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June 26, 2018

Which rules are laws, Lender practices, or best practices?

Notary Rules

or Industry Rules?
It is confusing with all the standards in the Notary business.. When 123notary teaches Notary practices, we are not teaching laws, but solid practices. Many Notaries argue with us about our practices because they are not required by law. That is the whole point — we are not teaching law because we are not authorized to, and because we don’t know it. We do know solid notary practices, and teach it as you can get into trouble for not knowing your basics. However, notaries have many misconceptions about the rules of the industry. So, let me clarify.

1. You can always over sign — industry practice (not a law)
Is this a Notary law, industry practice, or what? This statement means that you can sign a document with a name that is longer than the name typed in the signature line. However, that does not make it legal to notarize that longer name unless you can prove the name with an ID. Pleasing the Lender is one aspect of being a Notary. Obeying the law is a much more important one. If you displease the Lender you get fired. If you get in trouble with the law you can end up in jail. Pick your poison.

2. The name on the ID has to match
Please keep in mind that there are four names we have to keep track of:
(a) The name on the ID
(b) The name typed on the signature section of the document.
(c) The name signed on the document
(d) The name on the acknowledgment.

In theory these names could all be different variations, but it is cleaner if they are identical. The critical points are that:

(e) The name on the Acknowledgment must be identical or matching but shorter than the name on the signature line of the document. If the signature on the document says John W Smith, you can put John Smith or John W Smith in the Acknowledgment to please the law, but the shorter name might not please the client.
(f) The name on the Acknowledgment must be provable based on the name on the ID, but does not have to be an exact match. The ID could say John W Smith and you can put John Smith in the Acknowledgment if you like.
(g) The name signed on the document can be identical or matching but longer than the name typed on the document to please most Lenders, but legally notarizing the longer signature or shorter signature is dependent on proving all of the components of their name with an ID.

3. The Lender is the boss of the Notary Public (true for signings, but not for the actual notary work)
The Lender is your boss as to the general assignment, and what happens with loan documents. They are NOT your boss about Notary issues and you should not ask them for Notary advice ever as they might have you do something illegal out of ignorance or greed. You ask your state’s notary division if you have a Notary question and perhaps the NNA hotline and that’s it. The Notary can ask the Lender their preference in how something is notarized if there is more than one legal way to do it, but you can not ask a Lender how to do your job. You are the appointed Notary, not them. If they want to do it their way, they should come over with their stamp and do it their way which hopefully is legal — but, it is their commission at stake if it is not legal. Don’t risk your commission depending on the Lender or Title for Notary advice.

4. The Notary is the boss of the Lender?
The Notary is a state appointed official who represents their state, although the state is not the entity that pays them. If there is a discussion between the Lender and the Notary as to how a Notary act is done, the Notary dictates how it should be done. If there are multiple legal ways to do something such as fixing a mistake by crossing out and initialing vs. attaching a loose certificate — then, the Notary can ask for the Lender’s preference, but not for advice. However, there are liability issues with doing cross outs and initialing. It looks like tampering and you don’t want to end up in court. So, once again, it is the Notary’s discretion as to how problems are solved when there are multiple methods to solve. You can ask the Lender what they like or you can dictate to the Lender what you are going to do. But, the Notary is the boss of Notary work. If they don’t like it, they can find another Notary. It is best if you explain the reasons why you want to do something a particular way. If your reason sounds prudent, there is a chance you might get some respect for your decision. Most Notaries don’t think issues out carefully and do not have well thought out reasons for anything they do. Read our course more and become reasonable! Your commission might depend on it.

5. Send me a loose certificate or jurat in the mail (illegal)
Acknowledgment or Jurat certificates must be stapled to the documents they are associated with. If there is one floating around, you cannot create another one until you destroy the original yourself. Some states do not allow creating new certificates for botched notarizations and require you to do the notarization all over again. Consult your notary handbook on this issue, especially in California where there are many new rules created in the last few years that I have heard about but not actually read to my satisfaction.

