Deed of Trust and Mortgage



Recently, I was asked by a first-time buyer the difference between a Deed of Trust and a Mortgage. This is a very intelligent question to ask regarding loan documents. Therefore, I thought I would write a blog on the subject!


Let’s first look at a Mortgage. A Mortgage is an agreement between you and the lender. A Mortgage is sometimes referred to as a Mortgage Note and this agreement allows the lender to take back the possession of your home if you fail to make your payments.The borrower is obligated to pay back the Mortgage and the preset payments are thoroughly disclosed.


A Deed of Trust has three different parties involved. The borrower who is also called the trustor, the lender, and the trustee. The trustee is the entity who holds legal title. This is often the title company. When a Deed of Trust is being executed a borrower will agree to pay the lender who will then transfer security interest. The security interest will be transferred to a third-party trustee. Should the borrower stop paying the mortgage, the trustee would then begin to take control of the property. The trustee then will sell it on behalf of the lender.


The Deed of Trust is one of the most important documents that will be signed in your loan documents. Because the Deed of Trust conveys title to the property it will also be publicly recorded at the County Recorder’s office. Some important information that the signer should verify on the Deed of Trust are: the monetary amount being financed, start date of the loan and the maturity date, and the name of the trustee.



Closing Disclosure



One of the most important documents that one receives in the loan signing process is called a Closing Disclosure. This is a five-page document that the lender will provide three days before the final closing.


The Closing Disclosure will include the final loan terms and closing costs. Some of the information that you will find on this statement includes the loan amount, the interest rate, monthly principal and interest, whether there is a prepayment penalty, and closing costs fees. The first page of the statement will always include the loan term, that is how long the length of your loan is, what the purpose of the loan is such as a refinance, what product the loan is for example a fixed rate, and the loan type, such as a Conventional or Va loan.


It is very important that the signer checks the information on the Closing Disclosure. Some very basic put important items to check are the spelling of your name, the loan term, loan purpose, loan product, and loan type. These figures should match the Loan Estimate that was most recently provided to you. The loan amount, interest rate, monthly principal and interest should also match the most recent Loan Estimate that you received. Also, verify that there is no prepayment penalty and no balloon payment. A balloon payment is a lump sum that is paid at the end of a loan’s term.


When reviewing this statement, one should also look to see if there were any new services listed that were not listed on the Loan Estimate form. If you are finding any discrepancies one should reach out to their lender immediately to clear up any confusion and inquires pertaining to this very important form. The lender’s contact information can be found on page five of the Closing Disclosure.



   USA Patriot Act Form in Loan Documents


An extremely common form found in today’s loan documents is known as the USA Patriot Act Form. The purpose of this form is to help the government fight identity fraud and prevent money laundering activities. This is a very important document in a loan signing package.


The Loan Signing Agent will always have to obtain a government photo issued ID as a means of identification. However, the form will sometimes require a second means of identification as well. There are many types of government issued identification that can be used. State Issued Driver’s License is the most common used identification. A State Issued ID Card, Passport, Military Id Card are other types of acceptable identification. The information that the Loan Signing Agent fills out on this form includes the following: the issue date of the ID, County and State of origin, ID number, date of birth, and expiration date of ID.


If a second means of ID is required, the most commonly used one is a Social Security Card. The signer can also provide the Loan Signing Agent with a government issued visa, a property tax bill, a most recent W-2, a paycheck stub with the signer’s name, or a Birth Certificate.


It is the responsibility of the Loan Signing Agent to fill in the data of this form accurately. The Loan Signing Agent must sign and print their name on the form. By doing so, they are attesting to the fact that they have seen and accurately recorded the information pertaining to the type of identification that is being used for the attestation.






A K A Document in Loan Signing   



The Signature /Name Affidavit will appear in loan signing documents. There may be one name or several names that the borrower has been known as or has gone by in the course of their life. This is a very important document and the signer might query the names that are listed on the AKA list.

