VERBAL CEREMONY FOR NOTARY ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

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Services for Real Estate Pros with Santa Clarita Mobile Notary

Assuring a signer whose signature is being acknowledged understands the document and is signing the document willingly is an essential function of a notary taking an acknowledgment.

man taking oath

 

It was recommended by the American Society of Notaries that notaries should perform a verbal ceremony for either an ACKNOWLEDGMENT or oath/affirmation (JURAT). "Acknowledged" means a notary heard the client reply "yes" or "I do" (or other similar words) to questions posed during the notarization. "Sworn to or affirmed" means the notary "performed a verbal ceremony for an oath or affirmation and heard the client reply in the affirmative as to the truthfulness of the document.

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Location:
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Groups:
"The Closers" Notary Signing Agents
Realtor Notaries
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Mobile Notary Public
Tags:
acknowledgments
verbal ceremony
jurats

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George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages Connecticut - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Denise that is scary.  Most documents that I see people having notarized are documents that they themselves bring to a notary.  So my question is why would someone bring something to a notary to notarize if they didn't understand it.  I can see if the document is being presented to them for the first time at the time it is also being notarized, but that is not what I usually see.

Just shows that no matter how obvious you think something is, follow the proper steps anyway.

Sep 18, 2008 12:37 PM #1
Rainer
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Denise OnullDell
Santa Clarita Mobile Notary - Santa Clarita, CA
Mobile Notary Public/Real Estate Agent

Reply to George

Yes it is very scary and you brought up a good point.  Thanks :)

I don't know what this particular situation was with this notary who was subpoenaed to go to court -- whether or not it was a document they brought to the notary.  What if it had to do with loan documents a notary signing agent brought to a borrower?  That opens up a whole new can of worms.

Sep 18, 2008 03:19 PM #2
Rainer
6,417
Joan Farley Nyobe
Farley's Legal Support Services - Bowie, MD

Of the 24 years I have been notarizing documents, I think I have only done a verbal ceremony once. I think verbal ceremonies will become more and more necessary in this litigious society. We have to follow proper procedures or wind up in court defending our positions. I will start with the verbal ceremonies as well as the thumb print. Thanks for sharing this very interesting topic.

Sep 21, 2008 07:27 PM #3
Rainer
41,406
Joan Bergstrom
Joan Bergstrom Mobile Notary - Riverside, CA
Mobile Notary, Riverside CA

There isn't a verbal command for CA notaries for an Acknowledgment. 

 The only instance where the notary would give a verbal command is when the client has signed an Acknowledgment before bring the document to the notary and then we would say "do you acknowledgment that this is your signature on this document?"

Sep 23, 2008 08:28 PM #4
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136,319
Terry Lynch
LAR Notary and Closing Services - Saint Clair Shores, MI

Denise

You sure have a lot more to know as a notary in California compared to Michigan. Can you do it just once with a mortgage package or do they require it for every single document?

Sep 23, 2008 09:04 PM #5
Rainer
49,807
Denise OnullDell
Santa Clarita Mobile Notary - Santa Clarita, CA
Mobile Notary Public/Real Estate Agent

Reply to Joan F.

I have to agree with you that notaries should "follow proper procedures" or they very well could "wind up in court defending our positions." California is a very "litigious" state as you say.

Reply to Terry

I think you can just say it once at the beginning of the signing for the entire loan package.  That's what I usually do and know other notaries who do the same.  By the way, your signature is very cool!

Reply to Joan B.

In my opinion, it couldn't hurt.  I'm going to do it just to be on the safe side.  Also a "verbal ceremony" is always required for Jurats.

Sep 24, 2008 12:34 AM #6
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Joanna Quan
Keller Williams Realty - Alamo, CA
Realtor, SRES, Notary

When I do Jurats I have my client raise their right hand and swear that the contents are true to their knowledge but I wasn't aware of asking questions for an acknowledgment.  As notaries, we generally can't answer questions about the documents and in no way required to know or understand all the different documents that can require notarization. 

Thanks for bringing this up.  I'll make sure that my clients in the future understand what they are signing.

Sep 24, 2008 11:25 AM #7
Rainer
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Joan Bergstrom
Joan Bergstrom Mobile Notary - Riverside, CA
Mobile Notary, Riverside CA

Denise

There is nothing in our CA handbook that requires an oath for an Acknowledgments and you might be doing something that no other CA notary does.

I would suggest you call our CA Sec of State  and ask them if an oath is required for a CA ACK?

I am just trying to be helpful in this post.

Sep 24, 2008 11:33 PM #8
Rainer
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Barbara Linker
Linker Loan Signings - Vail, AZ

In reply to Joan's statement... part of the CA acknowledgment wording is:

...who proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence to be the person(s) whose name(s) is/are subscribed to the within instrument and acknowledged to me that he/she/they executed the same in his/her/their authorized capacity(ies), and that by his/her/their signature(s) on the instrument the person(s), or the entity upon behalf of which the person(s) acted, executed the instrument.

