Glossary

Acknowledge: To admit the existence or truth of a statement and accept responsibility. Acknowledgements are typically found on security instruments, powers of attorney, subordination agreements, and other documents containing terms and conditions. By signing the document, the signer agrees to be bound by the provisions in the document. The purpose of an acknowledgement is to evidence the authenticity of the signature, ensuring that it can be trusted as genuine.

Acknowledgment: A formal declaration made to the authoritative witness by the person who executed the document that it was freely executed.

Administer: To give or apply in a formal way.

Affiant: One who makes a swearing statement in an affidavit.

Affidavit: A written declaration made under oath before a notary public or other authorized officer.

Affirmation: To declare positively or firmly; maintain to be true. An affirmation replaces “swearing before God.”

Affix: To secure (an object) to another; to attach; add to.

Apostille or Authentication Certificates: Authentication document for Hague Convention members. The National Notary magazine, January 2020, states, “An Apostille is issued by the Secretary of the State for a document that is destined for a country that is party to the Hague Apostille convention after the notarization has been completed. The purpose of the Apostille is to validate the Notary’s commission with the state so that it may be received in the country of destination.

Appointment: The act of designating for an office or position.

Attest: To affirm to be correct, true, or genuine; corroborate.

Authenticate: To prove or verify as genuine.

Certificate: 1) A document testifying to a fact, qualification, or promise; or 2) A written statement legally authenticated. To ensure your certificate language is compliant, ideally every certificate should answer four key questions: where, who, when, and what. Out of state certificates wording needs to comply with your state’s laws and does not ask you to do something you are not allowed to do. Hybrid certificates will have both acknowledgement and jurat wording meaning that the notary must administer a verbal oath in addition to signing. If there’s is no notarial wording, the notary will ask the signer to tell the notary what notarial act and certificate form to use.

Civil Action: Not a criminal action. A lawsuit for the purpose of protection of private (not public) rights and compensation for their violation.

Civil Liability: The responsibility and obligation to make compensation to another person for damages caused by improper performance of duties and acts.

Closing Disclosure: The Closing Disclosure discloses itemizes all closing costs. Page 1 includes loan amount, interest rate, projected monthly payments, closing costs and cash to close. The remaining pages include details of the closing costs, payoffs and payments, cash to close calculations, disclosures, loan calculations and contact information.  The Closing Disclosure combines and replaces the HUD/Settlement Statement and Truth in Lending (TIL) Statement for most loans applied for beginning October 3, 2015.

Commercial Paper: 1) Any of various short-term negotiable papers originating in business transactions; or 2) A document whose purpose is to transfer money such as a check, bill of exchange, or draft.

Commission Certificate: A document describing the notary’s appointment and term of office.

Credible Witness: A believable witness worthy of confidence who personally knows the signer of a document.

Deed of Trust/Mortgage: This document is recorded in county land records as evidence of the lender’s security interest in the property.

Form 4506-T:  This document, is titled Request for Transcript of Return. It authorizes the lender to obtain transcripts of tax returns.

Good Faith Estimate: The Good Faith Estimate is an estimate is an estimate of all closing fees including pre-paid and escrow items as well as lender charges. The Good Faith Estimate was replaced by the Loan Estimate for most loans applied for beginning October 3, 2015.

HUD Settlement Statement: The HUD Settlement Statement itemizes all closing costs; on pages 1 and 2 items that appear on this statement included real estate commissions; fees; points; and payoffs and escrow amounts. Page 3 of the Settlement Statement is a comparison of the fees disclosed on the Good Faith Estimate (GFE) to the actual costs as listed on the HUD Settlement Statement. The bottom of page 3 shows the loan terms. The loan amount, rate, term, principal and interest payment, as well as total payment, are at the bottom.

I-9:  Is a federal form for Employment Eligibility Verification via the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Jurats: A certificate added to an affidavit declaring when, where, and before whom it was sworn. Jurats are typically found on affidavits and certifications; by signing this document, the signer swears before the notary that the statement made in the document are true. Since the purpose of a jurat is to compel truthfulness, notaries should be instructed to obtain a verbal oath from the signer of all documents containing a jurat. Sometimes “jurats” are referred to as a “verification” or an “oath” or “affirmation”.

Jurisdiction: The geographical area where a notary may notarize. An Oregon Notary Public may notarize anywhere in Oregon, but not outside the state.

L.S.: Indicates where the official notary stamp imprint is to be placed. Latin term Locus Sigilli means “place of the seal/stamp.”

Mobile Notary: A notary that travels to you wherever you are to help you get the services you need when you are unable to travel or leave your home or business.

Mortgage/Deed of Trust: This document is recorded in county land records as evidence of the lender’s security interest in the property.

Note: The Note is a written promise to pay a sum of money at a stated interest rate during a specified term.

Oath: A statement by a person who asserts it to be true, calling upon God, a supreme being, or higher power as a witness.

Personally Known: Familiarity with an individual resulting from interactions with that individual over a period of time sufficient to eliminate every reasonable doubt that the individual has the identity claimed.

Power of Attorney: A legal instrument authorizing one to act as another’s agent or attorney in fact. The person giving another the agent or attorney in fact is known as the principal. There a many variations of Power of Attorney legal documents and many times require up to two impartial witnesses who have nothing to gain from the appointment.

Record: Information that is inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or other medium and is retrievable in perceivable form.

Resignation: A written statement that one is resigning a position or office.

Revoke: To cancel or rescind.

S.S. or SCT: Usually found in the venue portion of the notary certificate.. It stands for the Latin term Scilicet; meaning “in particular” or “namely.” Used to specify the location of the notarization in very old-fashioned language. Not required for Oregon certificates.

Satisfactory Evidence: Sufficient means of identifying a signer which meets criteria set forth by law.

Subscribe: To sign one’s name in attestation, testimony, or consent.

Swear/Sworn: To make a solemn promise; to vow, usually before God, a supreme being, or higher power.

Venue: The state and county where a notarization takes place, giving the locality for a cause of action.

Verification: A confirmation of the truth of a fact.

Witness: A person who watches an action take place. Notary Public’s are witnesses.