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E-mailing Early RESPA Disclosures

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Question: 
Can the early RESPA disclosures be delivered via e-mail? The Reg specifies in person or via mail and I'm unable to find any opinions about e-mail.
Answer: 

Delivering disclosures electronically that are required to be "in writing" is permissible because of the the passage a few years back of a law called Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-SIGN). The provisions of E-SIGN provide that electronic documents can be substituted for written documents if certain criteria are met including specific notification requirements to the customer about receiving electronic disclosures, the software and hardware requirements necessary and options for obtaining written documents instead. The customer must affirmatively agree to accept electronic documents instead of paper, and that consent must be in a manner that provides demonstratable proof that the customer can receive the electronic disclosures in the manner of delivery contemplated by the bank. Review the specific provisions of E-SIGN for more details. Only when those steps have been completed can the disclosures be delivered only by e-mail. Alternatively, you are certainly free to deliver the disclosures by e-mail without following E-SIGN requirements if you also send a written copy of the disclosures within 3 business days from the date of application.

First published on BankersOnline.com 9/25/06

First published on 09/25/2006

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