I respectfully disagree because of the wording "..and acknowledged to me..".  How can the signer acknowledge to you that it is their name and signature on the document if you don't ask them?

Sep 25, 2008 01:23 AM #9
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Renee Kovacs
Renee A. Kovacs NSA Services - Northville, MI

If we put this in the context of a more specific situation, I think it's quite easy to understand the importance of the verbal acknowledgement being discussed.  One rather common situation, for example, would be the notarization of a Quit Claim Deed where the Grantor is an elderly person in the hospital.

QC Deeds are notarized with Acknowledgements (typically).  I can't imagine a notary performing in this situation WITHOUT obtaining clear verbal acknowledgement from the Grantor that they understand what they're signing and that they're signing of their own free will. 

Sep 25, 2008 04:50 AM #10
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Jacqueline Dyson
Dyson's Mobile Notary Service - Sacramento, CA

 I administer the oath at every every closing since most of my packages contain both Jurats and Acks. I am reviewing my current journal and can't locate an entry where I notarized a Ack for any single document.

Sep 25, 2008 01:18 PM #11
Rainer
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Denise OnullDell
Santa Clarita Mobile Notary - Santa Clarita, CA
Mobile Notary Public/Real Estate Agent

Renee -Perfect example!  When notarizing a quitclaim deed (especially for an elderly person), I always ask them if they 1) know what they are signing; 2) understand the consequences of doing so; and 3) are signing the document of their own free will.  I don't see how it could hurt to ask the same questions when notarizing important documents for anyone such as a deed or a power of attorney?   Thanks for your input.

Joan -Even if it is not in the CA SOS Handbook, I don't think it's a bad idea.  I merely wanted to bring it to the attention of notaries that a notary was sued by someone who said he didn't understand what he was signing at the time of the notarization.  If I can avoid being dragged into court, what could it hurt to ask a couple questions.  I don't think I'd be breaking any law just because it's not in the SOS Handbook, but I will doublecheck.  Your feedback is appreciated.

Jacqueline - I also administer the oath at the beginning of every loan signing.  Therefore, my bases (and my a%#) are covered.  Thanks for commenting!

Sep 26, 2008 01:46 PM #12
Rainer
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Joan Bergstrom
Joan Bergstrom Mobile Notary - Riverside, CA
Mobile Notary, Riverside CA

Denise.

 I teach students (for 4 years) to pass the CA State Notary exam for www.notaryclasses.com and there is not an oath or affirmation for a CA Acknowledgement.

Please call our Sec of State and ask for the notary division and ask them if an oath/affirmation is required for an Acknowledgment?

They will tell you no.

Jurats  (in CA) require a sworn oath or affirmation but Acknowledgments do not.

Let's not get into the subscribing witness thing.

I appreciate your posts because you are really bright and are an excellent  CA notary.

Sep 26, 2008 11:27 PM #13
Rainer
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Renee Kovacs
Renee A. Kovacs NSA Services - Northville, MI

Joan - I think you might be misunderstanding.  The discussion is about obtaining a verbal acknowledgement, not an oath.  Denise's article outlined both, so clearly she understands the difference.

Sep 27, 2008 04:53 AM #14
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Judi K Barrett
Judi Barrett~Integrity Real Estate Services~Idabel, Oklahoma - Idabel, OK
Broker/Owner, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDAB

Denise, interesting point and very important.  I'm not a notary but have never heard the notary ask any questions.  They usually ask for a copy of someone's drivers license if they do not know the people signing and that's it. Thanks for stopping by my blog this morning.

Oct 03, 2008 07:07 AM #15
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Todd Clark
Keller Williams Realty - Beaverton, OR
Broker - Beaverton, Oregon Real Estate Expert - (503) 524-9494

I've asked the first question, but never the following two when I was a notary years ago. Never thought about it, but I guess I should have.

Todd Clark, Helping Families Home - www.IFoundYourNewHome.com

Oct 14, 2008 12:22 AM #16
Rainmaker
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Shannon Ziccardi
A+ Mobile Notary / "A Quick Note" - Lake Forest, CA
A+ Mobile Notary/"A Quick Note"

As to acknowledgments, I always ask the signer if they have reviewed the documents and understand the documents that they will be executing before me.  On a few occasions, I have had to back away as I could not tell if the person was coherent or understanding of what they were doing. 

As to Jurats, I administer the oath every time.  Here's an old blog post that explains why: 

http://activerain.com/blogsview/470757/Raise-your-right-hand

"A Quick Note"

www.aquicknote.net

Oct 14, 2008 01:17 AM #17
Rainer
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Denise OnullDell
Santa Clarita Mobile Notary - Santa Clarita, CA
Mobile Notary Public/Real Estate Agent

Judi, Todd and Shannon - Thanks for your comments :)

Oct 17, 2008 01:08 AM #18
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