Posted by The Boston Globe at boston.com
Richard D. Vetstein discusses the long awaited ruling from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in case of Real Estate Bar Association (REBA) v. National Estate Information Services (NREIS) that came down yesterday.
The net effect of the Court’s ruling is to reaffirm Massachusetts attorneys’ long-standing involvement with all residential real estate transactions.
This case pits Massachusetts real estate closing attorneys vs. out of state non-attorney settlement service providers which are attempting to perform “witness or notary” closings here in Massachusetts. At stake is the billion dollar Massachusetts real estate closing industry. This entire article can be read here.
The ruling can be read here.
Loan documents usually contain three dates: the dated date, which is usually the day the documents are drawn; the signing date, which can be the same as the dated date and is usually the same as the date being notarized; the recording date, which is the date the recordable documents are recorded in the proper county recorders office.
As a Notary Public, you are responsible for making sure the documents are completed, therefore, if a date is requested, it must be filled in. In many states, you must also record the dated dates of the documents in your notary journal. All Jurats and Acknowledgments must be dated the day that the parties are appearing before you … no exceptions !!!
What if the documents are post dated? What if the dated pre-dates of the documents are later than your signing date?
The Secretary of State of California and the National Notary Association have both stated very clearly that it is not illegal to notarize a document prior to its pre-dated date. As a Notary Public you are, in addition to other duties, responsible for the documents completeness, the borrower’s competency, identity, and that they appear before you on the date as shown on your Jurats or Acknowledgments. There is nothing that says you can not notarize a document prior to its pre-dated date.
From an escrow and lenders perspective, however a document signed prior to its dated date is unacceptable and can cause costly delays and even the loss of the entire loan.
What do you do? Always check the pre-dated date on the Note and Deed of Trust when you receive a loan package. If you notice the dates are for a later date, contact the signing service or escrow company that contracted your services. If you are already at a signing, adjourn the signing right away, contact the applicable parties and set up another appointment for the date that the documents have been dated. There is a significant difference between the pre-dated date and the effective date. If the documents say “effective” or opposed to “dated” a certain date then it is okay to proceed.
Are you a notary public who only points and signs, or are you a professional Signing Agent who specializes in the signing of real estate and loan documents? Look at the papers and know what you are asking the parties to sign and the consequences of not doing it correctly.
Due to the increased numbers of transaction that are now being transmitted electronically, we want to share the following information and best practices when printing your edocs.
Tips for Printing Documents:
You should not assume that the documents have been scanned over to you correctly. First review the documents before printing them to determine the size for which they are to be printed.
- If they are scanned all 8 ½ X 11 (letter)– they need to be printed on the appropriate sized paper
- If they are all 8 ½ X 14 (legal) – then they need to be printed on Legal
- If they are mixed and scanned as mixed, then print them on mixed pages if you have a multiple page printer. If not, print them all on legal, but make sure they do not shrink and they do not print in the middle of the page so that the bottoms can not be cut off.
- All Provident Funding Documents must be on 8 ½ X 11 – no exceptions
You can tell how they are scanned in and expected to print by reviewing the documents prior to printing so you can prepare your printer accordingly.
Always print a tester page by selecting just one page to print. You can choose the first page or a middle page just by entering the page number to be printed on the print selection page instead of choosing to print “All”. An example of a print screen is shown below. If the page is not printing correctly, is shrinking or too large, you can play with a couple of options:
- Page Scaling option: Fit to printable area
- Auto Rotate and Center (try selecting or un-selecting)
- Choose paper source by PDF paper size (this is a common one to select if you pages are being printed on the correct size paper BUT are being shrunk) By selecting this it auto adjust to a larger size to print properly on the correct size paper.
- Go to the Properties Tab and be sure you are selecting the correct size paper when printing.
- See Example of print screen on Page 2
You can try all these options while only printing a test page or two to be sure it’s working before printing the entire package, saving you time, paper and ink which all equals a savings in money.
When all else fails – DO NOT go sign a package that has the tops or bottoms cut off, or documents printed on legal that are shrunk to less than letter size, barely readable, too light or missing pages. If this occurs, we will have to call and have it done over again.
If you are still having difficulties, please call our office directly for assistance during working hours or use our after hours support.
Often times the documents are scanned over 10.12 X 14.33. You can verify this by looking at the size as indicated on the screen shot on the right hand side. In this case you need to select “Choose paper source by PDF page size” and make sure you’re also set for legal sized paper.
We hope these tips will help you to print your edocs and avoid delays and duplicate signings.