“The instructions to the Florida security instrument (Form 3010) were updated to include a new authorized change 16.”
Paragraph 16 now reads:
“Lenders may delete the words “Signed, sealed, and delivered in the presence of:” and the two blank signature lines that appear to the left of the Borrower signature lines on the last page.”
This means that witness lines are now optional in Fannie Mae Security Instrument (Form 3010).
Lately, Docutech has had some clients ask whether Docutech will be adding witness address fields to Cx25288 (3010 FL Mortgage 2021) due to the enactment of Florida House Bill 1419 on June 14, 2023. Effective January 1, 2024, Fla. Stat. Ann. § 695.26(1)(c) prescribes that:
“(1) No instrument by which the title to real property or any interest therein is conveyed, assigned, encumbered, or otherwise disposed of shall be recorded by the clerk of the circuit court unless:
(c) The name of each witness to the instrument is legibly printed, typewritten, or stamped upon such instrument immediately beneath the signature of such witness and the post office address of each such person is legibly printed, typewritten, or stamped upon such instrument;”
The requirements of Fla. Stat. Ann. § 695.26 do not apply to security instruments that are mortgages as evidenced by:
- Stat. Ann. § 697.02 which states: “A mortgage shall be held to be a specific lien on the property therein described, and not a conveyance of the legal title or of the right of possession.”
- Free v. Free, App. 5 Dist., 936 So.2d 699 (2006) in which the District Court of Appeal held that a contract for a deed was not a conveyance of real estate or an interest in it, but rather a mortgage, and thus, a contract did not require signatures of two witnesses to be valid; and
- The mortgage exemption in Fla. Stat. Ann. § 695.26(1)(f) which states: “In any instrument other than a mortgage conveying or purporting to convey any interest in real property, the name and post-office address of each grantee in such instrument are legibly printed, typewritten, or stamped upon such instrument.”
Even though witness signatures are not required for Florida mortgages, many notary provider websites note that there are lenders that require witness signatures for Florida mortgages regardless.
As such, Docutech would like to hear from its clients whether they intend to continue requiring witness signatures on Florida mortgages even though the Fannie Mae Security Instrument Instructions have made witness signatures optional.
Client feedback will be instrumental in deciding whether Docutech will create witness address field functionality.
Please contact your Client Relationship Manager or Client Support at 1.800.497.3584 with your feedback by October 31, 2023.