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Notary Bulletin

Fake Foreclosure Documents Highlight Dangers Of Following Boss's Bad Instructions

A sweeping criminal investigation into deceptive and fraudulent practices in foreclosure cases serves as a compelling reminder for Notaries to refuse improper requests from employers.

That reminder came too late for Notaries working for three Florida law firms suspected of filing bogus documents in an effort to speed up foreclosure proceedings.

Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum is investigating whether the law firms submitted forged, notarized mortgage documents in thousands of foreclosure cases. He recently issued subpoenas requiring the firms to turn over extensive records, including the names of every Notary they employed during the past five years.

Notaries who fail to adhere to the requirements and best practices of their office may get caught up in investigations. In the current investigation, if it turns out that any of the law firm's Notaries put their stamps and signatures on forged documents, it will be difficult to defend their actions by claiming they were merely following their bosses' orders.

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