Equifax has announced a partnership with DocuSign to make it easier, faster and more secure for individuals and businesses to electronically sign and submit an essential mortgage lending Internal Revenue Service's Requests for Transcript of Tax Return form, known as the "4506-T." The companies will help the IRS streamline processing of more than 25 million 4506-T forms it receives annually. The expediting of these forms electronically is anticipated to help stimulate and accelerate business for mortgage lenders, credit unions, credit card companies, and other lending institutions. Although the most significant and immediate impact will be in mortgage origination, this advancement is also expected to expand the use of IRS income verification in other decisioning environments such as government benefits allocation and pre-employment screening.
"The 4506-T is a required document in virtually all mortgage lending scenarios, and has long been the last remaining document in a mortgage loan application that could not be electronically signed," said Jeff Knott, senior director of product management at Equifax. "Our joint proof of concept pilot with DocuSign demonstrated that individuals and businesses can complete and submit government forms more quickly and efficiently online with eSignature–anytime, anywhere, on any device. This potentially removes 1-3 days from the front end of the loan application process by eliminating faxing or mailing, and enables an entirely paperless, electronically signed loan application."
As an industry pioneer in automated 4506-T processing and the leading provider of tax transcript fulfillment nationally, Equifax has championed the use of eSignature technology on IRS forms alongside DocuSign for several years. In 2011, the IRS selected Equifax, DocuSign, and 12 lenders to test the feasibility of eSigned Form 4506-T submissions. The successful nine-month pilot helped solidify the policies and procedures that will be used in the IRS eSignature program, which began this week.
"DocuSign has been working with the IRS for several years to bring the global standard for eSignature to government transactions," said Ken Moyle, chief legal counsel at DocuSign. "We're proud to have led the eSignature pilot in partnership with Equifax to make it easier, faster, more convenient and secure than ever before to do business with the government."
Equifax's new enhancement lets the lender send a request form to the loan applicants for signature using DocuSign as a value-added element providing a faster, secure, legal signature as authorization to release information. This simple step can be completed during their normal tax transcript ordering process and eliminates the need for the lender to collect the signature separately and upload the signed document. Equifax then processes the request, including routing to appropriate parties at the IRS, ensuring a fast, paperless transaction that authorizes the distribution of tax information to the lender. Equifax clients will still have the ability to submit manually signed forms, or eSigned forms completed prior to placing the tax transcript order, allowing the lender to integrate this advancement into their workflow at their pace.
To address the IRS's requirements for an eSignature platform, DocuSign delivers:
►Secure Authentication: DocuSign offers Single Sign On (SSO), knowledge-based and multi-factor authentication options to ensure the right person signs the right document every time.
►Consumer Consent: DocuSign ensures consumers consent to doing business electronically with the Federal government via a one-page consent form presented to the signer after authentication and prior to signing.
►Separate Audit Trail: Every DocuSigned document includes a separate certificate of completion and legally binding audit trail with detail on who signed, when and where.
►Tamper Proof: Documents are encrypted on the DocuSign network to prevent tampering and ensure validity.