Notary Blog: There’s Nothing Wrong with an Explanation

Some are unclear of the difference between a notary providing information only for informational purposes and a notary telling a signer what to do or how to act.  Take this example:

I sign on many documents party to oversight transactions dealing with loan applications and closing paperwork on behalf of out-of-state property.  In course-of-action, I am often given the task of ‘explaining’ what a certain document is or its function.  This, within the terms of a notary’s duties are OK.  Where this information-providing crosses the line is when a notary public decides to tell a signer what to put down on a specific form, or attempts to figure out what their down payment, loan terms, or other information that may not already be provided, may be.  This is charting on dangerous territory.  I cannot count on two hands, two feet, nor any of my extremities, how many times signers have asked me what they’ll get on the ‘other side of things’.  That, as Notaries Public, we just don’t know.

In terms of the signing today, of course it is private as it took place in the midst of harried Back 2 School Wal-Mart Shopping, but it was simple and involved two local parties signing on paperwork that had to be completed, faxed and mailed within a certain time frame.

Today’s notary service was provided by Owner and State of South Carolina Notary Public Signing Agent Sonita M. Leak on the evening of Tuesday, August 16, 2016.

If you are a Notary Public reading this, how do you get around answering questions or providing information we are not allowed to provide?

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