All of us have been affected by the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on daily life. Most of us who work in non-essential jobs have been directed to stay home pursuant to the governor’s executive order. How then, during the coronavirus pandemic, can you get documents notarized so that you can get paid on your debt collection claim?
Some of the areas most affected by the coronavirus pandemic are the services that require documents notarized, such as an affidavit, satisfaction of a lien, and satisfaction of a judgment, and others.
Normally, an affidavit must be executed in the presence of a notary public to be valid. Under the normal notarial process, the notary must be presented with the signer’s identification and then the notary must witness the person’s signature on a document. After this, the notary would then sign and apply their notary stamp to the document, attesting to the validity of the person’s signature. Before March, such occurrences were commonplace — especially in the legal world. However, such activities are now near-impossible under the current rules of social distancing and the governor’s mandate.
What does a person do during a pandemic if they need to sign an affidavit before a notary to vacate a default judgment and lift a bank restraint, or execute a release before a notary to execute a settlement to get paid?
Getting a Document Notarized Online
In order to overcome these in-person requirements, on March 7 the governor issued a directive under Executive Order 202, which included the permission of electronic notarization via teleconferencing. The permissible process is as follows:
- The person seeking the notary’s services must present a valid photo ID to the notary during a live video conference;
- The video conference must allow for direct interaction between the person and the notary — effectively banning no pre-recorded signatures;
- The signer must affirmatively state on the video conference that he or she is physically situated in the state of New York;
- The person must transmit by fax, email, or text message a legible copy of the signed document directly to the notary on the same date the person signs the document.
- The notary may notarize the transmitted copy of the document and then fax, email, or text the document back to the person, and;
- The notary may repeat the notarization of the original signed document as of the date of execution provided the Notary receives such original signed document together with the electronically notarized copy within 30 days after the date of execution.
This directive also permits real estate closings to continue via “remote closings,” and other transactions. It’ll also allow would-be homeowners to secure loans at a time when many businesses are at a standstill. For those who need to file emergency applications with a court to vacate a judgment and have their bank account released, this directive will enable the execution of necessary affidavits for such court filings. This will allow general releases, which require a notarized signature of the releasor, to be properly executed, enabling settlement agreements to proceed and clients to be paid.
As of November 10, 2020, the Governor has issued Orders extending remote notarization through and including Decemeber 3, 2020.
For more information on pursuing debt collection matters under the restrictions currently in place due to the coronavirus, reach out to Frank, Frank, Goldstein & Nager.