California Notaries Continue to Break the Law in Regard to Notary Logs…….Produce your Transaction Logs…….
When we take on a new case, we normally send notary demand letters to the notaries who allege to have verified the signatures of those signing the Substitution of Trustee, and Assignment of Deed Of Trust. These are critical foreclosure-related real estate documents that need a valid notary in order to be recordable. What we have been finding, over and over again, when we ask for proof of the notary log (which under California law the notary is REQUIRED to keep) is the following types of responses:
(1) No response
(2) the Notary “lawyer’s up”
(3) We are informed no logs were kept (even by notaries who have been practicing for 20+ years)
(4) We are informed the notaries were “mistaken” and believed that since no fees were being charged (really?), that they thought they did not have to keep a log. Was that taught in notary class?
It is a truly amazing epidemic when you realize (a) the Banks cannot produce the endorsed chain of notes to prove they are legally permitted to enforce your note and (b) the notaries who notarize critical foreclosure documents (that must be duly acknowledged and recorded) cannot keep a notary log making the signature highly suspect. If the signor was not properly identified by the notary, (identification in their presence), or someone signed the name of another person without their authority, then you have issues of fraud and forgery that potential taint the foreclosure process. These things must be looked at because we live in a new day and age where the law was brushed aside in the rush to foreclose in mass, and people who were trained to do a job decide to do it another way “on generals orders.” The generals are of course the mighty financial institutions and loan servicers that decided the law was nothing more than a nuisance.
(a) (1) A notary public shall keep one active sequential
journal at a time, of all official acts performed as a notary public.
The journal shall be kept in a locked and secured area, under the
direct and exclusive control of the notary. Failure to secure the
journal shall be cause for the Secretary of State to take
administrative action against the commission held by the notary
public pursuant to Section 8214.1.
(2) The journal shall be in addition to, and apart from, any
copies of notarized documents that may be in the possession of the
notary public and shall include all of the following:
(A) Date, time, and type of each official act.
(B) Character of every instrument sworn to, affirmed,
acknowledged, or proved before the notary.
(C) The signature of each person whose signature is being
(D) A statement as to whether the identity of a person making an
acknowledgment or taking an oath or affirmation was based on
satisfactory evidence. If identity was established by satisfactory
evidence pursuant to Section 1185 of the Civil Code, the journal
shall contain the signature of the credible witness swearing or
affirming to the identity of the individual or the type of
identifying document, the governmental agency issuing the document,
the serial or identifying number of the document, and the date of
issue or expiration of the document.
(E) If the identity of the person making the acknowledgment or
taking the oath or affirmation was established by the oaths or
affirmations of two credible witnesses whose identities are proven to
the notary public by presentation of any document satisfying the
requirements of paragraph (3) or (4) of subdivision (b) of Section
1185 of the Civil Code, the notary public shall record in the journal
the type of documents identifying the witnesses, the identifying
numbers on the documents identifying the witnesses, and the dates of
issuance or expiration of the documents identifying the witnesses.
(F) The fee charged for the notarial service.
(G) If the document to be notarized is a deed, quitclaim deed,
deed of trust affecting real property, or a power of attorney
document, the notary public shall require the party signing the
document to place his or her right thumbprint in the journal. If the
right thumbprint is not available, then the notary shall have the
party use his or her left thumb, or any available finger and shall so
indicate in the journal. If the party signing the document is
physically unable to provide a thumbprint or fingerprint, the notary
shall so indicate in the journal and shall also provide an
explanation of that physical condition. This paragraph shall not
apply to a trustee’s deed resulting from a decree of foreclosure or a
nonjudicial foreclosure pursuant to Section 2924 of the Civil Code,
nor to a deed of reconveyance.
(b) If a sequential journal of official acts performed by a notary
public is stolen, lost, misplaced, destroyed, damaged, or otherwise
rendered unusable as a record of notarial acts and information, the
notary public shall immediately notify the Secretary of State by
certified or registered mail. The notification shall include the
period of the journal entries, the notary public commission number,
and the expiration date of the commission, and when applicable, a
photocopy of any police report that specifies the theft of the
sequential journal of official acts.
(c) Upon written request of any member of the public, which
request shall include the name of the parties, the type of document,
and the month and year in which notarized, the notary shall supply a
photostatic copy of the line item representing the requested
transaction at a cost of not more than thirty cents ($0.30) per page.
Attached is a link to a document which shows a notary response letter we just received from TD Servicing
Note the time and date of the signing is missing. Also, the Date of the document. Finally, the document claims to be a “jurat” but there are specific requirements for a Jurat to ensure the signor personally appeared, and that an oath was administered to the signor attesting that the document was correct. Here is what a jurat is supposed to look like:
State of California
County of ________________
Subscribed and sworn to (or affirmed) before me on this _____ day of _______, 20__,
by _______________________, proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence to be
the person(s) who appeared before me.
Notary Public Signature Notary Public Seal
The Substitution of Trustee document we have and affidavit of mailing did not have this. Jurats are goverened by California Government Code Section 8202