Notary Bulletin

State Toughens Stance On Fake Documents

TENNESSEE  Penalties for notarizing phony documents may be going up in the Volunteer State in response to a case of real estate theft.

State Representative Ulysses Jones Jr. has introduced HB 1637, which is intended to close the loophole that required county recorders to accept properly notarized documents even if they are fake.

The loophole allowed someone to steal two homes belonging to Memphis resident Abdul Zarif. So far, the Notary who sealed the fake deed and the new owner have not been charged with a crime.

It took months for Zarif to convince the courts that he is the rightful owner of both homes. But its been a bittersweet victory. The Haywood County property  which is littered with broken glass and syringes  was partially destroyed by fire, rendering it unlivable. His Memphis property and childhood home was recently raided by police who turned out at least seven squatters. Thats in addition to reports of a robbery, shooting and rape at the home. The police found a small arsenal of weapons as well.

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Quiz: The Many Types Of Notarial Acts

Notaries perform many different duties for the public — and it’s easy to lose track of the different acts and what states they’re authorized in. Test your familiarity with common — and uncommon — notarial acts.

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