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Posts Tagged ‘e-escrow’

The Journey – NotaryCam ‘Tomorrow’s Future Today’

December 18th, 2012 1 comment

With over 30 years of domain experience, more than a decade ago we set out to Master the electronic real estate and mortgage eco-system.  What began as a simple journey to streamline the transaction for our customers turned into what seems like a lifetime commitment. Thank goodness we received some very early and salient advice ”Eliminating the stress and associated friction around the antiquated systems, mounds of paper, faxes, scanners and overnight couriers seems like a no brainer but this will take you longer than you can ever imagine……it only took us 17 years to get broad adoption for the ATM machine”, said an ATM entrepreneur, visionary and adviser to Settleware®.

Good news – bad news. The real estate and mortgage transaction is one of the most complicated and highest liability transactions that a consumer will ever participate in. We understood that many different companies and agencies ‘touched’ the transaction and we needed to meticulously secure ‘buy-in’ from each one in order for the industry as a whole to move forward with a pure paperless and digital transaction-electronic signatures was the glue to connect all parties, documents and vendors over the Internet. (US e-Sign Act passed June, 2000). Good news – the electronic transaction would become the defacto standard – in every Industry across the Globe!

We engaged industry experts and pioneers and by summer of 2007, with Fannie Mae and MERS e-Registry final certification, we achieved kismet-the first electronic and digital end to end transaction over the Internet-without a single piece of paper. County Recorders/Registrars, title, escrow settlement, lenders and Secretaries of State (notaries) on board. We were able to identify and change all the initial ‘red flags’ to ‘green’. Soon thereafter, the market imploded and technological advances took a back seat to survival – overnight most lenders changed from ‘green’ back to ‘yellow’. The primary objection was that nearly 100% of their transactions required a professional notarization and until every Secretary of State was on board they could not scale nationally – ‘let’s just wait it out’. Although we processed thousands of successful electronic notarizations since 2004 from California to North Carolina, today, only 17 US States are actually on board – still presenting a monumental challenge and barrier.  So we continued to innovate and devoted resources to build out IP protections (Int’l and US Patents #7,127,406, #8,204,807 and patents pending) as we firmly believed that it just made too much sense that, at some point, all parties would not want to be tethered to paper and all the inherent stress/friction.

In 2010, robo-signing hit the headlines so we knew we needed to change the tools to allow for a digital ‘face to face’ meeting with the signer and notary and ‘leapfrog’ over the obstinate status quo. We also needed 100% assurance  that the signer and notary were who they said they were and not have to go to court with a ‘he said-she said’ type of argument that is so prevalent today. In addition, absolute verification as to the originality and integrity of the document guaranteeing that there would be no manipulation once electronically signed was paramount and our highest priority.

We were fortunate that the Commonwealth of Virginia shared the same insight and vision and on July 1, 2012 video notarizations became legal, regardless of where the signer is located. Hence, the birth of NotaryCam-the first patented process that connects all parties in the real estate/mortgage/escrow settlement process in a virtual signing room. Further, NotaryCam also provides a secure, verifiable and independent witnessing service for high valued business transactions, notary not required, providing irrefutable evidence to any oral or written contract or agreement.

We have successfully completed transactions around the sale of a franchise business, health care directives, living wills and mobile notaries. We’re seeking partners and licensees to join us us with this game changing service and look forward to working together well into the future – now available in all 50 States and over 60 Countries – Tomorrow’s Future Today! Take a look at this 90 second video: https://notarycam.com/how-it-works/



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White Paper – Paper is Killing your Business

September 24th, 2012 No comments

 FORGET THE TREES – PAPER IS KILLING YOUR BUSINESS!

Still dreaming about a ‘Paperless Office’? You heard the promises and for years we have touted the benefits from a extensive study (Accelio) : it costs $160.00 to process a typical paper-based transaction but only $6.00 if that same transaction was all digital – a $154.00 savings per transaction!  You also heard that “green is the new black” and by removing paper you would be greatly contributing to save our environment. No longer is ‘going paperless’ the mantra for tree- huggers alone (Mortgage Bankers Association – “for every mortgage we kill a tree”), now, companies, regardless of size, can simply enjoy immediate and substantial savings without any large upfont costs!

