BMO’s U.S. residential mortgage refinancing now with fully digital capabilities
To simplify and expedite the homebuying process for customers in the U.S., BMO today announced that residential mortgage refinancing is now fully digital for loans secured by property in states and counties accepting recording of e-signatures and digital notaries. BMO will leverage digital mortgage technology provider Blend’s mortgage eNotes capabilities and its Close product to allow customers the ability to complete their mortgage refinancing from anywhere at any time.
BMO is the first bank to offer electronic close on mortgage refinancing in the U.S. with Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago (FHLBank Chicago), which involves signing mortgage documents digitally. Many e-closings still require at least one face-to-face meeting. Now, to enhance the end-to-end digital experience, BMO customers in certain jurisdictions can review and sign documents to finalize a loan all online.
“BMO’s digital mortgage experience is all about making the homebuying process for our customers easy, efficient and fast,” said Mark Shulman, Head of U.S. Consumer Lending at BMO. “With the combination of our innovative digital tools and support from our committed lending team, we are able to meet our customers’ expectations for speed and convenience when refinancing a home. Through our membership with FHLBank Chicago and partnership with Blend, we have created an end-to-end digital experience that empowers customers with expediency and control, while offering access to lending experts throughout the process.”
Blend’s Close feature adopts a customer-first approach to closing by:
- Providing flexibility: Allows borrowers the ability to review and sign closing documents remotely, with the option for loan officers to follow along and provide guidance in real time.
- Offering transparent choice: Evaluate signing options after receiving remote online notarization eligibility information at the time of application.
- Keeping borrowers in one portal from application to close: Create an end-to-end experience by offering a remote signing room integrated into the borrower app.
“We are delighted to expand our partnership with BMO through this digital-transformation initiative,” said Erik Wrobel, Head of Product at Blend. “We look forward to continued collaboration with them as they evolve their digital offerings to provide customers a mortgage experience that is unparalleled in speed, convenience, and control.”
Digital applications by BMO customers have soared the last two years. Prior to the pandemic, roughly 25% of customers in the U.S. utilized BMO’s remote online notarization capabilities compared to 75% today.
This enhancement is another example of BMO’s Digital First strategy, focused on building a digitally-enabled, future-ready bank that drives progress for its customers, unlocks the power of its people and delivers loyalty, growth, and efficiency. This feature also complements a host of digital home lending capabilities and tools focused on helping its customers make real financial progress, including BMO’s online loan application and refinancing capabilities, prequalification application, and its mortgage calculator tools.
“The transfer of this eNote is a significant milestone for FHLBank Chicago,” said Sam Reindl, Vice President, Senior Manager, Member Product Support, FHLBank Chicago. “Interest in the ability to pledge eNotes as collateral continues to grow among our members and this first pledge demonstrates that we now have the ability to meet this growing demand. We appreciate BMO for partnering with us to complete this transaction and create a path for more members to begin pledging eNotes.”
To learn more about BMO’s home lending programs in the U.S., visit https://www.bmoharris.com/main/personal/mortgages/.