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August 17, 2019

The Signature Name Affidavit: what is it and its purpose…

I am posed with questions concerning this document quite often. So let me tell what it is and what it isn’t. For those of you that are unfamiliar; this document is one of the documents found in 95% of all of loan packages.

The signature name affidavit represent names that have appeared on an individuals credit report(s). When a person applies for a loan, the lender runs a persons credit using all 3 of the credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax). These reports will usually include all of the names an individual has used in their lifetime; examples would be; marriages, maiden and name given at birth. The signers are required by the lender to sign the form and the form typically needs to be notarized.

At other times there will be clerical errors consisting of misspelled names and occasionally where the names are quite different. Sometimes in the case of the latter the signers will have an objection to signing the form and one can hardly blame them. So, if the signers have an objection to signing a name that is not their own, I have them strike it and initial. To date that has been acceptable and I haven’t had a document returned because of this action. (I suggest however, that you always bring this to the attention the company (or person) that hired you while-at the signing table if it is an issue. Never take matters into your own hands. ALWAYS ask).

There will be other times when the ID doesn’t match the documents exactly; say for example, a middle name is missing or the maiden was used previously and now they are married but they have no ID with these variations, you may be asked to add this name variation to the signature name affidavit in lieu of having ID. This is a big NO.NO. We must have current government issued picture ID. (or credible witnesses if they are allowed in your state). You CANNOT add names to the signature name affidavit that you DON’T have ID for. This is fraud and you will be on BIG trouble, if it ever comes up in an investigation or court case. I hear notary excuses; “But Carmen, they swore to me that that was their name.” Not good enough. Just imagine how this would appear to law enforcement or a judge. You must protect yourself and the signer. If you unfortunately find yourself in this situation always ask the signers if they have other acceptable ID that has all their names on it or use credible witness if allowed.

Now, I have actually added names to the signature name affidavit that I had ID for, but that is another blog story. 🙂

Until next time, be safe!

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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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Ken’s tips for the Closing Disclosure
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A comprehensive guide to Deeds
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The Signature Affidavit – what it is and its purpose!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22541

What defines what a signature is?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22173

Index of information about documents
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20258

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January 20, 2015

The Signature Name Affidavit

The Signature Name Affidavit
An extension of the simple signature affidavit (this is my signature), is the signature / name / AKA affidavit. Here it becomes a little bit more complex for both the notary, and the affiant. Understanding what are probably the two most frequent uses for the form helps to jog my memory as to their importance, and how they should be processed.

Both the single name format and the multiple name formats generally use Jurat wording. As, when you think about it; an acknowledgement kinda violates the basic purpose. It would be useless. That routine notary statement “Subscribed and sworn (affirmed) before me…..” is the key. This document contains, under oath, a notary witnessed (after checking ID) signature sample. Experts can compare the “known to be authentic” sample against the signatures on the questionable documents. Both formats, if ever used, will probably see a courtroom. Always use your embosser on these.

The multiple name section has the affiant making an additional statement “I am also known as”. Generally this provides a means of processing slight variations in signatures. For example, they may miss a middle initial on one of their signatures. But only if it’s completed correctly. I am looking at a signature name affidavit that has first middle and last at the top. In the “also known” there is one entry preprinted, that one uses the first and last name. But, what if they sign first, init, last? That very likely situation is not covered by preprinting. However, there are a few blank lines for the astute notary to use. Printing (generally on the left), first, init, last; and having them sign on the right using those name components. Now if they sign first init last; on **ANY** document, that document (per their own sworn statement) has their legal signature. This catch might make the closing go smoothly. And, let us not forget; eliminate the need for a free correction trip!

Now for the hard part. The above paragraph was just a warm-up; prepare for some grief. There are AKA entries that raise the eyebrows of the affiant. Very few of them will object to adding or subtracting variations possible of the middle name; they will sign off on that. However, when there are one or more entries that are vastly different from the legal name there is a problem. The root of the problem will never become known to you. They want “confirmation” of the extreme variation to deal with a situation that might have started as a clerical error. This blog entry makes no attempt to deal with the issue of fraud issues related to AKA entries.