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The ID says John Smith
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What is the cleanest way to rectify an error on a certificate?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20018

13 ways you might get sued as a Notary
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19614

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April 4, 2018

123notary 2018 Certification Standards

Filed under: Certification & Communication Skills,Loan Signing 101 — admin @ 2:26 pm

Due to the fact that the Notary industry has changed, and the values of people hiring Notaries have changed, we have changed the requirements for being certified. In the past, people valued our certification and gave our certified members a lot more clicks as knowledge was a commodity with a price tag. These days, knowledge is less valued and the type of knowledge that is valued changed from being more document focused to be more about manners, following directions, being business-like, and being good at Notary work. Additionally, those hiring Notaries either want someone who is very knowledgeable or don’t care about knowledge at all. The Notaries who were simply mediocre with a certification or without a certification seem to get the same amount of business. However, those who do not know how to function at all as a notary get substantially less clicks on our site. By passing our online test you can get a temporary certification. However, the over the phone test gives a longer term result. We feel free to retest people as often as we find necessary. Below are our new elaborated requirements for regular 123notary certification.

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NOTARY KNOWLEDGE

Note — we require an 80% on general Notary knowledge. Topics included are listed below and are taught thoroughly in Notary Public 101.

Notary Acts
Intimate knowledge of Notary acts such as Acknolwedgments, Jurats, Oaths, Affirmations and Proofs is necessary to pass our test. You need to be able to distinguish between the details of the characteristics of each act and explain each act thoroughly and accurately which is harder than most Notaries realize.

Form & Journal Filling
Detailed knowledge of how to fill in a Notary journal and certificate forms based on good practices and NOT based on your state’s particular rules.

Oaths & Affirmations
Detailed knowledge of administering Oaths & Affirmations that are worded correctly for a variety of situations.

Identifying Signers
A basic knowledge of how to identify signers under varying circumstances.

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SITUATIONAL KNOWLEDGE

We require Notaries to know how to handle curve balls before, during and after signings. This information is taught in the scenarios section of Notary Public 101.

Common points include:

Confirming the signing
There are many things you need to go over with the borrower when you confirm a signing. Do you know them all?

Handling Power of Attorney Signings
There are many ways a signer could sign in a capacity of an Attorney in Fact, but do you know the right way you need to have them sign so as not to get in trouble?

Dating the Right to Rescind
Many Notaries on 123 Notary cannot count 1, 2, 3, which is why they need to review dating the Right to Cancel.

A list of other situations
A variety of other situations that could really vary and could be based on questions that stress following directions which cannot be taught. Read about these on our scenarios page in our Notary Public 101 course.

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DOCUMENT KNOWLEDGE

We require Notaries to know the basic characteristics of the following documents with an 80% accuracy under time pressure. We teach most of this knowledge in our 30 point course on our blog.

Deed of Trust / Mortgage
Note
Right to Cancel
Closing Disclosure & Closing Statement
Truth in Lending (semi-antiquated)
HUD-1 Settlement Statement
Compliance Agreement
Correction Agreement
Occupancy Affidavit
Signature Affidavit & AKA Statement
Owners Affidavit
Automatic Funds Transfer Disclosure
Various Riders
Subordination Agreement
Quit Claim & Grant Deeds
Understanding the APR (listed on the TIL or Closing Disclosure)
Initialing

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Also see — Elite Certification Study Guide

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123notary Elite Certification Study Guide

Filed under: Loan Signing 101 — Tags: , — admin @ 12:24 am

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ELITE CERTIFICATION

To get elite certification, you need to do well on the regular certification topics, and then know a lot more. Here are the items we quiz about for elite certification. We test by phone for the elite, and if you study hard and know your basic documents, scenarios, and Notary knowledge plus the content on this page, you could pass.

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Documents you have to understand intimately

Recorded Documents
Riders
Subordination Agreement
Residency Affidavit
Owners Affidavit
Deed of Reconveyance
Deed of Trust
CD & HUD-1
Please read the details of the required documents. Read more…

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Procedures or Acts to Understand

Signature by X or Mark — read more…
Apostilles and Authentications — read more…

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Other Terms or Information
Please click on the links below to get detailed information on the following points.

The term Elizor — read points 23 on this link. An Elizor is a court appointed official that can sign over property when the owner refuses to cooperate in court.

Explaining beneficial & financial interest. A Notary may not have beneficial interest or financial interest in anything he is notarizing. A beneficial interest could be construed as …

Federal Holidays in chronological order (memorize these). Let’s start with New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Day, Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Independence Day …

Fraud Prevention & types of fraud that happen in the Notary world. Falsified identification, incorrect dates on certificates, using someone else’s Notary seal …

Authority – Who has the highest level of authority if there is a question about a notary act or document at a signing? The Notary is the authority as to how a notary transaction happens, but…

Annual Percentage Rate — a detailed understanding is required. The APR is based on the amount borrower after certain (but not all) fees and closing costs have been deducted, and expressed as a …

Pros & Cons: — Adding an Acknowledgment rather than fixing the original. if there is a mistake on a preprinted form. It is cleaner to add a new form, but there can be recording fee issues involved…

What to do if John & Sally’s names are inscribed in an Acknowledgment by the Lender and Sally can’t make it. — Cross out or add a new form? This is similar to the last point, but there are some extra snags…

Handling name variations and discrepencies such as: ID Name, vs. Typed Name, Signature on Doc, and Name on Ack. Relationship between these names if they don’t exactly match. The main thing is to obey the law first…

Understanding dates such as: Transaction Dates, Signature Dates, Rescission Dates, and Document Dates… A transaction date is the same as a signature date, but a document date is arbitrarily chosen, but by whom?

Loan Signing FAQ’s that Borrowers ask. FAQ’s have been greatly reduced by Lenders being required to explain documents to the borrowers in advance. But, you still might be asked why the APR is …

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April 3, 2018

Confirming the signing

Confirming a Notary Signing

As I continue to teach people and quiz Notaries on the subject of confirming the signing, I realize that the subject is more complicated than I previously realized. When confirming the signing with the borrower, there is a lot to go over. But, sometimes you don’t have the means to know what you should ask, especially when you have not received the package. Sometimes there are instruction pages with requests for checks or Quit Claim Deeds where non-borrowing in-laws need to sign. You might not know this until the last minute, but you could put it on your list of things to ask about during your initial call.

Since there are so many things to ask about during a confirmation call, it makes sense to keep a cheat sheet in your wallet with a list of things to ask about.

THE CHECK LIST

1. Identification
It is common for Notaries to confirm that the borrower(s) has/have a current government-issued identification card. That is not good enough. If the name does not match, you will have a very short or cumbersome Notarization. You can avoid a three hour trip that you don’t get paid for by making sure the ID proves that the name on the document is authentic.

2. Signers
Make sure all of the signers will be present. Not all signers are borrowers. It is common to have a non-borrowing spouse, or even in-laws who are on title. It is also common for people to sign off title if they don’t want to be part of a loan. There might be Grant Deeds or Quit Claim Deeds in such cases.

3. Paperwork going back to the Lender
There are often personal checks, cashier’s checks, tax or insurance forms or copies of ID’s going back to the Lender. Make sure that if there is anything going back, that it is in a folder on the signing table when you come so you don’t have to waste time finding it or forget.

4. Surface
To do a signing, you need a surface to do the signing on. Normally, homeowners sign on their dining room table. Many title companies are making sure that the table is clear before the Notary arrives to save time and grief. If you don’t make sure there is a surface, you might be signing on the floor or crouching to sign on a cluttered coffee table.

5. Duration
Many signers are not aware of how long a loan signing takes. It might take anywhere from thirty minutes to two hours depending on the length of the package, the degree of familiarity with the process and how much reading the borrower intends to do. The Notary should confirm how much reading the borrower wants to do, because the Notary needs to be on time for his/her next appointment. Find out in advance how much time the borrower wants, otherwise your schedule might get very off track.

6. Introduction
Many Notaries go over the fact that they are the Notary, what their name is, what their function is, and how they cannot answer legal questions, etc. Introducing yourself is great. But, if I am quizzing you with one minute to go over confirmation, and you waste the entire minute explaining the details of how you introduce yourself and forget to mention that you made sure all the signers would be there with ID’s that match the names on the document, you will fail.

7. Numbers
If you want to go over numbers on the CD or HUD, you can think about that. These days, the Lenders normally do a good job of that on their own, but a last minute brush-up can reduce the chance of last minute surprises.

8. Where to Park & Directions
If you want to go over directions and where to park, that matters too. That is the last thing I want to hear if I quiz you, but in real life, where to park can be a serious consideration.

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Conclusion
The purpose in confirming a signing is to introduce yourself and go over all issues which would cause a glitch in the signing to make sure the glitch doesn’t happen before you get in your car and drive. Be prepared to confirm a second time after you have the documents printed out as you might learn more about what needs to be done after printing. Be prepared to cancel the signing if any information doesn’t check out as well. Be thorough, don’t leave any necessary information out, and you will have a more organized and stress free profession.

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Notary Marketing 102: Phone & Communication Etiquette
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Notary Etiquette from Atheist to Zombie
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Don’t Call Title or Borrower
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15066

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April 2, 2018

Scenarios: The Frank camping trip question

Filed under: Loan Signing 101 — admin @ 12:17 am

Frank does a loan signing on Monday and drops the package in the drop box at 3pm, calls in the tracking number and then wants to go camping. How many days should Frank wait before embarking on his camping trip and why?

I think that Frank should wait until he confirms with the Lender that the package has been looked over in its entirety, or until the rescission date, before going camping. If there is any issue, they might need Frank’s immediate communication and cooperation. Notaries who are not responsive after signings get regular complaints on our review system.

But, let’s review why you should wait and how long you should wait.
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1. Camping = not responding to emails = complaints
The most common source of complaints in our review system is due to Notaries who are either rude, make Notary mistakes or are unresponsive after a job has been completed. Sometimes the Notary forgets to send the documents in, and sometimes they just don’t answer their email when there is an issue or question with the documents that were sent in. If you don’t respond, you get complaints. If you are camping, you might not be in a position to answer emails quickly and might not have internet access.

A lot of wise guy Notaries say that they would take their laptop camping and that they only go to a camping spot where there is internet. I think these Notaries are personalizing the question rather than answering it based on general sense which dictates that camping spots are normally out of circulation and that the question is not about THEIR camping spot, but about camping spots in general.
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2. Types of issues
If you hand in loan documents, there might be several types of issues.

(a) A missing document. Perhaps Title never included it in the package, but you will be questioned and blamed if it does not come back to them.
(b) A missing signature or initial. This one is your fault and it will come back to you within a day of receiving the documents.
(c) Recording issues normally happen after day five and are rare. Your stamp’s impression might be too light or some arbitrary and nitpicky complaint about your seal could happen. You cannot hold yourself hostage forever, so focus on more common issues.
(d) Fedex was delayed for some reason. If so, you get called and you have to answer questions about where you dropped the package, when you dropped it, what the tracking number is, whether you gave it to a person or put it in a box, etc.
(e) A missing check or document that was to come from the borrower and be included in the package.
(f) A redraw and resign. Perhaps the borrower decides they want to change something about the loan and there needs to be a resign. This happens from time to time and you will get called if it does.
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3. Timeline
If there is a problem with a loan, it is unclear how fast you will find out about it. Here is my approximation of a timeline.

Day of the signing — the loan gets signed and dropped in a drop box hopefully at a manned Fedex station or other courier station or box. If the package gets dropped after the cut off, it doesn’t get picked up until the next day or early evening.

Day 1 — An overnighted package might be received on this day, the day after the signing which I call Day one since the day of the signing doesn’t count as a day in the rescission calendar. You might hear from someone on this day if there is a problem, but it is more likely you will hear from someone on day two.

Day 2 — A 2 day air package or delayed overnight package will probably arrive on this day. Just because the Lender received the package doesn’t mean they looked at it in its entirety yet. It might be sitting on their desk. You are likely to hear from someone on day two, but not necessarily.

Day 3 — By this day, the package will most likely be received and looked over. But, a few stragglers might still not have looked over everything and the secretary might still have the package in a pile on her desk.
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Day 4 — By now, the right to rescind is probably over or will be over by midnight if there was a Sunday or Federal Holiday within the four calendar days. It is probably safe to go camping now.
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Day 5 — If there are recording issues, those might surface after day five, but are rare, so don’t lose sleep over them.

4. When is it safe to go camping?
If you alert your client in writing before the signing happens saying that you are out of circulation and that if there is a problem, you are on your own — you still might get blamed, but at least you put the alert in writing.

I would wait until day four to go camping OR call the Lender and make sure he/she has looked over the entire package before going camping. Sending the package by fax and having them inspect it the afternoon you completed the package is yet another option if they are available to inspect it. Most issues come to surface on day two or day three, so by day four you are likely to be off the hook. Check your emails once a day anyway just to be a good service provider.

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How to lose half your clients while on vacation!
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Typical things Notaries do wrong!
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Notary Marketing 102: Phone & Communication Etiquette
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19764

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March 31, 2018

The John & Sally Question Revisited

Filed under: Loan Signing 101 — admin @ 10:28 pm

This is a simple question that throws Notaries off that I like to teach. John and Sally’s names are inscribed in an Acknowledgment for a Deed that the Lender pre-filled out. Sally cannot make it to the signing because she works the night shift. What do you do?

Wrong Answer
Notarize the form as is. Commentary — unfortunately, that is illegal, because you cannot perform an Acknowledgment for someone who does not personally appear before the Notary Public.

Another Wrong Answer
Just cross out Sally’s name and proceed. Commentary — unfortunately, forms have wording in the boiler plate section with he/she/they, capacity(ies), signature(s), etc. If you do not make sure the standardized wording and cross outs are consistent with how many people are there and of what genders, you have created falsified information in a certificate which is a crime.

A Messy but Acceptable Answer
You can cross out Sally’s name, check the wording below and make sure it is consistent with single man and a single signature if indeed there is only one signature on the document (better check to verify.) However, this is messy. Fraud could be suspected after the fact. If you cross out a county, that does not affect the transaction in any way because the loan would still be legal (I’m guessing & assuming) if you signed it in another county of the same state. However, if there is a debate as to whether Sally was there or not, or someone used the initial to add a third name fraudulently, you the Notary are in trouble. By having initials on legal documents and forms, you are opening up a can of worms and will have only your journal as evidence of what actually happened.

A Clean and Correct Answer
The best way to rectify the John and Sally issue is to either drive to the hospital where Sally works and get her to sign before midnight. That is not always possible. But, the forms could be stamped after she signs.

Or, use a fresh Acknowledgment form and just put John’s name on it, and notarize John’s signature as is. Another Notary can deal with Sally and do what James Bond calls — Notarize another day.
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Cross out and initial, or use a fresh form?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19933

Filling in your journal before the appointment?
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The ID says John Smith
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19953

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Who is the authority at a Notary Loan Signing?

Notary Public Authority

We often ask questions about authority to signing agents, and the results are horrifying. Most Notaries do not know who is in charge of what. So, this article will sum it up clearly.

Notary Public
A Notary Public is a state appointed state official who is paid by customers, but whose “boss” or authority is the state Notary division. Many Notaries Public seem to be confused as to who their boss is, the one paying them or the one commissioning them. The problem is further complicated by the fact that the ones paying them often pay them for more than just Notary services as travel, pick up, drop off, and supervision of non-notarized signatures and packages seem to be part of the deal if you are a Signing Agent.

The Notary is the sole authority regarding what goes in a Notary certificate such as an Acknowledgment, Jurat, etc., what goes in the journal, what is allowed or not allowed, and how a notarization should be done.

It is common that Notaries have questions during a loan signing and direct those questions to the Lender or Title representative. This is okay for Title or Lending questions, but not for Notary questions where the Notary may only turn for help to their state Notary division, official Notary handbook, or perhaps the NNA hotline.

Notaries should NOT ask the Lender for Notary advice because:
1. The Lender is probably not a Notary
2. If the Lender is a Notary they might be in a different state
3. If the Lender is a Notary and in the same state they might not be knowledgeable.
4. If the Lender is a Notary, in the same state, and knowledgeable, they might (are likely to) give you advice that would make the job go more smoothly for them, yet have tremendous liability for you.
5. You are the one appointed to the job, so even if the person you are asking for advice is a Notary, they are not the one whose commission number gets put on the certificate, and you are the one going to jail if something goes wrong. Therefor, you have to know your laws and what you can and cannot do, etc.

