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Georgia Notary

1 Posts

Posted - 03/01/2014 :  6:56:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The Georgia Legislature has a bill before it right now that will create a private cause of action and provide for attorneys' fees and costs for the Unauthorized Practice of Law. UPL is rampant in Georgia and I expect to see a lot of notaries, attorneys, title companies be sued for violating UPL.

Georgia law states that "conveyancing" is not permitted in Georgia for either Georgia or non-Georgia properties. See www.GABar.org and then search Unauthorized Practice of Law.

http://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/en-US/Display/20132014/HB/889
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mgipson280

1 Posts

Posted - 05/25/2013 :  1:54:58 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello, So the only signings you cannot do in GA is first mortgages, second mortgages, reverse morgages and refinances.... What about equity lines of credit? What are some of the ways some of you went about getting document signings in hospitals and jails ? Also, Immergration document signings. Do anyone think the law will be changed to allow real estate closings in Georgia by Notary Signing Agents again ?


Life Insurance (Permenant and Term)
Annuities
401K Rollovers
College Planning
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LaurieW

Georgia
0 Posts

Posted - 07/13/2012 :  7:05:54 PM  Show Profile  Visit LaurieW's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi All, I have researched this topic ALOT. I have found that you can not close any kind of loan that deals with Ga. real property. That means you can not notarize it. This is a tough break for Georgia notaries however with that said, you can still have a lucrative part-time notary business in Ga. I get alot of customers who are bed-ridden or who travel through Ga. and need documents notarized who can't go to a notary and need someone to come to them. I do believe that doing things the right way (legally) is the best way. In my county you must have a business license even if you are home-based, which I have, and be a certified notary, which I am. I also carry E&O Insurance as a safety precaution. I don't want to lose my business because of laws I did not follow.

Laurie C. Watkins
www.notaryforhenry.com

Laurie C. Watkins
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LindaH

Florida
1740 Posts

Posted - 07/02/2012 :  12:53:02 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Bumping this up top to update - GA legislature effective 7/1/12 closing a loophole in the "witness-only" laws..

http://www1.legis.ga.gov/legis/2011_12/search/sb365.htm


Linda
http://www.columbiacountynotary.webs.com
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PWinFL

Florida
469 Posts

Posted - 10/14/2010 :  5:07:12 PM  Show Profile  Visit PWinFL's Homepage  Reply with Quote
In GA, notaries cannot perform closings or "witness signings" even if they are an employee of an attorney. The following is an excerpt from a prominent attorney's website concerning this issue as well as the "attorney requirement" if the closing takes place outside of Georgia.

quote:

James R. Kobleur,
Attorney at Law
Savannah, Georgia

I am asked, often, (1) Whether Georgia is a "Lawyer Only" State and, if so, (2) whether a lawyer is needed when the borrowers are located in Georgia but the property is in another State. Questions also arise regarding (3) whether a lawyer must conduct the closing in a situation where Georgia real estate is given as security when a loan is closed outside the State.

Most people in the loan industry use the term "Lawyer Only State" to refer to those states which require that a lawyer (as opposed to a Notary or other "Loan Signing Agent") conduct all loan closings in which real property is given as security for the loan, even if the lawyer's role involves only explaining the documents and witnessing the signing of those documents but does not require the lawyer to perform a title search or other activities normally associated with closing a real estate loan. The question arises most often in the context of a Refinancing of an existing loan ("REFI") or the granting of a Home Equity Line of Credit ("HELOC") where the lender has prepared its own loan documents and has obtained a title search from a non-lawyer or from a lawyer other than the person conducting the closing.

Question (1), "Is Georgia a Lawyer Only State?" was answered definitively by the Georgia Supreme Court in November 10, 2003 when it issued a ruling in the case designated: IN RE UPL ADVISORY OPINION 2003-2 (277 Ga. 472). That case held that a so called "Witness-Only" closing may be conducted only by a lawyer in Georgia. The Supreme Court Opinion, with slight formatting changes to increase readability for the lay person, and the UPL (Unauthorized Practice of Law) Opinion from the State Bar on which the Supreme Court Opinion is based, may be read HERE (http://www.kobleur.net/Lawyer_Only2.html).

***Questions (2) and (3) have not been addressed by the Georgia Courts, to the best of my knowledge, and my opinion, expressed below, does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon by anyone in making a decision regarding the issues discussed. You should consult your own attorney concerning the state of the law applicable to your particular situation.

