Using Adobe to pre-fill in some documents ahead of the signing

For those of us doing lots of mortgage loan signings, using Adobe’s Fill & Sign ability has saved me both time and made some of my Acknowledgement forms far more legible. Sometimes I’d get a husband & wife name I had to fill in on the supplied Ack form that was way too long to fit into the ridiculously tiny spaces they occasionally give us. Try as I would to write tiny enough for it to fit and still be legible, results weren’t always acceptable. Then it dawned on me to use my Adobe’s Fill & Sign ability in such spaces. Type your information in and you can size change the font size up or down to fit the space and it comes out beautifully. Now I use it to fill in all my information ahead of printing the docs. What’s nice is it will remember data you have typed in so just typing the first 2-3 characters allows you to pick what you want… like just Jerry Bransford or Jerry Bransford, Notary Public. Looks professional and it can save a lot of time. Completing the notary journal is still druggery on larger signings but at least the documents come out very nice and it saves me having to fill in my repetitive information by hand. If you aren’t doing this already try it!

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Some recording offices have minimum font size requirements for printed text on a document. You may wish to be informed of this prior to closing, since it could render a document unrecordable by violating the font size requirements of the recorder

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I have always used MS work to do this, this is on good when using loose acknowledgements. But you mean typing directly on the loan documents pdf, only the notary section. That would be good with signers with very long names, with 3-4 signings on one document. Make sure to keep the font at 10 point or above.
Good tip.

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Hi Jerry- Great Idea! What version of Adobe are you using to do that and how much did it cost?

Hi Jerry,
I have the same question as Wendy, what version and what is the cost??
Thank you, Susans

I’m using the free version of Adobe Acrobat Reader DC, version 2019.012.20034, the same one I use to print all my loan signing documents. Just click on the ‘Fill & Sign’ tab on the right-hand side of the page you’re getting ready to print. It’ll ask who it’s for, just click on ‘Me’ and you can then click on the space you want to insert text into and it’ll pop up with a text entry field. You can size & position it perfectly by dragging & dropping it around until it is perfectly positioned. It then starts learning your information so like for your name and notary title you just type in 2 letters and it’ll give you a list of those you have used before to select. It works really well.

I understand your problem and I think we have all had experiences with too short a line to get all the name(s) written, Nevertheless, I do see a problem with this. Many lenders and title companies stress that no one can change any wording on the documents. By adding your wording/names to the certificates through Adobe, it might be considered "changing* the wording. Yes, the notary certificate is your territory and no one can tell you how to fill out the certificate, however filling in the form yourself could backfire on you.

metzger_nsa, I never said was changing any wording. Filling in the names, dates, etc. is the notary’s job and is of course a normal part of completing an acknowledgment or jurat. Absolutely the notary should be filling in that information, that what we do when doing notarizations. Don’t put more into my suggestion, it’s simply a good way to make their names more legible when their names are too long to fit into the sometimes very short name space in some supplied forms. I’m doing 5-10 signings a week and some forms the client provides I am to complete are simply not laid out well and some of the lines meant for the signer names to be written above are not nearly long enough to fit some husband and wife names. The whole goal of this suggestion was to help make our produced documents more legible when the provided space is too short for the names being entered. For that this product works very well.

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Great tip Jerry! Thanks for sharing :slight_smile:

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Jerrypb, I know you’re not changing any wording in the documents, but you are electronically changing the notary certificate, which might cause the title company or lender some concern. They see a “typed name” instead of a handwritten name, and wonder if there are any other changes. I have read that some notaries actually make up their own certificate with the typed names and use those instead of the certificate included with the docs, especially if the wording on the certificate does not comply with their state… I wasn’t criticizing you, just pointing out a possible problem with some lenders. If you haven’t received any complaints or comments from your clients, then they must be OK with it.

metzger_nsa if you don’t want to use my suggestion then by all means don’t but I do signings for pretty much every mortgage loan company and no complaints. I enjoy White Glove status with FASS and have never had an issue with any of the rest of them either. They seem to like what I do, a lot. They have started calling me directly the last several months… I must be something right. But if you don’t like the idea of it then do what you want to do. And despite you pushing back on this suggestion several times, I’m not changing the wording of anything. Why do you keep insisting I’m changing the wording? I’m filling in the signer’s names and the dates. As notaries are supposed to. If you want to use a pen for repetitive things like their names and your name/title on acknowledgements and jurats, be my guest.

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I have conducted many 100’s of signings over the years and I use pre-inked stamps for the State, County, my name and my title and have never had it called into question so I can’t imagine that any entity would question this practice. And Jerry, I just tried it and it works! I love it- thank you so much for that pro tip!

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I like your idea. I can’t get it to work. I followed your directions but no text box appears. Also the pdf I used to try this out says it’s locked. You’ve been doing this with every pdf you receive??? If so, what am I doing wrong?

You are correct Arichter, some are locked but not that many are, most are unlocked. For me it’s been maybe one out of 20 is locked.

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Thanks for that info. I had to test the 1 that’s locked, of course.

Also make sure you’re opening it from your desktop in Adobe Reader. The Fill & Sign won’t appear if you open the document directly on the vendor’s site using a browser’s PDF reader.

This is a great idea!

Yes, that is an awesome way to do it! That is why God made Adobe!

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Jerrypb, I, too, use the Fill feature in Acrobat DC for my notarial certificates, and have since discovering that Adobe added the feature two years ago. Using this feature saves me time, and also ensures that the names of the signers and the transaction date are correct, as I only have to enter them once, then simply click on the drop down for each subsequent fill. One suggestion (which I am sure you have discovered for yourself): Delete old similar dates/names regularly from the drop down, to reduce the length of the list and thereby further reduce the risk of error. Great suggestion, thanks for passing it on!

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I found a free online tool that unlocks locked documents so they can be fill & signed using Adobe. I’m so exited I almost can’t stand it lol. https://online2pdf.com/remove-pdf-restrictions# I had a huge document with a pair of unbelievably long Indian names that would have taken me hours to complete by hand so I was desperate to find a way to unlock the locked document so I could use Fill & Sign. Not to mention the spaces for the names in the acknowledgements were nowhere large enough to legibly handwrite the names into them. I just used that free online tool and it worked great!!!

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