Knowing a signer is being untruthful

Hypothetically what if… A signer exposes that they’re unemployed but signes the form that says they have no change in income and employment for a refi? Also signed the URLA.

What would you do?

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I would stop the loan signing right then and there and make a citizens arrest.

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are you joking? or are you serious?

Because that would go over like a loud, wet, fart in church. The prudent course of action, considering that you are “on their turf” as it were, would be to complete the signing and keep your mouth shut at the moment. Once you are safely packed up and out of the house, immediately reach out to the Loan Officer, NOT the Service, and report what you now know, including the fact that you cannot legally return the papers, as you KNOW THEM TO BE FALSE, and, as such, cannot complete the Notarizations. Your Commission IS ON THE LINE if you knowingly turn in fraudulent documents. It is then up to the LO to decide what they are going to do next. THEN call the SS. I advise calling the LO first because SOME SS will want you to turn in the docs anyway. I’m not even gonna go there. Oh, and immediately shred the docs.

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First of all, I think Joe was kidding…

Disagree with gjackmannNSS on a number of fronts;

Complete the signing, yes

Call the LO - no; contact hiring party only (remember lenders do income/employment verification either just before signing or just before funding).

Was this form notarized? I don’t recall this form being notarized and, if not, no risk to your commission. If it IS a notarized form, then absolutely, you cannot notarize this particular form as you know it to be false. The rest of the notarizations in a loan package should not be at risk unless there are other false statement in each individual form.

Do not shred the documents; follow instructions from hiring party. You cannot take it upon yourself to destroy someone’s loan package; my option would be to talk to hiring party and return package to them for them to handle…



No the form didn’t require notarization, just the signers signature

Just to clarify, in the 2003-2008 mortgage mania there were 500K loans being issued by lenders who would cobble together 3 to 4 separate family incomes in one house to qualify for a refinance. Almost every loan was loaded with prepayment penalties and smelled of mortgage fraud. I even had signers complain that their 1003’s were incorrect because those debts were wiped out by their recent bankruptcy. Hello? If a lender feels there’s fraud happening the signed IRS 4506 is there for them to uncover it. Many years ago I even told anyone who would listen that couldn’t afford my first house but I found a way to pay for it. People talk and we listen with one ear and let it go out the other. Did I make myself clear…Karen?


That’s a ridiculous question especially when we are still mired in a 100year pandemic. Yes, of course I would pull my water pistol out of my purse and have them face down on the kitchen floor till the Notary Police arrive. Oh wait, I don’t carry a purse! Okay I would point my Blue ink pen at them and make them “put it in writing”. Cause talk is just hearsay.


oh wow joe ok i get it

LoL, just being long winded before the start of a busy friday. I’m never serious and I love to tell stories about situations I somehow end up in. You have to keep a sense of humor or you will soon burn out.


I thought long and hard about this question, because the topic alone seems to be loaded and raised a number of questions for me.
What makes you think the signer was being untruthful just because they happened to mention that they were unemployed? Are you certain that they had been employed at the time they made the loan application and their mention of employment at the signing was a change in circumstance? Our role as notaries is not to interrogate the signer about anything in those documents. So, did the information about their employment status come up as part of casual conversation outside of your notarial activity? If casual conversation, how do you make the leap from something you hear and observe casually in a signer’s environment to it becoming your professional responsibility to then inform anyone in the loan chain about your suspicions? If it was a two party signing and the one party happened to mention the unemployment status of the other in your presence, would you still feel the need to inform the hiring party about your suspicions? And, if after you’ve informed the hiring party about your suspicions and they take some action with the signers that might nullify the loan, what then becomes your liability when it is disclosed to the borrowers by the lender that the change of circumstance was brought to their attention by you? Are you prepared to accept the responsibility of what might come after?
From my first reading I felt that you had imposed yourself onto a situation that was both unnecessary and potentially a bit risky. The contract is between the borrower and the lender. The borrower signs a couple of documents attesting to the fact that everything they are signing is accurate and true. Then there are a couple of warning documents in the packet about loan fraud, one from the lender and often another from the government with that big blue seal and a list of (I think 7) statutes against which they may be prosecuted. And, since we don’t notarize any of those documents, we have no obligation to act as junior detective to determine legitimacy or ethical behavior on the part of the borrowers. As a matter of fact, our only role in the signing process is to append our signatures stating that the persons sitting in front of us have been identified as the persons who have provided proof that the signer and the individual providing proof of identity are one and the same. Beyond that, I’m not certain what your role is with regard to determining their truthfulness about anything relating to the loan documents.


@ Tisino Outstanding post!!

My God, I have gotten a GREAT laugh off of reading your posts! You sir, are a LEGEND!!! You be well and I hope you have a great Friday! :slight_smile:

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well what did she write cause i ain’t reading all of that

I hear that occasionally, but just ignore it because I do not know if it’s the truth. Some lenders have a note to the signing agent on the top page in bold letters that says if the borrower answers “Yes” on any questions on this form regarding income/employment then stop the signing and contact the lender immediately. That is the only form that I pay close attention to with regards to a change in income or employment. And yes I would stop the signing only for the form that I just mentioned because I am legally obligated to as a signing agent. But I would not stop it for any hearsay.

Yes! I noticed that to as I read the details and instructions. So you wouldn’t help a brother / sister out?

As a notary, it not our job to police the signers job status, that’s the lender’s job. But by telling you this information, does that shift blame the signer, to the notary, for not coming forth with this info?
The signer may say later, but I told the notary that I was currently unemployed…
Because the LO may of just carried over the previous job data on their previous loan with them…Maybe. Verifying tax returns, doesn’t verify your still employed…


How the loan officer may or may not do their job does not implicate the notary in any way to make up for their shortfall. That is why notaries are given specific, written instructions on what to look for and what to do at the signing table. As stated by @bwnrolando, there is usually a document in the packet indicating that you are to stop the signing and call the lender/title company if “X” occurs. If there is a question about something “witnessed” at the signing table the best course of action is to inform the signer that you wish to call your agency to get clarity. Do it there and in front of them. Suspicions don’t fit this test. If it gives you pause to think about doing that based on something you just “heard them say” then perhaps it is prudent to let what’s seen or heard at the signing table stay at the signing table.


grandma with the hook-ups i feel you

It’s none of your business, you are there to a) insure the docs are signed & filled & b) notarize those that need it. YOU ARE NOT A DETECTIVE, don’t play police officer.