LAS VEGAS–James Newell, associate general counsel for Freddie Mac, believes the use of electronic signatures in real estate settlement services is past the point of pipe dreams. Four years after a federal law allowing the use of e-signatures in legally binding documents was passed, a panel of experts last week discussed progress that's been made in that time. The combination of "boatloads" of technology and the legal support that's now in place will help e-mortgages thrive, Newell said during the Real Estate Services Providers Council's fall seminar. Since the federal ESIGN legislation (Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce act) took effect in 2000, the industry has been working to set potential standards, specifications and guidelines for fully electronic mortgage processing, he said. The e-signature law was one of the few pieces of legislation that was passed before industry usage and availability of technology, which explains some of the delay between the law'...
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