My husband and I actually had to do this in Georgia, and it was very easy. Ask the closing attorney for a power of attorney. The attorney probably has a form on file for you to use. I am not a New Jersey attorney, so I may not be aware of a reason that a power of attorney won't work in your situation. Again, this is a great question for your attorney or the closing attorney.
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I would go to a different bank in IL, if that is your only issue. The notary is only acknowledging that the person signing the document did so in his or her presence. The notary does not state that the form is legal or anything else. I am not sure why the bank would not notarize the form. I would find another one that will. If you are saying the form itself did not have a place for a notary to sign, that might explain the bank's action, as they probably do not want to modify the form.
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First, if you are a buyer and are obtaining a mortgage, you will need the bank's permission to sign by way of POA at the closing.
Second, title companies are usually pretty strict about what language they want in a POA used at closing - for example they will want a reference to the property address. If you are closing with a title company, I would recommend that you contact the title company and ask for an approved form of POA to use at the closing.
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