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May 21, 2017

How to Explain Accrued Interest

Filed under: Other Guest Bloggers — Tags: — admin @ 10:51 am

Let’s talk about interest and how to explain it to a borrower during a loan signing.

What you’re about to watch is exactly how I would explain to a borrower if they thought the closing statement is wrong because they made their October payment.

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Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PknYiNUNJ4
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Allow me to dive into it deeper now.

First understand that this is important is because interest is a line item on the closing statement and without fail, questions comes up during a loan signing about interest. In my Loan Signing System course, the closing statement is the first document you should review with the borrower so you should be sure to understand this concept.

Once again, To make interest easier to understand let’s talk about the difference of renting and paying a mortgage. When you rent, you pay on the 1st and the covers you for the next 30 days. You’re paying those 30 days in advance. Essentially you pay rent and you are good for the next 30 days.

A mortgage is different. You pay in what is called, arrears. Meaning when you pay on the first of the month, you are actually paying for the previous 30 days that you lived in the home. Essentially you live for the 30 Days then pay for the 30 days behind you. Hence why it is called arrears.

So, let’s say you paid your september mortgage payment, you are actually paying for the month of August. And That is where it can be a little confusing for a borrower because most borrowers don’t know that.

Remember when your explaining it, when you rent, you pay for the 30 days in advance. When you have a mortgage you pay for 30 days in arrears.

So why is this is important to understand as notary loan signing agent? Because when you go over the closing statement with the borrower, they almost always will have a question on the interest they owe their current lender they are paying off.

Frequently, If the payoff says that the borrower owes interest for October 1st to October 16th, a lot of borrowers will gawk and tell you they made their October payment and the closing statement is wrong.

Remember, the first part of this video since their October 1st payment is paid in arrears, they’ve paid interest for September, NOT for October. So they still need to pay owe to the current lender for October that hasn’t yet been paid.

And since the closing statement does not say they owe interest from September 1st to October 16th, you know that escrow has accounted for their October payment being made because there is no september’s interest showing on the closing statement.

On that same vein, if you see that the closing statement says interest they owe on their payoff from September 1st to October 16th, you should be able to come to the conclusion that have not made their October payment.

But now, let’s talk about interest on the new loan.

Regardless if it is a purchase or refinance, there will be interest that is being collected on the new loan on the closing statement.

Now that you understand that interest is paid in arrears, this should be easier to understand. Using the same dates above, if the new loan is going to close on October 16th, the borrower will have to pay interest from October 17th to October 31st. At closing is the only time the borrower will pay interest in advance. The reason this occurs is because the lender does not want to collect a partial payment in arrears on November 1st.

That’s why the first payment is a month out and this example it would be December because that is the first opportunity to get one full month in arrears. Remember that the December 1st payment is for all of November.

If they collect a November 1st payment, it would only be for October 17th to October 31st. They don’t want that. Therefore, they have the borrower pay the October interest upfront and set their first payment date for December 1st.

So, if you see that the lender is collecting interest for October 17th to the 31st on the closing statement, you should be able to conclude that their first payment is December 1st.

sometimes when you go over a closing statement you will notice overlapping interest on the closing statement. Let’s say you see interest being collected on the old loan for October 1st to October 17th and interest on the new loan being collected from October 15th to October 31st. The borrower may ask why they are paying double interest on the overlapping days.

They are not. The escrow company has to estimate the closing date of escrow. So in order to not be short interest (for the payoff or the new loan), they show overlapping interest.
When the loan closes, the dates will match up perfectly and the borrower will get returned any unneeded interest directly from escrow.

Lastly, sometimes the borrower knows that the loan is suppose to close on the 15th. But yet the closing statement shows interest to the 18th. This is done on purpose. While the loan should close on the 15th what happens if it closes on the 17th for some unforeseen reason. If they didn’t over estimate they would be short interest. Just like the overlapping interest, if escrow over estimated any interest the borrower will get it back at closing from the escrow company.

Accrued interest is a topic that comes up frequently in your loan signings. Knowing how quickly answer simple questions will separate you from other signings agents who can not. Not to mention it will cut your signing time in half.

Remember our job is to be impartial not uneducated.

I’m Mark, I teach the Loan Signing System, and I’m looking forward to helping you become a top loan signing agent.

If you’re interested in learning more about these concepts, go to www.loansigningsystem.com!