Question (2), "Is a lawyer required for a closing when the borrowers are located in Georgia but the real property given as security for the loan is located in a state other than Georgia? It appears that the Supreme Court decision referenced above, although not specifically addressing the question presented, did not limit its Opinion to real property located in Georgia and would clearly require that a lawyer conduct the closing in this situation. The practice of law, as it relates to conveyancing, is an activity unrelated to the location of the property involved. As the Georgia Supreme Court has ruled that the actions of overseeing the closing, reviewing and explaining documents and obtaining signatures constitutes the practice of law in Georgia, the location of the real property is immaterial. It is the actions, in the State of Georgia, of the individual conducting the closing which are subject to Georgia Law, not the property itself. If those actions are conducted in Georgia then it is highly likely that the Court's Opinion applies and a lawyer is required. My only caveat to this position would be a loan closing conducted in Georgia but involving real property located in those states which use Mortgages (or other instruments which merely create a lien against property) as opposed to Security Deeds or Deeds to Secure Debt. Security Deeds and Deeds to Secure Debt, as used in Georgia, actually convey legal title to the property used as security for the loan to the Grantee, the lender, while leaving the Grantor, the borrower, with equitable title. Mortgages, on the other hand create a lien against property used as security for the loan but leave legal title in the landowner, the borrower. Since the rationale of the Supreme Court opinion rests, at least in part, on the fact that only lawyers may prepare and supervise the creation and execution of a "deed of conveyance", the Court might hold that a closing conducted in Georgia but involving a loan secured by a mortgage on real property in another state does not constitute "conveyancing", because of the lack of a "Deed of Conveyance", and thus conducting such a closing might not constitute the practice of law. However, even in this situation, it is more likely that the Court would hold that a mortgage conveys a lien from Mortgagor to Mortgagee and is thus a conveyancing transaction, regardless of the absence of a "Deed of Conveyance".

Question (3), "Is a lawyer required for a loan closing conducted in a state other than Georgia but in which Georgia real property is given as security?" In my opinion, the answer is No. Under our legal system, a State Court's jurisdiction, in most cases, is limited to acts occurring within its geographic boundaries. The Georgia Supreme Court has jurisdiction to define what actions constitute the practice of law in Georgia but that jurisdiction does not extend to acts carried out in other states. Each individual state has the right to define the "Practice of Law" within its boundaries and those states, such as California, which allow notaries to conduct "Witness Only" closings within their boundaries are not bound by the Georgia Supreme Court's Opinion as to what constitutes the practice of law. It is the location of the closing rather than the location of the property which governs whether the closing must be conducted by an attorney.

***Again, I stress that my answers to questions (2) and (3) are only my opinion! You should consult your own attorney concerning the legal status of your actions in those situations.




Never drive any faster than your guardian angel can fly.

I am not an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Florida,
and I may not give legal advice or accept fees for legal advice.


Visit us online at http://www.PAWnotary.com
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jbelmont

California
2973 Posts

Posted - 10/14/2010 :  4:21:08 PM  Show Profile  Visit jbelmont's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I would like to hear some input as to how it currently is to be a Georgia notary public. Can you guys make a living not being allowed to do signings? Or can you still do signings if you are a Georgia notary who works for an attorney? Let us in on the details.

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n/a

114 Posts

Posted - 01/09/2008 :  10:33:24 AM  Show Profile  Visit n/a's Homepage  Reply with Quote
That is exactly what my mother says and she loves me with all her heart! Mother brags on her son's patience, kindness, sense of humor, entrepreneurial ability and humble personality. Mother does say I dress and look funny, and my dad always said I look like the mailman, but that story is for another day.

Burton F.
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LindaH

Florida
1740 Posts

Posted - 01/09/2008 :  09:56:31 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dfye@mcttelecom.com

Not your typical lawyer!

Legal Eagle Para Professional Services



Boy, that's putting it mildly!!...<G>

Linda
www.notarydepot.com/notary/lindah
http://www.notary.net/websites/LindaHubbell
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dfye@mcttelecom.com

New Hampshire
681 Posts

Posted - 01/09/2008 :  06:47:04 AM  Show Profile  Visit dfye@mcttelecom.com's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Not your typical lawyer!

Legal Eagle Para Professional Services
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n/a

114 Posts

Posted - 01/08/2008 :  10:36:37 AM  Show Profile  Visit n/a's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LindaH

"each of us has a different perspective with experiences that range widely. It is good to listen to others and to assimilate information from a variety of sources"

We aren't talking experiences and personal interpretations here...we're talking matters of law - and who better to interpret them and advise as to their impact than an attorney (yourself) practicing law and doing real estate closings in GA (like yourself)??

Linda




I must have miscommunicated. Sorry. As in all things, experiences, personal interpretations and perspectives on law can vary, even among lawyers and lay people. I would never claim to be a know it all and openness to the knowledge of others is what keeps me fresh and aware. Each of us likes to have those "Why didn't I think of that?" moments. Thank you for your kind thoughts. Burton F.
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LindaH

Florida
1740 Posts

Posted - 01/08/2008 :  10:30:15 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
"each of us has a different perspective with experiences that range widely. It is good to listen to others and to assimilate information from a variety of sources"

We aren't talking experiences and personal interpretations here...we're talking matters of law - and who better to interpret them and advise as to their impact than an attorney (yourself) practicing law and doing real estate closings in GA (like yourself)??

Linda
www.notarydepot.com/notary/lindah
http://www.notary.net/websites/LindaHubbell
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n/a

114 Posts

Posted - 01/08/2008 :  10:06:37 AM  Show Profile  Visit n/a's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hello Linda,

I am but one person and each of us has a different perspective with experiences that range widely. It is good to listen to others and to assimilate information from a variety of sources. I have posted my thoughts on other posts in this forum. This is a well-managed forum and I am sure I can learn from you.

