Updated: May 16
A4277A has been passed by the New York State Assembly
"Requires notaries public and commissioners of deeds to complete and retain certain documents relating to the transfer of residential real property."
It appears that in specifically in New York City, with the increase in value in the real estate market there has been an up tick in fraudulent deeds, meaning that people are basically selling properties without the owner's knowledge and take the profit or rent. In 2019, 600 deeds were reported to be a part of a fraud in Brooklyn alone. It appears that most of the instances are appearing more in New York City. People who are mostly effected are investment owners, minorities and elderly. This bill is what the NYS legislature is trying to solve.
There currently is no law that requires a New York Notary to keep or maintain a journal (although many do). To become a notary in New York State you have to complete a test and application to the Secretary of State. There is no required training. Therefore, even though the deed requires a notarization; the notary does not necessarily keep a record of the transaction.
What is Bill A4277A? This bill requires the notary to complete and retain documentation concerning residential real estate transactions. Basically, the notary must complete a separate form when there is a transfer of property (deed), and it must be delivered to the clerk's office within 14 days of the transaction. This form requires all the transaction details, including the fee you charged. If the notarial record is created during the scope of your work for a title company, lender, attorney, etc., you must deliver this form to your "employer" within 14 days. They are required to keep this form for 7 years. You must record the notarial record yourself if you are handling this directly, such as general notary work. You can collect $25 for the execution of the document and any fees necessary for recording.
"The purpose of this bill is to prevent fraudulent deed transfers by increasing the accountability of notaries who place their seal on documents of conveyance that transfer ownership of residential real property.
This bill establishes that notaries and commissioner of deeds who are not employed by a title insurance agency, law firm or financial institution and who are involved in executing a document of conveyance must file a notarial record of the notarial act."
What needs to be included on the Notarial Record?
NOTARIAL RECORD: DEED TRANSFER I, ________________________(GRANTOR) HEREBY AUTHORIZE THE TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP OF MY PROPERTY TO THE GRANTEE DESIGNATED BELOW. I UNDERSTAND I MAY BE TRANSFERRING OWNERSHIP OF MY HOME. DATE NOTARIZED: 01/01/1900 FEE: $___________ THE UNDERSIGNED GRANTOR HEREBY CERTIFIES THAT THE REAL PROPERTY IDENTI- FIED IN THIS NOTARIAL RECORD IS RESIDENTIAL REAL PROPERTY AS DEFINED IN SECTION 135-D OF THE EXECUTIVE LAW.
GRANTOR'S (SIGNER'S) PRINTED NAME: _________________________ GRANTOR'S (SIGNER'S) SIGNATURE:______________________________ GRANTOR'S (SIGNER'S) RESIDENTIAL STREET ADDRESS: ___________________
GRANTEE'S RELATIONSHIP TO GRANTOR:_____________________ GRANTEE'S (SIGNER'S) PRINTED NAME:_____________________ GRANTEE'S (SIGNER'S) SIGNATURE:_____________________ GRANTEE'S (SIGNER'S) RESIDENTIAL STREET ADDRESS:________________
TYPE OR NAME OF DOCUMENT OF CONVEYANCE: _____________________ PIN NO. OF RESIDENTIAL REAL PROPERTY: ____________________________ COMMON STREET ADDRESS OF RESIDENTIAL REAL PROPERTY:_______________________________ DESCRIPTION OF MEANS OF IDENTIFICATION: _______________________________________ ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:_______________________________________
NAME OF NOTARY OR COMMISSIONER OF DEEDS PRINTED:____________________________ NOTARY PHONE NUMBER:_______________________________________ COMMISSION OR APPOINTMENT EXPIRATION DATE:__________________________ STREET ADDRESS OF NOTARY, CITY, STATE AND ZIP CODE: _____________________ NAME OF NOTARY'S EMPLOYER OR PRINCIPAL: _______________________________________ BUSINESS STREET ADDRESS OF NOTARY'S EMPLOYER OR PRINCIPAL: ___________________
*Notaries cannot keep originals
*$250 fine for improperly recorded certificates
Ultimately, I think the more affordable option for the state would be to require a notary to keep a log book (the will already need to do so for e-notarizations.)
I will assume that this for New York State properties only and not for other properties that have been notarized in New York State. This may cause for issue if a Deed is notarized outside of New York State.
In the bill, it does not specify where the Notary Record should be recorded. I imagine it will be similar to proof of service. That the the record will need to be recorded in the county of the real property. If the notary is able to submit online, then I think this isn't as big of a deal but would still require internal changes.
In conclusion, I think the best solution is to require New York State notaries to be required to take continuing education classes and keep a log book (physical or electronic.) Risk vs reward, I don't think this will limit fraudulent deeds and I think it will be too costly; I vote Nay. Read the entire bill here.