The Legal Brief: A brief word about the legal stuff…

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Do you wonder whether electronic signatures (e-Signatures) are legally binding? The answer is a resounding YES. e-Signatures are as binding as a pen-and-ink signature. In some cases, they are even more so due to authentication data that proves who signed the document. Also, e-Signatures indicate details such as where, when, and how a document was signed.

The E-Sign Act became law in June of 2000. The act states that contracts with electronic signatures may not be denied legal effect or ruled unenforceable because they were created digitally. Additionally, the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) was created in 1999 to harmonize state laws concerning the validity of electronic signatures. Forty-seven states have adopted this act, including all states in which GAINSCO does business.

The E-Sign Act and UETA are the major laws in the U.S. regarding e-Signatures. Other countries such as the United Kingdom and Canada have similar laws in place.

Key items to remember:

  • If the customer is in your office, be sure to adjust the monitor and hand them the mouse so they can sign.
  • If the customer is calling you, confirm their email address and stay on the phone to assist them during the signing process.
  • Keep the files – either by printing them or saving digitally. Use the method that works best for you.

Remember that e-Signature is the preferred method of signing documents with GAINSCO. If you haven’t start using e-Signature, try it today.

 

If you wish to learn more about e-Signatures from a legal perspective:

  • Click here for the text of the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA).
  • Click here for details of the E-Sign Act.