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November 17, 2017

Finding Your Roots — Notary Edition

Filed under: Humorous Posts — admin @ 8:07 am

Harrison Stampworth was a guest on the show Finding Your Roots. His male lineage was a long line of Notaries Public going back to the time and general location of where George Washington was before the Revolutionary War. What Harrison didn’t initially realize was that his ancestors had committed some major Notarial crimes and were even prosecuted for them.

His 8th Great Grandfather Jedidiah got in a lot of trouble. He had a bunch of slaves, and was too lazy to do his own Notary work. So, he made his head slave Jarvis do the work for him. What Jedidiah didn’t know was that it was illegal to let anyone else use your seal. Eventually, Jedidiah got locked up for allowing another person to use his seal. The original sentence was three years, but it was lengthened another two because the person allowed to use the seal was not even a free man. Additionally, Jarvis got his freedom papers fraudulently notarized, but forgot to realize that while impersonating his Master as a Notary, he also impersonated his Master as the signer — and you can’t notarize yourself. So Jarvis and Jedidiah ended up in neighboring jail cells, each for completely different Notarial crimes.

His 7th Great Grandfather Eli Notarized John Hancock’s John Hancock signing the declaration of independence, but the document is still smudged to this day due to his sloppy clerical skills. He also asked Ben Franklin if he needed Notary services, and Ben told him to go fly a kite. Then he swore in a relative of George Washington who said, “I cannot tell a lie, but if I do, just make sure it’s not under Oath.” And then Eli said, “No problem, we’ll just do an Affirmation — I’ve always been a few hundred years ahead of my time. So chew on that!” — the other guy said, “If my teeth weren’t made of wood I’d take you up on your offer.”

Harrison’s 4th Great Grandmother Abitha headed the largest Notary Association of the 1800’s which was called Confederate Notary Association where their motto was, “Keep it civil.” She used giant Notary seals to smuggle bullets across enemy lines to confederate soldiers. Another noteworthy piece of information about Abitha was that she died on the exact day of her commission’s expiration date right after she had her daily tea and beignets.

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November 16, 2017

Goofing on the RTC

Filed under: Notary Mistakes,Technical & Legal — admin @ 3:58 am

To be Notary, you need to be a cautious and meticulous person. The problem is, that most Notaries are amazingly careless and go into this profession because anyone can get in. This is a problem. You would not believe how many people goof on the RTC when I ask over the phone.

If a Refinance is signed on a Friday, and Monday is a Federal Holiday, when is the last day to cancel?
The answer is Wednesday night at 11:59pm.

30% of people goof on this ridiculously easy question and say Tuesday and a few say Thursday. What is the problem here? Many Notaries have poor listening comprehension. They are not really paying attention or listening when they are supposed to be listening — even during a test that determines their future. Many others do not concentrate on what they are thinking about. Sometimes it is good to review the situation two or three times in your head before giving an answer.

The Notary profession involves a lot of phone conversation, a few emails and texts as well. If you cannot think and be cooperative over the phone, you will not make it in this profession. It is easy to date a right to cancel. That is kid stuff, yet many Notaries cannot do this.

You can get SUED if you date an RTC wrong.

I signed 4000 loans in my career and did not goof a RTC even once. I made about six technical errors in my career which is not bad. I made more than six social blunders, but as you know, I am not the most socially smooth person in the world.

So, practice the RTC. This is called studying. Remember the basic principles.

The day of the signing doesn’t count as a day to rescind.
Sundays and Federal holidays don’t count as days to rescind.
Friday after Thanksgiving does count unless the Lender says it doesn’t count.
Saturdays are business days or rescission days and do count.

A borrower in a Refinances has three calendar days to rescind not including the day of the signing, Sundays or Federal Holidays.

It’s not rocket science. Learn it correctly so you don’t get fired or sued.

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November 15, 2017

The way you treat Jeremy might be the same way you treat Title

Filed under: Best Practices — admin @ 3:48 am

Many Notaries think they can be stubborn and difficult with me during our interactions. The fact is that I assume that if you are rude to me, that you will also be rude to title companies. Then the Notaries say that because they are paying me, they have the right to be rude to me. What an attitude! These are the same people who think they have the right to claim to know what they are doing when they don’t.

