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February 23, 2017

Things that Work Well

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — admin @ 9:10 pm

In this installment I’m going to share a variety of things that work well. Most of them will be new to you, but I have been using them for years. Almost all are available on Amazon, there you will find additional information, and reviews by others; or a Google search.

Bear Grease – This is my favorite leather conditioner. Smear on a thin layer and allow to dry overnight in a warm area. It soaks in and renews old, stiff leather to flexible softness. It will darken light colors. Also works to waterproof the seams of leather boots.

Magic Lube – What Bear Grease is to leather, Magic Lube is to rubber and plastic. My Sony Shower Radio uses a plastic flexible membrane for the controls. It’s a fine radio, but many have complained about the membranes cracking from frequent use. I put on a light layer of Magic Lube once or twice a year to prevent this. Also perfect for rubber “O” rings and hose gaskets.

Sangean CL-100 – Weather alert radio. One of the very few that processes the “shut off” signal so the radio goes silent after the alert audio, most others require you to go to the radio to silence it after alert. If you miss the alert, a red light comes on and the window scrolls the alert message.

Simichrome All Metal Polish – Just a tiny bit is needed, get the small tube. Wipe it on, let item set for a few minutes; polish it off with a clean cloth. Powerful stuff, shield eyes, wash hands.
Kidde KN-COPP-B-LPM Battery-Operated Carbon Monoxide Alarm – The alarm woke us in the middle of the night. We woke groggy with headaches and called the fire department after opening windows. Fire Dept confirmed heating system in basement malfunctioned.

Gerber EAB Lite Pocket Knife – Tiny and always super sharp, it holds a “contractor type” razor blade that is replaceable using a dime to remove the blade holding screw.

Swiss Quick Disconnect Key Chain (http://www.countycomm.com/swisskey.html) – Allows me to remove ignition key from keychain, similar items on other sites not well made.

ROR Lens Cleaner – Safe for even the finest optical coatings, leaves no residue. Also cleans the screen protector on my cell phone to a glossy and somewhat fingerprint resistant shine.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Cell Phone – the last Galaxy that allows changing the battery and also adding a memory chip. Waterproof, battery lasts me 2-3 days with mobile notary use.

Smash Mute – A big red Mute button that mutes your TV. It learns the “mute” code from your existing TV remote. Long range powerful signal and very easy to find / use.

Tivo ( http://weaknees.com ) – Magical machine that can replace cable box. Pauses live TV, can search and record upcoming shows that meet your criteria, eg: record all starring James Stewart.

The Executioner Fly Swat Wasp Bug Mosquito Swatter Zapper – Looks like a tennis racket, but high voltage wires zap insects instantly. Had a large hornet in our camper, one touch with this and problem solved. Pro model stronger with 2 “C” cells, regular model smaller uses 2 AA cells.

Let me know what worked for you, your feedback would be appreciated.

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February 21, 2017

Power of Attorney of the Future

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — Tags: — admin @ 9:09 pm

The Legal professional moves at a snail pace. On the other hand the Medical profession has advances at rocket speed. This will eventually lead to the Power of Attorney of the Future, mainly due to advances in medical procedures. Unfortunately the Legal profession, unable to keep up, will inherit some unexpected situations.

Consider the Power of Attorney of the Future. Rather than the current procedure of giving a piece of notarized paper from Principal to Agent, an alternative will be forthcoming. The mind of the Principal can be transferred into the Agent! Of course this will not be a one-way street. The reverse transfer of Agent to Principal will also occur. Thus both the Principal as well as the Agent will each have two separate mental “memory banks” sharing their brains.

There will, of course, be no need for a Monitor assigned via the Power of Attorney, but that can be done. It might get a bit crowded for the Monitor who will have Monitor brain, Principal brain and Agent brain – all sharing that cranial cavity.

As the Power of Attorney form is a delegation of authority instrument, there is a need for a “pecking order” of brain function within each individual. For the Monitor, that person’s original brain is “boss”. For the Agent the Principal brain is boss, with the Agent’s original brain in a subservient capacity. After all, the Principal should always have the last word. For the Principal their original equipment is boss, with the Agent brain and the Monitor sharing second place.

