Effective June 1, 2009 all residential properties (single family homes, condominium units and buildings with up to four units) in Cook County, Illinois will become subject to the amendments to the Illinois Notary Public Act contained in Illinois Public Act 095-0988 (the “Act”) in an effort to combat mortgage fraud in Illinois residential real estate transactions. The practical effect of the Act is that Illinois notaries will have to comply with the Act for all covered Cook County conveyances.
The Act is a pilot program applicable only to Cook County real property conveyances from June 1, 2009 through July 1, 2013. The Act will require Illinois notaries to take and save a copy of the right thumbprint of all individuals selling residential property in Cook County. The Act provides that if a right thumbprint is not available, alternative digits can be used. The thumbprint record must be saved by the notary for seven years and is not subject to copying or inspection under the Freedom of Information Act. The Act proscribes a Notarial Record form for the collection and retention of the record of the thumbprint. The Act does not exclude developers of individual condominium units in multi-unit projects from the fingerprinting requirements. Developers who do not want their in-house notaries to be bothered with the Act’s record retention requirements should plan on attending closings at a title insurance company for at least the next five years !