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E-Signature for Credit Check

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Is a electronic signature under E-SIGN sufficient to justify our pulling a credit bureau check on an applicant?

E-SIGN is a law meant to allow the substitution of electronic bits and bytes for paper which is used to document something in a written form. Under Section 604 (F) of the Fair Credit reporting Act, you need a legitimate business purpose to access a credit report. There are additional reasons listed as well. But a "written" authorization is not a requirement in the first place. So yes, so long as you believe the request is authentic it would suffice. But it isn't necessary as there is no substitution necessary. If your internal policy and procedures require a written request, you should consider amending them to clarify that an electronic request is satisfactory to the bank.

First published on 4/14/08

First published on 04/14/2008

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