Signing for a mortgage refinance only at Embassy?

19 posts in this topic

I am currently living and working in Nuremberg and hoping to close a refinance for a property in LA within the next week.

I found some 10 year old forum postings of other users saying the only way to sign mortgage papers in Germany is at the Embassy with horror stories of ppl having to pay up to 400 EUR for getting 5 pages notarized.

 

Question I would love to get input on:

  • Does it still hold true that the only option to get (refinance) mortgage papers signed for a US bank is at the embassy?
  • If anyone has gone through the process, do I need to bring a witness and does it need to be a US citizen? My US bank doesn't really know :|

 

Many thanks in advance.

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I always had to bring 2 witnesses to sign American legal papers at the consulate in Munich and get them notarized. They were not American.

 

Just call the Embassy and ask them if it isn't stated online.

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22 minutes ago, pppez80 said:

I am currently living and working in Nuremberg and hoping to close a refinance for a property in LA within the next week.

I found some 10 year old forum postings of other users saying the only way to sign mortgage papers in Germany is at the Embassy with horror stories of ppl having to pay up to 400 EUR for getting 5 pages notarized.

 

Question I would love to get input on:

  • Does it still hold true that the only option to get (refinance) mortgage papers signed for a US bank is at the embassy?
  • If anyone has gone through the process, do I need to bring a witness and does it need to be a US citizen? My US bank doesn't really know :|

 

Many thanks in advance.

It amazes me that your bank doesn’t know!  I will say that during our most recent real estate transactions in the US (9 years ago and 9 months ago) we were able to sign papers and send pictures over the phone and all was accepted.  In each case we were not in town when the transaction was occurring.  Also, my husband was in Germany when we filed our US tax return in April 2019, and he signed a scanned copy at his end in Germany and sent the picture over the phone to the accountant. No problems.  In this day and age it is common for signatures to be scanned and digitally transmitted.  You might want to ask about it.

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7 hours ago, BethAnnBitt said:

In this day and age it is common for signatures to be scanned and digitally transmitted.

If that was true the gates would be wide open for all kinds of fraud. It´s easy to photoshop signatures and documents.

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1 hour ago, jeba said:

If that was true the gates would be wide open for all kinds of fraud. It´s easy to photoshop signatures and documents.

Maybe, but that’s the way it is, and I hope you aren't implying that I am making this up.  In the US things operate differently than in Germany and people have different expectations. This is the digital age and people travel and live all over the country.    It sure made our lives convenient in all 3 cases.  

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10 hours ago, jeba said:

If that was true the gates would be wide open for all kinds of fraud. It´s easy to photoshop signatures and documents.

 

I think @bethannbitt might be referring to  https://www.docusign.com/  or another similar electronic document signing.  I've used it many times.  Talk to your US realtor; they'll know the process.  No need for an embassy visit.

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31 minutes ago, catjones said:

 

I think @bethannbitt might be referring to  https://www.docusign.com/  or another similar electronic document signing.  I've used it many times.  Talk to your US realtor; they'll know the process.  No need for an embassy visit.

No.  In each case we simply signed a hard copy of an emailed form, took a photo with the mobile phone, and emailed the photo of the signed form back.  It was really that simple.  

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5 minutes ago, fraufruit said:

I was assuming that the papers had to be notarized, hence my response.

Right Fraufruit.  Good point. That would be different.  Then I could see using the embassy.  It’s unclear whether the OP was needing forms notarized or not.  

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When I sold a property in Virginia last summer, I did most signing in advance through DocuSign. For the final papers that had to be actually signed by a person, the title company gave me three options if I wasn’t coming myself: get it notarized in advance at the Embassy/Consulate, give them one-time power of attorney to sign for me, or give someone of my choosing power of attorney to sign for me. My parents already have a PoA for me, so my mom did the signing as it was easiest and free.

 

Might be different  for a refinance since that’s just a transaction with the lender. If so, electronic signatures are ubiquitous and quite easy!

 

Just fyi, since you are in Nuremberg you'd be going to the US Consulate in Munich. Functionally the same for this topic, but not always interchangeable with Embassy (the one that’s in Berlin) in terms of function and services offered.

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Thank you for the input; the documents need to be indeed notarized with a refinance.

 

I will see if the embassy can speak to when and if a witness is required; ifi anyone has any more definite response on that in this community I appreciate the input. 

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Please Note: Consulate employees cannot function as witnesses; please bring any required witnesses to the appointment.

 

Not helpful at all. 

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2 minutes ago, pppez80 said:

Please Note: Consulate employees cannot function as witnesses; please bring any required witnesses to the appointment.

 

Not helpful at all. 

Sounds very helpful!

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It is what it is. I went without witnesses and then had to re-schedule and bring 2 witnesses. All of my friends work during the day so 2 of them actually took off work to help me.

 

No more helping you if you don't want to hear the facts.

 

ETA - The document I needed to have notarized was giving my sister in the U.S. POA so I would never have to go to the consulate again.

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What a pain. In the US I had a friend in the neighborhood who is a notary as she’s a social worker. I would just run over with papers and nab her husband and another neighbor if 2 witnesses were needed.  Guess those days are over. 

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47 minutes ago, fraufruit said:

It is what it is. I went without witnesses and then had to re-schedule and bring 2 witnesses. All of my friends work during the day so 2 of them actually took off work to help me.

 

No more helping you if you don't want to hear the facts.

 

ETA - The document I needed to have notarized was giving my sister in the U.S. POA so I would never have to go to the consulate again.

Smart Move

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17 minutes ago, BethAnnBitt said:

What a pain. In the US I had a friend in the neighborhood who is a notary as she’s a social worker. I would just run over with papers and nab her husband and another neighbor if 2 witnesses were needed.  Guess those days are over. 

 

Those days aren't over. I have a couple of friends in my hometown that can do the same and they don't want to charge me anything although it's only $25 or so.

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My friend doesn’t charge either. I just mean I can’t do that here. Looks like I would have to go to an embassy. 

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