If the above paragraph is clear to you please leave a comment about this blog explaining your understanding to me. Whatever.

Gone is the tedious need for communications. As the brain “essence” exists in multiple bodies, a telepathic bond is created, either in duo or triplicate. No, I am not going to even consider the effect or pecking order of Successor Agents. Even worse than Successor Agents would be multiple Agents, who might or might not have to act in unison. Ye gads this is getting complex.

The legal ramifications affect even the humble notary. With multiple “personalities” and with them having “legal authority” precisely how is the oath to be given and to whom? Of course with this much confusion there will be plenty for the lawyers (who thrive on ambiguity) to work with. Can the notary notarize the direct signature of the Principal when the body of the Agent matches the presented ID? The Power of Attorney currently allows “acting in behalf of” – but when the thoughts are of the Principal, via the body of the Agent – perhaps the need for the currently required Power of Attorney signature verbiage becomes unnecessary.

Not complicated enough? Consider the Principal granting different Power of Attorney rights to multiple Agents for varying purposes. Throw in a few Successor Agents, perhaps a Monitor or two and the poor Principal is afflicted with a real “head full” of personalities.

Of course it will be the task of the notary public to resolve all of the conflicts and “do the right thing”. To really understand the situation and notarize properly the notary will have to adopt the psychs (all of them) of the person before them with the ID. That might take a bit of room in the skull of the notary. My only suggestion is for notaries to prepare for the future by considering a lobotomy to make some additional room for the personalities involved. As you can probably tell from the above, I’ve had the surgery; more than half of my brain was removed. I’m ready!

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February 10, 2017

A Notary goes Public on Shark Tank with Shazamdocs!

Filed under: Andy Cowan,Sit-Coms — admin @ 9:06 pm

First up into the tank: A way to keep records on how long companies take to send electronic documents.

NOTARY: Hi, Sharks. I’m Jeremy. And I’m asking for $200,000 for twenty percent of my company, Shazamdocs. Sharks, there’s one thing that matters in life more than looking as dapper as Mr. Wonderful here.

MR. WONDERFUL: He knows of what he speaks.

LAURIE: He’s kissing up and I’m throwing up.

MR. WONDERFUL: Hush. Grab a breath mint.

NOTARY: What matters in life, whether you’re sharks or whether you’re a notary, is knowing when you’ll be paid!

MR. WONDERFUL: You’re speaking my language, son. The language of luv… of money.

NOTARY: The database on Shazamdocs monitors how long companies take to send electronic documents, and… by virtue of our exclusive algorithms… computes the average amount of time it takes to get paid. No longer will you have to waste your precious time and resources hitching yourself to companies that drag their feet when it comes to upholding their end of the transactions.

DAYMOND: Feet dragging is a drag.

NOTARY: We’re like Yelp for notaries. With your help, sharks, we’ll get this in the homes of notaries throughout the country, and after that, the world! Who wants to show this notary their own seal… of approval?

ROBERT: You, yourself, said you’re like Yelp for notaries. There’s nothing proprietary about that.

NOTARY: I’ve applied for a utility patent.

CUBAN: You’ll never get it.

LAURIE: Mark.

CUBAN: What? He’s living a pipe dream. What’s to stop anybody from charting the records of companies to see how quickly they pay their bills?

NOTARY: Nobody does it like we do.

CUBAN: I’m out.

MR. WONDERUL: Ouch.

CUBAN: What about you, Kevin? You said the guy knows of what he speaks.

MR. WONDERFUL: That’s when he was complimenting my impossibly dapper qualities.

LAURIE: You got the impossibly part right.

ROBERT: What do you sell the program for and what are your sales?

NOTARY: I sell it with an annual subscription rate of 19.95. And we’re in pre-launch.

DAYMOND: Uh-oh. So you’ve made bupkis.

ROBERT: Daymond, I didn’t even know you were Jewish!

MR. WONDERFUL: I’ll make you an offer. I don’t know what you’re worth, I’m taking a heck of a risk, but I’ll go on the ride with you. There are plenty of notaries who need greater assurances they’ll get paid faster. But $200,000 at twenty percent assumes a value of a million dollars. You’re not there yet. I’ll give you the $200,000. But I want forty percent of the business.

