Answer from Randy: Without demonstrable consent, just sending an attachment in an e-mail does not meet the E-SIGN requirements and therefore the delivery from a regulatory standpoint never happened.
Answer from Andy: The CAN-SPAM Act is as close as you'll find to having a definition as open and closed systems are discussed and treated differently. But E-SIGN won't "borrow" from CAN-SPAM. Email is email, but as Randy noted unless the consumer has consented to receipt of notices in this manner and you have complied with the E-SIGN requirements in that process, email is not a valid form of delivery. Allow that many people check email when they expect something and otherwise do not access it. They wouldn't expect a correction and without E-SIGN compliance, you need to follow the more traditional means of sending notices and disclosures.
First published on BankersOnline.com 8/13/12