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Old 28-01-2012, 17:33   #1
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Bill Of Sale Notarization via Fax?

Hello,
I am buying a sailboat from someone that lives far away.
I need to make a deposit.

I have a "bill of sale" that needs to be faxed to the seller for his "john handcock" and to be notarized.
How do I notarize my sig and fax to him for his notary sig?
Is my copy of his document legal (or mine for him) without the notary seal?

Thanks
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Old 28-01-2012, 17:50   #2
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Re: Bill Of Sale Notarization via Fax?

If I understand you, you don't and can't.

A notary can only affirm what they personally see. If the bill of sale requires that both signatures be notarized, that usually means one notary has to witness each of you signing the bill, and each of you presenting valid identification (usually a government-issued photo ID or something similar) to them when you sign.

One notarized signature, then faxed out for a second notarized signature, would probably be legal but I'm not sure that anyone would accept it because it would not be conventional. In theory, each signature can be confirmed but that requires two confirmations now instead of one. Essentially you would now have two notarized documents--not one--with the second being a "hybrid" document, partly original and partly fax copy.

The exact requirements vary by state, assuming you are dealing with one or more US states. Some require seals, others do not. Some require notary stamps, others do not. You'll have to find out what is required by whoever you plan to submit the notarized document to, because in the end they can choose to accept or reject whatever they please. And in some cases (like major banks) they refuse to accept documents that they are required to accept by state law.

Incidentally...since something like 1999 there have been federal laws requiring that a properly digitally signed electronic transmission (i.e. email) be given the same legal status as a signed paper document. But that's actually even harder to do, between getting digital signatures and finding anyone who knows what they are.

Bottom line: Ask whoever you need to give that bill of sale to.
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Old 28-01-2012, 18:08   #3
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Re: Bill Of Sale Notarization via Fax?

Thanks,
Thats great information.

I dont need to satisfy a lender.

I only need to get him to have his sig notarized to the paper that I fill out and faxed to him.
And me the same to him.
Our sigs wont be on the same paper but our comittments to the agreement are legally signed except that I dont have his notary seal on my paper nor does he.
The seller is a very laid back btw.

I'm very comfortable with the laidback seller but could this old up in court.?

I mean, there will be proof that the deposit existed and was received by the seller.
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Old 28-01-2012, 18:10   #4
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Re: Bill Of Sale Notarization via Fax?

It will hold up in court since any written agreement is legally binding (notorized or not). What notorizing does is provide a verifiable witness to the agreement in case of dispute.

You could just do it by mail. Have him write/sign the bill of sale, then mail it to you and you sign it. (witnessed/notorized on both ends). Just write into the bill of sale that the agreement isn't final until both parties are satisfied, or both have signed, etc...

note: I'm not a lawyer
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Old 28-01-2012, 18:30   #5
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Re: Bill Of Sale Notarization via Fax?

Quote:
Originally Posted by callmecrazy View Post
It will hold up in court since any written agreement is legally binding (notorized or not). What notorizing does is provide a verifiable witness to the agreement in case of dispute.

You could just do it by mail. Have him write/sign the bill of sale, then mail it to you and you sign it. (witnessed/notorized on both ends). Just write into the bill of sale that the agreement isn't final until both parties are satisfied, or both have signed, etc...

note: I'm not a lawyer
Thanks, I was hoping it would be binding. It's not for a huge amount of money and the fellow is well trusted.
But what is meant by "case of dispute"?

Thanks
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Old 28-01-2012, 18:53   #6
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Re: Bill Of Sale Notarization via Fax?

Quote:
Originally Posted by endoftheroad View Post
Thanks, I was hoping it would be binding. It's not for a huge amount of money and the fellow is well trusted.
But what is meant by "case of dispute"?

Thanks
It means incase the other guy decides to pretend you didn't have an agreement and you take him to court (or something of that nature)...

it's best to have the agreement 'witnessed'. A notory is a valid witness to provide proof the document is the original. Otherwise it can be your word against his in the case of faxes and emails (since they both can be easily doctored).

Hand written signatures on an original document is what is best. And as a precaution, a witness, like a notory, or anyone else willing to put their signature on it will help.

But again, I'm not a lawyer. I have bought and sold things a few times, and never had a problem with handwritten bills of sale. I would be a little skeptical about doing it through email or fax only because the DMV might have a reason to decline it when you try to get the title (since it's not an "original" document). So, I'd say do it through the mail, have it 'witnessed' and signed by both parties, and you should be fine.
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Old 28-01-2012, 19:58   #7
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Re: Bill Of Sale Notarization via Fax?

Quote:
Originally Posted by endoftheroad View Post
Thanks, I was hoping it would be binding. It's not for a huge amount of money and the fellow is well trusted.
But what is meant by "case of dispute"?

