Commercial Leases: Communicate with Your Landlord for Options

This past spring, when the Covid-19 pandemic began, both the federal and state governments issued various orders to help businesses stay afloat. However, some of these protections have now expired, leaving business owners wondering what to do next.

An important development to know is that the rent moratorium is over. Until recently, business owners were not subject to being evicted due to failure to pay rent. Now that the moratorium is over, those who cannot or do not pay rent will be subject to eviction. However, it is still possible to negotiate with landlords to reach a solution that is satisfactory to all involved parties.

Check the lease contract. If the landlord has a duty to mitigate damages, this means that they must take reasonable steps to avoid or minimize financial damages in the event of a breach of contract. Therefore, they cannot sue for an unreasonable amount of damages if they did not fulfill their duty to mitigate the impact. With regard to the pandemic, such a clause will motivate landlords to work with tenants to identify workable solutions.

Get started now. Landlords are much more willing and capable of working with tenants who approach the situation early and proactively. Those who know that they won’t be able to make rent should start the conversation sooner rather than later.

Emphasize your strengths. Remind your landlord of facts such as a solid rent payment history before the pandemic, high credit score, investments you have made in the property, or anything else that makes you a good tenant.

Focus on the future. If your business fails, you will default on the lease anyway. But in the meantime, working with you to help the business stay afloat will help ensure that your landlord keeps a long-term tenant as the economy recovers.

Hint: Landlords know that during a serious economic downturn, it can be difficult to find new commercial tenants.

Bring something to the table. Business owners who can’t make full rent should be prepared to offer something to the landlord. For example, some might accept lower rent payments in exchange for a longer lease term or upward-adjusted lease payments as the economy improves.

Know what you want, but be ready to compromise. Approach mitigation as a discussion and an attempt to find a reasonable solution that benefits all parties. Landlords have their own concerns and limitations that must be considered as a compromise is negotiated.

For more information or assistance with renegotiating a lease, call our real estate attorneys for guidance. We can help you reach a conclusion that benefits both parties and helps your business continue to operate during this difficult time.

Will California Keep Some of its Gig Workers?

Over the last two years we have continued to keep you updated regarding the controversial court decision and subsequent California law that significantly restricts which workers can be classified as independent contractors. As a compromise, Proposition 22 is on November’s ballot. It may offer voters the chance to decide the fate of gig companies and their contractors.

Starting in January 2020, a new California state law, known as AB5, required that all “gig” workers be treated as employees. As such, these workers had to be offered benefits like paid sick leave, overtime pay, healthcare plans, unemployment insurance, and workers’ compensation. Not surprisingly, the new law sparked protest from gig workers and legal action from large employers and transportation industry associations.

Companies employing gig workers, such as Uber and Lyft, were ordered by the Superior Court to classify all contractors as regular employees. The companies say that this decision threatens hundreds of thousands of jobs, along with the possible suspension of their services in the state of California.

If Prop 22 passes, benefits would be tied to each gig worker’s “engaged time” on the job. In the case of Uber and Lyft drivers, this would include time spent completing customer routes (but not lag times in between jobs). Pay would be enforced at a rate of at least 120 percent of minimum wage, and health care subsidies and accident insurance would be included.

The proposal also includes stronger consumer safety standards, such as increased driver background checks and a zero-tolerance policy for drug or alcohol violations.

Proponents of the new measure, which is aimed at drivers in the gig economy, say that companies such as Uber and Lyft offer the opportunity for much-needed flexible employment. More than 80 percent of these contractors work less than 20 hours per week, and cannot commit to set shifts due to other jobs or responsibilities. By a four-to-one margin these drivers say that they prefer to be contractors, not employees.

For customers, failure of Prop 22 could mean longer wait times for rides, limited availability, and higher prices (according to Berkeley Research Group).

Opponents of Prop 22 say that gig workers are exploited by these companies, and need protections from the law. They point to the pandemic as a primary example of the need for paid sick leave, health care benefits, and unemployment insurance.

The issue will be decided on November 3, along with the general election.

What Californians Need to Know About Prop 15

What is Prop 15? Proposition 15 is a proposed amendment to the state constitution that is on the November 3 ballot. Currently, commercial property owners in California pay taxes based on the price originally paid for the property with annual increases limited to no more than two percent of the assessed value. As you might imagine, that amount is typically much lower than if the assessed value were to be based on current market value. Prop 15 would require that taxes be assessed on the current market value of many commercial properties.