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May 16, 2017

Notary Email Tools

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — admin @ 8:41 am

I know, many of you are “more modern” and use the various social media tools, I don’t. But email is something I’m sure all of us use. I have what I consider to be a workable email system. It’s designed to support my work with flexibility and a minimum of annoyances.

The first items are two cell phones.
I like the Android Samsung S5 (full size) and the Android Samsung Avant (smaller). Both support user battery change and the addition of a memory chip. The S5 is for email, the smaller and easily mounted Avant is for voice. I like the simplicity of wireless charging. The S5 has an option for a “charging back”, and the little Avant has an add on QI receiver plugged into the USB port – it’s hidden between the phone and the protective case.

I use two sets of batteries for each phone and swap them at month end. There is a big advantage to removable storage cards. With the proper USB adapter, an attached memory card becomes a “drive letter” and all of your tools have access to files on the card. Much nicer than having to use the vendor supplied tool that typically has limited functions.

The next item is Pobox.com
– an email redirection service, with a very flexible spam elimination component. I have had the same email address since 1995 when I first subscribed to pobox. I have had multiple Internet Service Providers over the years, keeping my email address the same. Email goes to kene@pobox.com and is forwarded to the current ISP’s email address assigned to me. For example email sent to kene@pobox.com is forwarded to ken47@verizon.net. A copy of exactly the same email goes to my cell phone.

My address at pobox receives “first crack” at all email, thus the filters I have imposed apply to the home PC as well as the cell phone. The pobox email filters are superb. I set mine to the suggested level of “aggressive” and the junk goes away. Items that are questionable can be held for further inspection. Word lists of pests can be invoked to eliminate all email containing the words “tuna fish”, etc. The service costs $50 a year. Just to be rid, and I do mean RID of the junk mail is worth it. When you start getting junk from a new pest “Stinkos Cigars” just add that to the “drop” list and that email never makes it to either PC or phone.

Pobox also supports private domains, multiple incoming email addresses, and lots more. It would be worth your time to take a look at pobox.com, it’s nice to have the email address on a business card remain the same without having to notify the world when you change ISPs. Of course your email is also available on their web site. It’s available in a nice hierarchy with folders for Year, Month and Day. Revenge? Sure, it’s automatic – spam can be “bounced” back to the sender!

In our line of work minutes count. With pobox there is the option for “push” email. Email is sent to the phone when pobox receives it, no lag for the Samsung S5 to “check for incoming”. You probably will not “back level” to the phones I use, but putting pobox “in front of your current ISP” will pay major dividends when you decide to change ISPs. And, controlling the inbox is great.

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May 14, 2017

Million dollar E and O?

Filed under: Carmen Towles — admin @ 10:10 am

So it seems that their is a signing service sending out emails to all of the notary signing agents in their data base, informing them that for $100 each they can buy into their companies million dollar E and O policy. I have been asked to weigh in on this. My initial reaction was how odd it was and many questions come to mind. For one, I am not sure that it is even possible for a group of notaries to be under one policy. (I put a call in to an E and O provider at the time of writing this blog and I am waiting for my answer. If any of you veteran notaries know, please post it in the comments section below.) Also, all notaries are independent contractors. They have their own business, and we all work and reside in different states. Another question came to mind; would your name be listed among all the others who buy in under the policy? And would all notaries receive an actual policy? Unfortunately, the email that folks received did not answer any of these questions. What I can say, (and i mean no disrespect) is that on the surface it looks like this signing service is trying to get a little help from the notaries paying their E and O policy. I imagine a million dollar policy is very expensive. If the signing service wants to weigh in that would be great. I believe they are a member of 123.

I never understood the demand from these signing services for such high amounts in the first place. E and O for notaries covers errors and omissions (like forgetting to sign, wrong date, incorrect venue, etc) ONLY- nothing more. In this case of a million dollars, I cant imagine that that these types of errors would even come close to this high dollar amount. And typically, errors are caught before they even have a chance to turn into a problem.

I’d love to hear what you have to say about this…

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May 10, 2017

Notary for a USA President Candidate

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — admin @ 8:40 am

The call comes in for an urgent notarization. We need to file some important paperwork within the next 2 hours; can you positively guarantee arrival within that timeframe? Knowing the 5 star hotel was only a mile away I replied “sure”. Oddly, for an “individual” request; the caller stressed that the notarization had to be “absolutely perfect” and withstand close scrutiny. I assure the caller that my work would stand up to any examination; and that I required “Govt. issued photo ID” and acceptance of the standard oath given by Notaries. “A by the book Notary is exactly what we require”; please be sure to be on time.

