Avoiding problems with electronic signatures
Plaintiffsê attorneys have a new tactic for challenging retail installment sales contracts (RISCs) in the deals where the customer is no longer happy. They claim the signature doesnêt look like the consumerês signature on the rest of the documents, and therefore it must be forged. The attorney then demands that the dealer buy back the car.
Usually, the dealer finds that the customer signed the RISC on an electronic signature pad required by the finance source. But most electronic signatures look like indecipherable scratching. Having the F&I rep testify that the customer signed the RISC is not practical when that person sees multiple deals daily and may not remember a customer from two or three months ago.
One idea: Use a paper form in conjunction with electronically sign RISCs. It should be signed in the customerês hand at the same time as the RISC. While not ironclad proof that the customer signed the RISC, it is compelling proof that the customer was in the dealership and acknowledged signing the RISC in the same handwriting as the rest of the hand-signed documents.[I]Thanks to Michael Charapp of Charapp and Weiss LLP for providing this information.[/I] Download Bulletin PDF