The new law would not apply to homeowners (residential property), or to commercial properties valued at less than $3 million. Farmland would also be exempt from the tax hike. If passed the change will not take effect until fiscal year 2022-23, and properties with occupants containing 50% or more small businesses would not be affected until fiscal year 2025-26.

What is the motivation behind Prop 15? Proponents of Prop 15 say that the new tax structure would raise an additional $6.5 to $11.5 billion for the state budget. Those funds would be allocated to cities, counties, and special districts (60 percent) and to schools (40 percent). An estimated 10 percent of property owners would pay 92 percent of the new taxes, according to some estimates.

What is the potential downside? Those who oppose Prop 15 recognize that imposing higher taxes on certain property owners could result in higher rents for tenants and/or customers. This would likely be an unpopular idea at any time, but with the state currently reeling from the economic effects of the pandemic, the opposition says now is not the time for increases on rent and/or prices.

How will the law pass? With the 2020 election already underway, Prop 15 is on the ballot. In order to pass the amendment, the proposition must receive a “yes” vote from a majority of voters.

How will Proposition 15 affect me? If you’re a commercial property owner, your taxes could be adjusted to reflect the current market value of your property rather than the price you originally paid. If that value amounts to more than $3 million, you may be subject to the new property tax rate.

As real estate attorneys, we strive to keep our clients informed of policy changes that might affect them. This is the case with Proposition 15. For more information on Prop 15 and its potential impact on your business, contact our real estate attorneys.

Aging in Uncertain Times: Do You Have a Plan?

It’s no secret that 2020 has been a scary, uncertain and confusing time. Given the new COVID world we live in, there is no time like the present to make a plan for issues that might arise in the event of unexpected illness, incapacity or death. Proper planning can protect your family and minimize the uncertainty and stress that comes with unexpected disability or death, not to mention, help prepare for old age.

The current average lifespan for an American male is 84.3, and for a female, life expectancy is 86.6. These numbers will probably continue to increase over time. They’re also just averages; today, one out of four people aged 65 will live past 90, and one in ten will live past 95.

In other words, pandemic notwithstanding, there is a good chance you’re going to live a very long time! That’s good news, but the bad news is that a longer lifespan means a greater chance of encountering some type of disability or incapacity in those later years.

In our present world it is more important than ever to create a plan for life’s unexpected events. It is not enough to simply plan for what happens as we age. Here are some points to consider:
How will you pay for everything? You might need in-home nursing care, or specialized care in a facility. Do you have long term care insurance? Can you purchase it now cost effectively? If not, will you need to think about Medi-Cal planning?

How much responsibility will be placed on your loved ones? Many middle-aged and older people find themselves caring for an aging parent, and the financial and emotional costs can be considerable. How can you alleviate some of this burden? Do you need a third party to manage financial decisions to avoid conflict between children or other family members?

What are your wishes in the event of your incapacity? When you can’t make your own medical decisions, what do you want and who should make the final call? Have you evidenced your intent in an Advance Health Care Directive or Living Will? Do you need a third party to manage health care decisions to avoid conflict between children or other family members?

Who should manage your finances? Should it be the same person who handles your medical decisions, or someone else? As above, do you need a third party to manage financial decisions to avoid conflict between children or other family members?

How do you want your assets distributed after your death? Are there any special items that you want certain people to inherit?

What are the tax implications of your passing? How will this affect your heirs? Is there cash to pay any taxes, or will other assets need to be sold?

What are your burial and funeral wishes? Keep in mind that telling someone isn’t good enough; they could forget, become incapacitated, or struggle to make clear decisions while grieving.

These are just a few of the questions you should ask yourself and discuss with your family as you put together a plan. If you’re over age 50, or have children of any age, you should start to consider these points as soon as possible, and meet with an estate planning attorney for expert advice. Even if you are younger or without children, it is never too early to make good decisions and have a plan in place.

Call us to schedule an appointment, and reap the benefits of having an experienced estate planning attorney on your side. No matter what the rest of 2020 or beyond brings, putting together a cohesive plan for your family should be on the top of your to-do list.

Foreclosure Proceedings: Does the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Apply?

