Based on the responses I've read you really hit a nerve with this question, so I thought I'd share my experience with Western.
I did a mobile home closing in November, still haven't been paid. So when I called they said I didn't fill out the inspection. It wasn't in the package, so I was very annoyed to now learn it was a condition of payment.
When I got the form, I had all the trepidation that some others have about liability and separation of duties and qualifications, etc.
My response was to fill out the form and send along a letter of explanation / disclaimer that I kept on file with my closing paperwork. The key points were:
1. I was filling out the form 6 weeks after the visit because it wasn't available at closing
2. I have no training to 'inspect' and I wasn't hired to 'inspect.' I characterized the report as nothing more than relaying my recollection of the condition and included nothing beyond what I could see with my own eyes, AND I wan't looking very closely
3. Although the report was mentioned in the list of things to do at the closing, there was no form in the package, and I reported that to them with the return of the docs
My biggest concern with this is that it's a stalling tactic in payment. I went thru this with a well-known deadbeat in Arizona. This is the last hoop I'm jumping thru for this closing to get paid.
I'm not an attorney, but if I get pulled in to testify as to my observations about the condition of this mobile home, I have a document that negates the value of the dcoument I signed by virtue of my telling the recipient that I'm unqualified and filled out the form 6 weeks after the visit, so the input would be made worthless by a decent attorney.
Regarding the NNA, I agree with one who posted that they are not qualified to give an opinion. Further, they will always give the most, most conservative interpretation of the letter of the law.
That is why I put their trust in them regarding notarizations. The ability to notarize IS the key that allows us to perform these services. So I walk a tight line regarding what I will and will not do, because a misstep there puts the ability to work in jeopardy.
The picture/observation thing has nothing to do with notarization, they didn't ask us to notarize the observations, so it's a secondary issue to me.........unless they make it a payment issue.
Sorry to ramble.