Selling Guide

Published June 3, 2020

The Selling Guide is organized into parts that reflect how lenders generally categorize various aspects of their business relationship with Fannie Mae. To begin browsing, select from any of the sections below. You may also download the entire Selling Guide in PDF format.

View All Selling Policy Updates

Download PDF

Hint: Ask in a form of a question.

For best results, pose your search like a question.

B8-3-03, Signature Requirements for Notes (10/31/2017)


This topic contains information on borrowers’ signatures on notes, including:


Borrowers’ Signatures on Notes

An individual whose credit is used in qualifying for the loan must sign the note.

  • An individual whose credit was not used in qualifying for the loan, but who does have an ownership interest in the property must be named in and sign the security instrument, but is not required to sign the note.

  • An individual who is a co-signer or guarantor and who does not have an ownership interest in the property must sign the note, but is not named in (or required to sign) the security instrument.

  • When an inter vivos revocable trust is permitted by B2-2-05, Inter Vivos Revocable Trusts as a mortgagor, and no individual borrower has an ownership interest in the property (either on title or by operation of law), the trust must execute the note, but may do so without recourse for the exclusive purpose of subjecting its interest in the property to the lien of the mortgage. See B8-5-02, Inter Vivos Revocable Trust Mortgage Documentation and Signature Requirements for more information about the documentation requirements for mortgages granted by inter vivos revocable trusts, including appropriate forms of signature for the note.

A borrower’s signature should not contradict the name typed below the signature line on the note. Slight variations are acceptable—a missing initial, the omission of a “Jr” or “Sr,” or an over- or under-signing (such as a borrower signing as William Thomas Smith when the typed name is William T. Smith, or vice versa). Significant variations—such as William Smith signing as “Skip” Smith, signing with an “X,” or signing under an “also known as” name—are not acceptable unless the lender obtains a name affidavit from the borrower stating that he or she commonly uses the alternative signature.


Signature Requirements: Powers of Attorney and Guardianship

The following persons also may be eligible to sign the note on a borrower’s behalf in accordance with the guidelines below.

  • An attorney-in-fact may sign the note. See B8-5-05, Requirements for Use of a Power of Attorney, for further requirements governing the use of a power of attorney.

  • A court-appointed guardian may sign the note if the borrower is not legally competent, provided that he or she has unlimited power over the ward’s affairs, including the power to hold, convey, and give a lien against real property owned by the ward, to make payments from the ward’s assets, and to permit inquiries concerning the ward’s credit. The lender should obtain a copy of the documents making the appointment. If the guardian in some other capacity is a party to the loan or sale transaction—for example, the seller of the property—the lender should ascertain that there are no material conflicts of interest.

Have You Tried Ask Poli?

Poli knows. Just ask.

Ask Poli features exclusive Q&As and
more—plus official Selling & Servicing

Try Ask Poli

Related Articles

B8-3-01, Notes for Conventional Mortgages (02/06/2019)

IntroductionThis topic contains information on notes for conventional loans, including: Use of Conventional First Mortgage Notes  Adjustable-Rate...

Read more

B8-3-02, Special Note Provisions and Language Requirements (06/03/2020)

IntroductionThis topic contains information on special note provisions and language requirements, including: Late Charges for Conventional Mortgages ...

Read more

Have guide questions? Get answers to all of your policy questions, straight from the source.

Get Started
Having Issues with Seeing this Page Correctly?

Use Firefox or Chrome   How to do a hard refresh in Internet Explorer
We recommend that you use the latest version of FireFox or Chrome.

Download Firefox
Download Chrome
  A hard refresh will clear the browsers cache for a specific page and force the most recent version of a page.
    Hold the Ctrl key and press the F5 key.

Email Us
If you still have Technical Support questions, feel free to