Being a Notary Suits Me – I Am Pedantic!

The Notary Profession is ideal for a Pedant – the job is to provide a documented record of fact.

I am aware that the slow and painstaking approach might be irksome to clients on occasion, especially to business people who want a job done in the minimum of time.

When a job is done properly and well it is sometimes hard to explain why it could not have been done in half the time and at half the cost.

However, when a job is done incompletely it can often be all too clear that cutting corners was a disaster.

Now there is a decision of the Courts of Georgia USA which illustrates my point – online at

In this case a house owner signed a mortgage deed with Wells Fargo Bank. The Deed should have been signed in the presence of witnesses and been notarised. In fact, the Notary wrote upon it a certificate which confirmed only that the signature to it was genuine.

Now perhaps, possibly, even presumably, the Deed was properly witnessed. Maybe the Notary himself  had watched the signature being made, together with two “lay” witnesses as the US law requires. BUT – the certificate did not say so and any such additional witnesses had not signed. As such it was found to be a  fatally defective deed, because it was not absolutely certain (not pedantically stated!) on the face of it whether or not the signing was witnessed properly.

When the borrower went bankrupt later, that defect in the certificate has meant that the entire mortgage debt on the house can be ignored by the Creditors, because under US law Creditors are not affected by a defective deed, even though they know perfectly well that the house was in mortgage.

Accordingly, the Bankruptcy Trustee can sell the house for the Creditors without repaying Wells Fargo Bank a penny of the mortgage debt.

May I say – If you are a Bank then this is not the result you want! Whoever you are, your Notarial work needs to be thorough. – contact me at +44 (0)113 816 0116