I have had affiants, often in their attorney’s office; hand add the term “have never been known as” to a line item, adding proper initialing. They then proceed to sign the rejected name. It’s their sworn statement, and their lawyer wisely wants their statement completely truthful. It is possible that the processor of the signature name affidavit just glances to see that “the boxes are full”. I don’t know the odds, but the few modified ones I notarized did not bounce back. How could they? The affiant modified the form to reflect the truth, sworn under oath.

You can’t suggest the “never been known”, unless you are an attorney. So, lacking a parachute; the affiant will sometimes refuse to sign. If possible call “upstream”, and let them work it out. When nobody was reachable, I accepted them signing only at the top. It’s a fine line between making something available to sign; and exerting influence to sway their sign, no sign decision.

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The Signature Name Affidavit (2016 version)
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January 1, 2013

Signature Name Affidavit: Not a substitute for an ID

I hate to beat a dead horse. But it seems that quite a few of you still believe that the ‘Name affidavit‘ is a way to identify individuals that don’t have the proper ID. I’ll say it again for the thousandth time. You cannot use this form in place of current GOVERNMENT ID. The whole point of your job is to have the person appear before you and identify the signer through proper (current) government issued identification. There are usually no exceptions to this rule (except for one; when you feel that they will not be able to get ID. They then will need to be identified through credible witnesses (usually two) who will swear under oath to you, to the signers identity and they will have current government issued ID themselves. However, keep in mind that we do not usually use this method with loans. For some lenders this may be acceptable way to identify their borrowers but for many of us notaries in certain states it is prohibited. But under no circumstance no matter what state you hold your commission in are you to use the name/signature affidavit to ID anyone. NEVER!

So you may ask what is the form for? The name affidavit form is included in the loan document package to identify all the names of the borrower that have been reported to the credit bureaus and that appear on the individuals credit report. It is not for your use and dont let ANYONE tell you that it is used for any other purpose. It is to make the borrower aware that these are the names that the report has listed for them. These may include but not limited to married, and /or maiden names and/or their name has been misspelled.

So in closing, remember when you confirm a job make sure that all signers have proper identification and that the ID is government issued and is current. If you make sure of this when you call and confirm the assignment this will save you and your borrower allot of headaches.

Until next time! Be safe!

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May 30, 2019

What defines what a signature is?

Filed under: Technical & Legal — Tags: — admin @ 10:44 am

I never stopped to think about this until today. What defines a signature? A signature is a type of a mark that is systemically used by a particular individual to identify themselves by name on a document. It is normally a cursive version of their name (do they still teach cursive to the youngins these days?) Some people might print their name in a unique way. Some disabled people might do a signature by x with some subscribing witness. Someone signed using Chinese characters with me as their Notary. And then there are the doctor scribble type signatures too. All of these are acceptable as signatures.

But, how do you know this is their genuine mark? Just check their drivers license and make sure the signature matches up. Sometimes signatures evolve as a person gets older. But the basic stroke style should be about the same. If it doesn’t match up, then you might be at risk notarizing that signature. The signature in Chinese characters I was a little apprehensive or as the Chinese say, “Zhao-ji” about, but I checked the ID and it matched.

In the old days in America, the upper class used to seal deals actually using seals, which is where the expression seems to have come from. They used candle was and a stamp of some sort to seal their business deals on pieces of paper. I saw that in a movie when someone sold a slave.

And in China some people use a square and very intricate seal with four characters on it sometimes written in their antiquated form. They are very beautiful and you can look them up online under the term, “traditional Chinese seal” and then look up images. They could be made from marble or wood, or many types of materials I guess.

But, once I notarized a movie producer from Israel. His signature was some sort of a line with a hook and a dot. He claims he signed million dollar deals with that signature. The only thing I had to say to him was, “You call that a signature?”

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December 13, 2018

What are some typical types of affidavits?

Filed under: Affidavits — admin @ 9:42 am

There are various types of affidavits out there. As a former Notary Public, I encountered certain types of affidavits on a regular basis. Here are some of the ones I saw.

