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October 8, 2018

A interesting take on ‘communicating’ with the signer…

Filed under: Carmen Towles — admin @ 11:36 am

In some states, in order to notarize a document in addition to a personal appearance and having current government issued ID you must also be able to communicate with the signer. This applies to us here in California and in addition, we are forbidden to use an interpreter/translator. Unfortunately for me, it has cost me several jobs because although I have a Spanish name, I do not speak a lick of Spanish. 🙁 This has been very disastrous to me. I live an a predominately Asian and Latino community and I estimate that it has cost me at least 30% of my business. I wish I had listened to my mother. She always told me to learn Spanish and learn to type. Of course I didn’t listen, lol. Alternatively, however, due to technology there may be a resolution to my (and others) dilemma when notarizing for a person who speaks another language.

I was speaking with a friend and notary colleague and this topic came up. In the conversation, he mentioned that there was another way, that may solve our problem and that he had been using it effectively. He told me that Google translate was great and that it works very well. And that it was a little different in its implication as compared to a live translator. I have an iPhone, so I immediately downloaded it and I can tell you it is fantastic. It is super easy to use and It translates all languages and as far as I can tell it is 100% accurate. To test it out, I asked in English; “Do you understand the document that you are signing”? Do you know that you are giving your daughter power of attorney over all your affairs? It then translated it into Spanish and speaks it out loud for both parties to hear and it will record their response (as well as yours) in writing. You can set it to have a back and forth conversation with a written record. You can understand them and they can understand you. I just LOVE this. It has the potential to solve a big problem for those of us that must be able to communicate with the signer.

Now what I am wondering, will the Secretary of State accept this method to satisfy the ‘communication requirement’? It is like using a translator, isn’t it? Personally though, I think it is a little different because I can personally ask the questions in English and It will translate in their language. With a translator they are asking all the questions and having a back and forth with the signer whereas if we don’t speak the language we have no idea whats been said other than what the translator relays back to us, which may be truthful or not. When using google translate, the notary can control everything and can have a back and forth conversation. All parties can read, hear and record the conversation, but the SOS will have the final say. As of writing this blog, I have not asked them but plan on calling them in the near future to find out their take on it. In the mean time, I was curious what some of you felt about this. Let me know in the comments section below.

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You might also like:

How do I get a foreign language document notarized?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18788

Is it better to be “bilingual” or speak Spanish?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19264

Where can I find a Spanish speaking Notary?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18824

Index of posts about documents
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20258

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September 29, 2018

Now is the Right Time to become a Notary / Signing Agent

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — admin @ 11:19 am

Now is the Right Time to become a Notary / Signing Agent

Sounds strange? You think the business is dying? Sure, at the moment things are slow. But, I forecast a booming future for the industry. There are many positive signs:

Baby Boomers Getting Out

The “old guard” of “seasoned” experts, born in the 40s are collecting Social Security or looking at the daisies from the root end. It’s time for the next generation. No doubt about it. They (and I) are “slowing down” and less willing to take on the pressure and rush aspects required to earn top fees. They disappear slowly, as their cells phones are unanswered; clients look for new solutions.

Cost of Entry is getting Lower

The tool set required by the modern Notary / Signing Agent is lower than in the past. Cell costs are very low with unlimited plans common. Sure, very fancy phones are super costly; but they are not necessary. As long as it can make and receive voice, text and email – it’s good enough. The cost of printers has fallen dramatically, HP Laserjet is still the benchmark, mine is a totally reconditioned 4350n (network “Ethernet” or WiFi) with duplexer for under $500. A separate FAX machine is unnecessary as Efax service for about ten bucks a month allows a PDF to be “sent as FAX” from any internet connected PC.

The Economy is on the Rise

I’m not going into a political discussion. But it’s hard to argue that personal wealth is not on the rise. This leads to more home ownership and other notary service needs. The “well rounded” notary; comfortable with Edocs and a variety of personal documents that require notarization will flourish. Case in point: I have noticed a great uptick in persons obtaining passports for their children for vacation purposes. Often only one parent can submit; with the notarized signature on the application of the other parent. I am getting LOTS of these lately.