This type of document will show the various ways that the borrower’s names are listed. This document will also record your legal name and signature, and any other variations of your legal name. The list of the various names will stem from many different ways their names have been written on official documents and ways the names have come up when their credit has been ran. The names on the Signature Affidavit will often reflect variations such as a middle initial, middle name, a former maiden name. A person’s last name might also be listed with a Jr., SR., or the first or second names after it.

Initially the borrower’s name will be listed on the AKA. The name listed is typically how the borrower signs his or her name in everyday life and thought the loan documents. The signer would sign their name and acknowledge that that is their name. The borrower’s various names are pre-typed on the form. If the borrower has never been known as the name listed, they would write Never Known As next to it and then sign their name as it appears on the initial signature line.

The AKA/Signature Affidavit will always require notarization. The type of notary most common with this document is a Jurat. This type of notary will require the signer to take an oath. The signer will swear to or affirm the truthfulness of the contents contained in the document. The notary will administer a spoken oath to the signer.

Andrea Augustson

Owner Statement and Acknowledgment of Compliance


As a Mobile Notary there are many forms that Contractors need to have notarized. The Owner Statement and Acknowledgment of Compliance is issued from the city of Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety. This particular form must be completed, signed, and notarized by the owner. Once the notary is complete, the form is then provided to the Building Official prior to final inspection.

As a traveling Notary, I often receive notary requests for this very important form. The notarial section does not require an oath therefore a Notary Acknowledgment is used and provided on the form. The signer will indicate what improvements have been made for example installation of smoke detectors or Seismic Shut-Off Gas or Excess Flow Valve.

In the notarial section it is imperative that the notary seal is clear and not smudged. The notary section must also be filled out clearly and accurately in order to be filed at the Department of Building and Safety.

I am happy as a mobile notary to help contractors and individuals notarize this form. And I will travel to you for all your notary needs.

Vital Records Applications

There are many Vital Records Applications that need to be notarized. Recently, I had two mobile notary clients who needed their vital records applications notarized.

Application For Certified Copy Of Marriage Record and Application For Certified Copy Of A Birth Record are the names of the Applications that required my notary service. With both of these types of documents the applicant must provide proof of identification in order to prevent fraud. Hence, the need for a notary. The notary journal is filled out according to notary law and procedure and the oath is taken before the notary.

In the State of California, a notary is not able to certify copies of any original vital records. Some examples of vital records are birth, marriage, or death certificates. However, a notary is able certify copies of Powers of Attorney, or if requested by Secretary of State or a court, the Notary’s journal entry.
For notaries residing in other states it is always important to check the notary laws pertaining to your state. Vital Records Applications notary procedure and laws might vary from state to state.

Notice of Right to Cancel

An important loan document on a property that is being refinanced is known as a “Notice of Right to Cancel” or a “Rescission” document. This does not include a rental or a second home purchase. The “Notice of a Right to Cancel” will be included in loan documents on a refinance or home equity lines of credit. Not all mortgage transactions have the right of rescission. A transaction with the existing lender, a state agency mortgage, a mortgage on a second home or investment property will not include this document.

It is critical that this form be filled out correctly. Any mistake made on the rescission date can cause a delay in the funding of the loan. A couple of important things to know about the “Notice of Right to Cancel” are:
The rescission period begins three days from the day the borrower signs their loan documents. This does not include Sundays or Federal holidays. Also, should the last day of the right to cancel need to be changed, the borrower must cross it out and initial the new date in their writing only. The loan signing agent cannot do this for them. On the “Notice of Right to Cancel” form or Rescission” form the date needs to be written very clearly and neatly. If the lender cannot read the dates this could affect the timing of the loan closing.

I always carry a Rescission Calendar in my briefcase. I like to have an accurate guide to determine the exact dates of the rescission period of the loan. This provides a sure-fire way to know all the Federal holidays and will ensure the borrower will have the right date for the Notice of Right to Cancel form.

Jail and Prison Mobile Notary

I am often asked as a Mobile Notary if I go to jails or prisons. This is a Mobile Notary service that I am more than happy to provide.

