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April 26, 2016

The Signature Name Affidavit

The Signature/Name Affidavit
It is most likely that you are not processing this simple form properly. First, the good news; of all the forms in various loan packages this one is probably one of the most uniform. There really is little variation in how this form is structured. I will get to where most “go wrong”; but first a bit about the purpose and structure of the SNA.

The package comes from many sources. There are bank docs, title docs, escrow docs and perhaps some from other sources. It’s a virtual certainty that the borrower name will have some slight variation on documents. Of course the key name is the one on the ID and that is the name that you will notarize; we all know that. But, how about the name variations present in the package? This form is used to state, under oath, that the affiant is “also” known as. It’s a one way form. It can only be used to add variations to the notarized name as proven. It cannot be used to “prove”, for notarization purposes a name that does not match the ID presented.

The first entry is the legal name, which I define as what is on the ID. Thus, if the middle name is on that line it must be on the ID. If, for example the middle name is NOT on the ID, it should be redacted from the top line (proven name only) and that name “demoted” to an “also known as” line in the second area. Yes, the 3 part name is their legal name, BUT – as it was not proven to me I cannot notarize it. If the ID has only the middle initial, that is the “first line” entry. They can “acquire” the middle name in full as an “also known as” in a subsequent entry.

All subsequent entries (AKAs) should include variations, including but not limited to maiden names. The most common variations are the inclusion and omission of middle initials. One approach to completing the form is to keep it on the table while processing other documents. Add to the AKA section each name variation as noticed. Ask the borrower to print and sign the AKA in parallel to processing the bulk of the package. The printed name on the left will have the variation; usually the “matching” signature on the right will be the same for each entry.

The SNA can be used in court, along with a handwriting expert; to determine a signature is authentic on a document. As the signatures were witnessed by a notary, they can be accepted as valid when comparing to a different document. For this reason it’s a good practice to N/A any unused AKA lines; so subsequent names / signatures cannot be added; do you do that?

At the start of this entry I said you probably are not processing this properly, now to prove that statement. After the AKAs there is usually a statement “and that (usually filled in with the preprinted AKA(s)) are one and the same person”. However, you probably added one or more names to the AKA entries, and had the borrower sign on the right. What you might be overlooking is the need to ALSO put the added AKAs to the statement at the bottom! Take a look at an AKA form; there is a reason that they left plenty of room. That section is often overlooked!

It’s a signing, not a closing for most of us. We are there to collect signatures and initials. It’s rare for ALL the docs to have precisely the same name; rarer still for that name to be exactly what is on the presented ID. Proper completion of the SNA is mandatory, and avoiding a redraw will mark you as both a hero and a skilled professional. But don’t go overboard; adding your own SNA is probably not a good idea. If you need one and it was not supplied, call for “what to do”!

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You might also like:

Ken’s tips for the Closing Disclosure
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=17116

A comprehensive guide to Deeds
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16285

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4 Comments »

  1. Ken, I agree 100% with your statement, “It cannot be used to “prove”, for notarization purposes a name that does not match the ID presented.” SO many title companies and lenders think this form is a cure for name defects on other documents – wrong.

    Comment by John Axt — May 9, 2016 @ 1:59 pm

  2. I take this form very seriously. I always tell the borrower to check the names listed and, to start with, I tell the to sign only those names that are spelled correctly, and to duplicate the order, such as , last name, first name, etc. I tell them to NOT sign any names that are not spelled correctly. I do let the borrower to make the choice to sign a name that isn’t their own, but I won’t allow a signing company or bank to insist on that signature. I tell the borrower to strike out, initial and date names in a list (for those types) that are not he or she. For the other forms, with the lines opposite the typed names, I tell the borrowers to print, Never Known As.
    I hate it when companies want me to gloss over this document.

    Comment by betty — June 15, 2016 @ 2:24 pm

  3. I have always presented the SNA/AKA affidavit & asked the borrower to carefully review & sign exactly as printed. If they are unsure or have reservations about any entry I indicate the “never been known as” option w/their initials. It’s their call what to sign or not sign. I remind them that I have to depose them at the conclusion of their execution of the affidavit. Also, I remind LO’s, title, signing companies and borrowers that a SNA/AKA is not an ID and if a reasonable person cannot establish identify w/paper documents authorized by law or 2 credible witnesses the process is a no go.

    Comment by Jerry — September 2, 2016 @ 5:47 pm

  4. What if there are two borrowers? Do you need two of these forms?

    Comment by Sage — June 18, 2018 @ 9:02 pm

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