CUBAN/DAYMOND/ROBERT: Oy.

LAURIE: You’re all Jewish now.

MR. WONDERFUL: I hear the other sharks flapping their gums, but I don’t hear anyone putting their money where their yappers are. I made you an offer, Jeremy. What do you say?

NOTARY: I appreciate the offer, Mr. Wonderful.

ROBERT: If I brought a notary in, would you swear to that?

NOTARY: But with all due respect, that’s giving up too much equity. I’d like to hear what the remaining sharks have to say.

LAURIE: As you know, Jeremy, as I’ve said many times on Shark Tank. I can tell when something’s a zero. And I can tell when something’s a hero. And this… is most definitely… a thirty. Better than zero, but nowhere near a hero. I’m out.

ROBERT: Laurie, you were toying with the man.

LAURIE: No, I wasn’t. I’m just being honest.

ROBERT: Well, Jeremy, I see nothing proprietary here. And I’m not a big notary guy. If I ever need you to witness something, I’ll be a customer. But I don’t see it as an investment. I’m out.

CUBAN: So that leaves Mr. Wonderful’s less than wonderful offer. And Mr.Daymond.

DAYMOND: I hate it when companies drag their feet before paying somebody what they’re owed, so I’m with you there.

JEREMY: Would you consider joining up with Mr. Wonderful?

DAYMOND: As much as it pains me to say it, I might do the deal with Kevin, if he’s up for it.

MR. WONDERFUL: I’d do that deal. But, Jeremy, you’d be getting two sharks.

JEREMY: Would the both of you consider the deal for… thirty percent equity?

DAYMOND: 100 K each at fifteen percent each? What do you think, Kevin?

MR. WONDERFUL: I’ll do it with one contingency. That we test the accuracy of your program on us. If your program can tell us how long it’ll be before we pay you the 200 K, I’m in.

DAYMOND: Me too.

JEREMY: Right away?

MR. WONDERFUL: Sorry. I would’ve paid you after hell freezes over.

DAYMOND: Me too.

MR. WONDERFUL/DAYMOND: I’m out!

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February 8, 2017

Unsubscribe

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — admin @ 1:40 am

Unsubscribe
Unlike the oft ignored “Do Not Call list” there is no similar central location where you can post your email address to request no unsolicited email. However, as is my custom; first I lament about the problem, and then strive to submit a workable solution. Most of my junk mail is filtered by settings with my email service provider, not my Internet Service Provider. My ISP – Time Warner Cable does a “barely fair” job of eliminating junk mail – much slips through. It is my email “front end” that really makes the difference.

That email service provider, formerly called Pobox.com is now known as Fastmail.com. The takeover has actually improved service. I signed up with Pobox.com in September of 1995 and took kene@pobox.com as my email address. It remains the same, though I have gone thru a few ISPs in the two plus decades. The spam filtering on fastmail is very flexible. However, a few seem to slip through, about one in a hundred. That gives me two options to resolve. The first is to add the sender to one of my spam filters, a very easy to do option. The second is to ask that my email address be removed. I use a not so subtle response, that does work, and work very well.

I *never* click on the “unsubscribe” link, so common in emails. That possibly takes you to a virus laden site! Never click links from “strangers”. Do you really want to test your antivirus protection – often? I don’t. So I “reply” to their email with the following keyboard macro:
Unsubscribe

Please remove me from your mailing list and do not send any additional email to my email address.

The email address to remove is: kene@pobox.com AND any other address you used to send email to me.

Wondering why I did not click the “unsubscribe” link?
It’s way too dangerous to click links in unsolicited email.
It’s much safer to just reply email – hence this unsubscribe request.
The National Can-Spam Act REQUIRES you to remove my email address and not send email to me again after this notice.
Violations WILL be tracked and reported to Federal Authorities who LOVE to issue violation fines.

