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Notary Signing Agent Document FAQ: Occupancy Affidavits

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Notary Signing Agents deal with a wide array of complex documents during a mortgage loan signing, including many with special or unusual requirements. In this article, we’ll answer questions about the Occupancy Affidavit.

What Is An Occupancy Affidavit?

An Occupancy Affidavit is a document that is used to confirm a property being financed will serve as a homeowner’s principal residence. The Occupancy Affidavit is a written promise from the homeowner that they intend to occupy the property.

What Is The Purpose Of An Occupancy Affidavit?

Lenders typically offer lower interest rates to homeowners who occupy a principal residence because there is less risk to the property being properly maintained when the homeowner lives there than when the homeowner is absent (as with a rental property, vacation home, etc.).

Are Occupancy Affidavits Known By Other Names?

Yes. An Occupancy Affidavit may also be referred to as a “Statement of Occupancy,” “Occupancy Statement,” “Occupancy Certification,” “Owner Occupancy Letter,” and “Residency Affidavit.”

What Types Of Loan Document Packages Include An Occupancy Affidavit?

Occupancy Affidavits are commonly found in residential purchase and refinance loan packages.

Does an Occupancy Affidavit Require Notarization?

Some do, while others do not. Most lenders require an Occupancy Affidavit to be notarized with a jurat, with the borrower signing the Affidavit and swearing or affirming the statement’s truthfulness in the Notary’s presence. There are some forms of Occupancy Affidavits that may require an acknowledgment instead. There are even forms that require no notarization at all. Regardless of whether an Occupancy Affidavit is notarized, making a false statement on an Occupancy Affidavit can result in serious penalties, including fines or even imprisonment, for a dishonest borrower. Notary Signing Agents should carefully check the Occupancy Affidavit appearing in the loan package for a notarial certificate at the end to determine if it requires notarization, and if so, which one. 

David Thun is an Associate Editor at the National Notary Association.

 

1 Comment

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Cheryl Kaster

03 Nov 2019

A condition precedent to Liberty Lending Corporation funding the referenced loan is that I occupy the premises at the following address: 19087 Fair Park Road East, Aurora, Colorado as my principal residence ... doesn't say they actually do occupy as principal residence, only that that is the requirement. So means nothing.

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