A notary public plays an important role in many transactions. Often acting as a witness to the signing of important, life-changing documents, notaries offer a level of protection against fraud that is invaluable.
The Fraud-Deterrent Services Of A Notary
Besides their familiar function of notarizing documents such as wills, marriage licenses and real estate documents, notaries can administer oaths and affirmations and take acknowledgements. By requiring notarizations, many types of fraud can be prevented. Identity theft and identity fraud, forgeries, misrepresentations, and financial scams are all examples of criminal activity that can be thwarted by a notary public.
Notaries are successful at fraud deterrence because of the many steps and safeguards that are put in place in order for notarization to occur. Simply requiring notarization is an effective way to deter fraud. By requiring that a document be notarized, it must be signed in person in front of a notary and only after proper identification has been presented. This makes it difficult for imposters to commit forgery or have false documents signed.
A Notary’s Role In A Real Estate Transaction
Notaries ensure that documents are being signed willingly and that the signer understands what is being signed. This is especially helpful in situations involving mortgage documents where mortgage scams or scams targeting the elderly are presented in a way that is confusing to many people.
These are two reasons why so many title agencies employ notary publics during real estate transactions. At Title Junction, we offer notary services for every real estate transaction. This is done to verify the identities of the buyer and seller, and to make sure they are not being coerced into signing mortgage documents. By requiring notarization of real estate files, citizens have more protection from fraudulent schemes than they otherwise would.
The complexity of a real estate transaction and all the legal documents that come with closing documents, escrow accounts and title insurance make a notary a critical part of the closing process.
Another safeguard against fraud is for the notary to review the document to make sure it is complete and in its original form. Anything less than a complete document amounts to the same thing as signing a blank check, which opens up a host of fraudulent possibilities.
Public Trust And The Effectiveness Of The Notary
Notarization would mean nothing without the public trust that goes along with it. Appointed by the states, a person must meet all of the requirements set forth by the individual state in order to qualify to become a notary. Once appointed, notaries become public officials whose impartiality and integrity is crucial to the success of the notary system. Knowing that the notary is unbiased and impartial to the transaction provides citizens with a level of reassurance that their transaction is legitimate and valid and they are as protected against fraud as can be.
At Title Junction we care about helping you stay informed throughout your real estate transaction. Have questions? Give us a call at 239.415.6574.
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