This has worked for me, the usual response has been “your email has been removed” or similar. Some may feel it’s a bit “over the top” – but they “started it”. I value my time and don’t want my cell phone to indicate “incoming” only to find it a repetition of previously deleted junk mail. It’s also easier to use my macro reply via http://keyboardexpress.com than editing my spam filter.
Take control of YOUR inbox. Make THEM remove you.

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February 5, 2017

A Tough Call

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — admin @ 1:38 am

A Tough Call
It was to be a routine edoc from a repeat client. Once I agreed to the time and location the PayPal was in my account in minutes – they wanted it on my calendar. Callers are told by me that jobs go on my calendar when payment is received. I used to say that I don’t print until payment is received – that caused several holes to develop in my calendar. Admittedly, I look a lot older, but think myself a bit wiser for the years doing this stuff.

With payment in the bank, and work order in my inbox; I printout a map of where I would be going and also program the address into my GPS. Usually the GPS is reliable, but sometimes when the clouds are thick, the signal fades in the canyons between Manhattan skyscrapers.

I call the affiant to introduce myself, and to confirm that the phone number, address and meeting time are correct. As is my custom I ask what form of ID will be presented. Heads Up for this next aspect: I ask precisely what name is on that ID, and the exact spelling. My name is Alpha Beta Kappa, however I only use Beta Kappa; I dislike my Alpha first name. Ding, ding, alarms go off – a quick look at the work order – the affiant is listed as Beta Kappa. Next, I ask the most important question: What is your Legal Name? Grudgingly I am told it’s Alpha Beta Kappa. Next I make a mistake. Do you have any Government Issued Photo ID with only the name Beta Kappa? Yes, that is the full name on my New York City issued transit card.

I said I made a mistake, and I did. Once the affiant said their legal name; there was no purpose in asking if ID existed with the omission of the first name. Oops. Affiant confirms appointment and says will provide me with the NYC – middle and last name ID. Boo Boo number two – I confirm the appointment, “secure” in the knowledge that ID matching the work order exists.

I reflect on the conversation and realized that the action plan was wrong. Accepting ID that had only middle and last; even though it matched the docs – would be wrong. I had Knowledge that the ID was not representative of the affiant’s true name. As expected, when talking to Title; she had taken title in the Beta Kappa name – and that was on the refi. A sharp person at Title suggested I notarize her BK with an AKA for the ABK name. Sorry, I’m not notarizing an AKA on the Mortgage or any other document. An AKA form which she signs as ABK and accepts BK is fine; but not the other way around.

Title, my regular client, knows, and I also know; a Quit Claim to fix the vesting is the solution – but that takes time and the Condo probably will not tolerate a delay. I’m on the high moral ground – it’s simply not the right name. The Broker calls. Broker tells me he spoke to the affiant who positively HATES the given first name of Alpha; when Broker mentions the “forbidden” name the borrower “hangs up” on the Broker! Broker asks if there are other notaries who will accept the situation, ignoring the Alpha name. Insulted by the question, I suggest Broker contact a few prisons and perhaps Broker can “bail out” a notary who works in that manner!

Title “takes back” the assignment and asks for a refund. Title is very happy to learn of the “flaw” in the proposed paperwork, and offers me half fee. I decline, they are a regular and, though I did spend hours waiting on docs, fee of one quarter of paid fee would be sufficient. Client Saved!

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February 3, 2017

Comedic Notary Pricing from Apo-steal-of-a-deal to Zilch (not getting paid).

Filed under: Andy Cowan,Humorous Posts — Tags: — admin @ 9:04 pm

Comedic Notary Pricing from Apo-steal-of-a-deal to Zilch (not getting paid).

Getting paid is serious business. But in this blog, we’re going “goofy.”

REVERSE MORTGAGES

Segagtrom. So much for literally reversing “mortgages.” In the reverse mortgage I’ll be referring to here, you get paid before you do the signing. If they don’t pay you ahead of time, charge 150 bucks. If they don’t pay you that, reverse the charges on the UPS. You can also drive in reverse to the signing. Unless you happen to be in a parking lot, in which case backing up causes serious tire damage. I can back that up in a notarized statement.

