Split Signing

I have a split signing, and the lender wants both the borrower’s and co-borrower’s signatures on the same form. I go today 6/26, to obtain the borrower’s signature, and I was instructed to keep the packet and return to the same address on Saturday, 6/29, for the co-borrower to sign. After all signatures are complete, I am instructed to return the documents to the lender. I understand that part.

My question is, I was told the borrower should use today’s date, 6/26 and the co-borrower should use Saturday’s date, 6/29. When filling out my acknowledgements, which are already prefilled to today’s date of 6/26 with both names listed, it is incorrect because the co-borrower will not sign today. Am I supposed to just ignore the fact that the dates are incorrect for the co-borrower? It’s a refinance, with a Quit Claim Deed, Deed of Trust, Affidavit of Occupancy, etc. How would you handle this situation?

FYI! The Right to Cancel expires July 3rd which gives the co-borrower 3 days after his signing date of 6/29, so that part is correct.

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You can use the pre-printed Acknowledgments with 6/26th date. Strike out the signer not there today and initial. Then generate additional Acknowledgment for 6/29th for the additional signer for each document as required and attach to each of those docs. So, you will have 2 Acknowledgments for each notarization - one dated 6/26 for borrower and the other dated 6/29 for co-borrower.

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Thank you! I was thinking along those lines, but I just wanted to make sure.

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Agree with Yolicue, but will add it may be prudent to clear this with title/lender. Make sure they approve of this.

Also, something to put in your knowledge bank for future reference… as to this: “FYI! The Right to Cancel expires July 3rd which gives the co-borrower 3 days after his signing date of 6/29,” - it gives ALL borrowers until 7/3 to cancel, not just co-borrower

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@LindaH-FL Sorry, Linda. You know I usually agree with you. However, in this case I don’t.

The notarial certificate is the purview of the notary. The notary must follow his/her state’s notary law – no pre or post dating. In this particular case, the notary is notarizing Borrower on 6/26/2024 and that’s what the notarial cert should reflect. On 6/29/2024, notary is notarizing Co-Borrower and the notarial cert should reflect that action. Both actions cannot be on same cert. (2 separate dates cannot be on same cert; both signers’ names cannot be on same cert. because of different dates) Or if you know of some way to accomplish this, please share? :slight_smile:

Yes, it gives both parties till July 3rd.

I agree with you 100% Yolicue - but lender may not…that’s why I said clear it with them - they may not want crossouts on the docs. Most are okay with it but there are some that don’t allow it -

Update:

The Lender does not want any names strike out or any dates changed. So, I informed the lender I could not ethically have co-borrower sign an acknowledge dated today, when I know he’s not physically there, and to please remove me from the signing if this is how you wish to proceed.

Thanks for all your help guys!

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@Kimgnotaryservice Sorry you had to give it back, but good call.

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@Kimgnotaryservice The technique I utilize mirrors the one shared by @yolicue (see above); however, as I always recommend - reach out in writing to the Title/Escrow Company [T/EC] prior to the signing appointment & request their response/explicit instructions in writing.

Why in writing?

  • It will preclude you from being placed into a position of “he said/she said” and avoid the ever-present possibility that the blame could roll downhill onto your shoulders (regardless of who actually is responsible).

Just remember that you must adhere to your state notarial regulations. If the T/EC advises you to violate them, then you’ll know that is a strong point of contention. At that point in time, you’ll definitively know what to do.

:swan:

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QUESTION: Did you make it clear to them that you would only be changing the notarial certificate [not any of the lender or escrow verbiage]?

Sorry you had to give it back. But if they clearly understood what you meant and they still wouldn’t allow, great call by you.

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It certainly is the responsibility of the notary to complete the certificates correctly, no matter what the client wants. It is the prerogative of the client to reject certificates they don’t like. If it seems there is a good chance the client will reject the certificates, it’s best to inform the client in advance about how the notary will be completing the certificates and if the client won’t go along with some lawful approach, the notary should cancel the appointment.

It was a misunderstanding. I was able to keep the assignment and cross out the names not there on the 26th and just add a Acknowledgement/Jurat for when the signer that will sign on the 29th.

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Good call!!! I would have done the exact same thing.

Perfect! That’s how it ought to done.

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Glad misunderstanding was corrected and you were able to keep assignment! Communication is key.

You did good, Kimgnotaryservice! :slight_smile:

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I once answered the question what are the biggest mistakes new NSAs make, I named several, the top two where: “Not using common sense to analyze a situation”, and “Not reading the certificates with comprehension”, the latter should have answered your question. You need two separate certificates with the date the document was signed & notarized. Your NSA training should have included the knowledge that a split signing is one example of when it is permissible to notarize a document with a blank space (i.e. the second signer’s signature), remember your certificate only applies to those that signed the document on the date of the certificate.

I would tell hiring company: THE DATE THEY SIGN IS THE DATE THEY SIGN. We notaries do not alter signing date no matter who is asking. That is fraud.

Yes, I agree. You need another acknowledgement. Both cannot be signed on separate days without it.

Your actions are exactly what I’ve done in the past. Title companies do not get to dictate how our notary laws are in individual states.

I’ve even argued (and won by the way) that I will not put my notary stamp on any document that there is not a notarial act performed on when I received that I had an error for not doing so. It was a form that I personally fill out and sign with the borrower name on it. I went through hoops to prove I was correct and now when I receive those type of documents in a package and they want a stamp. I will add my stamp with the wording above or below the stamp that states “this is an example of my stamp as no notarial act was performed”. I’ve been doing this for about 6 months now and have not had a single rejection for doing it. The laws about notarial acts are there to protect us notaries.

I’ve only returned one job where all of the notary certificates for about a 40 page package were at the end of the file rather than with the individual documents to be notarized. When I called the title company on that one to let them know I was putting the certificates with the documents they referenced, they insisted I could not put them with the documents they belonged too and could not change the order of the package. I told the very rude person that I refused to do this wrong and reassign it and literally hung up on them based on a comment from the person saying “I was only the notary” and am supposed to do what I was told. I hope many of you have not experienced these type of interactions with those we are trying to help get their customers signings done.

I know I have never lost any sleep over “doing the right thing right”…