria, refinance transactions for both retail and commercial mortgages are to be lodged electronically when transacting parties are authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs).

Lenders in NSW are to make electronic transactions for “any combination of mortgages and discharges of mortgage”, provided both mortgagees in the refinance transaction are ADIs, excepting “where the mortgages and discharges of mortgage are to be lodged with any other dealing, affecting the same folio[s] of the Register”.

PEXA began its journey to a completely electronic conveyancing system in Australia in 2014. It said: “Lenders, conveyancers, lawyers, land registries and revenue offices are responding to consumer demand for end-to-end digital services as well as seeking operational efficiencies through the strategic application of digital technology.

“In a practical sense, this means that the old process that involves cheques and paper is diminishing as technology fundamentally transforms the way we all interact and transact.”

As of March, ADIs and their representatives in NSW have also been required to electronically lodge standalone discharges of mortgages, including commercial mortgages, following similar transitions in Victoria and Western Australia.

The rollout comes at a time of digital transformation across the board, as lenders tout the benefits of fintechs and industry leaders consider the value of virtual verification of identity (VOI) technologies. 

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Lucy Dean

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