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Definition of Acknowledgement

An acknowledgement is a statement of one?s own action and an acceptance of responsibility. It can also be the declaration used to authenticate a legal instrument which has been duly executed and acknowledged. Acknowledgement involves a public official, frequently a notary public, and is contained at the end of the document in the section where the notary public verifies the signer did in fact sign the document.

For example:

"State of ______, County of ______ (signed and sealed) On ____, 20__, before me, a notary public for said state, personally appeared _______, personally known to me, or proved to be said person by proper proof, and acknowledged that he executed the above Deed."

The notary public generally uses a seal or stamp to put their seal on the document. After the document is signed the person who claims the acknowledgement must provide their identification and sign the notary?s journal. Many official forms require an acknowledgment including documents such as deeds, deeds of trust, mortgages applications, powers of attorney that may involve real estate, and some leases. Acknowledgements may also be used to verify other actions such as receipt of payment, goods or services performed.

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