Thanks
Note also am not a lawyer but deal/use them almost daily and have learned that disputes can and do sometimes creep up after the fact for example an undisclosed lien/unremoved lien or illegal gas piping in the boat etc. so to cover yourself also always put down where any dispute will be resolved such as in your home county or his home county or the location of the boat. Read any basic consumer paperwork and you will find a brief sentence in it somewhere so judges do not have to argue over who has jurdistriction and still they argue. CYA Most common dispute re real estate I have seen is in divorce cases after the fact one spouse claims they didn't approve the sale or sign the paperwork that their spouse "forged it". Without having the paperwork notarized the judge will through it and perhaps your deal out. Without a notary how can anyone prove that it was my signature and not someone else? Perhaps you signing my name?? You can go to your bank where you do your biz and they usually do it for free for their customers. Am and have been a Notary (USA/Texas etc.) for 8 years and have never had an embossing seal since so much is done via the fax where it (embossed seal) sometimes does not show up but the stamp does.

Para 2 of the reply I would respectfully disagree and would NEVER write "till both parties are satisfied". Am personally well aware of a case where an over zealous saleman for one of the main computer/software companies sold one of the 5 largest retailers in the US their computers and software and he added by hand after urging by the buyer that clause to the contract and intialed it. After they received the down payment the retailer was NEVER satisfied and paid nothing for 7 years. Finally the computer co. took them to court, took 5 years and another 750K before the retailer won in court and they pulled all their old equipment out (over time as they were allowed into the retail stores after their new systems were up and running) and the retailer didn't have to pay.
Clearly not right or fair but clearly a "dispute" after the fact. Multi Million Dollar mistake to say the least!
It only takes 1 freak case or incident to teach you to CYA in biz which is what buying a boat is, a personal biz decision.
Welcome to the "Bottomless Pit Society" or boat owners club per many landlubbers!
John & Carol

ps. if in doubt go to your public library and ask them. They love to research ? like this.
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Old 28-01-2012, 19:58   #8
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Re: Bill Of Sale Notarization via Fax?

If it is just between the two of you...let's say you sign a paper and have a notary witness it. All that notary can sa, is that he saw you--and only you--sign a paper.

Now you fax it to the other guy. he signs it. All his notary can say, is that he saw the other guy sign the document. Is it necessarily the same document that the other notary witnessed? No one can say, since it is a copy that might have been altered.

Your best bet is to sign an original, have it notarized, mail it certified or overnight it with some proof of delivery (referenced in the document), and then have him countersign AND have a second notary witness his signing.

Now the two of you have one document which can be attested to by the two notaries, each to some extent. And unless your state requires it--no seals or stamps are necessary, many states do not require them and the notaries signature and information (number and expiration) are what everything hangs on.

You can also look up "get a digital ID" or check that option in your email software. An email correspondence between two people, each with a secure digital ID, might baffle some courts but it would actually be a significantly authenticated document. Digital ID's are not free though, it probably would be more of a PITA than the other guy would want to deal with, unless he already has one.
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Old 28-01-2012, 20:34   #9
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Re: Bill Of Sale Notarization via Fax?

Was refering to para 2 of the response thread item #5 but only your response to his quote carried over into my reply not the whole post.

Note also am not a lawyer but deal/use them almost daily and have learned that disputes can and do sometimes creep up after the fact for example an undisclosed lien/unremoved lien or illegal gas piping in the boat etc. so to cover yourself also always put down where any dispute will be resolved such as in your home county or his home county or the location of the boat. Read any basic consumer paperwork and you will find a brief sentence in it somewhere so judges do not have to argue over who has jurdistriction and still they argue. CYA Most common dispute re real estate I have seen is in divorce cases after the fact one spouse claims they didn't approve the sale or sign the paperwork that their spouse "forged it". Without having the paperwork notarized the judge will throw it out and perhaps your deal out. Without a notary how can anyone prove that it was my signature and not someone else? Perhaps you signing my name?? You can go to your bank where you do your biz and they usually do it for free for their customers. Am and have been a Notary (USA/Texas etc.) for 8 years and have never had an embossing seal since so much is done via the fax where it (embossed seal) sometimes does not show up but the stamp does.

Para 2 of the reply I would respectfully disagree and would NEVER write "till both parties are satisfied". Am personally well aware of a case where an over zealous saleman for one of the main computer/software companies sold one of the 5 largest retailers in the US their computers and software and he added by hand after urging by the buyer that clause to the contract and intialed it. After they received the down payment the retailer was NEVER satisfied and paid nothing for 7 years. Finally the computer co. took them to court, took another 5 years and another 750K before the retailer won in court and they pulled all their old equipment out (over time as they were allowed into the retail stores after their new systems were up and running) and the retailer didn't have to pay.
Clearly not right or fair but clearly a "dispute" after the fact. Multi Million Dollar mistake to say the least!
It only takes 1 freak case or incident to teach you to CYA in biz which is what buying a boat is, a personal biz decision.
Welcome to the "Bottomless Pit Society" or boat owners club per many landlubbers!
John & Carol

ps. if in doubt go to your public library and ask them. They love to research ? like this.
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