Can a notary attempt to collect a messenger fee (from a Mar 2007 signing) from us personally if he is unable to collect from the escrow company?

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Can a notary attempt to collect a messenger fee (from a Mar 2007 signing) from us personally if he is unable to collect from the escrow company?

Back in Mar 2007, we refinanced our loan & paid the escrow company the notary fees as part of the closing cost. Apparently he was paid the $350 fee for the signing, but not the $200 courrier fee.The notary is stating that if we do not pay him the owed amount, that he can place a lien on our home & we would be sued in small claims court.My question is-can the notary attempt to collect this fee from us just because he is unable to collect from the escrow company (which apparently is now closed)?

Asked on May 26, 2009 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

I'm not a California attorney, but I suspect that the notary can sue you for the $200 fee, because it isn't his fault that the escrow company didn't pay.  He provided the service, for your benefit, so a court isn't likely to make him bear the cost of the escrow company's default.

This might depend, though, on whether there was a written contractual relationship here.  My research suggests that the law in your state only allows two years to file suit for a contract claim, unless there was a written contract where the limit is four years.

For reliable advice, you should talk to an attorney in your area and have him or her review all the facts of your case.  One place to find a lawyer is our website, http://attorneypages.com


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