The caller had identified as an aide to the affiant, but assured me that the affiant had a driver license that was current. May I speak to the person signing, I asked. Sorry, no; however we will prepay on your web site your fee; and I can assure you there will be no problems. Moments later the familiar “ding” comes from my phone – the sound of a PayPal payment. Figuring “movie star”, I depart for that rather expensive hotel. Traffic was kind and I arrived within an hour.

Manhattan has many celebrities, and a tiny fraction of them have called upon my services. But I was unprepared for the scene upon my arrival. There were barricades around the hotel entrance and a large police presence. Not the usual police, these had the big guns and riot gear. Groan, how would I ever get into the hotel? I never suspected they were there to protect my client! I did not even know the client’s name – yet. The one thing I did have was the room number.

Stopped at the security perimeter, I was asked my business at the hotel. I explained that I was a Notary Public with an appointment to go to room xxx to notarize a document. Someone in plain clothes is called over by the uniformed officer. That person talks into a device, and a moment later I am cleared past the outer barrier. The polite person follows me into the lobby. “I will need to inspect your bag” – fine, it’s just notary supplies. A very detailed search is made. “To go to room xxx I will need to search your person”, “it will be a very complete search of your body, do I have your permission to search you?” – “do you have any weapons?” – I have no weapons, go ahead. I am taken to a small room off the lobby. The agent proceeds to very thoroughly search me, hat to shoes; making sure there is nothing anywhere on my person that is a weapon.

After the search I am escorted to the door of room xxx. Behind the door is a bank of computers and a full staff busy at work. I am taken to a desk and told to wait. A few minutes later the aide who initially called me hands me my fee (again) – this time in cash. I reply that my fee has already been paid. This is extra for the delays in granting your clearance. We also ask that you do not disclose to anyone who you will be notarizing or the nature of the document. I agree, and am asked to sign a non-disclosure document; I read it and sign it.

A few minutes later in walks a person wanting to become President of the United States. That person gives me a warm greeting and actually asks if I would like some coffee! I decline citing that it’s bad procedure to have liquids on the same table as documents. A warm smile and a chuckle – followed by “of course, that’s a good policy”. The notarization proceeds in a routine manner with ID, signing, oath and notarization (with embossing). Afterward, the aide hands me a paper cup of coffee and walks me out past the security screen. That’s all I can say.

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May 6, 2017

Snap Docs, who and what is it?

Filed under: Carmen Towles — Tags: — admin @ 10:08 am

Frequently, I get questions about Snap Doc’s. Many ask, who are they? What do they do? How much do they pay? How do I sign up? How did I get into their data base, I never signed up? and so on.

For the most part quite a few notaries think they are a signing service and that they hire notaries. This is not the case. SnapDocs is a platform. It is a website designed for ‘signing services’ to use to streamline the notary hiring process. Snap Docs relies on signing services to signup and pay to use their database of notaries. Word is that fees for the signing companies range between 8 and 15 dollars. If you are a notary you can signup for free and upload your credentials which are verified by Snap Docs for authenticity. Once this process is complete your profile is viewable by hiring parties when they have a signing in your area. Sounds good, but in my opinion, there is several problems with this platform. Many of the signing services that use the site have some of the worst reputations in the industry regarding fees being offered for signings and receipt of payment takes a very long time (if they even pay you and Snap Doc’s will not help you collect if they don’t). It also seems the signing services are passing the cost off to the notaries because the fees offered are at an all time low. There is another concern. When a job is offered, it is offered to several folks via text usually all at one time and the text has very little detail regarding the signing. So you may not know what you are getting yourself into. Also, most notaries don’t like job request via text because if they are driving it is inconvenient and dangerous. I personally consider these ‘cattle calls’. Most of these companies are looking for the cheapest notaries and because they text many notaries at one time, whomever accepts the low fee first gets the job. It may be convenient for them but it is really inconvenient for us notaries in so many ways. Gone are the days when folks want experience. Its about how low can you go.

