The initiative will encourage members to use e-chattel paper and adopt digital best practices in lieu of relying solely on the paper-based lending processes that are prevalent in the equipment finance industry today.

Over the next 18 months, the association will collaborate with eOriginal, a provider of electronic document management services, and others, to promote widespread adoption of e-chattel paper in equipment leasing and finance transactions.

This educational initiative will aim to raise awareness of a variety of benefits of e-chattel paper, including that it:

• simplifies the loan origination process and pools contracts faster and more efficiently;

• significantly reduces sales cycles and provides a first-class customer experience;

• allows equipment finance companies to digitally sign and manage loans and leases from the state of financing through to securitizations; and

• accelerates funding cycles and increases real-time transparency in the funding process.

To drive adoption of e-chattel paper and digital practices by ELFA members, the initiative will also identify and offer solutions to the challenges of adoption that are common among ELFA member companies, vendors and funding sources today.

Easy-to-access

Such barriers include the lack of knowledge of laws and legal precedents for e-chattel paper; resources to select or build a confidential e-chattel paper platform; the need for education regarding short-term and long-term cost impacts of using digital platforms and e-chattel paper; and the enablement of direct access to the technology required to create and manage electronic leases and contracts.

Additionally, many ELFA member companies are in need of legal expertise, methodologies and time or money to invest in an e-chattel paper program. This educational initiative is aimed at providing the membership with easy-to-access, trusted resources to make the shift to digital transaction management.

ELFA will share key messages from this education campaign through a variety of communication channels, including the association’s Equipment Leasing & Finance magazine, QuickBrief e-newsletter, ELFAonline.org website and social media properties, as well as at ELFA webinars and events. The first educational webinar will be held on Dec. 14.

“I'm pleased that our association sees the adoption of electronic documents and electronic chattel paper as an important advancement in transacting business,” said Dave Schaefer, CEO of Mintaka Financial, LLC, and chair of the ELFA Board’s Working Group on Electronic Documents (pictured above). “It’s time for our industry to utilize these tools to increase lessee satisfaction, document transactions faster and improve the movement of chattel paper.”

Ralph Petta, ELFA President & CEO added: “In our increasingly digital world, the time is ripe for equipment finance companies to consider converting to electronic chattel paper. While some member companies have already done so, others have questions about the adoption process. We are pleased to launch this important effort to educate our membership and their business partners about why and how to go digital with e-chattel paper.”