The intent of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), enacted in 1978, is to protect consumers from unfair or abusive debt collection tactics. The Act sets forth clear standards which debt collectors must follow and establishes rights of the consumer with regard to these communications and procedures. However, as recently determined by the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the FDCPA does not apply to foreclosure proceedings.

In Barnes vs Routh Crabtree Olsen P.C., the borrower filed a complaint in federal court alleging that the mortgage loan owner, loan servicer, and attorneys violated the FDCPA by failing to make required disclosures and then proceeding with illegal foreclosure actions. The court ruled in the loan owner’s favor, and that ruling was later upheld in appeal.

The decision came down to definitions of “debt collection” and “debt collector.” The Ninth Circuit noted, “[t]he crux of the parties’ dispute is whether the defendants’ pursuit of judicial foreclosure was a form of debt collection.” It then explained that the FDCPA’s definition of “debt” boiled down to “a consumer’s obligation to ‘pay money.’”

With regard to the definition of a “debt collector,” the Court found that “since the FDCPA defines ‘debt collector’ as someone ‘who regularly collects or attempts to collect … debts owed or due or asserted to be owed or due another[,] … an entity that collects a debt owed itself—even a debt acquired after default—does not qualify under this definition.”

As the Court reminds us, the FDCPA is designed to regulate those whose principal business is debt collection with regard to money owed by a consumer to a third party. By contrast, the enforcement of a security interest – such as a mortgage – does not qualify as an attempt to collect money from a debtor.

The borrower argued that the loan owner “crossed the line into debt collection by including in its foreclosure complaint a request for a money award.” However, the Court rejected that reasoning, saying that the request “served simply to identify the amount of the debt secured by the property, which authorized a sheriff’s sale to discharge that liability in the same manner as for a typical judgment debtor.”

In conclusion, the Court affirmed that “[a] judicial foreclosure proceeding is not a form of debt collection when the proceeding does not include a request for a deficiency judgment or some other effort to recover the remaining debt.”

For more information on foreclosure proceedings, contact the real estate attorneys at Larson & Solecki LLP.

Medical Emergency Information for Parents of College Students

It’s no secret that we’re all more conscious of our health and our family’s health because of the current global pandemic.

Which leads me to ask: Have you ever wondered who has the authority to make medical decisions for your college age adult children? Do you have that authority merely because you are the parent?

If you have a son or daughter heading off to college soon, who is an essential worker, or just turning 18, read on.

In these uncertain times there is more reason than ever to ensure that you have authorization to discuss your college age child’s medical information. This includes the ability to make medical decisions in the event your child is unable to make decisions for themselves.

Whether you are sending your kids off to college, or they are attending college virtually, the threat of contracting COVID-19 is real. Even without the current global pandemic, there is a myriad of accidents and illness that could affect your young adult child. It’s unlikely that you picture them enduring a serious medical emergency. And if you do, you write it off as normal parental anxiety. The unfortunate truth is that, yes, anyone of any age could experience a life- threatening health crisis, and that has never been more true than now.

Due to HIPAA regulations, you could be shocked to discover that the hospital will not discuss your child’s treatment, nor allow you to make certain decisions regarding their medical care if he or she has reached age 18. This is true even if your child is still covered by your family health insurance plan.

If your son or daughter is conscious and able to sign a document, they can give authorization to share details of their treatment with you (or with anyone else of their choosing). This obviously isn’t an option if your child is unconscious, on a ventilator, in too much pain, or sedated for surgical treatment. This is the worst time to find out that you do not have access to medical information, cannot make decisions about your child’s treatment or care, and that you legally have no authority without court intervention.

With proper planning you can protect yourself and your child from this scary and frustrating result. Here’s how:

HIPAA Authorization

Your son or daughter can sign this form, and file it with their primary medical provider. Some universities even ask students to fill out these forms in case of emergencies. If your child names you on the document, doctors and nurses can discuss their medical care with you. If your child is nervous about privacy issues, remind them that only information pertinent to the emergency will be discussed. A HIPAA authorization does not necessarily grant you free access to their entire medical file. Your child can specify that sensitive information about their sex life or mental health treatment, for example, are not to be shared.

Advance Health Care Directive

An Advance Health Care Directive provides a medical power of attorney and means that you will be able to make medical decisions on your child’s behalf, in the event that he or she is incapacitated. This document also states the individual’s wishes regarding life-sustaining interventions and organ donor wishes.

Durable power of attorney

Durable power of attorney extends rights a bit further, allowing you to take care of financial matters and other non-medical matters during your child’s illness. A power of attorney is also a good idea in the event that your son or daughter wishes to study abroad. You can take care of certain important matters, like filing taxes, paying bills, managing student loan money, and so on. Be sure to discuss these important matters with your 18-year-old or older child. No one, especially a teenager, wants to find themselves hundreds of miles from home, injured, and in the care of strangers. By meeting with an estate planning attorney now, you can prevent these difficulties in the event that they arise. Now more than ever, time is of the essence. Be prepared.

What Business Owners need to know – Paycheck Protection Program

PPP Explained

As most business owners know by now, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was launched in April 2020 with $349 billion in funding. The first round was exhausted in less than two weeks. Congress then voted on April 21 for an additional $310 billion in funding. However, the program soon ran into trouble due to controversies over publicly traded companies and other large enterprises being awarded loans. Additionally, concerns and confusion about the attainability of loan forgiveness under the program’s unclear rules, plus a lack of access for small businesses without an established banking relationship, have plagued the program since its inception.

Congress established the PPP to provide relief to small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic as part of the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, P.L. 116-136. The legislation originally authorized Treasury to use the SBA’s 7(a) small business lending program to fund loans of up to $10 million per borrower that qualifying businesses could spend to cover payroll, mortgage interest, rent, and utilities.

Changes to PPP

On June 3, the U.S. Senate passed the House version of the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (PPPFA), giving small businesses more time and flexibility to use their PPP loans with the aim of maximizing loan forgiveness.

Possibly the most significant change to the PPP is the reduction in the requirement that 75% of loan proceeds be spent on “payroll costs.” Under the PPPFA now, 60% of loan proceeds must be spent on “payroll costs.” The PPPFA also extends the 8-week “covered period” during which borrowers were required to use their PPP loan proceeds, to a much longer 24-week period.

Here are some other important changes:

  • The PPPFA extends, until December 31, 2020, the current June 30, 2020 “safe harbor” deadline for borrowers to rehire employees and reverse salary cuts of greater than 25 percent.
  • The legislation includes two new exceptions allowing borrowers to achieve full PPP loan forgiveness even if they do not fully restore their workforce. Previous guidance already allowed borrowers to exclude from those calculations employees who turned down good faith offers to be rehired at the same hours and wages as before the pandemic. The PPPFA will also exempt borrowers from the proportional reduction in loan forgiveness due to a reduction in employees, if the borrower is able to document in good faith that for the period of February 15 to December 31, 2020, the borrower was unable to:
    • Rehire employees who had been employed on February 15, 2020, or hire similarly qualified employees for unfilled positions by December 31, 2020; or
    • Return to the same level of business activity at which the borrower was operating before February 15, 2020, due to compliance with federal requirements or guidance set forth between March 1 and December 31, 2020, relating to standards of sanitation, social distancing, or other worker or customer safety requirements related to COVID-19.
  • New borrowers now have 5 years to repay the loan instead of 2. Existing PPP loans can be extended up to 5 years if the lender and borrower agree. The interest rate remains at 1%.
  • The bill allows PPP loan borrowers to also delay payment of their payroll taxes, which had been prohibited under the CARES Act.

Loan Forgiveness – Dealing with Confusion and Uncertainty

There is no doubt that there is still much uncertainty over some of the program details. However, business owners should be aware that there is no necessary rush to file their PPP loan forgiveness applications. Currently, lenders who will ultimately be responsible for processing forgiveness applications are still waiting for final guidance from the Small Business Administration (SBA) and U.S. Treasury. There is no definite timeline for when needed guidance will be received from the federal government. Additionally, the deadline for filing new PPP loan applications has been extended through August 8, 2020.

Even still, all business, and especially small business, are now understandably agonizing over whether they will meet the requirements necessary to maximize loan forgiveness. Being a patient and prepared business will ultimately be the key to maximizing forgiveness. Make sure that you keep good books and records relative to how loan proceeds are used. Be sure to gather and safe keep documentation necessary to support costs/expenses (i.e., non-payroll costs, mortgage interest, lease payments, or utilities).

Finally, remember that while the recent changes to the PPP provide needed flexibility and are generally good for borrowers, there will be more changes and added complexities. If you have any questions about the PPP program or need additional guidance contact one of our attorneys. We are here to help.

