An Illinois notary tells us this story about how her journal saved a man’s home. One day, an attorney called this Illinois notary regarding a notarization she had made years before. It seems that the attorney had a client whose property address appeared on someone else’s deed, and the bank wanted to take his house! The attorney told her, “I need to know how many pages were in the deed of trust you notarized. The bank wants to take this other man’s property.”
This notary was meticulous about her Illinois notary journal, and immediately saw she had recorded that the deed of trust was 12 pages long. “Are you sure?” asked the attorney. “Positive,” replied the notary. “On this particular loan, for every single page that needed a notarization, I had to supply my own Illinois acknowledgment. There was no Illinois acknowledgment form that came with the package. I recorded all this in my journal.” The attorney then said, “Well, there are 13 pages in this deed of trust…but the address on the 13th page is different than on the rest of the documents.” They were able to establish that the 13th page was not part of that deed of trust, but was an “exhibit,” and that the exhibit that was supposedly part of the legal property description was clearly from another property: the 13th page was NOT a notarized document!
This saved the man’s house; the bank was able to take only the property noted in the 12 notarized pages! After the attorney had requested the evidence in writing and the notary had provided the evidence from her Illinois notary journal, the attorney said, “I owe you a box of chocolates!” And sure enough, a week later, this notary received in the mail a 5 lb. assortment of chocolates. From then on, she has always used a chocolate-colored Illinois notary journal.
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New laws for Notaries in Illinois
(1) An Illinois notary public who notarizes a document of conveyance of qualifying residential real estate in Cook county will be required to create a Notarial Record and take a THUMBPRINT of the seller and provide for record keeping of the notary record to all responsible parties.
(2) Identification documents must be current / valid at the time of the notarial act and must be issued by a state or federal government agency and must have a picture of the person’s face, plus a signature of the individual.
(3) An Illinois notary public who is a principal, employee, or agent of a title insurance company, title insurance agent, financial institution or attorney must deliver the notarial record within 14 days to their employer who must keep the record for seven years. (this is an unusual sounding rule)
(4) An Illinois notary public who is NOT an employee or agent of a title insurance company, title insurance agent, financial instritution, or attorney must submit the notarial record within 14 days to the Cook county recorder of deeds office.
(5) The notarial record must be kept confidential and may only be disclosed by subpoena. Further, the notarial record is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act.
(6) Thumbprints. An Illinois notary public shall require the signer of a document of conveyance, or sale of property (deeds effecting real property) to have their right thumb printed in the notary record (journal)
(7) The Illinois notary division gives a definition that residential real property means a building or buildings located in Cook County, IL that has one to four dwelling units or an individual residential condominium unit.
(8) An IL notary public may only perform notary acts if they live in the same county they were commissioned in– unless they reside in a state bordering Illinois and have a work address within that county.
Sec. 3‑105. Authority. A notary public shall have authority to perform notarial acts throughout the State so long as the notary resides in the same county in which the notary was commissioned or, if the notary is a resident of a state bordering Illinois, so long as the notary’s principal place of work or principal place of business is in the same county in Illinois in which the notary was commissioned.
(9) Moving causes your IL notary commission to be nullified
Sec. 4‑101. Changes causing commission to cease to be in effect. When any notary public legally changes his or her name or moves from the county in which he or she was commissioned or, if the notary public is a resident of a state bordering Illinois, no longer maintains a principal place of work or principal place of business in the same county in Illinois in which he or she was commissioned, the commission ceases to be in effect and should be returned to the Secretary of State. These individuals who desire to again become a notary public must file a new application, bond, and oath with the Secretary of State.