Who can initial and where?
Any initials on a Notary certificate are done exclusively by the Notary Public. It looks like tampering if the borrower or anyone else makes marks on a Notary certificate. The borrower may initial documents, but not the Notary certificate or Notary section in or attached to a notarized document

The Lender
The Lender is the “boss” of what happens with loan documents. If the Lender authorizes a change, initialing, cross outs, etc., on an actual loan document that is NOT in the notary section, that is up to them and they are the authority on that matter, not the Notary. The minute the issue becomes with a Notary certificate, then the authority swings over to the Notary (even if the Notary doesn’t have a clue what to do.)

The Title Officer
The appointed Title company might be a good source of information about how to handle any issues that might come up with Title documents or recorded documents. You can ask them if you have questions, but don’t let them answer Notary questions.

Issues of Preference can be asked to the Lender
Sometimes there is more than one legal way to handle a situation. If there is an error on a preprinted Acknowledgment, and your state allows a choice of crossing out & initialing vs. using a fresh Acknowledgment form, you have a choice. The Notary has the right to make that choice on his/her own and choose the option that he/she feels is more prudent or ask the Lender. However, this is a situation where the Notary can ask the Lender not for advice, but for preference. If the Lender would prefer a loose Acknowledgment stapled on to the document rather than crossing out & initialing the original form, the Notary can proceed accordingly.

The Borrower
The borrower has the right to sign, not sign, tell you where to park and more. Their preferences matter as well.

Your State
Your state Notary division decides what the laws are in your state, how they are explained or document in your official Notary handbook, etc. They are your boss, so you do whatever they say. Additionally, if you are weak on your Notary knowledge, that can lead to ending up in court as a witness, having your commission revoked, suspended or terminated. Additionally, it is possible to be convicted of a crime if you are thought to be involved in property related fraud, or if you filled out a form stating that an Oath was taken when in fact it was never taken which is a daily fraud that most Notaries engage in that is unacceptable.
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Scenarios: The FBI is at your door

False Identification

What piece of information will the FBI want from you if someone gave you a fake ID?
A journal thumbprint. If you don’t keep journal thumbprints, consider starting now.

But, why keep a journal thumbprint if your state doesn’t put a gun to your head and require it?

Most Notaries disdain the idea of doing anything that isn’t forced on them. Doing the absolute minimum seems to be the gospel of many Notaries these days which is a problem. Laws are often too inconclusive to include safety measures that protect the Notary and society from fraud.

A few states are against journal thumbprints
Some states recommend against taking thumbprints as that information is highly sensitive and could be used for fraud. But, the police take fingerprints don’t they? Should society tell the police to stop taking fingerprints since the information could get into the wrong hands? My opinion is that a Notary Public is a member of a profession based on trust and integrity. If a state doesn’t trust a Notary with a thumbprint, they should not commission that Notary to begin with. Would you hire a policeman you don’t trust? Bad example, in Los Angeles there are many police I wouldn’t trust with a dime (but might with a peso since we are a sanctuary city). But, the point is that the position in society of an integrous Notary is based on trust. If you don’t trust someone, don’t marry them, and don’t appoint them as a Notary. If the Notary needs special training to safeguard a thumbprint, then give the training.

You could be named as a suspect
Without a journal thumbprint you do not have a paper trail sufficient in many cases for the FBI to nail the bad guys. It is a common practice for the FBI to treat the Notary as a suspect in identity fraud cases. So, if you don’t want to be pegged as a suspect, you should consider leaving a paper trail. You are notarizing for million dollar properties, and it behooves you to leave a paper trail using any legal methods you can.

Without a thumbprint
Without journal thumbprints, someone could sell a million dollar property to another party fraudulently and there would be no paper trail other than a fake identification serial number and expiration date in a notary journal as well as a falsified signature. Where will that fake evidence point the FBI? The signature might be mildly helpful to forensics, but it is a bum steer down a one way road to a cul de sac. It goes nowhere. It is good to be helpful to investigative authorities. States like Florida and Texas don’t care about investigations, they just don’t want you taking thumbprints. They don’t care if there are consequences to the Notary either. They only think about what bothers them, and not about the bigger picture.

