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Buying a house could soon take days rather than months, thanks to plans afoot for electronic conveyancing. The Government has put forward proposals to eliminate the need for every stage of conveyancing - the legal process of transferring land from one owner to another - to be signed manually. It aims to publish new rules later in the year that will make possible electronic contracts, transfers and mortgages. It also has plans to create an online national database of properties and land information. The proposals form part of the Electronic Communications Bill, which is due for its second reading in the House of Lords this afternoon. "Under our proposals, all the conveyancing information needed to sell or buy a property could be made available quickly and simultaneously to everybody concerned," said Lord Irvine, the Lord Chancellor. "This should enable problems to be identified and resolved at the outset rather than much later on." Lord Irvine said the moves should allow professional conveyancers to offer a "speedier, better and even cheaper service".® The current Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989 dates back to 1845 and 1677. Related stories: Tesco and RBS launch Net bank

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