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Indiana Code Change: Senate Enrolled Act 340

Wednesday, July 15, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jordan Nussear
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Senate Enrolled Act 340

A new Indiana law - Senate Enrolled Act 340 - made what appears to be a minor change to Indiana Code 32-21-2-3 by requiring Notaries to perform two notary acts — an acknowledgment and a ”proof of execution by subscribing witness” — on every document that will be recorded in any Indiana county starting on July 1st, 2020.

Prior to July 1st, 2020, the statute read that an instrument of writing must be acknowledged by the grantor or proved before one of several listed officials, including a Notary Public, before it can be recorded.

The new law changed the word or to and. The old law required a document to have an acknowledgment or a proof of execution, the new law requires both.

Since the ramifications of SEA 340 became understood, the Indiana State Bar Association, the Indiana Land Title Association and several title underwriters have issued advisory letters and are making plans to address the problem with a new amendment to be offered in 2021.

Until then, any Notary — in or outside Indiana — must perform two notarial acts on any instrument of writing that will be recorded in an Indiana county.

The first, an acknowledgment, is the typical notary act for a real estate document. The second, a proof of execution by subscribing witness, is less known and, in fact, is a generally archaic notary act that requires a second disinterested witness to be present for the acknowledgement. It is normally used only when someone is unable to sign in front of a notary, so someone witnesses the signing and the takes the document to the notary.

It is not clear if county recorders will decide this law applies to the recordation of surveys in Indiana, but surveyors should be ready just in case.

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