As electronic signatures continue to go mainstream we have come to realize that most enterprises still don’t have a clue what ‘paper’ is actually costing them in the long run. This white paper will address what most managers already surmised but never took the initiative to quantify – the actual costs around these current but soon to be antiquated processes.

Wikipedia: A paperless office is a work environment in which the use of paper is eliminated or greatly reduced. This is done by converting documents and other papers into digital form. Proponents claim that “going paperless” can save money, boost productivity, save space, make documentation and information sharing easier, keep personal information more secure, and  help the environment The concept can also be extended to communications outside the office.

Let’s begin with the end in mind – paper is expensive and killing your business! In the early years of electronic commerce, the sentiment that caught most attention was “if your not on the super-information highway, you will be road kill alongside it!” and today, “if you don’t migrate to pure digital and 100% paperless workflows your competitors will drive you out of business with price and efficiency” or better understood, you just won’t be able to compete. Almost a decade ago, at a real estate tech conference, I was asked, “Do you think technology will replace the real estate agent? ” I responded “No, but someday soon the real estate agent with technology will replace you.” Same holds true today, regardless of Industry segment.

Companies of all sizes and sector are understanding that reducing their paper is not just good ’corporate socially responsibility’ but the actual realized cost savings is immediate and provides efficiencies for all stakeholders. Elimination of the associated paper friction and costs such as copying, printing, postage, disposal, recycling and storing can be as much as 30 times the purchasing cost. In other words, a typical ream of paper that costs $5.00 could actually cost up to $150—not including labor.

Ok, back to the real cost of paper, we have scoured the research, analytics and the numerous ways to measure all the factors, including, faxing, scanning, delivery, receiving, non-public information compliance, copying, toner, environmental impact, handling, overnighting, labor, misfiling, keying/re-keying, storage and on and on. So let’s break it down to simple and understandable components.

Just the Facts - According to Gartner and others:

•  It costs $20 to file a document.

•  $120 to search for a misfiled document, that is if you can find it.

•  It costs approximately $250 to recreate a lost document.

•  The average document is copied 9 times.

•  Gartner Group reports that Corporate Information is doubling every 2.5 years.

•  Gartner also says pages per employee is increasing at 10% per year.

•  Organizations now maintain 30 times more data than in 1999

•  The U.S. annually spends $25-35B filing, storing and retrieving paper.

•  The number of pages consumed in the U.S. offices is going up at the rate of 20% per year.

•  Typical office workers spend 40% of their time looking for information.

•  Professionals spend over 500 hours annually reviewing & routing files, and another 150 hours looking for incorrectly filed documents.

Cost of Handling Paper

For example, a survey published by www.futurelawoffice.com with regard to a modern law office shows:

•  90% of documents is paper

•  70% of time is spent processing paper

•  7.5% of documents is lost

•  15% of documents is misplaced

•  30% of documents contain obsolete information

•  One four drawer file cabinet holds 15K-20K of pages, costs $25,000 to fill and costs $2,000 per year to maintain.

The Real Cost of Paper  (RCC Consulting)

“..When you consider the real cost, paper is extremely expensive. A number of factors must be taken into account to measure the cost of paper and the savings that can be achieved by implementing a paper reduction program. These factors include copying, faxing and storage costs. Let’s look at a typical office with 100 employees to calculate the total cost of paper. Let’s assume that this office purchases approximately 10 million sheets of paper or about 50 tons. This seems like a lot but if you look at your own purchases you will find that 10,000 sheets of paper per person is a reasonable number and could even be conservative for most offices. The cost of this paper is relatively minor at .003 cents per sheet for a total cost of approximately $30,000.00. Now let’s look at how that paper is used. Generally this paper is used for photocopying (45%); printing (35%); faxing (5%) and mailing (5%) with 10% being wasted. Approximately 30% of this paper ends up in filing cabinets. 95% of this paper will have to be disposed at some point.”

Now let’s look at the costs associated with each of these activities:

- Photocopying and printing generally costs about 3 cents per page. This price includes the capital cost of the equipment, toner, and maintenance but not necessarily the time spent waiting at the copier for your turn.

- Fax costs can vary depending on the distance the faxes are sent but in most organization fax costs can be about 40% of the monthly telephone cost. In our office let’s assume the annual telephone cost is $50,000. If fax costs are 40% this would be about $20,000 per year. Since 5% of the paper or 500,000 sheets are faxed annually this equates to 4 cents per copy for telephone costs.

