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Notary Signing Agent Document FAQ: Occupancy Affidavits


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Updated 11-7-22. 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,” “Residency Affidavit,” or by other names as well. Sometimes it can be titled "Occupancy and Financial Status Affidavit" or similar. This form includes both statements of occupancy and a borrower's financial status in one form.

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.



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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.

glenda m sherman

22 Nov 2021

My duties as a notary is about to expire. How do I go about renewing it?

National Notary Association

29 Nov 2021

Hello. To help us answer your question, can you please tell us what state you are commissioned in?

Mark Samson

23 Nov 2021

In Texas Occupancy Affidavits are sometimes known as Homestead Agreements.

Irene Abbott

14 Dec 2021

If only one of a married couple is on the loan, do both parties have to sign the occupancy affidavit if they are both on the DOT?

National Notary Association

17 Dec 2021

Based on what you’ve described, we think it would be best if you contacted our Hotline team by phone and provided them with a more detailed description of the situation. The NNA Hotline: 1-888-876-0827 Mon – Fri: 5:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. (PT) Saturday: 5:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (PT) If you’re not an NNA Member or Hotline Subscriber, they will provide you with a one-time courtesy call.

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