Training is Readily Available

In addition to your state “rule book” many offer advanced classes and training. This was not so easy to obtain a few decades ago. Related to training is obtaining certifications as to your skill level. These “advanced degrees” draw clients to you like a magnet. A few hours a day, two or three for a couple of weeks can really advance your skill level. The big notary sites have blogs which are rich in real how to do information. Also read the “what not to do” equally important.

It’s not “Instant” Riches

Understand that your business, like any other business will grow slowly, At first it’s just some extra pocket money for a night out. Don’t quit your day job until you have a “critical mass” of repeat clients. Don’t forget to distribute your business card widely, perhaps with a cover letter about you and your services. Carry a well stocked “kit” of supplies, forms, embossers and stamps to meet any request. Your Notary Commission can and will yield the results you want; if you are willing to put the appropriate amount of effort into becoming the most skilled in your area.

You might also like:

How to become a successful mobile notary from scratch
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=13340

How does pricing work for top placements on 123notary?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19355

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September 15, 2018

Please answer your phones and check those emails..

Filed under: Carmen Towles — admin @ 11:34 am

I am sure most of you have heard the old adage,’You snooze you loose.’ I can tell you with this business (or any other business) it rings true.

As most of you know, I too am a notary/signing agent. I have advertising in many different places and in may different forms. There is 123notary, Notary Rotary and Notary Cafe just to name a few. However for the record, most of my loan, real estate transactions come from 123notary.com. But no matter where they originate, I can tell you from first hand experience that if you don’t pay close attention to your email, texts and phone messages you could be losing potential work which translates into lost revenue. And it could be allot of it.

Many years ago, for the most part Title, Escrow, Brokers, Realtors etc use to call you direct. And if you didn’t answer your phone you could be losing valuable clients (and of course money) to your competition. Most times, if they left a message and you didnt return the call back within a matter of minutes they would have found someone else. You see they would never stop calling, until they got a live body to accept their assignments. But, I have noticed a new trend here lately-they seem to email more frequently rather than call. I estimate a staggering 35-40% more. I believe that for them emailing has become more efficient and more convenient.

Sadly, I have lost 2 jobs with 2 title companies in the last week (as the writing of this blog) because I was way to slow to respond to the emails. By the time, I had gotten back to them they had, unfortunately, found someone else. I also had one text me the other day after she didn’t get a response to her email. So she had decided to text to get my attention. Thankfully, for me, she uses me on a regular basis so there was no immediate fear of me losing the assignment. But of course that will not always be the case, so I will need to be more diglient from this point on checking the emails more frequently. (and yes, I am notified with a chime on my phone but if I dont hear it or I am busy it doesn’t do me any good) I need to check them more frequently. And perhaps you do to…

Which brings me to another point. I have way to much junk/spam mail in my inbox. It is time to just use a dedicated email. One that is only dedicated to notary inquiries and/or requests for service. I truly believe that I am being distracted with way too many insignificant emails that I am missing the ones that I really need to be focused on and need to respond to in a timely fashion. It is clear that I am losing work! So if any of you find yourself in my position then it may just be time for a email cleanup. It is way to competitive and slow to miss ANY potential work.

You might also like:

Compilation of posts about notary etiquette
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20505

Best virtual notary comedy posts updated to 2018
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=17693

How can new notaries survive without reviews?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20057

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September 14, 2018

Why you REALLY need to know your profession and have thick skin…..

Filed under: Carmen Towles — admin @ 11:33 am

When speaking with notaries, I tell them all the time that they need to have tough skin, and that they need to know their stuff (meaning your state notary laws). Here is a recent example of why it is so important.

