Business Law Notes
Winter 2006 Edition
The new North Carolina Notary Public Act became effective On December 1, 2005. For the most part, the new law codifies many existing requirements and practices. There are some new requirements that current notaries should know.
One of the most significant provisions in the new law is the requirement that the person signing must be personally known to the notary or identified through satisfactory evidence. While this has been the law, the new act strengthens the enforcement language of the law.
The new law sets out a penalty for performing a notarial act without the principal personally appearing before the notary — the notary would be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor and lose the notarial commission. If the notarial act is performed without the personal appearance of the principal with the intent to commit fraud, the notary would be guilty of a Class 1 felony.
Before performing electronic notarial acts, a notary will be required to complete three hours of instruction and pass a written exam, in addition to the general education requirements for notary applicants.
The N. C. Secretary of State ‘s office has included an expanded Frequently Asked Questions list on its website: http:// www.secretary.state.nc. us/Notary/FAQ.aspx.
Do not put that notice of bankruptcy in the trash can. You must decide whether it is cost effective to ignore the notice or to monitor the bankruptcy. To make this decision, you should: (1) Check and see how much money the Debtor owes you; (2) Check and see what amounts you have been paid by the Debtor within the 90 days prior to the filing of the bankruptcy (these sums could be preferences which you will owe back to the Debtor); and (3) Determine if you have any current contracts with the Debtor because these are subject to being rejected by the Court.
If the amount that you are owed or the amount which is a potential preference is a sum that you are willing lose, throw that piece of paper in the trash can and forget it. If these dollars are amounts that you are not willing to let go of, it is imperative to monitor the bankruptcy from its early stages. If you have a contract such as a lease or a contract for personal services, it is important to follow the bankruptcy because your rights can change quickly. The decision to monitor and participate in the bankruptcy is strictly a business decision for you to make.
Become pro-active. Consult with a bankruptcy attorney. Usually you can arrange an initial reasonable fee to review the bankruptcy petition and to project what may incur and what costs will be. Most bankruptcy attorneys would be able to give you a synopsis of what your exposure is in the bankruptcy. Do not throw good money after bad money but do not consider that a notice of bankruptcy is an automatic notice of loss of all funds you are owed or have been paid. Protect your financial interests if it is cost effective.
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