Sellers: Why Full Disclosure is Critical

A Seller’s Worst Nightmare

Once a seller has closed escrow and possession has been provided to the buyer, the last thing the seller wants to do is  revisit the sale. This might come some time later through a claim for damages by the buyer. In order to reduce the chance of claims from a buyer, the single most important action a seller can take during escrow is to properly disclose any issues with the home. A significant majority of transaction-related lawsuits are filed by buyers against sellers alleging that the sellers failed to disclose. For example, a buyer might say, “You did not tell us about the leak that you had in the master bathroom that flooded the downstairs.” The ounce of prevention that will avoid this situation is extremely simple – use the disclosure forms provided by your real estate agent to fully and properly disclose anything that might reasonably affect the value or desirability of your property. That last statement, by the way, is the legal standard that governs disclosures.

Why Sellers Do Not Like To Disclose

Typically, a failure to disclose lawsuit occurs because the seller did not advise the buyer of some facts that turn up later as expensive repair items for the buyer. Why does a seller not tell a buyer of the defects in their property? Usually it is because they believe that if they tell, the buyers will not purchase their property. That belief is simply wrong most of the time. Experience shows that most buyers will come to terms with a “defect” issue disclosed during escrow, especially if the matter is disclosed up front when they are most excited about their purchase. In those cases where the buyers do elect to cancel, the sellers should be thankful, not upset, because the buyers absolutely would have found out eventually, when money that they would have invested in new carpet, for example, instead goes to fix the defect. At that point the buyers’ disappointment turns to resentment against the sellers and they have no other recourse but to make a claim against the sellers. Given the costs that are typically necessary to defend a claim, the sellers’ proceeds from the sale are quickly swallowed up by mediation, arbitration and/or litigation costs, which quickly turn into many thousands of dollars – the legal process is designed to be expensive!

Disclosure: The Best Insurance against Future Claims
Full disclosure is, in reality, the cheapest form of lawsuit insurance for a seller as it costs nothing. Under California law, sellers are required to disclose anything that might reasonably be an issue affecting the value or desirability of the home. Sellers should not try to decide what is and isn’t important, because the standard is not what is important to them. Instead, a seller should disclose everything that the seller knows about the property. Sellers should think of each individual bit of disclosed information like a lawsuit inoculation against stressful and expensive litigation related to that disclosed fact. It is one less thing for buyers to later complain about. Sellers should be especially careful to disclose a condition even though they might believe it has been “fixed.” It is amazing how many problems that have been “fixed” end up breaking again a month or so after the close of escrow. Disclosure of an old “fixed” problem typically has absolutely no effect on the sale as it is usually viewed by the buyers as one less problem to be concerned with. If an undisclosed “fixed” problem is discovered after the fact, however, when the “fix” breaks, the buyers often believe that the sellers were intentionally hiding things and hard feelings and a dispute almost always result.

A Simple Rule
Sellers, ask yourselves the question, “Do I want to disclose this?” If the answer is no, you should disclose it. Think about it: why would you not want to disclose unless you believe that disclosure of the information would hurt the chance of a sale? Follow this simple rule – disclose, disclose, disclose – and you will have done everything possible to eliminate the chance that you will ever be a defendant in a lawsuit over the sale of your property.

Commercial Landlords and the Pandemic

As the pandemic hit, the government ordered businesses to close. Now, as businesses start to reopen, restrictions are in place. Tenants stopped paying rent under their leases due to the impacts of COVID-19. In many cases this caused financial hardship to landlords. While the tenants remain liable for the missed rental payments, it may be in everyone’s best interest to pursue a mutually acceptable agreement to ensure that the tenants can continue their business. It is important that commercial landlords do the following before entering into an agreement with the tenant.

Review of Lease. You should review the lease terms related to the payment of rent, force majeure, late charge, interest on late payments, continuous operations, inducement recapture, security deposits, and notice requirements.

Impact of Potential Vacancy. If rent relief is not provided and the tenant eventually goes out of business, how will the vacancy affect you, including the ability to pay any mortgage on the property? Will it be difficult to lease the property to a new tenant?

Verification of Tenant’s Financial Condition. Ask the tenant how the pandemic is affecting their business, including financial documentation (if available) to support the tenant’s claims. Most leases provide that the landlord can request financial information from the tenant, and tenants should be compliant with such a request.

