By NNA Staff
Notary Signing Agents, mobile Notaries and signers are concerned about possible contact with the COVID-19 coronavirus when meeting face to face during loan signings and notarizations. In response, some closing companies have recommended a process called “window-separated signing” or “porch signing”, in which loan signings are conducted through a window or doorway at a safe physical distance.
Signing Agents and Notaries have asked if they may perform notarizations using this new practice. A few companies have published guidance for how these signings should be performed. In response, the NNA has published its own guidance for performing these signings in a way that protects the health of all involved and ensures that any notarial acts performed comply with state laws.
The NNA recommends that Notaries should follow these minimum guidelines when perform “window-separated signings”:
Among the significant developments is a new NNA recommended best practice that both Notaries and signers/borrowers complete a disclosure prior to each individual signing. The disclosure which, if used, will be produced by your contracting party and may include questions about your recent travel and if you have had contact with any people diagnosed with the coronavirus. There are a variety of new precautions, policies, and procedures being implemented by the mortgage finance industry.
Reach out to your contracting parties for specific guidance and be sure to follow any new procedures they prescribe. Notaries should expect enhanced precautions from contracting parties for as long as the COVID-19 crisis remains a threat to health and safety.
Your health and safety, and that of borrowers and signers, is the top priority of the NNA and industry officials, and each closing will need to be evaluated and handled on a case-by-case basis. As such, we are issuing this additional guidance:
The Center For Disease Control and Prevention reports that the coronavirus is mainly spread from person-to-person via coughing and sneezing. It might be possible to contract COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it, but that is not believed to be the main method by which it spreads. To reduce the risk of being exposed during assignments, the CDC recommends everyone take the following precautions:
If you are well, the CDC does not recommend wearing a face mask to protect yourself from viruses. Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19, health workers, or people who are taking care of someone in close settings such as a health care facility.
If you feel sick, the CDC recommends that you stay home and contact your healthcare provider.
The Notary Bulletin will report further developments as they occur amid this rapidly evolving issue.
Marc has 36 years in financial services and 6 years in teaching.
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