Settlement service debuts in time for Victoria’s new electronic settlement regime

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In time for Victoria’s new electronic settlement regime that came into effect on Monday, InfoTrack has launched a new settlement service.

Called SettleIT, the service helps conveyancers meet the state’s new law, which requires certain conveyancing transactions to be filed via an “Electronic Lodgement Network” (ELN), unless they have exceptions. SettleIT is now available to Victorian practitioners.

“We are currently travelling around the country to speak with conveyancers who have confirmed that these new regulations and processes are generating increased pressure and risk. There is a real call for help to deal with these changes, which our clients feel have been thrust upon them,” said John Ahern, InfoTrack chief executive.

The integrated search company said that recent survey found that a significant group of legal and conveyancing professionals predict difficulties in tackling transitions in processing settlements. The survey found that 11% plan to use an agent to complete settlements, 15% said they are too busy to deal with changes that come with the new regime, and 7% plan to drop conveyancing work altogether.

Ahern said that it is a “logical step” to combine the knowledge, expertise, and service of the company’s settlements team with its technology to take the pressure off of legal and conveyancing professionals. InfoTrack’s settlement network of staff across Australia serves over 7000 clients and process an average of 200,000 settlements per year.

“We feel that InfoTrack’s role is to champion the needs of practitioners and support them through this transition to digitisation,” Ahern said.

Lee Bailie, product and innovation general manager at InfoTrack said that the team created SettleIT to offer an accessible and affordable alternative to handling settlement processing in-house.

“Conveyancers don’t need to change how they’re running their practice or register for an ELN, they simply provide us with their instructions and documents and we determine whether it can be lodged manually or electronically. The conveyancer approves all critical steps along the way and receives real-time updates while we work in the background to process the settlements and ensure that everything is running smoothly on their behalf, as our clients would be used to pre-mandate,” he said.

Ahern said that in the company’s Connect18 e-Conveyancing Roadshows, there is misinformation about what qualifies as electronic conveyancing.

“The transition to digital is not just about mandated electronic settlement and our roadshows are showing how all of the essential parts of the conveyancing process can now be done electronically; including verification of identity, contracts, exchange and settlement,” he said.

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