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Progress through collaboration: SA encumbrances now on PEXA

Progress through collaboration: SA encumbrances now on PEXA

Lodgement of encumbrances in South Australia will be moving online from 6 November 2017. As a result, approximately seven in ten new titles will be freed up to transact online.

Lodgement of encumbrances in South Australia will be moving online from 6 November 2017. As a result, approximately seven in ten new titles will be freed up to transact online. Michelle Lihou, Registered Conveyancer at Goolwa Conveyancing and AICSA board member, is keen to start doing even more of her work on PEXA.

 “We have a lot of ‘lift and replace’ encumbrances here because of new residential developments, and to date, we’ve had to do them the old way,” Lihou says, adding that the new functionality will enable more conveyancers and property lawyers to transact online.

Change is a two-way conversation

Being able to transact encumbrances online has been on Lihou’s wish list for some time. As the PEXA system evolves, she's found it easy to make suggestions for improvements, which often appear in later versions.

“One thing we asked for is better ways to communicate, so they gave us a messaging system. Previously, we might have spent an hour on the phone to the bank, waiting for someone to talk to, only to have them say: ‘Sorry, it’s not certified. Ring back tomorrow.’ Now I put a message on the platform and can see when it’s been read.”

Lihou appreciates that the PEXA team is so responsive with change. “The Community noticeboard is excellent; we can log in and see what’s new, give feedback and suggest enhancements.

A space for collaboration

Beyond the ease of communication between Workspace participants, Lihou has also noticed a lift in collaboration between all players in the online transactions

“We address our messages as ‘Hi Team’, whether it’s to another lawyer, conveyancer or the banks. Because we are a team, and we’re all working to get the transaction through by the settlement date.”

Lihou has also found having direct lines of communication helps clear up misunderstandings that might have otherwise created needless delay. Such an incident occurred recently where the bank involved had lodged a discharge of mortgage just a few days previously.

“It hadn’t been registered so we couldn’t settle. When I mentioned it on the message board, the banker replied they were unaware that in South Australia it can take several days for a registration to be processed. They’ve now changed their work process accordingly.”

Clear winners everywhere

Ultimately, Lihou says conveyancers, banks and clients have all seen benefits from being online.

“The banks really want this to work, and from our perspective, since we’ve been working on PEXA we’ve had none of the previous delays and frustrations. There’s no waiting on phones, or running down to the Lands Titles office for a document. And our clients have cleared funds in their accounts soon after settlement.

“I just love the transparency of PEXA, with its clean, open communication. I’m excited about doing conveyancing online and being part of the changes across the industry. We’re all working to the same goal.”

With 84 transactions online already and another 11 on the books, Goolwa Conveyancing is well on track to complete its goal of 100 transactions by the end of the year.

“Give me another month,” Lihou says. “With encumbrances on board it will move even faster.”

Learn more about how you can lodge an encumbrance online in SA.

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