Selling Guide

Published June 02, 2021

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A2-4.1-04, Notarization Standards (06/02/2021)

Introduction

This topic contains information on

  • Standards for Notarization

  • International Notarization and Apostille Process

  • Law of Location of the Mortgaged Property

  • Requirements in the Selling Guide or Servicing Guide

  • Audio-visual Aided Remote Ink-signed Notarization

  • Minimum Standards for Audio-visual Methods

 

Standards for Notarization

Certain loan documents and instruments may require notarization under applicable laws to allow for either recognition, enforcement, or recordation of the loan document or instrument. Except as otherwise permitted in this Guide, and subject to all applicable legal requirements imposed by the state where the real property is located, all loan documents and instruments must be notarized in accordance with and legally valid under the laws and regulations of the state in which the notarization is performed at the time it was performed in order to be eligible for sale to Fannie Mae.

In certain situations, federal laws and regulations permit duly authorized officials of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Defense to effect notarial acts in the performance of their duties. Subject to any applicable legal requirements imposed by the state where the real property is located, such notarization by these authorized officials is eligible on the same basis as that performed in accordance with state law.

 

International Notarization and Apostille Process

Subject to any applicable legal requirements imposed by the state where the real property is located, any international notarization not performed by a duly authorized official of the U.S. is eligible provided it

  • is in accordance with and legally valid under the laws and regulations of the foreign jurisdiction in which the notarization is performed at the time it was performed, or

  • contains an apostille certification from a competent authority, as recognized by the U.S. Department of State.

 

Law of Location of the Mortgaged Property

If the law of the state where the real property is located requires notarization, such notarization must

  • comply with such state’s laws and regulations, or

  • qualify for recognition under such state’s laws.

 

Requirements in the Selling Guide or Servicing Guide

In order for a loan to be eligible for sale to Fannie Mae and where notarization is not explicitly required by applicable law, but only by a requirement in the Selling Guide or Servicing Guide, all loan documents and instruments must have notarization effected by any such notarial method as permitted or recognized as valid by

  • the law of the state where the real property is located, or

  • federal law or the law of the state where the notary is registered and acting under applicable notarial authority and requirements of such jurisdiction.

 

Note: Nothing in this topic is meant to supersede the existing policies in this Guide with respect to electronic notarization and remote online notarization. See A2-4.1-03, Electronic Records, Signatures, and Transactions for additional information.

 

 

Audio-visual Aided Remote Ink-signed Notarization

A remote ink-signed notarization (RIN) is an audio-visual aided ink-signed method of notarization of paper documents, where the borrower authentication and signature witnessing are accomplished by:

  • the notary and principal’s use of real-time audio-visual conferencing technology,

  • the signatures are ink-signed, and

  • the notarial seal is applied manually to the applicable documents.

Lenders may allow for the use of real-time audio-video technology to satisfy the physical presence requirements, or where there are no physical presence requirements, under applicable law for notarial acts.

The following requirements apply to remote ink-signed notarization:

  • The notarization has been expressly authorized under applicable law.

  • The notarization is performed in accordance with and is legally valid under the laws and regulations of the state in which the notarization is performed, at the time it was performed.

  • The borrower or person whose signature is being notarized and the notary are physically located in the state where the notarial act is performed.

  • The audio-visual method used for the remote ink-signed notarization must meet the minimum standards described below.

All loans delivered to Fannie Mae that have been closed using audio-visual aided ink-signed notarization must be delivered with special feature code (SFC) 920 in addition to any other special feature codes that may apply.

 

Minimum Standards for Audio-visual Methods

The audio-visual method used for RIN must include the following minimum standards.

Criteria Minimum standards
Documentation or authentication It must include a review of
  • two forms of government-issued photo ID that have a signature via two-way audio-video technology and capture of such photo ID(s) via a photocopy or other electronic image; or

  • two-factor identity authentication, using a combination of at least two of the following factors:

    • remote presentation of a government-issued photo ID that has a signature,

    • credential analysis, or

    • identity-proofing (that is, knowledge-based authentication).

System measures The system must
  • prevent interference with the authenticity, integrity, and security of the portions of the notarial ceremony that are conducted via the audio-video technology, and

  • protect the electronic record and backup record from unauthorized use.

Recording capability It must have the ability to record the portion of the notarial ceremony conducted via the audio-video technology with storage for the minimum period required by applicable law, or if no period is specified in the applicable law, for 10 years.

Additional requirements:

  • The lender must maintain, or cause to be retained, the recording of the portions of the notarial ceremony conducted via the audio-video technology for the greater of 10 years, or the minimum period required by applicable law, in accordance with the requirements above.

  • The mortgage loan may not be a Texas Section 50(a)(6) loan.

  • If the loan document is required to be recorded, then the county recorder in the state and county where the property is located must accept the document for recording.

  • If the document is a security instrument or an amendment to a security instrument, the audio-visual aided remote ink-signed notarization must comply with the title requirements in B7-2-04, Special Title Insurance Coverage Considerations and the title insurance company may not take any exception for the audio-visual aided remote ink-signed notarization.

All selling representations and warranties continue to apply, including those related to

 

Related Announcements

The table below provides references to the Announcements that have been issued that are related to this topic.

Announcements Issue Date
Announcement SEL-2021-05 June 02, 2021

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