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January 11, 2013

Hold Harmless: Good idea or not?

In a previous blog I discussed the need for us to protect ourselves from lawsuits that really have absolutely nothing to do with us. And, although thank god they are infrequent, when they do hit one of us they interrupt our lives and place great stress and hardship on us and our families. I feel that a hold harmless agreement is a great idea and it seems a few of you are using them. I had planned to work one up and post it here on 123notary but after discussing it with a few of you primarily to get your thoughts and feelings, I have now decided since we are all over the county that it would be in the best interest for everyone to draft up thier own or better yet prepare a rough draft and have an attorney go over it and make sure that it is legit and legal binding for your state and covers you as best as it can.

Things that you might consider in it would be that they are signing of their own feel will, that you a acting as an independent contractor and are not responsible for the content of the document, just to name a few.

Undoubtedly, if you do use it, It wont totally prevent you from being dragged into court and/or sued but I am confident that it will be helpful and have some sort of impact and hopefully deter the notary being dragged into court so readily,. And, if ever your duties and the role that you play are called into question you have a document that has been signed by the borrower/signer. And if the borrower is doing the suing (which so often is the case) their retained attorney might think twice before putting you into the equation of who they will be trying to sue. .

In closing, if you do decide to prepare and use this document make it 100% clear what your are duties are and what legal responsibilities you bear in notarizing one’s signature. Our signers and the public need to know.

Until next time…

Take Care and be safe!



  1. I really like this idea. Please send me a copy of what you wrote. Thanks for bring this subject to my attention.

    Comment by Kelly Greene — January 15, 2013 @ 2:33 pm

  2. I was taught a long time ago to use a standard form of acknowledgement, that I continue to use today and which was approved by the Law Society for Ontario. I definitely think it is a good idea and if someone doesn’t want to sign it, then I do not do the work.

    Comment by Rula — January 15, 2013 @ 4:34 pm

  3. There is no way a hiring agency would sign such a form. If you present a form like this to a signer, whoever hires you is going to be madder than he__ AND never call you again. Then you’d get blasted on the resource sites. I have seen a 100,000 at least HHA’s and nobody likes being a signer on a HHA.

    Comment by Judy — March 24, 2013 @ 8:46 pm

  4. I also love this \hold harmless\ idea. This should come out on a pad of many and be included in all notarizations. The notary should keep it and maybe send a copy along with the documents.

    Comment by Sally Mulder — April 30, 2013 @ 5:40 pm

  5. I also love this “Hold Harmless” for Notaries idea. This should come on a “Pad” of them and be used in every Notarization. A copy could be send along with the Docs. Sally

    Comment by Sally Mulder — April 30, 2013 @ 5:43 pm

  6. I also love this “Hold Harmless” for the Notary. Lenders do it! This should come on a pad and used in every notarization. We keep the original and let the lender have a copy when you send the docs back.

    Comment by Sally Mulder — April 30, 2013 @ 5:47 pm

  7. I would like to see a rough draft of this document as well. Where would a Notary view this document.

    Comment by Raymond Cote — May 3, 2013 @ 12:11 pm

  8. please email me a copy of the document.

    Comment by vickie — May 3, 2013 @ 3:37 pm

  9. I’ve always used an “Assignment Disclosure & Hold Harmless Agreement” with all my signings. And I have never had a signer who refuses to sign it. The Document explains my role and responsibilities, that I am not a party to the transaction, the signer is aware and have full knowledge of what he/she is signing, agrees to hold me harmless from errors, omissions or negligence beyond the scope of my responsibilities as a Notary Public, etc.

    Comment by Jacqueline — May 7, 2013 @ 2:28 pm

  10. I really think a hold harmless agreement is a very good idea. Years ago there were some signing companies that required the notary to have it signed. It should comeback as a must for all notarizatiions. We have to think about protecting ourselves in this crazy world.

    Comment by Diana — November 26, 2014 @ 5:41 pm

  11. May I also have a copy of a ‘hold harmless’ agreement e-mailedto me. Thanks.

    Comment by William Theodor — April 29, 2015 @ 3:51 pm

  12. Please email a copy of your draft. I too have a witness only form that includes an oath statement and verification section for the
    signed identity.

    Comment by Katherine Miller — June 5, 2016 @ 2:29 am

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