You recently bought your lovely home and have invested substantially into it, perhaps remodeling the kitchen. One day, a woman knocks on your door and says that she and her husband had split up shortly before he put the house on the market, and that he forged her name on the deed. She says the sale was invalid and that she's still the owner—and she wants you out. You and the woman go to court where she proves that her story is true. She gets the house back, and you are evicted. Meanwhile, the husband has vanished with the money from the sale.
When you purchase a home, typically you will be given a choice to buy either a LENDER policy or a HOMEOWNER policy. The lender’s policy is attached to the mortgage so if you refinance, you will have to furnish them with another one. The Homeowner’s policy is attached to the property and as long as you own that home you will never need another one. In other words, if you purchased a homeowner’s title insurance policy when you bought the house, you do not have to buy a lender’s policy when you refinance.
My opinion, it is a necessary evil. Some claim it is a huge waste of money because the incidence of claim is so low and because there have been investigations into title insurance companies giving kickbacks to lenders. If you live in Iowa they have established their own title guarantee program, citing high costs. The difference in cost between a lender’s and homeowner policy is typically less than $100 and the total amount can be rolled into closing costs.
Not having it can cost you everything if you are one of the unlucky ones.
I have availability this week. Do you have a refi, purchase, cash out or debt settlement you need closed? Give me a call 215-718-4061.
Check the Pennsylvania State Government Web Site <<--click here
You need to make a request for legal documents at the Web Site <<-- Click here
Enclose a personal check, money order or cashier's check made payable to "Commonwealth of Pennsylvania" in the amount of $15 per document. Checks and money orders must be issued by a U.S. institution or, if issued by a foreign bank, must be in U.S. dollars and contain a routing number. Cash cannot be accepted by mail.
Enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope for return of your documents.
Mail your request to:
Pennsylvania Department of State
Bureau of Commissions, Elections and Legislation
Room 210 North Office Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120-0029
Questions concerning apostilles or certifications may be directed to the Pennsylvania Department of State, Bureau of Commissions, Elections and Legislation by calling (717) 787-5280, by email: RA-CERTIFICATIONS@pa.gov or by writing to the address listed above.
House Bill 1429, which takes effect January 1, 2015, modifies power of attorney statues and I discussed this more extensively in my previous post. As recently reported in the Notary Bulletin, powers of attorney that are executed and notarized electronically may be recorded in the same way as an electronic document under the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act.
Senate Bill 1001 corrects an error related to the time for filing a Notary applicant’s bond, oath and commission that was enacted in House Bill 25 of 2013 (Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts). It also removes the requirement for senatorial endorsement of applications and allows the Pennsylvania Department of State to promulgate regulations for background screenings. Senate Bill 1001 has a staggered effective date.
PA Senate Bill 1001
Notary Law Update: PA Senate Bill 1001
Senate Bill 1001 corrects an error related to the time for filing a Notary applicant’s bond, oath and commission that was enacted in House Bill 25 of 2013 (Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts), removes the requirement that applicants obtain a senatorial endorsement on their applications for commissioning as a Notary, and permits the Department of State to promulgate regulations requiring applicants for a commission to submit criminal history record information.
SB 1001 has a staggered effective date.
Signed: July 09, 2014
Effective: July 09, 2014
Chapter: Act No. 119
Amends Pennsylvania Statutes Title 57, Sections 321 and 327
1. Removes the requirement that a resident applicant for a Notary commission must obtain the endorsement of the applicant’s state senator, or if a nonresident, the endorsement of the state senator of the district in which the applicant is employed.
2. Clarifies that within 45 days after appointment and before entering into the duties of a Notary, the bond, oath of office and commission must be recorded in the office of the recorder of deeds of the county in which the notary public maintains an office.
3. Permits the Department of State to promulgate regulations to require applicants for appointment and commission as Notaries to submit criminal history record information as provided in 18 Pa.C.S. Ch. 91 (relating to criminal history record information) as a condition of appointment.
Senate Bill 1001 removes the requirement that applicants obtain a senatorial endorsement on their applications for commissioning as a Notary - good news - although for processing of your application there is no effective difference unless the Department of State throws a monkey wrench into this.
