Fannie Mae, the nation’s biggest source of secondary-market home financing, is preparing for the day that wholly electronic mortgage originations are commonplace, but its executives admit this day is probably a long way off.

A look at the first homebuyer to participate in a July test Fannie did of all-electronic loan origination suggests that the procedure may take a while to become mainstream. The first participant was a technologist who signed the closing document for his mortgage using a stylus and a large graphics tablet. His signature then appeared on a computer screen, and the closing attorney and lender involved in the transaction signed digital certificates that encrypted the transaction.

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