Then I talked to Jen who confirmed my theory. She had many title clients and she said that if a Notary is rude to me, they will be rude to others too. I was thinking that since Notaries get paid by title they will start out polite. But, if anything goes wrong, that the rudeness will come out fast.

My spiritual master says that if someone is rude to one person, then they are just rude and will eventually be rude to everybody. I have no way of proving this true. But, I have seen behaviors of friends who were hostile to strangers. This hostility came to me too, but not right away. I had to wait six years to see that hostility come back to me, but it came loud and clear.

So, if you see red flags, don’t discount those flags. They are real, and the consequences of the behavior is real too.

123notary is a directory that caters to Escrow and Title. We need professional Notaries who take their job seriously. Otherwise, the end users will get a bad impress of me, and I can’t afford that. So, treat me professionally, otherwise I will assume you are unprofessional towards everyone sooner or later.

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November 14, 2017

That will never happen to me!

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 3:49 am

There was a Notary who generally did a good job, but didn’t understand that the Notary profession isn’t completely safe. He knew that other people went to court from time to time but thought — that will never happen to me. He did his job faithfully day after day. One day he did a routine job for Annette Rockafeller. Little did he know that the ID was fake. Since his state law did not require thumbprints, he notarized Annette based on her fake ID which looked real. Several months later, our Notary friend had to appear in court. He was in court for a month because he did not have incriminating evidence to nail the suspect in the case who had committed identity fraud and robbed someone of half a million dollars.

The judge finally figured out what happened and convicted someone names Judy who was pretending to be Annette. My only question is that if Judy was pretending to be Annette, then who was pretending to be Judy? In any case, the Notary lost half his loyal clients because he was tied up in court for a month with no pay. He was frustrated and upset that this had happened. After all, his state didn’t require thumbprints so he had done nothing wrong.

The judge sat his down and explained that India does not require seat belts but you can still get killed if you don’t wear one. The law allows people to drink alcohol, but you can still die if you drink too much. There is nobody forcing you to take a thumbprint and nobody forcing you not to. But, next time YOU could be named as a suspect as a conspirator in an identity theft ring if this happens again. Guess what the Notary said to the judge?

That will never happen to me!

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November 13, 2017

Notary loses $4000 in legal fees because fraud adds name to Acknowledgment certificate.

Filed under: Notary Mistakes — admin @ 1:08 am

When I was a Notary and was handed some other Notary’s work, I normally saw that the he/she/they and capacity(ies) that needed cross outs did not have cross outs. By omitting the cross outs you cannot know if the signer is a single man, woman, or multiple people. California no longer allows Notaries to verify capacity which leaves one less thing to cross out.

If you as a Notary omit to cross out the she/they on an Acknowledgment for a single man, someone could add another name to the certificate and get away with it undetected. Notaries can be extremely negligent and don’t get caught — usually. But, I catch them by the dozen every day and penalize them on my site. I throw hundreds of Notaries off my site for failing my over the phone Notary quizzes. And others stay on the site but I deduct points from their point algorithm results which makes it very hard for them to upgrade. You might not take doing your job correctly seriously, but I do.

And then the Notaries who take their job seriously, but have been doing it wrong for 20 years and think that their work is flawless. I will catch you. I will expose many things you are not doing or are doing incorrectly. Better that I catch you rather than ending up in court with legal fees for not filling out forms correctly. Being a Notary is not rocket science. There is no reason for such negligence!

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November 12, 2017

What gets you in trouble as a Notary fast vs. slowly

Filed under: Etiquette — admin @ 3:50 am

As a Notary, there are many ways to get in trouble. Here are a few.

SLOW TROUBLE

Journals
If you don’t keep a good journal, you might get into trouble. But, people will only find out how bad your journal is after you are in court which won’t happen too quickly unless you have bad luck. But, many notaries do eventually end up in court, and you will find out then if you are in trouble for not keeping a good journal. Honestly, being in front of a judge is not the time you want to learn how you should have been keeping your journal. Find out before you are in trouble and save yourself the grief.

Identification.
If you identify people and take liberties doing so, it might take a while before you end up in court. Even if you do so correctly, you can still get in trouble. If the name on the document is not provable based on the ID, then you are going out on a limb notarizing. Also, if you do not thumbprint all signers, if they gave you a fake ID, then you have no paper trail leading to their arrest. You might get away with this for twenty years of sloppiness, and then on year twenty and one day you end up in court as a suspected accomplice in an identity fraud ring. Then you will be sorry. Be prepared and take a thumbprint. Only you can prevent forest fires and identity fraud (not necessarily in that order.)