Few states require such an endorsement anymore, which reflects the reality that in today’s society few senators actually know the individuals in their districts who seek the office of Notary Public, and thus cannot assess the character of an applicant for a commission.
The bill also permits the Department of State to publish regulations to require applicants for a commission to submit criminal history record information. Note that this provision permits the Department to publish regulations to require this, but until a regulation is published, Notaries will not be required to do so.
Under 18 P.S. 9102 “criminal history record information” is defined as follows: “Information collected by criminal justice agencies concerning individuals, and arising from the initiation of a criminal proceeding, consisting of identifiable descriptions, dates and notations of arrests, indictments, information’s or other formal criminal charges and any dispositions arising therefrom. The term does not include intelligence information, investigative information or treatment information, including medical and psychological information, or information and records specified in section 9104 (relating to scope).”
Chapter 91 of Title 18 of the Pennsylvania Statutes governs how state agencies collect this information and any regulations adopted by the Department must comply with this chapter.
Finally, SB 1001 corrects an error related to the time for filing a Notary applicant’s bond, oath and commission that was enacted in House Bill 25 of 2013 (Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts). This essentially is a “clean up” provision.
Note that the effective date of SB 1001 is staggered: the provision allowing the Department to promulgate regulations to require submission of criminal history record information takes effect immediately; the repeal of the senatorial endorsement takes effect on January 5, 2015, and the provision related to the time filing of the bond, oath and commission takes effect 180 days after publication of the notice under Section 4 of the RULONA (HB 205 of 2013). The effective date of SB 1001 and HB 25 of 2013 can be confusing. Since the time filing provision of HB 25 has not yet taken effect, the error corrected by SB 1001 will never become a problem. Notaries must currently file the bond, oath and commission within 45 days as provided in current statute that is operative until HB 25 takes effect.
Act 95 of 2014 amended Title 20 – Decedants, Estates and Fiduciaries of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes.
As a Notary, you may not help customers draft a Power of Attorney (“POA”), as this can be interpreted to be the unlicensed practice of law. A POA should be drafted with the advice and guidance of an attorney.
In addition these changes take effect as of January 1, 2015:
· The principal must sign the POA in front of two witnesses and each witness must be over the age of 18. If the principal cannot sign they may designate someone to sign on the principal’s behalf.
· The requirement of two witnesses does not apply to certain powers of attorney as described in the Act such as the secure POA used by motor vehicle dealers.
· The principal must acknowledge his or her signature. The principal must appear before a notary public or other individual authorized by law to take acknowledgements. The requirement for notarization does not apply to a POA which exclusively provides for making health care or mental health care decisions.
· The agent named in the POA cannot act as the notary or individual authorized to take the acknowledgement.
· The notary, the agent, and any individuals who sign the POA on behalf of the principal cannot appear as witnesses.
· Effective Jan 1, new language must be inserted – the notice to the principal that must appear, has to be in capital letters at the beginning of the document
· The notice was revised to remove the statement that the agent must keep his/her funds separate from those of the principal.
· The agent must act in accordance with the principal’s “reasonable expectations to the extent actually known” and in the best interests of the principal in good faith and within the scope of the authority granted. ( The same language is used in the agent’s acknowledgment.)
· The principal can grant the agent authority to give away all of the principal’s property while the principal is alive or substantially change how the principal’s property is distributed after death, and;
· Before signing the POA the principal should seek the advice of an attorney to be sure the principal understands the document.
Like the witness requirement the notice to the principal and the agent’s acknowledgment are not required on certain POA’s described in the Act. However, the Act authorizes that a third party can reject a POA if a required notice or acknowledgment is not included.
The Act contains a mechanism for third parties to request additional assurances that the POA is valid. Third parties may, within seven (7) days:
1. Request the agent to swear to or affirm any factual matter concerning the principal, agent or POA;
2. Request an English translation at the principal’s expense;
3. Request from an attorney an opinion relating to whether the agent is acting within the scope of the authority granted by the POA.
Under the new Act a photocopy or electronic copy of an original POA has the same effect as the original, except for purposes of filing or recording with the Orphans’ Court or the recorder of Deeds. Counties are authorized to accept electronic documents for recording. As a result, the ability to file or record a POA electronically may vary from county to county.
The full text is available at www.legis.state.pa.us – type “hb 1429” in the search box.
