- April 26, 2010
- All Issuing Offices
A recent decision of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nebraska (BowlNebraska, LLC v. Omaha State Bank, Case No. BK 09-83998 - TJM; A10-8005 - TJM) underscores the importance of being knowledgeable of state law requirements for valid notarial acknowledgements.
In this case, the Notary Public took the acknowledgements of two corporate officers on a deed of trust securing a loan in excess of $1,000,000.00. The Notary was a brother-in-law of one of the corporate officers.
Under Nebraska law, a notary public is not qualified to perform a notarial act if the notary is a spouse, ancestor, descendant, or sibling of the principal, including in-law, step or half relatives [Neb. Rev. Stat. §64-105.01]. Accordingly, the Bankruptcy Court ruled that, since the notary was disqualified, the acknowledgement was void, and the deed of trust was therefore void.
Agents are reminded to be aware of the requirements of state law governing the validity of notarial acts, and to be alert for situations that could result in an invalid acknowledgement.
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THIS BULLETIN IS FURNISHED TO INFORM YOU OF CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS. AS A REMINDER, YOU ARE CHARGED WITH KNOWLEDGE OF THE CONTENT ON VIRTUAL UNDERWRITER AS IT EXISTS FROM TIME TO TIME AS IT APPLIES TO YOU, AS WELL AS ANY OTHER INSTRUCTIONS. OUR UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS DO NOT AUTHORIZE OUR ISSUING AGENTS TO ENGAGE IN SETTLEMENTS OR CLOSINGS ON BEHALF OF STEWART TITLE GUARANTY COMPANY. THIS BULLETIN IS NOT INTENDED TO DIRECT YOUR ESCROW OR SETTLEMENT PRACTICES OR TO CHANGE PROVISIONS OF APPLICABLE UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS. CONFIDENTIAL, PROPRIETARY, OR NONPUBLIC PERSONAL INFORMATION SHOULD NEVER BE SHARED OR DISSEMINATED EXCEPT AS ALLOWED BY LAW. IF APPLICABLE STATE LAW OR REGULATION IMPOSES ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS, YOU SHOULD CONTINUE TO COMPLY WITH THOSE REQUIREMENTS.