Anyone who has discovered the highs and lows of dealing with
exchange and settlement in relation to real property knows how
delicate and unreliable the process can be. Enter e-conveyancing.
Wendy Conceicao, Associate and manager of our Conveyancing
portfolio, and Euge Power, solicitor, look at the reliability and
other benefits which may arrive when property settlements make the
leap into cyberspace.
New South Wales became only the second state in Australia on 8
October 2013 to provide some type of e-conveyancing option to the
public. Initially this option is only for single party transactions
such mortgages, discharges of mortgage and most refinances.
However, at the end of September 2014 multi-party transactions will
"go live" in NSW and transfers, settlements, caveats and
notices will all be available for financial institutions,
solicitors and conveyancers. NSW is not the only state to get the
electronic treatment. All states are signed up for the
implementation of a single system of e-conveyancing.
The company running the implementation is PEXA (Property
Exchange Australia Limited). PEXA is a company whose main financial
stakeholders include the New South Wales, Victorian, Queensland and
Western Australian Governments as well as some of Australia's
largest financial institutions.
WHAT IS IT?
e-Conveyancing will provide an option for parties to complete
property transactions electronically. This will enable parties who
have registered for e-conveyancing to undertake the following
lodging instruments and title dealing documents in aid of
registration of changes to property interests and ownership;
completion of financial transactions including settlement
monies, taxes, duties, disbursements all at the date nominated;
allow each party to view and complete all documents at any time
using the electronic interface.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
Cost: There may be some reduction of hard
disbursement costs due to the lack of physical documents and
producing them at a particular time (e.g. no settlement clerk
Reduction of failure rate: The system will
undertake dummy lodgements throughout the electronic process so any
issues with any part of the process are picked up before settlement
is to occur. No physical documents, online funds transfers and
everyone having access to the documents using the interface means
there will be a great reduction in issues at settlement. This means
faxing of further documents, having clerks on hold waiting for
instructions, or production of further cheques, banking of cheques
and associated issues are vastly reduced.
Time: Due to the above details in
"Reduction of failure rate", there is a great
deal of time which might be saved in relation to any one
Space: Crowded settlement rooms will be a thing
of the past. As the electronic method has no limit on the amount of
transactions which can occur, everyone can settle on the last
Friday before Christmas without causing issues.
WHEN CAN WE START?
New South Wales will be the first to obtain all functionality
for the e-conveyancing system in late September 2014. Victoria will
follow in October 2014, Queensland in February 2015, Western
Australia in May 2015 with other dates to be announced.
All parties will have to be registered in order for the service
to be used for any particular transaction, and only financial
institutions, solicitors and licensed conveyancers may be
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