Before I printed the docs, I found out from the borrower that their name is misspelled on the escrow docs. The PDF is allowing me to edit, can I fix it?
NO! Do NOT tamper with any of the documents. If it’s not your certificate you should not touch it. Contact hiring party/title and let them handle the correction - they may have borrowers cross out and correct and initial. Or they may send new docs - but you do not change the docs at all.
P.S. This type of scenario is the reason a lender has recently issued a stern, emphatic warning to notaries in their closing packages warning them NOT to use a pdf program to alter the docs.
The ONLY part of a document you should EVER prefill is the notarial certificate. Any other blanks must be filled in BY THE BORROWER at the table. It is THEIR loan, not yours; therefore they and ONLY they provide any required information. The notarial certificate is the only part of any document that is “yours”.
You should not change anything on the documents other than what is contained within your notarial certificate. Any of these documents can affect the life of the person that is signing as well as future generations and any other parties involved in the transaction. If the name is wrong, the best thing to do is to contact who ever gave you the signing and let them know about the mistake. They are the ones who will have to get the documents fixed. They may allow the signer (not you), to line through the name and make the correction, or they may have to redraw the documents if the mistake will affect more than what needs to be signed. Hope this helps.
You must call the signing services that hired you and ask them for their preference.
I addressed this issue with 2 signing companies. The “by” line is about an inch and a half long so if you have 2 people that are the borrowers, it is very difficult to squeeze the 2 names in, especially when the middle names are part of the signing names. I asked if I could just “stretch” the line to allow for the names and I was told “NO” I cannot change the docs. I was also told to place an asterisk in the “by” line and add the names at the bottom of the page in a blank spot.
Has anyone done this?
You could also print small and print one name above the other in your cert - it’s tough but it’s doable.
OP in this thread is asking if she can correct name throughout the docs - and that’s a huge no no
To place an * at “by_______” ? I have never been in a signing where I have to do that, but sounds reasonable to do, especially when you have to squeeze in long names.
If you alter any documents other than the notarial certificate, that is a lawsuit waiting to happen. One scenario for you to consider (among a million others!) is that what if their is some type of fraud going on in the background that you are unaware of. By you altering the documents to match the signers name makes you now look like you are an accomplice and will cost you your commission and possible fines and time in jail. And with real estate, these things can take sometimes years before the consequences of your actions surface (generally when the house is being transferred in a sale, etc.) Never, ever take it upon yourself to “change” any part of someone else’s documents. EVER!