Notary Bulletin

Hotline Tip: Can A Client Sign For His Wife On A Loan Modification?

I am a California Notary working for a major financial institution. Recently, a customer asked to sign for his wife on a loan modification document, using a power of attorney. Is this acceptable? – J.H., Burbank, CA

If someone appears before you and asks you to notarize his or her signature as the attorney in fact for another person, you may proceed. California law does not require you to verify that the signer is the other person’s attorney in fact because you are notarizing the attorney in fact’s signature as an individual.

On the notarial certificate, write the name of the attorney in fact exactly as you would for an individual signing on his or her own behalf. California Notaries are not allowed to certify a signer’s capacity, so you must not include that in the certificate. For example, if the certificate reads “personally appeared________,” write “Jane Doe" on the blank line, not “Jane Doe, attorney in fact for John Doe.”

Hotline answers are based on the laws in the state where the question originated and may not reflect the laws of other states. If in doubt, always refer to your own state statutes. — The Editors

Confronted with a tricky notarization? Unsure how to proceed? NNA members have unlimited access to our expertly trained NNA Hotline counselors to help you with all of your notarial questions. Call (888) 876-0827, Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST; Saturday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST

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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.

(A link to the correct answers is provided at the end of the quiz.)

Confronted with a tricky notarization? Unsure how to proceed? NNA members have unlimited access to our expertly trained Hotline counselors to help you with all of your notarial questions.

(888) 876-0827

Monday through Friday:
5 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST

Saturdays: 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST

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