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Informational Memorandum
Subject:Request for Comments on Borrower Rights Requirements
Date of Memorandum:12/20/2002
Expiration Date:
Office:OPA
Signed By:Dunn, Michael
FCA Contact Person:Aultman, Dale
Contact Phone:703-883-4381
List of Attachments:NTIA Request.pdf
NTIA Comment Date Correction.pdf

INFORMATIONAL MEMORANDUM


December 20, 2002


To: Chairman, Board of Directors All Farm Credit Banks and Associations

From: Michael V. Dunn, Director
Office of Policy and Analysis

Subject: Request for Comments on Borrower Rights Requirements

This Informational Memorandum (IM) advises you of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) request for comments on borrower rights requirements.

As you know, the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act, Pub. L. 106-229, 15 U.S.C. 7001 et seq. (E-SIGN), establishes the legal effect, validity, and enforceability of signatures and contracts relating to electronic transactions and electronic signatures used in the formation of electronic contracts. E-SIGN preempts most state and federal laws, including the Farm Credit Act of 1971, as amended, and its implementing regulations, that require contracts or other records to be written, signed, or in nonelectronic form. E-SIGN has exceptions for some types of records. Among other things, E-SIGN still requires paper notifications for residential property foreclosures and defaults.

The Department of Commerce (DOC) must evaluate whether some requirements of E-SIGN continue to be necessary for consumer protection. On November 15, 2002, NTIA, under the DOC, published a notice in the Federal Register (67 FR 69201) soliciting comments on E-SIGN’s requirement for paper notices of default, acceleration, repossession, foreclosure, eviction, and the right to cure when a loan is secured by the primary residence of an individual. On November 21, 2002, the Federal Register published a correction to properly identify the comment period closing date (67 FR 70302). NTIA specifically mentioned the Farm Credit Administration’s (FCA) e-commerce regulation as it pertained to borrower rights. However, NTIA mistakenly identified FCA as part of the United States Department of Agriculture.

This is your opportunity to suggest how E-SIGN and its consumer protection requirements could better accommodate e-commerce. We are attaching copies of NTIA’s Federal Register notices. The public comment period closes January 14, 2003.

We encourage you to respond to NTIA and ask that you also send a copy of your comments and suggestions electronically to our "reg-comm@fca.gov" electronic mail address. Alternatively, you can mail a copy of your comments and suggestions to Thomas G. McKenzie, Director, Regulation and Policy Division, Office of Policy and Analysis, Farm Credit Administration, 1501 Farm Credit Drive, McLean, VA 22102-5090 or fax them to (703) 734-5784. If you have any questions about this document, please contact Dale Aultman, Policy Analyst (aultmand@fca.gov), at (703) 883-4381, TTY (703) 883-4434. You may also contact Jane Virga, Senior Attorney (virgaJ@fca.gov), at (703) 883-4071, TTY (703) 883-2020.

Attachments

NTIA Request.pdfNTIA Comment Date Correction.pdf