A few days back, I got a call from a law firm in Canada. She stated that she had ONE document to be notarized. We discussed the assignment and she told me what she needed and we agreed on a fee. She immediately followed up at my request with a confirmation email in which she cc’d the signer and I was given the, time, place, conformation of my negotiated fee and contact information. I met the signer at her home. She produced a bundle of documents and laid them on the table. As I go through them, I notice right away that there was at least 20 additional documents that seemed to require an oath with notary signature and seal but oddly there are no signature lines for the signer. Red flags immediately go up. I let the signer know this is not customary and that we needed to call the attorney for further instructions.

We reached the attorney (surprisingly) and she said that there is only one signature to be notarized and the other jurats just require MY signature. I explain that this is not customary, and I just can’t ‘sign’ these. I ask her what would the purpose of me signing as they are just Jurat words stamped on the document with NO signature lines for the signer to sign at all. She goes on to tell me that I am signing that the signer has reviewed each of these documents and to their truthfulness. I tell her, I cannot accommodate her request as it is improper and illegal. I go on and further explain to her that a notaries only function is to verify identity and signature on a document and when required, administer an oath to the truthfulness of the document they (the signer) are signing. You can tell she is beginning to get very annoyed with me. After all she is the attorney (like that means anything to me) and tells me notaries do these all over the country with NO problem and I am the first to refuse (so now of course, I am the bad guy and trouble maker). I tell her that I can’t speak for any of the other notaries but if they are doing these it is illegal. I also tell her that if the Secretary of State was open (it was after 6) I could prove to her (and the signer) that this would be improper and illegal for me to do and I could loose my commission. It is obvious the attorney doesn’t care in the least and still insists and tries to connivence me to do as she requests.

At this point I am getting VERY angry. I know my job very well and I certainly don’t like to be talked down to or bullied. So, I turn to the signer and I say; “I am sorry, I am not trying to be difficult but I cannot do as the attorney requests, I will notarize the one document as agreed, you can pay me and I’ll be on my way. Then the attorney can find one of those many notaries she claims signs off on these with no problem.” The signer says no, “I want to get this over with. Can you make this work?, What do we have to do?.” I tell her, “You will need to write a little statement of your choice on each document that has the jurat wording (which I also have to cross out and use California compliant verbage), then sign, and I’ll give you the oath, then I can notarize each document”. But, I tell her it will be expensive and that each of these is 15.00. Long story short. I make a deal with her so it didn’t cost her too much more than we originally agreed, just to get through it. I also never wanted the signer to think I was trying to get allot more money out of her.

As you can see it was a hot mess. However, I got through it. But fellow notaries a word of caution; please learn your profession. Know your job; cold. Know what you can and cannot do in YOUR state. Don’t let anyone tell you what other notaries are doing so they can get their way. The have THIER best interest at heart NOT YOURS. You should ALWAYS know what is appropriate for each situation. If other notaries have been knowingly, unknowingly (or bullied) into doing what was being asked of me to do, I would not have had such a problem. These type of situations makes us ALL look bad…

Remember this is not a ‘California’ thing. It is a notary thing. You just don’t sign your name to a Jurat willy-nilly just because the hiring party says so. You must follow proper notary procedure. Period.

Thanks for reading, and I’d love to hear your feedback…

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September 7, 2018

Introducing the 2019 Notaries!

Filed under: Andy Cowan — admin @ 7:30 am

Introducing the 2019 Notaries!

Trade in your old worn out notaries, everybody. They’re so last year. The new models are arriving with more exciting options than ever!

Forget driving customers crazy by misinterpreting notary law or explaining options to them versus choosing. The new 2019s are… SELF-driving customers crazy!

The new models don’t give the signer the choice between an oath and an affirmation. They always choose affirmation, to automatically not offend the politically correct.

The new models can notarize in reverse, which is handy if you have a reverse mortgage.

The old models were slow in accelerating but very good at braking. The new models go from zero to sixty signings in 2.3 seconds.
With the 2019s, you can enjoy the luxury of leaving drinks on a table during a signing without leaving those telltale rings that could annoy your client. The new models include cupholders for those drinks!

The old models needed witnesses to observe the execution of a document. All the new models need is Siri.