Without journal thumbprints, society is not safe. If society is also not safe with Notaries having thumbprints, then society needs to choose more trustworthy Notaries. California Notaries have been taking thumbprints for years and I have not heard of an issue relating to that fact in my life. Therefore, I feel that the risk to society for Notaries to keep thumbprints is minimal, yet the risk of Notaries not keeping thumbprints will cause a problem in one of every several thousand transactions. The FBI has asked many of my customers for thumbprints over the years, and the California Notaries had the thumbprints and really helped investigations lead to arrests.

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Scenarios: What types of forms should a notary keep in his/her bag?

Notary Public forms

A Notary public needs to carry forms in their bag because you don’t know what will happen at an assignment and you need to be prepared. You also need a reliable stapler in your bag because stapling certificates to documents is a requirement.

You might need a loose Acknowledgment if there is an error on the original or if there is no Acknowledgment wording on a form. You might also have the problem that there is out of state wording that is not allowed in your state. Each state has a different rule for out of state wording, California’s being the most stringent. So, try to know what you can and cannot do. But, you can always add a loose certificate unless you live in Oregon and Maryland where it is rumored that you cannot, but the crab cakes are so good that they outweigh the loose certificate issue. Notaries in Maryland always get crabby about this issue.

There are other forms you could have. Some people need permission for their children to travel with an accompanying adult. With respect to crying babies on future flights, here’s hoping they don’t grant permission. I created my own form with dates, thumbprints, names of all parties, etc. The Mexican authorities loved my form, and it did not take long to typeset or copy or make into a form. Whether or not you create your own form, be prepared, because you never know when your customer is not!

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Scenarios. The Chad question revisited

Filed under: Loan Signing 101 — admin @ 12:18 am

When I ask the Chad question to Notaries, I reword it sometimes to give some diversity the question (If wanted diversity why am I using a name like “Chad?” The main point of the question is that I give instructions, divert the conversation with some other commentary about the situation, and then put the Notary in a situation where they will have to regurgitate the instructions.

Instructions:
Chad says, “If there is a problem, call me and only me. If I don’t answer, send me an email.” (Sometimes I say text or leave a message.)

You get to the signing. Jesse is the signer. You arrive at 11am. Jesse signs half the documents but refuses to sign the flood disclosure until he can talk to someone. You call Chad. Chad does not answer. What do you do now?

Wrong Answers

1. You complete the signing and inform the borrower about their three day right to rescind. Of course, not all signings are refinances on personal properties, so there might not be a right to rescind. Commentary: This is not a bad way to proceed, but it is not following directions. Chad will fire you.

2. You call Title because that is what you normally do and it makes sense. Commentary: Yes, that makes sense and ordinarily you should call all contacts that you can call. However, your instructions were to call Chad and only Chad. Chad will fire you if you divert from exact instructions.

3. You leave the signing. Commentary: Bad idea. You need to give Chad a little time to get back to you. How much time is reasonable can vary. I would allow sixty minutes total for an appointment as a general rule. I would allow twenty minutes for a call back as a general rule. Give Chad a chance to call you back, and send him that email and leave a text too.

Correct Answer
Chad asked you to send him an email, so send him an email and do not call anyone else because he is the one paying you and told you not to. Doing what you are told will gain you many repeat clients. Disobeying them the minute they ask you to do something that you do not normally do, or something that doesn’t make sense to you, can get you fired. Just because an instruction doesn’t make sense to you doesn’t mean it does not make sense to the person giving it to you. If you don’t like an instruction, take that up with your boss at the moment the instruction is given, and not at the moment you wish to disobey the instruction. However, if Chad tells you to do something illegal as a Notary, you cannot and should not obey him. A Notary obeys the law first and then their client. If there is a conflict of interest between client and law, side with the law. If there is a conflict between client and best practices, side with best practices as a safety precaution for the Notary.

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