New Thumbprint Law Should Help Reduce Deed Fraud

In a move that's expected to help reduce real estate fraud, California has become the first state to require all property deed signers to leave a thumbprint in the notary public's journal.

The law, passed unanimously by the Legislature and signed earlier this month by Gov. Pete Wilson, expands throughout the state a successful three-year Los Angeles County pilot program.

Specifically, the law requires the signers of real estate deeds, quitclaim deeds and deeds of trust to affix a right thumbprint in the notary's official journal. Exempted are signers of deeds of reconveyance and of trustee's deeds resulting from a foreclosure.

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