by Dina J. Moskowitz, assistant general counsel, Natalie Abrams, associate general counsel, and Amy Martin, director, Standard & Poor's
Electronic contracts (e-contracts) are contracts that are originated and "signed" electronically. Due to developments in technology and ever-rising costs for storing and retrieving paper contracts, e-contracts are becoming increasingly popular. Specifically, companies in the auto loan business that seek to securitize their auto loan contracts are increasingly entering into e-contracts with their customers. Accordingly, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has analyzed the ways in which e-contracts differ from paper contracts in a securitized pool of auto loans. This article discusses the legal differences between e-contracts and paper contracts for the purposes of Standard & Poor's rating of securities backed by auto loan e-contracts.