Rapid e-note adoption shows aggressive push for digital mortgages


The mortgage industry is kicking off the year with technology top of mind.

The number of electronic notes added to the MERS eRegistry in the first quarter surpassed the amount added for all of 2018, signaling the industry’s accelerated efforts to pursue digital mortgages this year, according to Intercontinental Exchange and its subsidiary, MERSCORP Holdings.

About 19,000 e-notes were registered by MERS member institutions, which include mortgage lenders and originators, in the first quarter of 2019. For the same period last year, that figure was only 375, and throughout all of last year, 17,000 e-notes were added to the MERS eRegistry.


These new registrations also push up the number of active e-notes to 109,000, representing about $28 billion of residential mortgages, according to MERSCORP.

The accelerated pace of e-note registrations demonstrates the mortgage industry’s willingness to pursue digital strategies. Two large lenders, Quicken Loans and Wells Fargo, launched e-note efforts last year. E-notes are designed to be enforceable across all 50 states and not require notarization.

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“As the industry continues to migrate toward a fully digital process, the early movers gain efficiencies and can remain most competitive in the market,” Christopher McEntee, president of ICE Mortgage Services, said in a press release.

“We’re excited about the rapid adoption of e-notes, and we expect to see a continual rise as more participants invest in next generation infrastructure,” he said.

The MERS eRegistry was designed to serve as the system of record for the mortgage industry and provide independently verifiable information on who holds the authoritative copy of an original note as well as where that note is located.

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