Name Missing in Notary Acknowledgment Means Bad Mortgage In Massachusetts

10 Aug Name Missing in Notary Acknowledgment Means Bad Mortgage In Massachusetts

Money moves electronically, but papers move at human speed. People make mistakes when rushed. A name might not appear in a notary public’s acknowledgement, the place where the notary public identifies whose signature is being verified. In Massachusetts, such a document may not be enforced against parties not signing the document.

The recent case of Agin v MERS (In re Giroux) 2009 WL 1458173 (Bkrtcy.D.Mass.May 21, 2009) made this point quite clear, when it ruled that a mortgage was not enforceable against a Chapter 7 trustee if the borrower’s name was left blank inthe acknowledgment. The trustee took over the mortgage under operation of bankruptcy law, and the mortgagee was left with an unsecured claim no different from that of a credit card issuer.

This decisionwas based on Massachusetts statutes, and it noted that other states’ laws might lead to a different ruling. However, there may well be other statutes in your own state which give rise to rights not available in Massachusetts. Look hard, and then look again.

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L. Jed Berliner practices exclusively in consumer bankruptcy, foreclosure defense, and related consumer protection litigation such as credit card defenses and suing debt collectors. He established his Springfield, MA practice in 1988. Attorney Berliner is a regular and active contributor to the Bankruptcy Law Network, the Bankruptcy Roundtable, and the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, three specialized consumer bankruptcy forums on the Internet, and is an informal mentor to regional practitioners. He is recognized by his peers as an expert in consumer bankruptcy issues. He thoroughly enjoys being rated "excellent" in his client surveys.

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