INSPECTIONS

When you inspect a house by taking photos, if it’s cheesy looking, tell it to smile and say cheese. If there are lines from broken plaster on the wall they don’t want you to shoot, charge them extra to Photoshop the lines out. Charge twenty to thirty dollars for inspection, unless the photos need touchup. When you visit their restroom and inspect their medicine cabinet, charge them a snooping fee.

REFINANCING

When getting signatures for mortgage signings, charge them a
re-re-re-re-re-refinancing fee if the signer stutters.

EDOCS OR DOCUMENTS

Ink is to a printer what cocaine is to a dealer. The first sample is free, and then they have you hooked on a very expensive habit. So be sure to charge accordingly for depleting your ink supply as you type out documents. Make sure they don’t pay you with money they printed out on their printers. Although the ink would probably be worth more than the money.

TRAVEL FEE FOR MOBILE NOTARIES

It’s been years since doctors made house calls. If you’re making a house call to notarize something, you better make sure you’re compensated for such service. Some charge by the mile, some charge by the amount of time to get there. As for the comedic price list, charge them like Dominos Pizza. They’ll get a free signing if you don’t arrive within thirty minutes or less. And when you do arrive, make sure you act extra cheesy. And top it off with an extra signature. If the signing is late at night, charge them a surcharge. If they treat you with disrespect, charge them a you-forgot-to-call-me “sir” charge.

LATE FEES

If they’re not ready for you when you arrive for the signing, charge them a late fee. If they’re not ready for you when you arrive because they’re dead, charge the next-of-kin a late, late fee. If it’s so late that it’s technically the wee hours of the morning, charge them an early fee. If they can’t pay you till tomorrow, charge them a late fee for the early fee. If they can’t pay you till after the both of you sit down and finish watching an old movie on TV, charge them a late, late show late fee for the early fee.

WAITING FEES

The more you wait to be paid, the more you charge them. If you wait till hell freezes over, charge them a waiting/defrosting fee. You’re like a taxi stuck in park with the meter running. If they haven’t reached the destination yet but they’re still your client, that will cost them. That should give you a lift. (Or for the cabbie and Uber haters out there, “Lyft”)

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February 2, 2017

Who Did You Notarize?

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — Tags: — admin @ 1:37 am

Last night I had an easy assignment, a deed and an affidavit. The couple would be signing both documents, and the IDs were solid. The deed was routine. They were properly named on the deed, and the notary section only needed correction to the Venue. Not so with the affidavit, that had a subtle, but IMHO a major flaw.

The affiants were mentioned at the top of the affidavit as “the below sworn borrowers”, but never by name! Nowhere on the document did their names appear. As signatures are an illegible scrawl, it would be impossible to determine specifically who was notarized. Their names did not appear in the notary section either.

There are several approaches that can be taken. The most usual solution is to ignore the notary section on the document and prepare “loose acknowledgements” and attach. I usually do it that way to identify the affiants. However, this was an original document (not emailed) and the request was to notarize directly on the page if possible. The “fix” was simple, but it introduced an additional error that required correction.

I asked the affiants to “neatly clearly and completely print their names, as on their IDs below their signatures”. One of them did so precisely correct. The other did not. The affiant’s first name (using my name in this example) was Kenneth. But when printed under the signature it was printed as Ken. That’s not the name that was notarized. And, as that printing was the only place on the document where the name was printed it had to be right. On the deed the name preprinted “under the line” was Kenneth, the same as on the ID.

I had Kenneth draw a thin single line thru “Ken Edelstein” and had both parties initial the change. All signatories initial changes. I explained that contractions of legal names on serious documents could cause later problems. Kenneth was then asked to print his full name again, and proceeded to do so. Now it was clear that the persons notarized were properly named “in print” directly on the document. Perhaps I should have printed the names from the ID. But, it is my practice to only write in the “notary section” and not touch any area outside of the notary section / Venue (if at the top of the page).

Getting the name right is possibly the single most important thing we do. And, it’s often an uphill battle – some clients are so used to their “self given name variation” that they feel their “mental change of name” – is a legal change of name. Sometimes I relate the story that I could, with a fistful of cash; take title in the name “Suzy Snowflake”. The problem arises when I wish to sell and prove that I am the owner of the property!

