Fraud Makes It More Difficult for Everyone

The days of the out-of-state seller arranging their own notary and witness are over. Fraudsters can copy and paste a notary’s signature and stamp on any deed or security deed. 

This is a strong reason why a closing attorney needs to be in charge of the full closing process.

Georgia requires that an attorney be present when conveying property. Georgia attorneys have to get documents signed out of state if the seller doesn’t live in Georgia. However, these sellers can not sign documents on their own anymore because there have been so many falsified documents. 

Fraudsters look for vacant property without a mortgage and pretend to be the owner. Two noticeable traits of a fraudulent sale are trying to do everything through email or text, and rushing the buyer as if everything needs to be done yesterday. The fraudster wants to rush to keep the closing attorney from reading and noticing any red flags in the transaction.

The closing attorney needs to make sure they hire their own notary to verify the identity of the people signing these documents. 

Our office has tools to verify the identities of signers to ensure that transactions are legitimate.

Although fraud has increased the time and cost that it takes to get documents signed, the additional caution has become absolutely necessary.

John C. Bennett is a real estate closing attorney and owner of Origin Title and Escrow, Inc.. Since 2003, Origin Title has handled real estate transactions – purchases, refinances, reverse mortgages – quickly and professionally. There will be no surprises, nothing misunderstood. Title searches are thorough and well-reasoned, to avoid unpleasant surprises later down the road. Calculate your closing costs in Georgia or Florida using our calculator or contact Origin Title using this form.