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 Which is more risky? -- attachment certificates
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jbelmont

California
3078 Posts

Posted - 01/23/2021 :  3:07:01 PM  Show Profile  Visit jbelmont's Homepage  Reply with Quote
This is a regular question that I ask notaries. Which is more risky?

1. You cross out an initial on the acknowledgment wording embedded in the document. If the document ever goes to court or is questioned, it is impossible to prove WHO did the cross outs and it is possible that other name(s) are added after the cross out and initialing.

2. If you add a separate new acknowledgment certificate to a document RATHER than crossing out a mistake on the original acknowledgment verbiage, many notaries think that is even MORE RISKY as it could be taken off the document if it wasn't stapled.

COMMENTARY
1. Court cases do not happen often, but if they do happen, you can't prove who did what, and the document's notarization could be nullified or voided by a judge if they can't figure out what happened. It could lead to a long court case and fraud could happen if additional names were added. It could in short invite a very long and confusing and expensive situation if you cross something out on an acknowledgment. The chance of it happening is small, but the damage would be huge.

2. Notaries comment that an unattached certificate could be reattached to a wrong document. My argument is that:

(a) It is ILLEGAL not to attach a certificate to a document. If a Notary is so stupid that they don't staple the attachment to the document, they should be suspended or terminated as a Notary as they are a danger to the community.

(b) A quality Notary will LABEL to loose certificate with the # of pages, title of the documents, signers on the document (whether they are notarized on that ack or not), and the document date. It would be impossible to GET AWAY with putting that acknowledgment on another document unless that document had identical specifications which is possible, but not likely.

(c) A stapled attachment would show EVIDENCE of tampering as there would be little holes on the upper left of the certificate if it were removed. An investigator would see proof of tampering very easily.

3. A stapled (attached = legal language), and well filled out certificate (including doc date, # pages, signers, doc name, etc.) would eliminate the risk of question marks about cross outs, would eliminate the possibility of adding additional names to an acknowledgment after the fact, would be clean, and cannot be transferred to another document without showing obvious signs of tampering and therefore is the safer option.

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