Electronic Signatures FAQ/Resources

Is this legal?*

Yes. E-Sign legislation passed by Congress in 2000 provides electronic signatures the same legal recognition and enforcement as handwritten signatures. However, you are not required to sign documents electronically. If you choose not to sign electronically you may use the “Sign by Fax” feature or contact the person who has sent the signature request and request they mail or fax the document to you separately.

Is it secure?

All communication between the client desktops and our system takes place over Secure Socket Layer (SSL). We use a 128-bit encrypted message to communicate to the customer. The SSL security protocol provides data encryption, server authentication and message integrity.

What legislation makes electronic signatures legal?

The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (e-Sign Act) was passed by President Clinton and became effective October 1, 2000 and the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act has been adopted by most states:

What is the intent of e-Sign and UETA?

E-Sign and UETA were enacted to create uniformity in electronic transactions and to ensure equivalency between electronic signatures, contracts and records and their paper counterparts. To achieve this purpose, both E-Sign and UETA state that no signature, contract or record relating to a transaction can be denied legal validity or enforceability solely because it is an electronic format, or solely because an electronic signature or electronic record was used in its formation.

Are e-Signatures mandatory or is consent required?

E-Sign does not require any person to use electronic signatures. However, consent of the parties is required and may be withdrawn at any time.

Are there any documents/transactions excluded under E-Sign?

Under E-Sign certain transactions are excluded including:

• Wills, codicils, or testamentary trusts;

• Adoptions, divorce or other family law matters;

• Court orders or notices, or other official court documents required to be executed in connection with court proceedings;

• Any notice of cancellation or termination of utility services, default, acceleration, repossession, foreclosure, or eviction, or the right to cure, under a credit agreement secured by, or a rental agreement for, a primary residence of the individual;

• the cancellation or termination of health insurance or benefits or life insurance benefits;

• UCC transactions, certain sections 1-107 (waivers), 1-206 (statute of frauds for certain kinds of personal property) and Articles 2 (personal property sales) and 2A (personal property leasing);

• The recall of a product, or material failure of a product, that risks endangering health or safety;

• Any document required to accompany any transportation or handling of hazardous materials, pesticides, or other toxic or dangerous materials.

What about real estate related documents that are required to be in writing?

Under E-Sign as long as that the party has consented to the use of an electronic record in the transaction, the use of an electronic record satisfies that requirement.

* You should always consult an attorney and there are many that now specialize in e-Commerce and electronic signature law.