A notary in NC states….In recent weeks, I was approached by ServiceLink/a Black Knight Company to perform Wells Fargo signings. I was told by SL that I meet with the Borrower (s), watch them sign the mortgage documents, notarize them and let them ( the Borrowers) drop the docs. It didn’t sit well with me and screamed illegal. After checking with two Real Estate attorney’s from North Carolina, that I know from doing business with them and consulting my notary book for North Carolina, it is not legal to leave notarized documents with the Borrowers, or anyone for that matter, as they can change anything on the notarized paperwork.
The lawyers I talked to were furious that Wells Fargo/ServiceLink would expect notaries to do such a thing that is completely illegal. I sent a complaint to SL vendor management and was patted on the head, being told that they would look into it and get back to me. Well, with talking to other notaries here in NC, I have learned that they are still using this method of doing signings. Which again is ILLEGAL to do.
The NNA’s response: Thank you for your inquiry. There is nothing in the law that would prevent a lender to send the documents directly to the borrower in Florida or any state. The only restrictions for a NC Notary acting in the capacity of a signing agent is the amount of fees the NSA can charge. The documents basically are a contractual agreement between the borrower and lender. Thus, the paperwork and the contents of the documents is between those two parties. While many contracting companies instruct the NSA to send the documents back, this is not required. If the lender/title company/etc. instruct the Notary to leave the docs with the borrower, that is what the NSA should do. If the NSA is concerned, then he/she should notate the instructions in the journal. Should you need further assistance, please contact us.
The American Association of Notaries response: In reality any one who get a document notarized can make changes to the document after the document is notarized. The notary’s responsibility is to perform notarization according to law and notary’s best practices. Thanks.