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Real estate docs signed, sealed, delivered: virtually

Postal Service introduces Electronic Postmark

The U.S. Postal Service, whose services have been called "snail mail" ever since the Internet came along, generally doesn't ignite visions of high-tech innovation. But the Postal Service is trying to change its image in a big way with the Electronic Postmark, which creates a secure and legally binding time-stamped seal on documents that can be transferred electronically. The real estate and mortgage sectors, in which hundreds of papers are signed and passed back and forth in a single transaction, present dozens of opportunities for the Electronic Postmark to be used. The Postal Service uses technology developed by AuthentiDate, a provider of Web-based content authentication services, to enable businesses to sign and transfer electronic documents created in Microsoft Word. After a document is signed, the Electronic Postmark creates a security lock to ensure it isn't altered during transmittal or signing by another party. "We see a lot of applicability in the real estate space," Richar...