Electronic Conveyancing in NSW – what’s the latest?

Chris Tohme

It has now been over 4 months since e-conveyancing was mandated for certain transactions within NSW, including all standalone caveats, transfers, mortgages and discharge of mortgages.  Despite some initial resistance and teething problems, most practitioners in the wider community have been part of a general push towards e-conveyancing, as the 'word on the street' is that all transactions will be required to take place on the e-platform by 1 July 2019.  

Stay tuned, as it will be interesting to see how that plays out over the next few months...

In line with this widespread push towards e-conveyancing, Coleman Greig has put together the following information to serve as a general update, and to provide our readers with some insight into the path forward.

Current Situation and Upcoming Deadlines - Numbers, Dates and Facts:

Causes for Concern

Readers may well have seen media reports relating to the fraudsters who stole settlement funds from the proceeds of a transaction made via the PEXA platform.  This fraud came about as a result of a conveyancer's email with the client's bank account details being intercepted and altered, thereby redistributing the funds to the fraudster's bank account.  While the blame cannot be attributed to the electronic platform itself, it did serve as a reminder of the types of issues that have the potential to arise as a result of working in an electronic world.  

Other technical shortcomings include:

The Way Ahead

Going paperless, and transitioning towards to the electronic system is undoubtedly inevitable.  In order to make this transition successful, various steps are being taken, such as:

  1. The State governments will be launching a review of the e-conveyancing system's operating requirements and rules of participation.  The competition watchdog ACCC has also been called on to guide the ARNECC.
  2. PEXA has implemented strict measures in order to secure the e-conveyancing process and re-instil confidence in its users.  Some of these measures include:

    a) Improving PEXAs data management system and data security.

    b) Changes will be made to the PEXA system to allow for new users to be created in an inactive status, meaning that only PEXA will be authorized to enable them.

    c) The Australian Institute of Conveyancers' NSW division is developing a formal two-factor authentication system to replace the manual one.

    d) Reports of fraud made to PEXA are to be recorded and escalated internally according to established procedures.

Above all, Coleman Greig believes that a collective co-ordinated approach from all stakeholders will lead to a successful transition towards e-conveyancing

Here at Coleman Greig, we have a dedicated and experienced team of conveyancers and property lawyers who can assist you throughout each step of your property transaction.  If you have a query relating to any of the information in this piece, or would like to speak with one of our licensed conveyancers with regard to the move towards e-conveyancing, please don't hesitate to get in touch: