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In re Simpson

United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Georgia
544 B.R. 913 (2016)


Facts

Georgia law required security deeds to be attested or acknowledged before they could be recorded. Attestation referred to an unofficial witness's statement that he or she saw the grantor sign the deed. Acknowledgment referred to the statement of a notary public or other official that the grantor and witness appeared before the official and verified their signatures on the deed. The law required a notary to sign and date any acknowledgment. Tammy Patricia Simpson signed a security deed, and had it witnessed when she took out a home equity loan from the predecessor in interest to First Tennessee Bank National Association (defendant). At the bottom of the deed, Charles Weldon, a notary public, affixed a signed statement that Simpson and the witness appeared before him and verified their signatures. Weldon did not date the statement. Simpson later declared bankruptcy. The bankruptcy trustee (plaintiff) filed an adversary proceeding in federal bankruptcy court, seeking to avoid the security deed on the grounds that the lack of a proper official acknowledgment made the deed "patently defective," even though it had been recorded.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Hagenau, J.)

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