FAST TROUBLE

Certificates
Not completing certificates will get you into trouble faster than wearing a Rolex in the South Bronx. If there is an error on a certificate, it might not be recordable or acceptable to the document custodian. That can hold a loan up and get a Notary fired or even sued.

Not following directions
Not following directions can ruin a job and get you fired quickly. Signing companies, brokers, and lenders want you to follow directions, so take that seriously. It can cost them thousands if you screw up.

Not answering your phone.
After you are done with a job, you are still on the hook. If you are needed for after-service but just don’t answer, you can get in trouble. Answering email is important too. If you go on vacation or are hospitalized after a job and are not responsive, trouble will follow.

Arguing with Jeremy
If you argue with me about how you don’t need to take my dumb quiz, you get into trouble fast with me. Many people have lost their certifications with 123notary purely due to stubbornness. How unnecessary. But, then if you are impossible with me, you will be impossible with the title companies who use 123notary and who needs that?

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November 10, 2017

Protesters & A statue of a Notary who had slaves

Filed under: Humorous Posts — admin @ 8:09 am

There is a town in Virginia where there is a statue of Franklin Bends. Franklin was a Notary Public in his day and also had slaves. A group of leftists surrounded the statue and wanted to either vandalize it, or take it down entirely. Meanwhile another group called, Notary lives matter got word of this protest and went to defend the statue. Their argument was that this man was an important part of history even though he had committed some sins according to the modern way of thinking. The second argument was that five hundred years from now when there are statues of violent and irratic protesters, those statues will be knocked down because five hundred years from now they will be prejudiced against people do drugs, act crazy and destroy things.

The the protesters asked, “How do you know that?” The NLM leader said, “I just made that up — no just kidding, I asked my psychic.” Then the protesters asked, “Well how reliable is he?” NLM retored, “He’s accurate a lot of the time.” The head of the protesters asked, “Do you have his card or something. I need a psychic right now. My last one skipped town.” Then the NLM guy said, “I knew you were going to ask that… okay, I didn’t, but my psychic did, or at least I predict that he would.”

The NLM leaders said that destroying the statue would not change the past, or improve the future — it would just be an act of destruction and erasing our history and heritage. Can you imagine a world where history has been twisted or completely erased? Would you want to live in that type of world? History could not repeat itself because it wouldn’t have happened yet, plus there would be one less category on Jeopardy.

Then the protesters explained that we already lived in that type of world because history is taught from the point of view of the people who won wars, and that Native Americans are always represented as savage fighters or helpless victims simply because that is the only information the historians had on them. If the Native Americans had written history, they would have shown life as normal and then Custer coming out of nowhere and destroying them.

NLM rebutted that the protesters had a good point but were digressing, but not regressing. NLM decided that they would compromise by having the protesters create a statue of protesters protesting the statue of the Notary instead of smashing things down. The protesters agreed and so did the birds (tweet tweet) who were protesting that there were no transgender statues for them to go to the bathroom on — an interesting twist on transgender Avian bathrooms.

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November 9, 2017

Notary re-education camps — cold war style

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 1:30 am

After the communists took over China they had a comprehensive cultural revolution and reeducation program where people were sent to camps to be brainwashed. They were told that evil bad capitalist governments lied so they could make more money through corrupt means while communist governments never lied because they had no reason to lie as their purpose in existence is for the benefit of the people.

Right now in communist China, the poor which consist of 90% of the population are being turned away for medical care unless they can pay some exorbitant rate. Additionally 100,000,000 Chinese are being uprooted from their homes and forced to live in smaller cities throughout the country where they have no jobs. So much for acting on the benefit of the people. It looks more like they are destroying the lives of their own people. I call it inverse-communism. Whatever the opposite of communism is, is exactly what China is doing these days. Perhaps they will come to their senses and be a little more helpful to the people.