There are many jails and prisons that I provide Mobile Notary service to: Twin Towers in Los Angeles, Pitches Detention Center in Castaic, Ventura County Pretrial Detention, to name a few. Often a parent, spouse, finance, friend, or loved one is also needed for the Mobile Notary for the person who is incarnated.

I recently had an old neighbor who was in a bind request a jail Mobile Notary. She needed a Power of Attorney and a Special Power of Attorney regarding the inmate’s real estate notarized. The inmate was in the Ventura County Pretrial Detention Jail. She was very eager to have the documents notarized due to the sale of property and being in need to handle the inmate’s finances. When I completed the Mobile Notary, she was so thankful to me because she was able to handle the inmate’s personal affairs.

§ One of the types of services I offer are Jail and Prison Notarizations. I notarize papers for inmates at all jails, prisons and detention facilities in many service areas in the San Fernando Valley, Simi Valley and Los Angeles areas.

§ I notarize various types of documents including power of attorney (POA’s), Inability to Appear, Deeds of Trust, and Letters of Permission.

§ Many detention facilities provide professional viewing hours to your notary Monday-Sunday. The vast majority of the time, the signing of the document can be finished in an hour or less, however, sometimes the appointment may take longer. This is never a problem when serving the client.

The Importance of An Experienced Mobile Notary

Recently, one of my regular mobile notary clients mentioned he felt the role of a mobile notary was a commodity. Although, he expressed his appreciation for my experience and expertise, he thought the general consensus was anyone can stamp a document that requires a notary seal.

The father of the client asked me how I felt about a mobile notary being a commodity and if I felt that experience plays a role when people are looking for a mobile notary. My answer was, YES!

Often a client who needs a mobile notary for a Power of Attorney for a parent who is sick and ailing will seek someone such as myself who has many years of experience handling this type of mobile notary. The client usually will read my reviews and inquire about my experience with the Power of Attorney or the Advance Health Care Directive. It is of grave importance to the client that the person who is signing the Power of Attorney is handled with special care and that the form is filled out and notarized properly. There are also specific notary laws that pertain to this type of notary that must be followed. As an example, a client will often ask the mobile notary to provide the Power of Attorney form. Acting in the role of a mobile notary and not an attorney, this is considered unlawful practice of law. There are a multitude of Power of Attorney documents with which only an attorney would be familiar. I would not want to give a client the wrong type of Power of Attorney. However, I will refer them to Legal Zoom or Goggle where they can look for a Power of Attorney or to seek an attorney to create one for their specific needs.

The above information has been obtained through 17 years of mobile notary experience. I am so happy and grateful to my clients for allowing me to serve them and gain this valuable experience.

Acceptable Forms of Identification When Performing Notary Service

In the State of California there are very specific laws pertaining to acceptable forms of identification when performing notary service. As a mobile notary this information is very valuable.

The following are acceptable forms of identification when performing notary service.
· State-issued driver’s license
· State-issued identification card
· U.S. military identification card
· Resident alien identification card (green card)
· U.S. passport

The following are unacceptable forms of identification when performing notary service.
· Birth certificates
· Social Security cards
· School identification cards
· Credit cards
· Debit cards
· Costco Cards

An expired state-issued identification card is acceptable as long as the expiration is within five years. However, when performing a loan signing, an expired identification card or driver’s license is not accepted.
It is very important to thoroughly check the photo on the ID. Also look for any discrepancies such misspelled words, numbers or information placed in the wrong places on the ID card. When receiving a state-issued identification or state-issued drivers license from another state it is very important to thoroughly scan the ID. Often Notaries do not have familiarity with identification from other states and therefore might not be able to detect a fraudulent ID and signer.

A notary should be familiar with the acceptable and non-acceptable forms of identification in order to prevent any fraudulent notary activity. Also, knowing what types of identification are acceptable before the appointment is set can streamline the notary process and make everything run smoothly.