A Note About Notaries
When the deal is about to close,
don't be surprised if the title company insists on an
independent notarization of the parties' signatures
Here’s a heads-up for real estate
practitioners, lenders, construction companies and investors.
Recently I was the attorney for the seller
of an Arizona shopping center. When closing day approached, I sent a
blank form of the Deed (which the parties had already approved) to
my client for his signature, taking care to remind him that it
needed to be notarized. My client lives in Pennsylvania.
To my surprise, the title company – which has
handled several deals for us – would not accept the notarization and
insisted on using their own notary. They actually took the time to
engage an independent notary in Philadelphia to go to my client’s
home to have the Deed executed and notarized. The notarized Deed was
then overnighted to Arizona.
I was told this new company policy was a
result of the fallout from sloppy business transactions associated
with the past boom, which led to “liar loans” and, apparently, a
number of forged closing documents.
This is the first time I have run into this,
and it raises some questions:
Were they just picking on me or
my client? (Not likely.)
Does it apply to all transactions or
just those of larger dollar amounts?
Will other escrow companies follow
What about other notarized documents,
such as construction liens, easements, etc?
This may never happen again, but
if your transaction is time-sensitive and involves out-of-state
parties, you may want to explore this well before closing.