- 5% of the paper or 0.5 million pages are mailed or couriered. If we assume that 10 pages are included in each envelope this would be 50,000 envelopes sent out each year. Assuming that 90% are mailed and 10% sent by courier this means 45,000 are mailed with an average postage cost of 60 cents and 5,000 sent by courier at an average cost of $10.00 per delivery. In addition the cost of each envelope is 5 cents.

- Then there’s storage costs. Let’s assume that each drawer of a filing cabinet holds 7,500 sheets of paper. One year’s worth of paper could be stored in 100 filing cabinets. This is calculated by taking the total paper times 30% divided by each 4 drawer cabinet which would hold 30,000 pieces of paper. Each filing cabinet takes up 3 square feet and let’s assume that office space leases for about $60.00 per square foot. This comes to a total cost of $18,000.00. Adding the cost of filing folders and tabs etc., our cost might be $20,000.00 or approximately .0067 per sheet. This assumes that the filing cabinets are cleaned out each year and replaced with new files. In most offices, files generally have to be kept for seven years, however some files can be moved to archives. Since this cost is relatively small, let’s assume the long-term cost of storage is $10,000.00 per year, for an average of 5 years for a total life cycle cost of $50,000.00. This gives an average cost of .0167 for the 3 million sheets in long term storage. Assume disposal costs of .001 per sheet for the total 10 million sheets.

Activity Activity Cost Per Sheet No. of Sheets Total Cost
Paper purchases .003 10,000,000 $30,000
Photocopying .03 4,500,000 $135,000
Printing .03 3,500,000 $105,000
Faxing .04 500,000 $20,000
Mailing .06 450,000 $27,000
Courier 1.00 50,000 $50,000
Short term storage .0067 3,000,000 $20,000
Long term storage .0167 3,000,000 $50,000
Disposal Costs .001 10,000,000 $10,000
Totals $447,000                                                                                                                                         2001 RCC Consulting


IMPORTANT:
The above table shows the total cost for 10 million pieces of paper as $447,000 or approximately $4.47 cents per sheet. This does not include the labor to purchase the paper, photocopy and distribute the documents, retrieve the printed paper from the printer, apply a signature and take it to the fax machine, place the documents into an envelope and place postage on it or filing, retrieving, archiving and disposing of documents. In addition, if an electronic copy is desired, the cost of scanning the document back into the system. Costs may vary in different offices, but the cost of paper is clearly significantly higher than first appears. Even without attempting to determine the cost of labor a paper reduction program can have significantsavings for any organization. A reduction program should easily achieve a 50% savings in paper within the first three months. In our typical office of 100 employees this means well over $200,000 in savings in the first year. The first step in implementing a paper reduction program is to determine the baseline for measuring the savings. A proper baseline measurement will help to obtain employee buy-in to the program as well as justify any software purchases to achieve the full benefits of a paper reduction program.

Calculating and Cutting The Cost of Enterprise Printing

http://www.hp.com/sbso/expert/calculatingtruerisk_printin.pdf

Printing has become a costly area of IT operations for today’s large enterprise. According to Gartner, “Printers, the supplies associated with them and the support required to keep them operating represent 5 percent of the typical IT budget.” Furthermore, printers combined with other output devices – copiers, faxes and scanners – represent a significant portion of not just IT budgets, but also total annual revenues. Gartner estimates that “These output equipment fleets could cost an enterprise between 1 percent and 3 percent of revenue.” Many professionals in large enterprises may find this surprising, because few realize just how much they spend on printing or, even more important, what they can do to reduce these costs. A study by Lyra Research indicates that few network managers and IT departments track printing costs at all. But, an accurate assessment of costs is essential to reducing them. By carefully evaluating the total cost of owning printers and other hardcopy solutions – the cost to buy them, plus the cost for supplies and support over the life of the devices – the large enterprise can establish a solid foundation for a plan to significantly reduce costs. CAP Ventures goes further, concluding that, “It is those companies that cannot consider hardcopy to be a core asset, but nevertheless produce large volumes of hardcopy, that are in the greatest danger of wasting money by not considering a total cost of ownership model in relation to their hardcopy output devices.”

