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Hotline Tip: Can I Legally Force A Company To Get Documents To Me On Time?

New Hotline Resized 3I have a signing early tomorrow, yet the company I work for has just informed me that the bank has not yet sent them the mortgage documents necessary for me to perform the signing. The borrower has received the documents, but they were encrypted in a way that she can’t send them to me. I require time to review documents before signings, but now I’m running out of time. Is there a legal way I can force the lender to get me the required documents?

Also, they insisted upon a fax back requirement, which I assume means a signed copy is to be scanned and faxed back to the company. Is this something I’m permitted to do?
 – C.W., Spokane, WA

While it would certainly be nice if the lender sent the loan documents to the Notary a few hours (or longer) ahead of a signing, there is currently no law stating that they must do so. This means you will have to work with the company directly, and perhaps apply some pressure, given your time crunch. When you arrive at the signing appointment, ask the borrower to give you five minutes to briefly review the package before you have the borrower start signing. This will give you at least a quick opportunity to acquaint yourself with the package.

If you have instructions to fax back certain documents, you can do that. Many companies require signing agents to fax back signed documents prior to shipping the documents.

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

Kelle Clarke is a Contributing Editor with the National Notary Association.


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) 876-0827Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. PST; Saturday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST

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