Friday, August 26, 2011

Do you know the answer?


A husband in a community property state takes out a mortgage on a home. He will pay the loan entirely from his income and hold title in only his name.

Can his wife, a notary, notarize his loan documents?

The California Secretary of State's office got this wrong. Had to explain it to them. (Answer at end of today's post.)

Sitting in a car not enough

New York law apparently requires an independent candidate to collect qualification signatures in the presence of a notary. One candidate got people to sign the petition with the notary sitting in the car, within sight and earshot.

The court found this fell short of the notary's placing the voters under oath. The candidate therefore failed to get enough signatures to appear on the ballot.


His income is community property--owned by both of them. So the notary wife has part ownership of the asset (house) even though her name is not on title. If their state allowed the couple to opt out of community property, his name alone on title probably would not be enough to do so since there is no evidence she waived her rights.

Because she is benefiting from the transaction, she cannot notarize the documents. (The answer would be different if her state allows her to notarize documents for transactions which involve herself. I am unaware of a state that does.)


Friday, August 19, 2011

Accurate view of a notary?

A forum post on the web says a notary certifies the signer's identity, willingness to sign (absence of coercion) and awareness of the import of the document.

Huh? Do you question notary clients about what the document means?

If so, you may want to check your state's notary law. It's probable that you're exceeding your authority.

Generally a notary is not concerned with what is being signed (if all the blanks are filled in) but only with who.


Friday, August 12, 2011

Finding trouble

A New Mexico notary faces 300+ felony charges for helping about 3 dozen illegal immigrants obtain driver's licenses through false paperwork.

A South Carolina attorney notarized affidavits supplied by his client without the signers appearing before him. He called them on the phone, verified they signed and notarized the documents. He was given a public reprimand by the South Carolina Supreme Court. The Court is also requiring the attorney to read the South Carolina Notary Public handbook within 20 days.


Friday, August 5, 2011