I did a closing back in May of this year. I received a call from the title company last week stating that the deed had been filed and I had placed my commission expiration date on the transaction date space. They stated that because of this they had to refile the deed and it cost x amount. They then stated that either I needed to send them a check for that amount or they would go after my E&O. Has anyone ever had anything like this happen before? If so what did you do? I reached out to the NNA to see what does it mean if someone goes after your E&O and as I assumed it is just like car insurance you will pay more when it is time to renew. But is it worth paying them out? Or allow them to go after my E&O? Am I truly responsible to pay this?
Ask them to show you the proof of your error. In the meantime, if you’re able to look up property records, I’d check to see if the security instrument YOU notarized was recorded.
If you truly did make an error it IS on you - and I guess if you refuse to comply to correct or pay they could make a claim against your E&O as what they describe IS a notarial error. But I’d want them to send me the proof first before I send them anything.
Also, how legal is it that they can amend a document after it’s notarized? Liability may fall on both sides here.
I might also suggest you contact your SoS for guidance here - but not until you have their proof and your research in hand.
P.S - don’t rely on the phone call - have them write to you as to what they require. You want EVERYTHING in writing, including your own response.
@LindaH-FL is correct in her response. However, I would suggest that you not start your response to them with a phone call. Start your response with and email/letter, first recounting the conversation you had with the person who contacted you, then include their allegation(s). Follow with a request for the proof as @LindaH-FL suggests. Let them know that any request outside of your need to correct any issues related to your execution of the document PRIOR to their filing or any modifications they may have made to the document post filing is not your responsibility/error alone. In their post signing review, this error should have come to the attention to someone. If it did not, even though you may have made a mistake in the date, then I agree with @LindaH-FL that both of you share responsibility for this oversight. This will put the ball in their court and they will have no alternative but to respond to you in kind (writing). I see their call to as a veiled threat that they will probably abandon after receiving your written response. They will either write to clear up any “misunderstanding”, or push forward knowing that you are a savvy and detailed NSA and they will be in a serious struggle to get recompense through your E&O. Good luck.
As Tisino advises, a situation like this should be documented. The old legal adage, “If it isn’t in writing, it doesn’t exist” definitely applies.
That is a fairly common error. The title/escrow company employee responsible for proofreading the completed package could easily have reached out to you for a corrected acknowledgement and the situation would have been quickly resolved.
The cost of filing here is roughly $225. Pretty sure that the cost of payroll time alone involved in filing a claim against your E&O would eclipse that.
I would guess that you are being scapegoated by a fairly new escrow employee who filed docs in a hurry and was reprimanded.
There is the possibility that a claim against the e and o might be denied due to the error not being a notarial act IE. The transaction date is part of the document and the notary may not be entitled to enter that date on the document. You could get another error for UPL for filling out the deed on the signers behalf. If it was you that actually entered your notary expiration on the document by mistake, you should pay for the refile out of your own funds and put it behind you.
Yes listen to them all - They are correct
I am in disagreement with this statement. We have all made mistakes in recording dates. Sometimes you may write the wrong year, or month, or wrong date altogether on a document and have it returned for correction. The settlement officer has a lengthy Closing Instructions document they review and sign off on before closing a loan. That review has a section (Execution of Documents) that is supposed to catch any mistakes in the documents before they are filed. You may have made a mistake, but your mistake was compounded by someone not fully reviewing the documents during review, and the more significant error was filing the document with uncorrected information. Don’t automatically assume that the responsibility for any costs in correcting the documents post-filing are yours to bear. Let them make their case if they believe they are right in going after you as the responsible party. From where I’m standing, it would be a hard one to prove. Stand your ground.
I disagree with jnewberry too. If this had been caught immediately after the signing, during document quality control and PRIOR to recording…that would be one thing … But AFTER recording…no, sorry…I would not take their word and pay until they showed me the proof.
Nobody’s able to perfect a claim against your E&O without the insurance carrier contacting you first to hear your side of the story and present you with the evidence that they require to be certain they are paying on a legitimate claim.
In any case, NEVER send the insurance carrier a check to cover the expense of a claim. Insurance companies don’t ask their insured customers for checks to cover claims, EVER! I suspect that an unscrupulous clerk at the insurance company is using company resources to bilk you out of some $$. You may want to go two levels above the author of that request for money and confirm what’s up.
Let us know how this works out; I’m quite curious.
@LindaH-FL they did send proof, so I am at fault however on the phone and again via email I asked why in now August an I being contacted of an error from May. In addition I do believe that I for stated that how was this missed, in other cases a missed signature and or checked box would be spotted during post closing. So I am open to the option of a portion but not the full thing. Well lets be honest I rather not come out of anything with the drop down in fees being paid out currently.
I suggest that you not feel the need to come out of pocket with anything at this point. If you feel some responsibility, they have the option of taking any associated cost out of your fee. Because you have pushed back chances are high that they will lower your rate, or suspend using your services for a time or altogether anyway. Let them make the case to your E&O insurance provider and see if the provider sees it the same way as they do. Just a suggestion. Good luck.
Call your E&O insurance. And see what they have to say
Not sure this is going to do you any good - you said they sent proof and it is your fault - however, based on your description, it’s not a notarial error but, rather, an error in your inserting a date into the doc. I’d be very surprised if there was coverage there (that is if you have the standard notary E&O).
Since your main complaint is why they waited - depending on your location it’s only 90 days - perhaps the recorder was delayed in getting to notifications. However, it went down, it’s still your error. You might be best off to just pay the re-recording fee - and lesson learned.
I think for an EO you’d have to file a claim with them for payment for their invoice. Would be interesting to know how they pay out EO claims.
You can always call the clerks recorders office and ask about that deed and why it was returned just to confirm the return.
Recording fees in my county are expensive, it is $204.50 for a Deed and $1 for each additional page it has.
Let me offer my 2 cents here. Do not admit to any wrong doing on any forum. Contact your E&O carrier so they’re not surprised if they end up being contacted.
Any public statement, including anything stated on this forum, by you can be used against you in a civil proceeding. Do not pay out any invoiced amounts out of your pocket as this may be seen as an admission of culpability. You need legal guidance before proceeding. If you decide that paying for this out of pocket is in your best interest, you should consider getting a signed non-disclosure and non-admission of culpability agreement by the Title Company. This will protect your reputation.
Great advice!!! I agree with everything you stated. I had a title company tell me there was a mistake on one of the docs and I asked to see proof of that mistake, well when they sent me a copy of the doc I immediately noticed it was not a closing I had done. It was a mistake by a different notary. I was glad I asked to see the proof of the mistake!!
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