Signature Affidavit and AKA Statement
This one shows up in loan packages on a regular basis as signers sometimes have variations in their signature or names.

Occupancy Affidavit and Financial Status
This document typically makes the signer swear that they will move into or reside in a particular property and that they have not incurred any sudden changes to their finances.

Name Affidavit
An Affidavit where you swear to your name.

Identity Affidavit
An Affidavit where you swear to your identity.

Affidavit of Citizenship
An Affidavit where you swear to be a citizen of the USA or a particular other country.

Affidavit of Support
An Affidavit where you swear you will support a particular person who wishes to enter the United States.

Affidavit of Small Estate
Used when a family members dies without a will and property matters need to be dealt with.

Affidavit of Heirship
When a family member dies, the assets must be allocated to the right individuals.

Affidavit of Residence
This document requires the signer to swear to where they live.

Affidavit of Name Changed
Used if you have changed your name.

Affidavit of Death
I’m tempted to say this document makes you swear that you authentically died, but that doesn’t make any sense. It is used to notify financial, legal or other institutions that a person has died.

Identity theft Affidavit
If a person’s identity has been compromised, this document could be filled out and sent to credit bureaus, etc.

Affidavit of Service
Requires an individual swear to the fact that they delivered documents to another individual

Affidavit of Consent
Requires an individual to swear to the fact that they consent to a particular action or activity, etc.

Affidavit of Domicile
Similar to an affidavit of residence.

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May 21, 2018

Names for Notary Businesses with Commentary

Filed under: Business Tips — admin @ 8:15 am

Notaries love to read about names for Notary businesses. Some names are geographical, some are funny, and some get you in trouble. Others sound cliche and a few are catchy. Here are some names we see and a few we made up for fun.

Notary 4 U
Now there is a name that works well on an email address.

Signatures 4 Less
Sounds like a bargain

Notaries R Us
Sounds like a Toys R Us commercial. Affidavits are in aisle three.

Seals on Wheels or Notary on Wheels
This on is popular.

Seal the Deal Mobile Notary
Talk about getting things done.

The Notarizer or The Noterator
I think Arnold has registered this name already.

Have Stamp Will Travel
Brings back memories of the old West.

What’s Up Docs
This signing service ended up not doing that well. People thought their name was goofy. But, Bugs Bunny liked it and that’s all that matters to me.

A1 Notary Services
Try this service out when Worcestershire Notary Services is busy!

Notary 90210
Great service, but discounts are probably not their thing in that zip code.

Notary Now
On a busy day, they temporarily change their name to Notary Later.

Jesus (pronounced Hey-soos) & the 12 Apostilles 24 hour Mobile Notary
“We’ll get the job done come hell or high water.”
Sounds like a great name for a Hispanic Notary & Apostille / Authentication Service.

Vampire 24 Hour Notary
“We are Vampires and never sleep. Our price for a Jurat is half a pint of blood with a straw.”

Right on Time Mobile Notary
If you worked for Domino’s Pizza you’ll have an in getting a job from these guys.

Prestige Mobile Notaries
I think the 90210 is still a better idea. Don’t say it — show it…

Royal Notary Service
I’m sure this is where Queen Elizabeth gets her Affidavits.

A. Paul Steele
Sounds like a great name unless your clients want an Authentication!

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Names for Notary businesses that can get you in trouble
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Notary Business Names
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Choosing a name for a business license
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Deceptive Identities – Companies that change their names
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Stealing a Business Name
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November 5, 2016

Affidavit of Citizenship

Filed under: Affidavits,Popular on Facebook (some) — Tags: — admin @ 9:52 am

What is an Affidavit of Citizenship?
The Affidavit of Citizenship is a common legal form that is required by immigration services in some cases. Many people need to get an Affidavit of Citizenship Notarized. This document is normally notarized using the Notary act called a Jurat which requires a sworn oath.

