A signing gone bad

Services for Real Estate Pros with Farley's Legal Support Services

I received an email from a guy that stated he needed my notary services and that the documents would be 22 pages in length. I agreed to meet him at a nearby Subway Sandwich shop. There, he showed me two sets of documents that needed to be signed. This was for a property owner to sell her home. There was an additional copy for the owner to sign. He signed all of his parts and I noted it in my notary journal. He said I can gather the other signatures and meet him back at Subway and notarize everything there. Yes, by this times bells did ring. I asked him would he be accompanying me to the sellers home and he said no that he could not be present for legal reasons. He drove his car and pointed out the property for me to go to. I went inside the property and met with the seller. She looked over all the papers with her husband and noticed one signature was missing. (Note here that this was Sunday that I did all this.) She then read that the actual settlement on the property is on Monday, the very next day. And she said the numbers didn't match up. She said something fishy was going on and she would not have any parts of it. She refused to sign. I noted it in my notary Journal. And left. The guy was waiting nearby outside and led us back to Subway Sandwich shop. There i told him that the seller refused to sign because a signature was missing, settlement isn't until Monday, the numbers didn't match and she wanted an attorney to look over the papers. He said fine and reach in his pocket and paid me and I gave him a receipt and left.


We have to ask questions to make sure the transactions that we are notarizing are legitimate. If not, we the notary could be left wide open for a lawsuit that even our Errors and Omissions insurance won't be able to cover. We have to cover ourselves at all cost. No one will do this for us.

Comments (2)

Pamela Knight
Urban Knight Enterprises, Inc. - Phoenixville, PA

You know the saying, "The Death of a Salesman",  applies here.  Practicing due diligence is very vital to a notary.  I learned the hard way to always request to review the documents prior to placing my signature and seal. The offenders are out there so it is imperative to safeguard yourself at all times.    

Jun 11, 2009 02:52 AM
Mary Ellen Elmore
Nunnelly, TN

How true.


We are responsible for our own backsides.

Sep 21, 2009 04:04 AM