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Notarizing Postdated HARP Loan Documents

When a Notary Signing Agent notarizes a home loan package, the documents generally contain a date that is either before or identical to the date on which the borrowers and NSA meet to sign the documents. However, lenders are circulating a rising number of loan document packages under the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) that are postdated. While Notaries do not generally notarize postdated documents, they are authorized to do so in these specific cases, as long as proper procedures are followed.

In the case of these HARP loan packages, which are designed to assist borrowers struggling to meet their current mortgage obligations, the documents are generally postdated to a date toward the end of the month. This is because the lender holds on to the loan package until the date indicated. At that point, the lender will process all of the HARP loans issued during a particular month in a procedure called “bulk funding.”

NSAs are likely to see more of these types of loan packages as a result of the National Mortgage Settlement.

When notarizing postdated HARP loans, NSAs should adhere to the following procedures:

1. The Notary must enter the date of the actual notarization — not the date appearing on the document — on the certificate
2. The borrower must enter the actual date of the signing on any documents requiring a date next to his/her signature

When notarizing a deed of trust or mortgage for a HARP loan, the NNA recommends that the Notary note the date of the postdated document in their Notary journal entry.

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