Who are you notarizing, stating with your stamp and embosser that they were identified pursuant to your local governing laws? Do you take their verbal assurance, or blithely accept the preprinted name on the document? To me the only right answer is that the name on the Govt. issued Photo ID is their name. Exception: Valid ID with original marriage document supporting the adopting of married last name. I also feel the name of the person(s) being notarized must appear in print on the document; a vague reference to “borrowers signing below” is not enough.

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January 12, 2017

#1 Notary Error

Filed under: Carmen Towles — Tags: — admin @ 9:17 pm

This is a notary public service announcement…..:)

Please notaries DO NOT use your notary stamp where you see just the word ‘seal’. I have posted a couple of definitions of the term ‘seal’ from a couple of places below.

“Seal” after a signature is not just another word for signature. It is a remnant from the days when seals were actually used and impressed in wax. A document under seal in some jurisdictions has legal ramifications. It may extend the statute of limitations for legal actions taken under the document. It may eliminate the necessity for proving consideration on a contract. It may do both.”

“In the law, a seal affixed to a contract or other legal instrument has had special legal significance at various times in the jurisdictions that recognise it. In the courts of common law jurisdictions, a contract which was sealed (“made under seal”) was treated differently from other written contracts (which were “made under hand”), although this practice gradually fell out of favour in most of these jurisdictions in the 19th and early 20th century. The legal term seal arises from the wax seal used throughout history for authentication (among other purposes).
Originally, only a wax seal was accepted as a seal by the courts, but by the 19th century many jurisdictions had relaxed the definition to include an impression in the paper on which the instrument was printed, an embossed paper wafer affixed to an instrument, a scroll made with a pen, or the printed words “Seal” or “L.S.” (standing for the Latin term locus sigilli meaning “place of the seal”).”

So, it appears by these definitions this was something that was used in 19th and 20th century when folks used wax seals. But for some reason, new notaries seem to want to affix their notary seal on loan documents everywhere they see the term ’seal’. In my opinion, I believe that this is the number one mistake made by newly appointed notary public/signing agents. I get calls here about this at 123notary.com all the time. This is why it is so important to understand what is to be notarized and what is not. Notaries remember you ONLY affix your seal to places that the signer has SIGNED and there is ‘notarial wording’ (wording such as: appeared, sworn/affirmed before, along with the state, city, etc.) that is present below the signature. NEVER EVER affix your notary seal/stamp to anything that has just the world ‘seal’ and/or that has no notary wording. You always must have some sort of notarial wording present after the signature. Doing otherwise, will get into big trouble with the hiring party not to mention the Secretary of State. Also depending on the situation and the request you may need to attached a notarial certificate. You should keep both acknowledgments and juarts for your specific state handy. And also please remember that you are notarizing the SIGNATURE on the document not the document itself.

Regrettably, just recently, I advised 2 notaries to reprint and go back out to the signers to re-sign due to this error. Glad they called me so they could get it done correctly before they returned the documents. I often wonder why the lenders still use documents that are are outdated and confusing….

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January 6, 2017

Notary Purgatory

Filed under: Andy Cowan,Humorous Posts — Tags: , — admin @ 12:51 am

Notary purgatory

After a notary’s lived a not so exalted life (authenticating less than authentic documents) but not so awful life (remembering to replace his expired commission and milk) he may not be headed for heaven or hell but somewhere in between: Notary purgatory. It’s a temporary way station. The gates of heaven are on one side, gates of hell on the other. The hell of indecision is magnified here, so you’re undecided about which place you want to ultimately wind up in. Maybe you aren’t sure which destination you deserve, and maybe neither is God! You always get paid but never get paid that well. You always get clients but they always micromanage you. You start out writing a blog you think has possibilities and it winds up having zilch. Uh-oh, I’ve entered Notary Hell! In Notary Hell, what you get paid for in signings gets eaten up and then some by the cost of gas to get there.

In Notary Hell, you get bitten by the rabid dogs of clients. In Notary Purgatory, you get bitten by the clients. In Notary Hell, you witness your clients having sex. In Notary Purgatory, you witness your clients’ dogs having sex. In regular hell, you witness your parents having sex, but let’s not go there. In Buddhist Notary Purgatory, you’d witness 31 planes of existence. You’ll find Baskin-Robbins here, but the fact all 31 flavors are melted is more hellish than purgatory-ish.

