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Electronic Signatures a Growing Topic of Importance, on Slate for Credit Congress

As noted in the February issue of Business Credit, many functions such as online credit applications and electronic signatures are increasingly going the paperless/online route. While inertia and reluctance to change remain large hurdles for any overhaul in how business gets done, in credit or otherwise, the fact is that ever-increasing Internet use is making this a credit and business migration that can't be ignored.

In a December NACM survey, about one-quarter of all respondents noted their respective companies had an online credit application. While paltry on the surface, digging into comments finds many believe they're starting to become more familiar with such options and are investigating technological expansion or are even ready to launch something. Said Bruce Nathan, Esq., Lowenstein Sandler PC, such a wave "absolutely is going to come."

"It might be a little slow to come right now, but people are starting to do these things," said Nathan, who will address the topic from a legal standpoint during a two-part session at Credit Congress on the morning of June 13. "More and more you're hearing about online credit applications, entering into contracts electronically and electronic signatures. These are non-bankruptcy legal issues that people deal with day to day, and they will come up more and more prevalent."

He noted there are issues credit professionals must become more familiar with, such as enforceability of signatures, ability to maintain electronic records and the pitfalls ofsigning an electronic contract without knowledge of associated statutes, among others.

Nathan—along with Wanda Borges, Esq., Borges & Associates LLC, and Val Venable, CCE, Ascend Performance Materials—will present the two-part educational session "Ignorance is Not Bliss: Challenging Non-Bankruptcy Legal Issues Facing Credit Professionals" as part of NACM's 2012 Credit Congress, taking place June 10-13 at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, TX.

Brian Shappell, CBA, staff writer