ACA International Supports Modernization of E-SIGN Act


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Letter to Senate Commerce Committee members outlines importance of protecting electronic communication options for consumers. Editors note: This article is available for members only.

7/14/2020 9:00

ACA International is supporting efforts to modernize the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act.

Members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation introduced bipartisan legislation, the E-SIGN Modernization Act of 2020, July 2 to streamline the process for consumers receiving electronic documents.

“Meaningful communication must not be discouraged through arbitrary or outdated limitations on communications,” ACA International CEO Mark Neeb said in a letter to bill sponsors U.S. Sens. John Thune, R-S.D., Jerry Moran, R-Kan., and Todd Young, R-Ind., who serve on the Senate Commerce Committee. “The ability to communicate with consumers is an important step in providing them with more options for controlling their financial future and continued access to credit and services.”

Thune, Moran and Young introduced the legislation with requirements on streamlining how consumers consent to receiving electronic documents like bank statements, account information and contracts, according to a news release from Thune’s office.

“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International applauds Congress and strongly supports the actions taken in the E-SIGN Modernization Act to modernize outdated provisions of the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act,” Neeb said.

ACA will also continue to push the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to understand instances where the E-SIGN Act should not apply, such as for electronic disclosures under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

“However, if the CFPB does find that it applies, these steps toward modernization taken by Congress will be extremely critical for the industry,” Neeb said.

The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-SIGN) became law in 2000.

Whether the E-SIGN act applies to debt collectors seeking to use email has been a major point of issue in the debt collection rulemaking at the CFPB. ACA argued in its comment letter that it should not apply, and also outlined other areas of concern if the CFPB does find that it applies to the use of email. This legislation would be an important step toward addressing some of those concerns with the outdated nature of the E-SIGN act.

E-SIGN currently puts onerous burdens on consumers before they can receive an electronic version, which is an outdated requirement that is no longer necessary given advancements in technology. The E-SIGN Modernization Act would remove this requirement, so once a consumer is provided with disclosure information and consents to receiving documents electronically, he or she can obtain them through those means, according to the news release.

ACA will continue to advocate on behalf of the industry as this bill progresses through the 116th Congress.

Read the complete letter from Neeb here.

For more information on how the ACA Licensing staff can assist with your licensing needs, please contact us at [email protected]  or call (952) 926-6547.