The 2019s have more horsepower of attorney.

The 2019 notaries automatically brake when the signer slows down.

The 2019s no longer just affix seals to documents. They beam them there.

And fake signature alerts are standard on all ‘19s.

If you want your documents automatically signed, sealed and delivered… you’ll have to wait for the ‘20s!

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September 2, 2018

Redaction – the legal Eraser

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — admin @ 11:39 am

Redaction – the legal Eraser

When something needs to be changed, typically the spelling of a name; there are many wrong ways. There is only one right way.

Wrong Redactions

If you wish to destroy, as in making it generally unacceptable for most filing and legal purposes, the surest way is to plaster on the White Out. Equally bad is to simply erase the error (not so easy with LaserJet printouts) but it still can be done with a white ink eraser. There is also the time honored method of obliteration via multiple cross outs. Neater, but equally inappropriate to simply overwrite one letter with a different one. The classic example is adding a second loop to the bottom of a capital P to make it a capital B. Less neat, but still wrong is to simply write a new letter on top of the old one. There are probably other wrong ways, I have not seen them all.

Proper Redactions

Simply draw a THIN line (a Pilot Precise V5 RT pen does this well) thru the middle of the WORD (not a single letter) or phrase that is in error. Thus, “Kenneth A Ebelstein” becomes “Kenneth A Ebelstein”. Note that the thin line allows the underlying text to remain fully readable. Few can draw a thin straight line, use a credit card as a line guide. Initials (more on whose are used later) go at either end of the strikethru line or in the margin at either side of the text. Lastly write the correct value “Edelstein” as nearby as possible. It WILL look bad, you will think a discreet “overwrite” looks better. Perhaps, but that overwrite is never acceptable.

The Two Parts of a Notarized Document

Documents to be Notarized consist of only two parts. There is the document itself, almost always first. The document is followed by the Notary section. One tiny exception is the possibility of the Venue (State of xxx, County of xxx) residing at the top of the document. Even though it is “first” the Venue is always considered as part of the Notary section.

Who makes Changes Where

This is simple. Only the notary can make changes to the Notary Section (including a top most Venue). Affiants make changes as needed outside of the Notary Section. I have been told to “correct the name spelling everywhere it appears” and refuse to do so. I do not make any writing of any type outside of “my” area. Nor, do I permit others to make changes in “my” area. Any change to the body of the document should be made by someone who will be signing THAT document, and by nobody else. Thus, you MUST teach them proper redaction procedures.

Who Initials in the Notary Section

I’m sure you guessed this one. ONLY the notary. Correcting a misspelled name in the Notary Section is NOT initialed by anyone else. I have had “low IQ” persons tell me that the named person should initial a name correction in the Notary Section; sometimes they want me to ALSO initial the fix, I do not allow anyone other than me to write anything, including initials in my area.

Who Initials in the Body of the document

ONLY persons whose signature appears at the end of the document, never the Notary. Take care to check who will be signing. Often one spouse is on some documents, but not all; and that is the one needing name correction. If they are NOT signing – even though their name is in the body of the document they do NOT initial the correction.

This can lead to strange looking corrections with a split signing. The prior affiants will not be initialing changes made during the “second session” – that’s one for the attorneys to argue.

Some Parting Thoughts

Get the initials right. When I change a Venue it’s KAE as my middle initial is on my stamp. The same applies to affiants. If the signature line of the document has Jr. Sr. III or similar, those attributes follow the regular initials EG: KAE Jr. or KAE II. As the name attributes are part of the legal name, they follow into the legal initials.

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August 28, 2018

Be at your best at all times…..

Filed under: Carmen Towles — admin @ 11:01 am

I always try to be kind and treat people the way I want to be treated. I do my best, but sometimes I fall short. This is one such occasion.

