The next phase in the transition to 100% digital is underway in Victoria with conversion of paper certificates of title to electronic certificates of title (eCT). This represents an important component of the e-Conveyancing framework. ANZ, CBA, NAB and Westpac are converting their titles in two stages:
These conversion activities will increase the total number of eCTs in Victoria from 50,000 to approximately 1.65 million. This means, from 22 October 2016, eCTs will support all transactions where these Financial Institutions are the first Mortgagee on Title, even if the transaction is taking place in paper.
A copy of the Bulk Conversion of Titles webinar can be watched here.
The FAQs below are based on information produced by Land Victoria in relation to management of electronic certificates of title. The guides can be found here.
As part of the transition to 100% digital, the major Financial Institutions have agreed with Land Victoria to lead the way with the bulk conversion of all Victorian paper certificates of title in which they are the first registered mortgagee, to electronic certificates of title (eCT). This is a significant step in the industry transformation to e-Conveyancing.
Most certificates of title in Victoria are still in paper form. Land Victoria will facilitate a bulk conversion of approximately 1.6 million paper certificates of title into electronic form (eCT) meaning that many CTs in Victoria will now be eCTs. In this conversion process, when a certificate of title becomes electronic, the Mortgagee is assigned CT Control which is the digital equivalent of having possession of the paper certificate of title.
An electronic Certificate of Title (eCT) is a digital record of the land title that is administered by the Land Victoria. An eCT is assigned a “CT Controller”, a party who must be a PEXA Subscriber. This is shown on the Register Search Statement and Final Search as the eCT Control.
CT Control identifies the party who has the right to transact on title, this is the electronic equivalent of the party that physically held the paper certificate of title. Only subscribers who are authorised to lodge electronically via an Electronic Lodgment Network (ELN) – e.g. PEXA Subscribers – can hold or control eCTs. These Subscribers are known as CT Controllers. The party who has CT Control will need to lodge a Nomination in PEXA to make the title available for the transaction (whether the transaction is occurring through PEXA or paper).
An eCT is identified by the notification on the respective folio of the Register. When the CT is electronic , the Register Search Statement (RSS) will provide the name of the eCT Control in the Additional Information section, under Administrative Notices, please see the example below.
As of 14 October this information will also appear on the Final Search.
Example Register Search Statement
For further information please view the Land Victoria help documents.
The bulk conversion of paper certificates of title on 22 October 2016 is being completed by Land Victoria, and there is no requirement for you to convert your clients’ paper certificate of titles. You are of course welcome to start converting your paper certificate of titles to eCT when you complete transactions in PEXA when you are the nominating party. You can do this by setting your Issuing Instructions in the Lodgement Instructions document to be electronic. You will then have CT Control (that is, you will be entitled to control the eCT).
No, transactions in paper will still occur. The CT Controller will be required to create and lodge a Nomination in PEXA, regardless of whether the transaction is electronic or paper based.
Where an eCT exists, a paper certificate of title will not be provided at a paper settlement. When representing a purchaser in a settlement, it’s recommended that lawyers and conveyancers complete a Register Search Statement (RSS) or Final Search (FS)prior to settlement in order to ascertain the format of the CT and where it is electronic, ensure that the CT Controller has lodged a Nomination to the paper instrument. Lawyers and Conveyancers can expect to see the Nomination lodged no later than 24 hours prior to settlement, if at that stage the Nomination doesn’t appear on the RSS or FS, please contact the CT Controller (you can find contact details on your Discharge Instructions).
When representing the outgoing mortgagee, as part of preparation prior to settlement/lodgement, ensure that the CT Controller has completed a Nomination either to the PEXA lodgement case where the transaction is to proceed electronically, or to the paper instrument where it is to proceed in paper. When representing an incoming mortgagee, it’s recommended that a Register Search Statement (RSS) or Final Search (FS) is conducted to identify the format of the Certificate of Title and if eCT, if the Nomination has been lodged.
Financial Institutions can expect to see the Nomination lodged no later than 24 hours prior to settlement, if at that stage the Nomination doesn’t appear on the RSS, please contact the CT Controller (you can find contact details on your Discharge Instructions).
Financial Institutions participating in bulk conversion are currently working through their process changes with their representative agents.
Currently in a paper transaction, a paper certificate of title must be handed over at settlement and lodged together with other documents for a dealing to be registered on title. The equivalent process where the certificate of title is electronic, is for the CT Controller to nominate the eCT to the paper instrument or PEXA lodgement case via a Nomination in PEXA prior to settlement and/or lodgement.
Nominations are required for transactions where the certificate of title is electronic and is required for settlement and/or lodgement (for example refinance, transfer, discharge of mortgage etc) in paper or electronically.
PEXA has created an easy to follow step by step guide which can be found here.
It is recommended that the parties to a transaction complete a check prior to settlement to confirm that a Nomination has been lodged by the CT Controller.
Land Victoria provides services via which information regarding lodgement of a Nomination on title may be notified to interested parties, these include:
Register Search Summary (RSS) and Final Search (FS) (fee payable to Land Victoria)
Access through: landata.vic.gov.au Select ‘Titles and Property Certificates’
Or through an information broker.
Property Transaction Alert & Pre-lodgement Check (fee payable to Land Victoria)
Access through: landata.vic.gov.au
Select Document Search.
For further information please view the Land Victoria help documents.
If there is no Nomination identifiable 24 hours prior to settlement, please contact the CT Controller (as listed on the eCT) to progress this further. You can find contact details for the CT Controller on the Discharge Instructions.
Land Victoria will accept lodgement of paper transactions with paper or electronic titles.
From 24 October, where a certificate of title has been converted to an eCT Land Victoria will no longer accept a paper certificate of title for that folio of the Register when transactions are lodged. An eCT requires a Nomination to be performed through PEXA prior to lodgement. The CT Controller is responsible for lodging this.
Attempts to lodge a paper certificate of title for a dealing will be referred back to the CT Controller to provide a Nomination.