Bill Introduced to Modernize E-SIGN Act

A trio of Senate Republicans have introduced a bill aimed at making it easier for individuals to consent to receiving certain electronic documents, like account information and contracts, overhauling the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce (E-SIGN) Act.

The bill, aptly named the E-SIGN Modernization Act, was introduced by Sen. John Thune [R-S.D.], Sen. Jerry Moran [R-Kan.], and Sen. Sen. Todd Young [R-Ind.].

The E-SIGN Act became law in 2000 and requires consumers reasonably demonstrate they can access documents electronically before they can receive an electronic version of a document. The Senators allege this requirement is outdated and no longer necessary. The E-SIGN Modernization Act would allow individuals to receive documents electronically once provided certain disclosures.

“As technology continues to advance and transform, so too should the laws that govern it,” said Sen. Thune, in a statement. “Computers, smart phones, and other devices are more reliable and accessible than ever before. This legislation makes necessary updates to E-SIGN to reflect these advancements in technology and make it easier for consumers to receive documents electronically.”

ACA International noted that the provisions of the E-SIGN Modernization Act would address many of its concerns, especially those that relate to how the E-SIGN Act applies to collectors communicating with individuals via email.

“ACA International applauds Congress and strongly supports the actions taken in the E-SIGN Modernization Act to modernize outdated provisions of the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act,” said CEO Mark Neeb, according to a published report. “ACA will also continue to push the CFPB to understand instances where the E-SIGN Act should not apply, such as for electronic disclosures under the FDCPA. However, if the CFPB does find that it applies, these steps toward modernization taken by Congress will be extremely critical for the industry.”

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