Saturday, January 16, 2016

Documents Dated for the Future (Post-dated Documents)



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Many documents are dated at the top, or an effective date may be mentioned within a document, and those dates may be dates in the future. For instance, a contract or mortgage document may be dated for a date after the date a party executes it and appears before the notary.

The date of the document isn't a problem. A notary's concern is the date the document is signed by the signer who requests the notarization.

Business and finance documents are often post-dated so that all parties can sign the document before the document takes effect. Don’t be fooled by reading in non-credible sources that say you can’t notarize a document that is dated in the future because "the document doesn’t exist."

You can't, however, notarize a signature on a document  if the date next to the signer’s name is a date in the future or if the document clearly states that the signer signed the document on a date in the future.

If you notarize a document that says a signer signed on a date after the notarial act occurred, that is an invalid notarial act. If faced with that situation, you must bring it to the signer's attention and explain why you can't notarize the document. The signer can make a determination on how to proceed--you can't advise the signer, but you should decline to notarize a document with a post-dated signature.

The signer may need to contact an attorney or the receiving party for advice.  One remedy, for instance, could be for the signer to strike through the incorrect date, insert the correct date, and initial the change.

Furthermore, if the notary public administrator's office from the notary's state sees a document that has a post-dated signature or is requested to attach an apostille to it, the presiding notary will probably be sanctioned and the document will almost certainly be rejected for an apostille attachment.


Sources:

Notary Signing Agent Tip: Dealing with Post-dated Loan Packages by Kelle Clarke (12/11/15) “Loan document packages circulating under the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), for example, are often post-dated.” Collected 1/16/16.

NPA Section Apostilles Issuance Guidelines Version 1.0, July 2013; pg. 5. “6. Date Error (A.) The date on the notarial certificate is prior to the date the signer signed the document.” Collected 1/15/16.

Disclaimer:

This blog isn't a source for legal advice; it's for discussion only.

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