The National Notary Association (NNA) has implemented its Trusted Notary Protection initiative in Alabama to help the state’s 67,000 notaries comply with an unprecedented new law that significantly increases their exposure to liability as it boosts public protections.
In a historic move, Alabama increased the required surety bond for new and renewing notaries from $10,000 to $25,000 — the highest in the nation — effective January 1. Surety bonds protect consumers by reimbursing them, up to the bond limit, if they suffer financial losses due to a notary’s misconduct. Surety Bonds do not protect notaries, who are required to pay back any settlements to the bonding company. Even if a notary wins a legal claim, the notary still suffers costly legal expenses.
The law places Alabama’s notaries at greater risk as lawmakers across the country increase accountability for notary misconduct, particularly in light of continuing instances of real property fraud and revelations of improper conduct in the national robo-signing crisis. The robo-signing crisis alone has resulted in criminal and civil actions taken against notaries, their employers and major financial institutions, most recently in Nevada and Massachusetts.
“The National Notary Association applauds Alabama’s efforts to provide greater public protections, but this new law also means that Alabama Notaries’ exposure to liability has increased 150 percent,” said Chief Executive Officer Marc Reiser. “We are dedicated to ensuring that Alabama Notaries are trained, protected and supported throughout their careers, and our Trusted Notary Protection package provides that piece of mind.”
The Alabama Trusted Notary Protection program includes essential notary training, insurance, support and the benefits of NNA membership — including access to the NNA Notary Hotline. For more information, visit the National Notary Association’s website.