Conclusion

The cost of paper in today’s enterprise, regardless of size,  is likely to be far more than the enterprise estimates. To accurately calculate paper total cost of ownership, the enterprise must take into account a variety of factors that represent both direct and indirect costs.

So if you’re dreaming of a paperless office? Settleware will get you closer – in real-time!

  • Use the Internet for business rather than paper
  • Better overall customer experience and loyalty – “Making it easy for your customers to do business with you”™
  • Do more with less
  • Instant delivery and arrival of information
  • Contracts, agreements or applications signed, tracked and stored in one single step
  • Low costs – no need to bring parties into the process because you can securely send direct to an email – protecting non-public information
  • Simple to learn – Simpler to use™
  • Cloud Computing: No downloads, installations  or IT staff required
  • Increase revenue by having more time available for more business and closing business faster
  • Socially accepted – your customer is already using e-Signing- making purchases on Zappos, Amazon or at their local supermarket, even filing their tax returns.
  • Competitive advantage and marketing positioning
  • System maintains an audit trail and helps your organization comply with regulations
  • 24/7 access to your secure e-Vault and files with visible audit history at your fingertips
  • Supports both electronic and handwritten signatures

 

www.settleware.com

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Apple Wins Big in Patent Case

August 28th, 2012 No comments

Wall St Journal, August 25, 2012 Apple Wins Big In Patent Case.

Among other findings, the jury at the US District Court found that many of the Apple patents were willfully infringed by Samsung. That means that federal Judge Lucy Koh now has the discretion to triple Apple’s damages award, said Brian Love, Santa Clara University School of Law, who has been tracking the case. ” This is a huge, crushing win for Apple,” he said.

READ MORE…

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CA Escrow Association Urges ‘All Hands on Deck’ – Please Call Your Assembly Member Today

August 10th, 2012 No comments

Senate Bill 12 Update

According to the California Escrow Association SB 12 has been amended further; regretfully it still confuses and obscures what under current law are predictable bulk sale escrow procedures. With a Vote likely planned for Monday on the Assembly floor CEA is asking members and friends to “call your Assembly Member today, Friday, August 10, in her or his Sacramento office and respectfully request their NO VOTE on Senate Bill 12….” 

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GreenFolders Adds Settleware’s On Demand e-Sign Service

July 9th, 2012 No comments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

Steve McAdams

Director of Marketing

860-466-5406

 

GreenFolders Adds Settleware’s On Demand e-Sign Service

 

July 9, 2012, Salt Lake City, UT – GreenFolders, provider of the GreenFolders electronic office management system announced today that it has partnered with Settleware to bring its users e-signature capabilities.

For over a decade, Settleware® has been a pioneering leader in the area of electronic signatures. Based on patented secured technology, their real-time signing solution fully automates contract execution – collapsing to minutes a process that often takes hours or days.

In making the announcement, Mike Kirby President and CEO of GreenFolders stated “ With our ongoing commitment to improving workflow and eliminating paper-based processes, Settleware was a logical and synergistic addition to the GreenFolders platform.” He went on to say “By utilizing their e-Sign technology, our customers will be able to further capitalize on the cost-savings and efficiencies derived from working in a truly electronic environment.”

GreenFolders office management system provides users with the capability to manage, work on, mark-up, share, and store files electronically. With the addition of e-signature capabilities, GreenFolders users will be able to take a document from creation through execution and to final storage in an entirely electronic format – eliminating the need for paper.

“We are excited about this partnership with GreenFolders.” stated Kyle Stephenson, Senior Vice President of Settleware. “As purchasers of real estate become increasingly tech-savvy, industry professionals will need the tools to function in a fully electronic environment.  GreenFolders in conjunction with our real-time service provides this tool.”

Users of GreenFolders latest version will have immediate access to Settleware’s electronic signature services.

About GreenFolders

GreenFolders, Inc., a Utah corporation headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, provides innovative electronic office management software solutions that help businesses reach their potential by becoming more efficient, using less paper, and collaborating more effectively. More information about GreenFolders and the GreenFolders office management system is available at www.GreenFolders.com

About Settleware

Since 1999, Settleware has been a pioneering leader in the area of e-signatures. Its patented secure e-Sign solution reduces time frames and eliminates paper-based delays by enabling users of its technology to securely send, e-sign, return,track and eVault any document requiring a signature. More information about Settleware can be found HERE.

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