Recently, the Small Business Administration (SBA) issued a procedural notice highlighting the acceptance of electronic signatures in its 7(a) and 504 Loan Programs, effective January 1, 2015. Electronic signatures meeting the requirements of the notice will now be treated as equivalent to handwritten signatures. The notice, which further explains the requirements, is intended to encourage more lenders and agencies to accept electronic signatures.
The announcement comes weeks after Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO), of the House’s Small Business Committee, introduced legislation intended to “streamline and simplify the loan application process.” Congressman’s Grave’s proposed legislation,The Small Business Loan Simplification Act of 2014 (HR 5599), was intended to statutorily bring the SBA up-to-speed with technology already being used by private lenders and other federal agencies. Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH), Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ), Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY), Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), and Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) were original co-sponsors.