Terminology:

Jurat — a type of Notarization that involves a Sworn Oath where the Notary must sign before the Notary Public.
Affiant — the person or individual who swears under Oath perhaps before a Judge or Notary Public.
Affirmation — For those who do not believe in swearing under Oath, many states allow them to Affirm that information is correct while under Oath.
Oath — a solemn Notary act where the signer (who is also the Affiant) raises their right hand and swears under Oath to the truthfulness of the document, or just makes up their own Oath wording for a particular official purpose or commission.
Affidavit — a document (perhaps a legal document) which requires an Affiant to swear under Oath before a Notary to have it notarized.

Drafting an Affidavit of Citizenship
Most Notaries are not authorized to draft legal documents. It is prudent to contact an Attorney or or someone authorized to draft documents. If you appear before a Notary and ask for a notarized Affidavit of Citizenship, the Notary will ask you to present the document to him/her. If you don’t have a document and expect the Notary to write it, you are wasting the Notary’s time. It might not even be legal for a Notary to draft such a document as they are not an Attorney in most cases. So, have a professional draft up a quick document for you, perhaps at a low-cost legal center. After the document is complete — then contact a notary.

Notarizing an Affidavit of Citizenship
A sample wording for an Affidavit of Citizenship might be —

“I, Joe Smith solemnly swear that I am a citizen of the United States of America, so help me God.”
Signature of Affiant _____________________

The Notary could attach a Jurat certificate to the document with this statement. The Notary would ask the signer to raise his/her right hand and swear under Oath to the truthfulness of the statement. Then the Notary would fill in the Jurat form, sign it, and stamp it with his/her official Notary Seal. The Notary needs to be paid whatever the state regulated Notary fee is for a Jurat. Additionally, many Notaries engage in traveling Notary work and should be paid a travel fee, plus waiting time if applicable.

Can the Affidavit of Support be in Spanish?
Official legal documents filed in the United States should be written in English unless you have written permission to write it in Spanish or another language.

Giving Legal Advice
A non-Attorney may not give legal advice. Most Notaries are not Attorneys and therefore may not give legal advice. Additionally, Notaries Public are not authorized to assist in the immigration process or give advice regarding immigration. If you have a legal quesiton or an immigration question, do not ask a Notary, rather, ask an authorized person such as an immigration official, Attorney, or perhaps someone authorized in a legal support profession at a law office if applicable.

What are some other notarized immigration documents or regular documents?
The Affidavit of Support is another commonly notarized immigration document. It states that a particular individual will take care of the sponsored individual in financial and other ways. Basically, a family member can attempt to assist another family member enter the United States by signing an Affidavit of Support. In addition to immigration documents, it is common for Notaries to notarize permission for minors to travel outside of the United States with an adult. Deeds, contracts, Power of Attorney, other types of Affidavits, Name Affidavits, Titles, and other types of documents are regularly notarized as well.

Where can I find a Notary to notarize my Affidavit of Support?
Right here on 123notary.com’s advanced search page! You can find a Spanish speaking Notary by using the language filter on the upper right corner of the search results after you have searched by zip code.

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2011 version of Affidavit of Citizenship
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Index of information about documents
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August 28, 2016

January 21, 2016

The CA Sec of State has a list of nicknames acceptable for notarization

I have never heard this before, and it sounds horrible. But, I was was told (I hope this is true information) that the California Secretary of State will allow you to notarize someone with a nickname when their ID has their formal name — or vice versa. They have an entire list of these name equivalents. Personally, I believe that a name should match exactly unless the name on the document is a shorter version of the same name.

I wonder if Mugsy is on the list, and what his real name would be? Montgomery? Sounds like one of those 1940’s names from gangster movies (yes, both variations on the name.) I wonder if they include Arabic names. I knew two guys named, “Sam.” One was short for Ousama, and the other was short for Samir. I can see how Ousama would want to be something other than Ousama, but personally I prefer “Ous.”

I have a friend with kids. When I go to his house, my name changes from Jeremy to Jer-Jer. He asked if I have ever been called that before. I said no. But, then I don’t hang around with families who have kids. I have not been in a family environment since childhood with the exception of brief visits to houses of particular people in my meditation group who had kids.

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