In Notary Hell, the signers all use invisible ink and you don’t get paid. In Notary Purgatory, you do get paid but you spend it all on lottery tickets.

The only way to move from Notary Purgatory to Notary Heaven is to have a righteous state of mind. This may not apply, however, in the state of New Jersey.

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January 3, 2017

Who is the Notary?

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — Tags: — admin @ 12:17 am

Who is the Notary?

Frequently, in over a decade of doing this, an occurring event is: a request for backdating, either directly or processing yesterday’s docs today, without updating the date in the notarization. What dates are in the rest of the doc is of no concern to me. One dim bulb in escrow connected me to the LO for “clarification” of the rules. “Any date in the notary section may be used as long as you have the permission of the LO in charge of the transaction”. “The LO has final “say” in all matters”!

Readers, ya better open your window; from here on the stink will be getting worse. Sayeth the LO: the escrow manager told you how to proceed – and the “entries” in question “require” the notary section to conform to the rest of the document. You risk a costly lawsuit if you “intentionally” cause the funding to be cancelled!” That LO must have a PHD (Piled Higher & Deeper) because rarely is so much BS directed in my direction. Mr. LO: MY definition of the “notarization date” is the date the notarization was performed. LO: you are being “an obstructionist”, your insistence will cause financial damage to many, especially to you.

Well, I detect a smidgen of truth in LO’s statement. Specifically the LO will not receive, or have delayed; the commission. So, I make a “small” request. LO, sayeth this humble scribe; I was not aware of the broad scope of your authority over all specific entries in the package. Perhaps I misunderstood my reading of rules and laws governing my actions. Thank You for the new information. I consider myself a fastidious notary, and keep very detailed records regarding the assignments I process. Ours, up this point; have been verbal communications – I need but a moment of your time to add some documentation to the project’s file. Please type out on company stationary what you wish me to do and hand sign it. Also sign under a photocopy of your driver license. Email to me both attachments directly from the computer at your office, not your cell phone. Watta surprise, the requested email never arrives.

Now to today, and it’s nowhere as near egregious as the prior LO BS. Today’s issue was about one of the most basic concepts that govern our daily activities. Namely, who is the notary? Who is the ultimate authority as to what you actually do, and/or permit? It really was about a small thing. On the pre-entered Patriot Act form, the driver license number had a transposition of two digits. The simple fix would be to redo the document. But, that option was not available as the borrower copy was identical; and no blanks were available. I only mentioned it, while at my PC, because a license photocopy (only for return with the docs) had just arrived. When asked if I had the images, I mentioned the need for me to correct and initial the related document: Patriot Act ID form.

That started an email storm that numbered over two dozen! The Bank Officer was insistent that the borrower initial the change – “It’s the borrowers license number, ONLY the borrower has any right to alter what was printed”. What this notary-should-never-be failed to accept (after being told several times) is that I, and only I; am the one signing the form. It is my understanding that all signatories to a document initial any handwritten changes. Only them. It is MY statement as to the ID that I observed, and I am the only one signing the form.

As misunderstanding and not outright fraud was in play, the “signed letter” response seemed overkill. We reached a compromise; something I rarely do. But, in this case, I felt comfortable with being flexible. How about if the borrower initials after I initial? Fine, chirped the BO (sometimes an abbreviation can add a new and justified connotation); as long as I have the borrower initials I’m fine. So was I – because the “solution” came from me, based on my understanding of applicable notary law.

Yes, I know, when the borrower initialed the document, that, in itself, was a change to the document that only I signed. Thus, it “might” follow that I should initial after the borrower initials to “accept” the change (addition of borrower initials) to the document that only I signed. Sorry, I seem to have taken you from a bad smelling situation to one that is making both of us dizzy. Suffice to say that I did not re-initial. I had already initialed and it just seemed absurd to take that path. Back to the main message: you not they, must decide how things are to take place; with the highest objective being notary action legality. However the chips fall, the notary has the final/only say.

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