Landlord Defaults. Finally, make sure that you, the landlord, have complied with all terms of the lease. A landlord default may provide the tenant with a basis for not paying the rent and/or terminating the lease.

Rent Relief Alternatives. Under the law you do not have to provide the tenant with rent credit or abatement. You only have to allow a deferral of the rent until a later time. But carefully consider the financial impact of losing the tenant. This includes having the property vacant and the cost of finding a replacement tenant. You may agree to defer some of the rent while at the same time, offer rent abatement or a short term rent reduction so that you can retain a tenant who up until the pandemic had been a good tenant.

Lease Modifications. If you do reach an agreement with your tenant, make sure that you confirm that agreement with a written lease amendment so that there are no future misunderstandings.
The bottom line is, an occupied property with a known tenant is always better than a vacant property, even if you have to give up a little financially. If you have questions, check with counsel to make sure that you fully understand your rights. Plus, document properly the results of any negotiations with a tenant.

Notarization in a COVID-19 World and in the State of California

Many documents require a notary. Trusts, powers of attorney, loan documents, and deeds are a few examples. But during a global pandemic, how does one safely get documents notarized? This question is being asked a lot lately. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation out there regarding online notarization. And despite what you might have heard or seen, California still requires in-person notarization.

In the midst of the coronavirus and state-wide stay at home orders, companies, estate planners, lenders, and the general public are struggling to close transactions. A big roadblock is the difficulty and potential danger of getting documents notarized. As most know, notarization is the official fraud-deterrent process that assures the parties to a transaction that a document (or at least the signature on the document) is authentic and can be trusted. It is three-part process performed by a notary public, and includes vetting, certifying and record-keeping. In California, it requires an in-person meeting and close contact.

Currently, California law does not provide the authority for California notaries to perform a remote online notarization (RON). The personal appearance of the document signer is required before the notary public. Notaries in California are considered essential workers, and in-person notarization is still possible during the current state-wide stay at home order.

As of the end of March, 23 states have enacted RON laws, and 17 are currently in effect. In some states, RON services are currently permitted by an emergency guidance or executive order. In early April a coalition of trade associations led by the California Land Title Association sent a letter to Governor Newsom requesting the issuance of an executive order expressly providing or affirming that California law recognizes the validity of documents legally remotely notarized outside the state.

The letter notes that, by allowing Californians to utilize RON services, real estate transactions and projects such as refinances and home construction could be completed in compliance with state and county shelter-in-place orders. The letter also points out that the order would codify written guidance recently issued by the California Secretary of State in communications to the National Notary Association.

In addition to the current push to have Governor Newsom issue an emergency guidance or executive order, in January of 2019, well before the uncertainly and disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, AB-199 was introduced. AB-199, also known as the California Online Notary Act of 2019, would have authorized remote online notarization in California by permitting an online notary to conduct a notarial act using secure two-way interactive audio and video communication. If enacted, the online notary must be approved by the Secretary of State after undergoing specialized training and testing. The Secretary of State would be directed to draft regulations to implement the law and develop data and technology-neutral standards. Additionally, this technology will require the signer’s presentation of a photo ID, credential analysis, and identity proofing. Unfortunately, AB-199 is currently a dead bill, and as of February of 2020 the bill was filed with the Chief Clerk and is awaiting further action.

So, what is the best practice without RON services in California?

  • First, don’t be fooled by notaries offering online or skype notarization. California notaries are not authorized to offer RON services of any type. Further, out-of-state notaries performing RON services for California persons or documents governed by California law are not currently legally recognized as a valid notarization.
  • We recommend utilizing the services of a mobile or in-house notary who is practicing and utilizing social distancing as much as possible, uses single use pens, and wears gloves and a mask. Further, we recommend that you ask questions before making an appointment with a notary to ensure that all the necessary and reasonable precautions will be performed.
  • For a single document, we also recommend that you use the services of a local in-house notary at a bank or mail and packaging business, like a UPS Store or a Mailboxes, Etc. These business are already open, considered essential and generally have social distancing measure in place.
  • Finally, bring your own pen, wear a mask and gloves and do not have documents notarized if you or anyone in your home are showing the symptoms of illness.

Last but not least, be safe and stay well.

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