I got a call from a nice woman needing my notary services. I could tell that English was not her first language. (I assumed because of where I live that she was Asian. This is not relevant now but will be later in the story) She said she had her sister’s ID, but her sister was out of the country, I then went on to explain to her that the person who I would be notarizing the signature for must be present. I continued to ask a few more questions. And with those questions came clarity. Often times folks have no idea of what they need. Bottom line was that she had a POA (power of attorney) that SHE was to sign giving her sister power of attorney to sign for on her behalf. Therefore, no need for the sister to be present.

With a greater understanding of what she really needed, also realizing that she wasn’t going to be able to afford my travel fee. And since I was already out and about, I agreed to meet her at the Coffee Bean and gave her the address. As I drank my coffee and waited for her, I received a call from one of the 123notary.com members. I was fully engaged in my conversation and had began pacing (which I often do when on the phone), when a very young woman of color approached me and said something inaudible. I snapped at her and said, “Do you see me on the phone?”. She looked shaken and taken aback and she went to the corner of the shop. A couple of minutes passed and as I began winding down my phone conversation, I notice her still in the corner watching me, when I also notice a piece of paper in her hand. I think to myself, “Oh no, could this be the person that I am waiting for?”

I immediately hung up from the call and walked over to her and said: “Are you the person that needs notary services?”, I am thinking please say it ain’t so, LOL. She half smiles and nods and says; “Yes, I am the one”. I felt VERY SMALL at that moment. I empathically told her, that I was sorry and that I was expecting an Asian woman. She was surprised by this, but I told her that peoples’ phone voices can play tricks on me. She nodded in agreement. However, I still had no right to presume her nationality. I live in a predominately Asian community and the young women on the phone had sounded Asian to me. And unfortunately that is what I was looking for. I shouldn’t have judged her nationality in the first place and I most definitely shouldn’t have been rude.

I took care of her notarization, apologized again profusely and off she went. After she had gone, I thought to myself that I will most likely be getting my first negative review. I felt bad about this but also knew that I would deserve it for my bad behavior. A few days later still upset with myself, I happened to be on the site that she found me and I was shocked. There it was, a new review and it seems she hadn’t held my bad behavior against me. It was positive. This is what she wrote, And I quote; “She’s very patient and helpful! She made sure that I understand the process and what can I expect from the party receiving my papers. I will use her services in the future for sure!”

Moral of the story; We all have bad days but be kind to everyone…

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August 26, 2018

Are you practicing law by drawing a signature line?

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — admin @ 11:14 am

Are you practicing law by drawing a signature line?

As usual my opening ambiguous answer: it depends. Depends on what you are probably thinking. Well IMHO it depends on where that line is to be drawn. I view items to be notarized as consisting of two sections. The document and the notary section, the former is outside of my “sphere of influence. Conversely, the notary section is my domain exclusively.

I have a simple policy regarding the document area, I don’t touch it, nada; not at all. If a correction is to be made in the document, the affiant(s) make it, and they initial it. That rule applies to additions, changes and redactions. Often I have been requested to change something in the document section; I request that in writing. Then, the instructions are passed to the affiant(s) as “requested” modifications; with the source of the request explicitly shown.

Of course if the signature line where I as the notary should sign is missing I, using a credit card as a straight edge, draw it in. Not so for the document itself, that is a job for the affiant(s). Am I carrying my “keep out of the document” policy to an extreme? Probably, but it’s a slippery slope when violating a basic rule.

Often the notary section is split. The Venue (State of: & County of:) might appear at the very top. That is still part of the notary section and must show where the notary signed. We all know to either fill it in if blank, or redact the inappropriate entry (notary initials at one end of the redaction line) and neatly prints the correct value(s). The affiant(s) do not initial changes to the Venue. Thus, the document section and the notary section(s) are “touched” only by their owners.

Back to that missing affiant signature line. It’s not really required. Often there is just a box for the signature or only an indication of where the affiant is supposed to sign. Would I really ask them it draw that silly line? Probably I would give them the option to do so; and let them decide if they want to. It has happened to me a few times. They are split on the option; some do, some don’t – it matters not a bit to me.

