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Making Electronic Real Estate Transactions Easier, More Secure

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Making Electronic Real Estate Transactions Easier, More Secure

Ministry of the Attorney General

Ontario is seeking input on a proposed regulation to help ensure electronic documents used in real estate transactions are secure.

Beginning Nov. 14, 2014, a public consultation will help establish what, if any, regulatory measures are needed to ensure reliability of e-signatures and reduce the risk of fraudulent transactions when using e-signatures in real estate transactions.

The results of this consultation will help pave the way for Ontario to implement an amendment to the Electronic Commerce Act. Passed as part of the 2013 Budget, the amendment would allow this legislation to apply to documents such as agreements to buy and sell houses, mortgages and deeds.

These changes would allow people to electronically sign paperwork and email it to their real estate agent, reducing the time needed to complete the process. Currently, most land transfers completed in Ontario rely on paper documentation and in-person transactions.

Ontario's e-commerce laws are based on a United Nations model that is in force around the world, and already applies to land transfer transactions in five Canadian provinces and in the U.S.

Read the consultation document, which includes a proposed regulation.

The public may provide comments on this proposed regulation until Dec. 31, 2014 at 11:59 p.m.

Comments can be submitted via email or in writing to: Justice Policy Development Branch, Ministry of the Attorney General, 7th floor, 720 Bay Street, Toronto, ON, M7A 2S9.

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