Categories
Business

Faxed Contracts Don’t Hold Up in Court

Fact or Fiction?

By Chris Tingom

Principal of Tornado Design, a Phoenix, AZ based web consultancy

9 replies on “Faxed Contracts Don’t Hold Up in Court”

I am going to say absolutely. If the gov’t can accept a faxed document for taxes then it should be able to hold up in court. Its only moderatly easier than forging someones signature.

Try this exercise:

1. Have someone sign their name on a piece of paper (Maybe by having them sign some general, unrelated, innocent contract?).
2. Cut out their signature.
3. Prepare elaborate legal document saying said person owes you $5,000.
4. Glue their signature onto the signature line.
5. Fax document to yourself.
6. Shred fake contract (the one with the glued-on signature).

If there are any visible cut-out outlines around the signature area, you could just use white-out on it and fax the result to yourself again.

Alternatively, you could just scan their signature into your computer, photoshop it onto your contract, print it, and fax it to yourself.

Ta-da! You have exactly the same document as you would if someone had actually signed the contract and faxed it to you for real.

Who knows? Maybe it would hold up in court somehow.

Personally, I would definitely feel more confident if I had a real piece of paper with real ink on it from someone’s pen as opposed to a fax. From what I’ve heard, a handwriting analyst would be able to look at the genuine ink signature under a microscope and see the trademark characteristics that identify it as a real signature, such as the speed and direction of the ink flow as it’s whipped across the paper. With a fax, it’s simply my word against my opponents. And if he’s going to be on the losing end of the deal, I somehow doubt he’ll be willing to produce the original document with his signature on it.

I work at a university. We do not except faxed copies of transcripts or faxed copies of the signed degree plans. Only original will do. We are talking peoples lives here. Degrees are contracts between the university and the student. We hold up our end of the bargin and the student does their part, as well. So, I would believe “faxed contracts do not hold up in court” I’m also a notary. Faxing a contract is a temporary solution, (hold the deal), till the real thing is posted.

From the real estate industry perspective, I have two perspectives:

1) As Mark stated, it is abundantly common to have purchase contracts that have been faxed many times. Precedence has definitely held up these contracts as valid.

2) If the government is involved, original documents are usually required. This includes the documents that the title company submits for local recording. It also includes the paperwork necessary for a HUD purchase.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.