Let me stress the major “take away” from this article again. Don’t write, not even a tiny bit outside of the notary section. Pass along requests, but do not make the marks yourself. The affiant(s) will be initialing those modifications and they should be in “affiant handwriting”.

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You might also like:

Notary Maintenance – there is lots for Notaries to maintain
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19417

Notary also as a witness
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19415

The Notary of the Future
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18952

Power of Attorney – notary processing mistakes
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18958

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August 25, 2018

Michael Cohen and the Notary

Filed under: Other Guest Bloggers — Tags: — admin @ 11:11 am

The following is a phone call between Michael Cohen and a possible notary:

Notary: Thank you for calling D.C. Notary Service, how can I help you?

Cohen: Hi, uh, I need a notary, to uh, sign something…

Notary: Well you’ve come to the right place, notaries sign stuff. Can I ask what part of D.C. you’re calling from?

Cohen: The White House–uh I mean, uh MY house! In D.C….

Notary: (Pause) Okay, well what part of D.C. do you live in?

Cohen: In the Downtown area…Near Pennsylvania…(beat) I mean, I can’t hear what you’re saying-a?

Notary: (beat) Alright, we have an office near Pennsylvania. I could give you that address and phone number, if you’d like?

Cohen: Okay, yeah, but do you typically deal with high level clients?

Notary: I’m not at liberty to say…

Cohen: Well, I need someone who can work with highly important officials, like you know, important people…Like Presidents… OF COMPANIES!! Not like the President of the United States or anything!..

Notary: Right… We can handle larger documents.

Cohen: Great. My client will be just peachy to hear this.

Notary: Don’t you mean orangy! Haha.

Cohen: Excuse me?

Notary: The client, it’s Trump isn’t it?

Cohen: How did you know?!

Notary: Attorney-Client Privilege isn’t your strong suit…I mean, you gave away every hint…

Cohen: (nervously) Hey, I know the law! I understand what that client-attorney privilg-y thing is…But quick question, can you forge some signatures? The President doesn’t want the porn start to actually sign–

Notary: (Hangs up).

Cohen: Hmm, that’s the third one…Wonder what I’m doing wrong.

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August 20, 2018

Notary – What would you do?

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — admin @ 11:17 am

Notary – What would you do?

Assume in most questions that nobody answers your frantic “what should I do” calls.

A) The buyer side loan package is huge, 235 pages. You glance thru the package and notice that the borrower’s name was misspelled, dozens of times. You don’t discover this till “at the table”.

1. Plow thru all the necessary changes, figuring it’s your fault because you did not verify what the ID was and what the correct spelling was.

2. Dozens of corrections would probably void the package; you adjourn the session and call your employer.

3. Borrower has software that can make a quick “global change” to the PDF and reprints the package with the “corrected name”; so it’s possible to proceed with the signing.

4. Use the AKA (also known as) form to notarize the misspelled name and equate the proper spelling as a valid alias. You perform notarizations of misspelled name based on sworn AKA to make it legal.

B) You accept a near “lowball” fee. There is no mention of FAX backs when you accept the assignment. When the Edoc arrives there is a full fax back requirement on the “notary instructions”. As usual nobody is reachable due to a 6PM appointment. You do not have a scanner and faxing the package would cost half of your pay.

1. There is still time to ship for next day if you do not fax, you ship without faxing. You figure they are getting what they specified and what was agreed.

2. You hold the package till next morning and call asking for a fee increase.

3. You leave the completed package with the borrower asking them to scan/fax then ship.

4. You take your lumps, fax it all at top dollar from Kinko’s and ship; wanting to save the account.

C) Borrower calls you to change the meeting location, fifty miles more distant, over toll roads.

1. You tell the borrower there will be an additional fee for them to pay “at the table”.

2. You decline the change mentioning your schedule does not permit the extra time involved.

3. You call Escrow, who sent the job, they refuse any additional fee; you dump the job.

4. Such is life, you cancel your subsequent assignment and comply with borrower demands.

D) The borrower’s dog keeps “pawing” at you; thinking you are a source of Milk Bones. You ask that the dog be placed in a different room; borrower replies that they never lock their dog in a different room and refuses.

1. You ask the borrower to pay for new pants, if they will you will proceed.

2. You declare the situation a “hostile environment” and threaten to leave if dog not contained.

3. You call a “pause” to the signing and attempt to make friends with the dog.

4. You suggest moving to a nearby diner without dog; angry borrower asks you to leave.

E) The docs are way late, the borrower keeps calling you asking when you will arrive. You don’t know when/if they ever will arrive as Title keeps (many calls) saying “we are working on final details, it should be soon”. This has been going on for three hours.

1. You keep trying to pacify borrower telling them the loss of rate lock would be very expensive to them.

2. You are not a fan of “heroic waits” and politely tell Title to put their job where the sun never shines.

3. You refused two other jobs during the wait – so you hang in there hoping to recoup some of your losses.

4. You give Title an absolute deadline, docs in half an hour or find someone else.

F) You don’t have a racist bone in your body, you treat every human the same; and follow all rules. You are shown a passport from a country you never heard of. It’s all handwritten, even the passport number. It does not have a USA visa.

1. You accept the passport and include a photocopy with the statement that you have your validity doubts.

2. You decline the ID even though affiant claims to be from poor country and that’s how they do it.

3. You proceed but hold package till you can do some internet research to validate the passport.

4. You explain the situation to the Loan Officer and follow the advice given.

G) This one happened to me. Identical twins, dressed and looking exactly alike. Both are on title and both need their signatures notarized. They joked when you met them how they enjoy substituting for each other.

1. The passport signatures are very similar, but you think you detect slight differences; you have them sign in front of you and determine based on handwriting which is which.

2. Mission impossible, you adjourn the session.

3. It really does not matter as they will be co-owners; you proceed relying on their sworn oaths.

4. You insist on a fingerprint next to each signature.

H) The LO is adamant that you must backdate your notarizations to yesterday or they will incur financial damages and will sue you the notary to recoup their losses.

1. You insist upon a hand signed email (PDF) from the LO with the authorization to backdate. It actually arrives on your cell phone on their letterhead stationery and hand signed. You proceed to backdate it’s the LO’s problem.

2. You carefully spell your name to the LO stating that you hate to receive subpoenas with bad spelling.

3. You use the proper date and inform borrowers that it is improper for them to change the date in the notary section; then proceed to explain proper redaction procedures. What they do is not your problem.

4. You tell yourself perhaps the LO is right, your watch and cell phone might be showing the wrong date.

I) Borrower looks at the package and states that they will be taking 3-5 hours to read every word. You explain the included Right of Recision, but borrower states they will sign nothing till reading every word. Also borrower wants to confer with their attorney while reviewing the pages. Nobody is available when you make calls.

1. You call out for pizza and ask for the remote to the TV.

2. You leave package and copy asking borrower to call when ready to sign.

3. You tell borrower you can stay for an hour and a half, and then must take docs whatever the progress.

4. You demand they sign quickly and threaten to cancel the loan if they don’t.

J) Borrower has full middle name on docs but no ID that has more than middle initial.

1) You accept High School Yearbook entry as that has full middle name as part of ID – take pictures of all IDs, including yearbook entry and include with package.

2) Title says it’s OK to proceed and they will drop middle initial when issuing deed.

3) You redact the middle initial only in the notary section as that was the proven ID. Job proceeds.

4) You cancel the signing because there was insufficient ID.

K) During the signing the borrower lights up a “joint”, offers you one (which you decline) – and proceeds to sign all of the documents.

1) As you did not “partake” it’s OK for you to notarize the documents.

2) At the first sign of illegal activity you adjourn the signing and take all paperwork, reporting issues.

3) Borrower claims “pot” helps them to concentrate and relax, you ask for windows to be opened and proceed.

4) Wanting to be accommodating you ask instead for a Scotch and Soda to stay legal

Please use the LETTER of the question in any comments so we all know what you are referring to.

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