National Electronic Conveyancing

23 October, 2013
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Summary

Release 1 of the national electronic conveyancing system (known as PEXA) went ‘live’ in Victoria in June 2013 with the Commonwealth Bank, the scope being standalone discharges, mortgages and refinances.  In the past month CBA has been successfully conducting a handful of electronic transactions each day, and the scope of Release 1 is to shortly expand and include New South Wales and the National Australia Bank.

Within 12 months it is expected that Release 2 of PEXA will go ‘live’, bringing lawyers and conveyancers into the system.  Legislation has been passed to make it a reality and the legal framework by which practitioners will be entitled to participate in undertaking conveyancing transactions via electronic means is mostly in place.

The scope of Release 2 for lawyers will include caveats, transfers, discharges, mortgages, administrative notices and settlements.

Electronic conveyancing might take off reasonably quickly once it reaches into the community.  Time and cost savings in connection with the current frustrating process of arranging and attending settlement should attract a lot of Subscribers.  In addition, the Banks (as key stakeholders and the industry group standing most to gain from a national system) will drive much of the take-up by offering reduced fees to borrowers who adopt electronic mortgages.

Law practices becoming ‘early adopters’ of PEXA will probably try to market their edge and attract increased volumes of conveyancing transactions, which may lead in the longer term to even more concentration in the market for conveyancing services.

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