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Glossary of Notary Public, Mortgage, Signing Agent, and Loan Signing Terms.

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Common Terms 1   Common Terms 2

S.S. (Scilicet)

Latin, "to wit, namely." Printed near the venue of a certificate or acknowledgment. Not to be confused with the Yiddish phonetic equivalent meaning, "Eat, eat".

Safe Deposit Box Openings

Only allowed in NY. The witnessing of the opening of a safety deposit box by a notary. The notary must document the contents of the box , name of lessee, and date of opening on a certificate.


The penalty for noncompliance specified in a law or decree. If a notary violates the notary laws of their state, the notary commission can take sanctions against them. Normally, the notary could lose their commission and...

Satisfactory Evidence

Sufficient means of identifying a signer which meets criteria set forth by law. Satisfactory evidence would include credible witnesses. A credible witness is a person who knows the signer who is willing to swear under...


In the case of the signer, the seal is their signature. In the case of the notary, the seal is their stamp, but legally could still mean their signature. A Notary seal is the the notary's official stamp or embosser. Most...

Second Mortgage

A second mortgage is a mortgage in addition to whatever mortgage is already taken out on a particular property. Many borrowers do piggy back loans where they get a first mortgage and second mortgage all bundled together.

Secretary of State

Most states' notary divisions are run by the Secretary of State. However, this is not always the case. Some states have their notary division run by their...

Section 32 Mortgages FTC Facts

This document discusses facts regarding how creditors are required to provide full disclosure of the terms of a loan including the annual percentage rate.

Seller Carry Back

An agreement in which the owner of a property provides financing, often in combination with an assumed mortgage. The interest rate would have to be agreed upon by both parties. Seller carry backs were popular...

Settlement and Settlement Costs

Refer to "Closing Costs"Settlement costs are addressed in the Settlement Statement, Closing Statement, and Good Faith Estimate. Its important to know which costs are final and which are estimates.

Settlement Statement

Also known as the HUD-1. This document is prepared by the closing agent and discloses all fees and costs involved in the loan and is required by Federal Law. It includes the loan amount, loan fees, charges...

Signature Affidavit

The signature affidavit is a document where a borrower can state all of their name variations. This can be very helpful should the borrower sign the other documents with a variation their signature, such as adding...

Signature Affidavit and AKA Statement

The Signature Affidavit and AKA Statement is a variation of the Signature Affidavit where the borrower can list different ways their name has been written on official documents.

Signature by Mark

Elderly or disabled signers sometimes do a signature by mark is they are unable to complete their normal signature. Signature by mark usually constitutes signing with an "X". There is a procedure involved using...

Signing Agent

Before the 1990's, Signing Agents were virtually unknown. Borrowers were expected to travel to the office of a lender, escrow agent or title firm to complete a loan. However, during the past decade, increasing...

Signing and Initialing

The process of making a signature and inscribing one's two, three or more digit initials in a document. There are different formats for signing and initialing in documents. Many pages that are to be initialed have one-centimeter initial...

Signing by X

See, "Signature by Mark" Signing by X is common for patients in hospitals who's motor skills have been compromised. Signing by X is only for those who can not sign their full name.

Signing Service

A company who subcontracts signing appointments to individual Notaries who engage in Loan Document Signings for signing of loan documents and notarization. The sole purpose of this type of company is to act...

Streamlined-K Mortgage

A Streamlined-K Mortage Loan is a loan that finances a borrower when they want to make home improvements. This type of loan is possible due to an FHA program and rolls the borrowed funds into one loan.


If you are refinancing your first mortgage and have an existing second or home equity line, one could "subordinate" the second mortgage: request that your second mortgage holder go back into the second lien...

Subordination Agreement

If you are refinancing your first mortgage and have an existing second or home equity line, one could "subordinate" the second mortgage: request that your second mortgage holder go back into the second lien...


To sign, to write one's signature. The word subscribe is part of many states' Jurat wording where the phrase or similar phrase, "Subscribed and sworn to before me this ____ day of ______ ".

Subscribing Witness

A witness who witnesses a person signing by "X", who according to certain state's laws is required to assist in the signing by signing the signer's first or last name in the journal as well as the document while a second...

Surety Bond

See "Bond". Many states require notaries to carry a surety bond to protect others from any misconduct or mistake. Should the Notary be liable for monetary sums, the bonding company would be liable to pay...


To cause to stop for a period; interrupt. If a notary breaks the law, or engages in professional misconduct, their notary commission could be suspended.


To make a solemn promise; to vow, usually before God. Jurat wording includes the phrase, "Subscribed and sworn to before me ..." Notaries routinely have signers and witnesses swear under oath. Credible...

Swing Loan

A Swing Loan is similar to a Bridge Loan and is used when a seller has put a home on the market, but hasn't sold it yet. The seller's home is security for a Bridge or Swing Loan.

Sworn Statement

In a notary context, a sworn statement is an official statement made under oath or affirmation that is made before a notary public. The affiant could swear that the contents of a document are true and correct.