Burton F.
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LindaH

Florida
1740 Posts

Posted - 01/08/2008 :  09:20:17 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Burton, you of all people should have the knowledge firsthand....being a GA attorney and all...maybe we should ask YOU to keep all of US informed.

Linda
www.notarydepot.com/notary/lindah
http://www.notary.net/websites/LindaHubbell
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n/a

114 Posts

Posted - 01/08/2008 :  08:10:07 AM  Show Profile  Visit n/a's Homepage  Reply with Quote
If there are any developments in Georgia I would like to learn of them.

We work with a LOT of independent contractors throughout Georgia and we always seek to stay in tune with the thoughts and developments in loan closings throughout Georgia. If you have any information you would like to share, or you would like to work with us, please contact us.

Thanks.

Burton F.
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jbelmont

California
2973 Posts

Posted - 03/08/2007 :  08:33:25 AM  Show Profile  Visit jbelmont's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The odd thing is that we warn new signups in GA that its an attorney state and yet people keep signing up there in more numbers than we've ever had and many of the notaries are really prospering in Georgia as a Georgia notary. I don't know exactly what they are doing or not doing but I am not getting complaints from Georgia notaries. How Ironic.

http://www.123notary.com/georgia_notary/
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GF_CA

66 Posts

Posted - 02/11/2007 :  08:33:52 AM  Show Profile  Visit GF_CA's Homepage  Reply with Quote
What about if the property is in Georgia and the owner live in California, can a notary here in CA do they signing for them?
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n/a

Georgia
1 Posts

Posted - 02/09/2007 :  8:24:35 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jbelmont

You can not do loan signing in GA unless you are an attorney. But if you live near a state border, you might be able to get a dual commission and do signings in the neighboring state. Also, if you know how to market yourself, there is regular notary work to be done in GA. Jails, hospitals, offices, etc.



what's the best way to market ourselves to these people...To my understanding we cannont do loan signings on Ga properties. However, if the property is in another state, though I'm a Georgia notary, there should be no problem....Some how people in GA are getting around this...one woman does signings on Ga Re-fi's but not first time loans, she claims its ok...

Edited by - n/a on 02/09/2007 8:30:26 PM
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dfye@mcttelecom.com

New Hampshire
681 Posts

Posted - 12/13/2006 :  05:35:26 AM  Show Profile  Visit dfye@mcttelecom.com's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I promise everyone here that when I finish getting my law degree, I will never do anything of this sort to anyone.

Legal Eagle Para Professional Services
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crtowles

California
553 Posts

Posted - 12/13/2006 :  05:24:18 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You can witness a signature for regular notary work but you cannot close ANY loans in the state of GA. This means anything thing tht is going to record in GA. A DOT, Quick Claim, (re-fi, purchase,)etc. To do so will just invite a problems with your commission and with some attorneys that are on the lookout for you to be doing what they consider their job.

~Carmen
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NiceNEZone

South Carolina
8 Posts

Posted - 10/25/2006 :  12:42:00 AM  Show Profile  Visit NiceNEZone's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Yes, I've heard of this myself. So GA is an Attorney Only state for closing of new homes.......what about refi? Show me where it says that a notary can't "witness" a signature.



quote:
Originally posted by jbelmont

You can not do loan signing in GA unless you are an attorney. But if you live near a state border, you might be able to get a dual commission and do signings in the neighboring state. Also, if you know how to market yourself, there is regular notary work to be done in GA. Jails, hospitals, offices, etc.

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n/a

4 Posts

Posted - 08/19/2005 :  04:05:05 AM  Show Profile  Visit n/a's Homepage  Reply with Quote
What else can i do with it?


| | |
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jbelmont

California
2973 Posts

Posted - 08/04/2005 :  4:24:19 PM  Show Profile  Visit jbelmont's Homepage  Reply with Quote
You can not do loan signing in GA unless you are an attorney. So, regular Georgia notary publics are left out of a lot of work. But if you live near a state border, you might be able to get a dual commission and do signings in the neighboring state. Also, if you know how to market yourself, there is regular notary work to be done in GA. Jails, hospitals, offices, etc.
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Shays

Tennessee
12 Posts

Posted - 03/12/2005 :  10:07:30 AM  Show Profile  Visit Shays's Homepage  Reply with Quote
It means that only a certified attorney in the state can close (notarize) loan documents!!! SORRY!!

Shari Hays

Edited by - Shays on 03/12/2005 10:11:07 AM
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n/a

Georgia
1 Posts

Posted - 03/11/2005 :  01:09:27 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm new at this loan signing business and live in
Georgia I'm currently reading my ga handbook and i don't know what it means when someone says that this is an attorney signing state.
I called to get signed up with this one signing agency, she asked if I was an attorney or notary. She told me that Ga. is an "attorney state". I have the slightest clue by what she meant by that. Can anyone help me with this? Please.

LATOYA BUSH
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