In any case, in 2025, America is taken over by very meticulous Notaries led by Jeremy. Jeremy is so fed up with poor standards for Notaries that he requires all Americans to be reeducated. People are taken away from their families sent to camps in the countryside and taught the value of hard work, being at one with “The people” and the value of using an NNA inkless thumbprinter and non-ink embosser. Chairman Jeremy will teach the people that his government is honest and has no reason to lie as it represents the integrity of business transactions with thumbprints, biometrics, digital signatures, and lectures if anyone does anything Jeremy doesn’t like.

Chairman Jeremy will have everyone call each other “Notary Comrade”, and abide by all Notary rules at all times. Just don’t say anything about the regime or the Red Guards will be at your front door. Remember, the walls have ears!

Speaking of reeducation camps, at the end of the Vietnam war, a South Vietnamese commander was sentenced to three days of reeducation. They did not release him for 17.5 days. I think that a four day course taught by your state with hands on training for all possible Notary scenarios would be sufficient for Notary reeducation. But, what do you think?

Most Notaries don’t know what they are doing, so education is the key, not re-education.

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November 8, 2017

10 reasons why the State Notary divisions should be nationalized.

Filed under: Public Interest — admin @ 1:23 am

Normally I am in favor of state rights. But, as far as Notary Public issues are concerned, the states are not doing a good job except for California for whom I would give a C. Here are some compelling reasons why the notary divisions should be nationalized.

1. Education
Most states either do not have educational programs for Notaries, or don’t have very good educational programs. The state notary handbooks have a variety of laws and practices, but do not generally spell out exactly how to interpret or apply laws or what to do in particular situations that arise regularly that could cause confusion or danger. Some states have too many laws which make it hard to learn them all. While other states have too few laws. If we would have just the right amount of laws, and those laws would be nationalized, and well taught, there would be a higher percent of highly informed Notaries who do their job correctly at all times which is my goal.

2. Testing
Not all states have a Notary Test. Those that do have a Notary test normally have a multiple choice written test. Testing people on nitpicky legal issues is fine and dandy, but if a Notary cannot fill in a journal or forms correctly then what good are they? Hands on testing and testing people to see how they handle curve-balls such as legal requests that seem illegal or illegal requests that seem legal is absolutely necessary in my opinion.

3. Auditing
Notaries get away with all sorts of mischief in all states. Most Notaries not only omit legally required Oaths, but claim not to understand my instructions when I ask them to give me an Oath on a document. Many Notaries do not keep their journal correctly which is a danger to society. If there is identity theft, the journal is the only means to know what happened at a transaction and the journal thumbprint is the only way the FBI can catch the bad guys in many cases. Notaries nationwide need to be checked up upon once or twice a year to make sure they are not doing anything wrong. For the government to have time to check up on everyone, there needs to be fewer Notaries otherwise the job would take too long.

4. Standardization of Notary Acts
There are many variations on Notary Acts from state to state. It can be confusing for interstate transactions and for people who run nationwide Notary associations. It is easier if there are standardized acts nationwide and standardized laws.

5. Thumbprinting
Many Notaries on 123notary helped the FBI catch some awful criminals who did Ponzi schemes, identity theft and more. It was the thumbprint that was the critical piece of evidence that helped catch the bad guys. Most Notaries outside of CA feel they should not have to take thumbprints. Having national laws requiring thumbprints is the only way to safeguard society from cons.

6. Quality Standards
Before a prospective Notary takes a course, they should take a quick IQ test and personality test to see if they are well adjusted to be a Notary Public. Someone with an IQ of 100-120 who is anal, picky, has tremendous integrity, and follows the law to the letter and fills out forms correctly every time would be the ideal candidate to be a Notary. People who have screws loose are dangerous as Notaries because they will accept illegal requests becuase they can’t keep the law straight in their head. I find this out during testing as my over the phone test asks people which situations are acceptable to notarize and more than half of our Notaries decline legal requests while accepting illegal requests. Quality control is easier on a national level to make sure all Notaries know what they are doing to a T.

7. Notary Fees
Most states have ridiculously low Notary Fees. To attract good Notaries, Notary fees need to be at least $20 for the first Notary act and at least $40 for a travel fee for jobs more than 25 minutes away. Notaries in states that pay 50 cents for a Notary act tend not to be very good Notaries. Can you imagine why?

My recommendations

1. Four days of Notary education training that covers laws, processes, identifying people, administering Oaths, form filling, journals, and dealing with legal vs. illegal requests. One day of training is not enough to do a thorough job of covering all the bases here. Additionally, a refresher course for a few hours once or twice a year might help keep knowledge solidly in a Notary’s head as well.

