Fannie Mae has selected electronic document management vendor eOriginal to host the government-sponsored enterprise's new electronic vault.

Electronic vaults, also known as e-vaults, store electronically signed promissory notes, or e-notes. The new platform hosted by eOriginal will replace Fannie Mae's existing e-vault, which was brought to market roughly 10 years ago.

Following the switch, Fannie Mae will continue to be the custodian of the e-notes held in the vault, even though eOriginal will be responsible for the platform's maintenance. Additionally, the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, or MERS, will continue to serve as the intermediary for e-notes in the new framework.

The move to have an outside vendor handle maintenance of the e-vault was "a no-brainer," according to Michael Cafferky, a single-family product development manager with Fannie Mae. When Fannie Mae built its original e-vault, there were other options on the marketplace, he said. While revolutionary for its time, Fannie Mae itself admits that the technology is now in need of an upgrade.

"This solution is coming to the end of its usable life — it wasn't built for any kind of scale," Cafferky said.

Beyond being able to have a product that is scalable, the offering from eOriginal also makes it easier to make changes when MERS issues updates. Currently, Fannie has to handle those updates itself, but eOriginal will make such changes in the future.

"The vendor has to make changes anyway," Cafferky said. "From an economics perspective, it makes a lot more sense."

Cafferky added that Fannie Mae's customers should not experience any disruptions as it moves to the new e-vault.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac began buying mortgages backed by e-notes in the early 2000s after federal legislation made electronic signatures legal.

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Jacob Passy

Jacob Passy

Jacob Passy is a reporter with National Mortgage News, covering breaking news in the residential mortgage industry.