More amendments to the Pennsylvania’s POA law are expected.
Some states require them, some states don’t; but we highly recommend all notaries keep a detailed record of every notarization they perform! Keeping a record book follows best notarial practices, remind you of the proper steps to take during a notarization, can protect you against claims and may also refresh your memory is ever called in to testify. For every notarization, we recommend you record the following information:
Nothing is more frustrating than finding your seal is smudged or perhaps affixed in an inverted position. What do you do?
You can affix a second seal near, but not over, the original seal. If the space is tight you can turn the seal sideways, particularly if it is a real property document and a seal is mandatory.
If there is no room to affix a second seal, you can affix a separate document with the proper jurat and seal but remember to cross out the original with a single line and note "see attached document" to the original document. Tampering with the original seal in any way is strictly not allowed.
A good first step before affixing seal is to do a practice stamp to make sure it is in proper orientation and is sufficiently inked.
Buying a home means taking out a mortgage loan. The Dodd-Frank Act requires combination of Truth in Lending Act and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act disclosures. You receive these disclosures shortly after you apply for a mortgage and shortly before you close on the mortgage. The new disclosures were effective for any loan application filed after September 1, 2015.
You can read all about it here >>>http://www.consumerfinance.gov/knowbeforeyouowe/#disclosure <<<<
The new forms contain the same information as before but are easier to read by the consumer.
Specifically, Sections 1098 and 1100A of the Dodd-Frank Act require that the CFPB to publish rules that describe disclosures in connection with applying for and closing on a mortgage loan under the Truth in Lending Act and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act.[i]
For years this information was described in disclosures called the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act of 1974 (RESPA). The information on these forms is overlapping and the language is inconsistent. Naturally, consumers found these forms confusing.
Section 1032(f) of the Dodd-Frank Act mandated that the Bureau propose for public comment rules and model disclosures that integrate the TILA and RESPA disclosures by July 21, 2012. [ii]The Bureau satisfied this statutory mandate and issued a proposed rule and forms on July 9, 2012 (the TILA-RESPA Proposal or the proposal)[iii]. To accomplish this, the Bureau engaged in extensive consumer and industry research, analysis of public comment, and public outreach.
Things to know:
1. The Loan Estimate will be provided to consumers within three business days after they submit a loan application.
2. The second form (the Closing Disclosure) is designed to provide disclosures that will be helpful to consumers in understanding all of the costs of the transaction. This form will be provided to consumers three business days before they close on the loan.
3. Exceptions: It does not apply to home equity lines of credit, reverse mortgages, or mortgages secured by a mobile home or by a dwelling that is not attached to real property (in other words, land)
4. The Loan Estimate Form replaces two other forms: the Good Faith Estimate and the Truth In Lending Form.
a. Limitation on Fees. You cannot be charged any additional fees after agreeing to proceed with the transaction based on the Loan Estimate.
5. The Closing Disclosure replaces the HUD-1 and the Truth-In-Lending disclosure. It also replaces the revised Truth-In-Lending disclosure. It also contains additional disclosures as required by Dodd-Frank.
a. Timing. The creditor must give consumers the Closing Disclosure form to consumers so that they receive it at least three business days before the consumer closes on the loan.
Note: If the creditor makes certain significant changes between the time the Closing Disclosure form is given and the closing – specifically, if the creditor makes changes to the APR above 1/8 of a percent for most loans (and 1/4 of a percent for loans with irregular payments or periods), changes the loan product, or adds a prepayment penalty to the loan – the consumer must be provided a new form and an additional three-business-day waiting period after receipt of the new form. Less significant changes can be disclosed on a revised Closing Disclosure form provided to the consumer at or before closing, without delaying the closing.
[i] Dodd-Frank Act sections 1098 & 1100A, codified at 12 U.S.C. 2603(a) & 15 U.S.C. 1604(b), respectively.
[ii] 12 U.S.C. 5532(f).
[iii] 3 See Press release, U.S. Bureau of Consumer Fin. Prot., Consumer Financial Protection Bureau proposes “Know Before You Owe” mortgage forms (July 9, 2012), available at <<LINK>>
Roland E. Paquette
My work experience includes skills and experience as a certified real estate salesman, paralegal, and Notary Public.