2. A written and hands on test that could be one on one makes sense. What good is knowing the law if you don’t know how to fill in necessary forms?

3. Higher fees to become a Notary. To weed out applicants that are not serious, higher fees and more days of school will weed out people who don’t absolutely want to become a Notary Public.

4. The government should check up on Notaries at least once per year to make sure they are not skimping on responsibilities or accepting illegal requests. An undercover government worker could coerce the Notary to do something illegal to see if the Notary would comply and then fine the Notary if the Notary complied.

5. State websites (taken over by the Feds) should spell out all Notary situations and applications of laws. Identification standards should be the most emphasized as that is a huge area of contention. Names on ID’s do not always exactly match names on documents and formal standards for handling every type of mismatch should be documented on websites.

6. Most states do not make it clear that an Acknowledged signature can be signed (in 44 states) prior to appearing before the Notary Public. Most Notaries are falsely under the impression that they need to witness acknowledged signatures. What good are laws if the laws are not clearly explained? This is the most clear cut example of a law that is misinterpreted more than it is correctly interpreted. Thank God I went to a good Notary school when I became a Notary!

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November 7, 2017

The grace period after your signing

Filed under: Best Practices — admin @ 1:03 am

Most Notaries are only concerned with making a living. It makes sense. I was the same way. This is why Notaries should get paid more so that they can be more conscientious and less worried about making a living.

After you do a signing, you might be needed for what the Japanese call, “Afta-sahvice.” That is their way of saying After-Service. After you do a signing, you might get emails and phone calls if there is something wrong. The Lender might need a tracking number. They might want to know about the ID of the signer. What if your stamp didn’t come out clear enough or what if you botched a notarization or missed a signature. Maybe the recorder objected to your seal which was too light in the corner. Even the best of Notaries make mistakes from time to time. The point is not to be perfect, but to be available (kind of like being a foster parent.)

I asked many Notaries this question:

“If you do a signing and want to go camping after the signing, how many days (if any) after you drop the Fedex in the drop box should you wait before you go camping or out of town, etc?”

Here are the answers.

1. None
(My commentary) You are leaving the signing company high and dry, but they are probably only paying you $60, so they deserve it.

2. Until they get the package.
(My commentary) The Title company might not realize there is a problem until a day or two after they get the package. Additionally, Title companies are notorious for unstapling notarized documents and losing acknowledgment forms stapled on. So, after they get the package isn’t long enough if you want to be considerate.

3. A day
(My commentary) The Title cmpany might not even get the package after a day. If you missed the Fedex cut off, and Fedex is slow, it might be two or three days before Title gets your package.

4. Two days
(My commentary) The Title company might just have gotten your package after two days. They won’t know there’s a problem until they review your work and it might sit on the secretary’s desk for a while.

5. Seven days
(My commentary) Why seven days? If the Title company gets the package it will be processed and the loan will close and fund within three to six days. Seven makes no sense at all. The person who said seven days did poorly on other questions.

6. Three days or until the rescission period is over
(My commentary) This answer is much more intelligent and well reasoned. If there is a problem, the processor will probably find it before the end of the rescission period which might be three or four days depending on whether or not a Sunday or Federal holiday.

7. Indefinitely
(My commentary) What? You are the servant of a signing company forever for a dumb $60 signing. This is like self-induced slavery. You can’t possibly mean that. Illogical. That person who said indefiniately failed my test by getting other answers wrong.

The “Correct” Answer
It seems to me that if there is a problem that requires the Notary to go back to the signing, it would reveal itself within the period of day two to day five. If the package did not arrive, on day two someone might request a tracking number which you should text them upon completion in any case — but, they might lose the text or the text might not go to the recipient but to the signing company. If there is a problem with a notarization it might be discovered on day two, three, or four, but most likely on day three. If there is a problem with the county recorder, it might not be detected for five to ten business days. The best answer for time sensitivity would be three to five days. However, if you need to go camping, you cannot just not do any signings for three to five days because you have to make a living. So, just let everyone you work for know your schedule ahead of time and let them know that they are responsible for the risk they are taking in hiring you when you will not be around to clean up any messes.

Use at your own risk!

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