The recent $25 billion National Mortgage Settlement is likely to have a significant impact on the entire mortgage industry as well as law firms, document processing companies and notaries. For companies, the terms target the kinds of policies and practices that created the "robo-signing" assembly lines. For notaries and there supervisors, the settlement terms focus on the need to comply with state notary laws and obtain adequate training to carry out there duties. In October 2010, a coalition of state attorneys general and federal agencies launched an investigation of the financial industry following revelations the "robo-signing" affidavits were being used in foreclosure proceedings around the country. In february, five major banks reached an agreement with state and federal officials not only to pay $25 billion in relief to homeowners who were improperly foreclosed on but also to change the way they deal with mortgage documents. The terms of the settlement require banks to provide state-specific training for all empolyees who regularly prepare or execute forecloser-related documents. The banks also are required to keep records of all forclosure-related notarizations performed on there behalf. Banks who violate the reform terms can face stiff penalties (up to $5 million for repeat offenders) In the end this means we must not ignore notarial laws. Signers must personally appear before the notary with proper identification and all notarizations must adhere to state laws.
Lisa Scanlon, CSA