Another concern voiced by many notaries is that they never signed up but don’t know how they got on the sites database. Some have suggested that Snap Doc’s has gone onto sites like 123notary.com, notary rotary, and others and added notaries without their knowledge or permission. Another complaint (and a serious one in my opinion) is that they have a secret review system for the signing companies to be able to rate notaries without the notaries ability to view the comments or rating about them. In other words it is ‘for signing services eyes only’. I’ve been told that its uses a ‘thumbs up or thumbs down’ rating system for notaries that translates into a percentage. The worst part is, you don’t have any way to defend yourself from any negative feedback; truthful or not. I guess we weren’t even supposed to know that the review system even existed. I guess they didn’t realize that the signing services, many being notaries themselves would let the ‘cat out of the bag’ and let us know that the services had this ability to rate us. Many notaries have expressed anger and disbelief that this was not disclosed. And several have been asked to be removed. I personally think that this may be illegal. Some of you that are attorneys or have legal aid might want to weigh in on this.

I had personally signed myself up awhile back to see if it generated any decent work but the annoying texts with the low ball fees drove me crazy. For example; 60.00 for edocs docs and faxbacks, seemed to be the norm. These fees are insulting to say the least. So I asked Sap Doc’s to delete my account immediately and they did. I made the decision to stop working with anybody that doesn’t value my level of experience. I primarily only accept jobs from reputable companies, especially title and escrow. And just so you know, they STILL do call and use notary signing agents. I am living proof!

I’d love to here your experience with Snap Doc’s. Leave them in the comments section!

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May 2, 2017

The Ultimate Recipient

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — admin @ 8:39 am

The ultimate recipient of a document is the most authoritative person regarding the issue of document acceptability. Often the UR is the last person to receive the notarized document. Why bring this up? You might want to add the term UR to your notary lexicon. The remainder of this installment will discuss why, and a few examples will be used to illustrate the value of UR.

I wish I had a buck for every time I have spoken: “I do not have either the authority or the knowledge to answer your question”. The public generally has IMHO a high regard for notaries. The use of oath, rubber stamp and embosser presents a positive image. We have the “keys” to making (in their minds) something “official”. And, that’s not far from the truth. A notarized sworn (oops a redundancy) statement is generally admissible as evidence in a court of law without the affiant being present. Your jurisdiction rules may vary from my generality.

So, with our authoritative image, many view us as lawyers, albeit “junior grade”. Of course the primary sin of “playing lawyer” is something we all know to avoid. But, when the client is asking a “reasonable” (to them) question; how best to answer when: A) you don’t know and/or B) you are not permitted to answer. This installment of my scribbles will focus on frequently asked question: “Will this do what I want?”.

In many respects it’s a difficult, perhaps silly question. Generally, we don’t read the document that is to be notarized. Thus, we do not know its content; nor the desired results. It is certain that we do not know the ultimate recipient who will pass judgment on acceptability for purpose.

When I receive these questions I refer them to contacting the UR, making sure to explicitly define the UR. Often the document will go to a preliminary person. Case in point: One of my Apostille clients asked: “Will this deed allow the sale of my property in New South Wales?” It was good that they knew an Apostille would probably be required for use of a USA notarized document in NSW. But, I am being asked to pass judgment on the content! That’s clearly “playing lawyer”, a big no no. So, a bit of “education” is called for with a bit of advice.

In this case the NY attorney created a standard deed. It would have been fine in NY. But, NSW has different required verbiage. Advising my client to “ask your attorney” is not, IMHO the right answer – though it certainly is both safe and valid. Better is to discuss the concept of the UR. ONLY that person makes the accept / reject decision. I did not offer to do the research, but advised my client to find the UR, be it a Judge or their equivalent of our County Clerk.

Once the UR is located, FAX a copy of the document to them, and follow up with a phone call. Do not discuss a document you are holding that they cannot see. Honor their time, make it easy for the UR to work with you. My client followed my suggestions. Regrettably, the NY attorney created document, and its related Apostille were useless. This time the client was not at fault; their attorney should have prepared a NSW formatted document.

My client paid again for Apostille Processing; but, was delighted with the situation. Much time would have been lost had the improper document been shipped to NSW. By explaining that no one other than the UR can give the definitive yes/no decision – I now have a very loyal client.

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April 18, 2017

What lies beneath (your Notary stamp)

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — admin @ 8:11 am

What Lies Beneath (Your Notary Stamp)
Most of us probably use a self inking notary stamp. That’s the one with the little ink pad that slides out to be re-inked or replaced. Which to do? Re-inking is cheaper, but, eventually; after many uses the stamp pad takes an impression. The die does not contact the pad enough to transfer the ink. Re-inking is OK for a while, but it is not a lifetime solution – buy a few replacement pads. But, as oft the case – I digress.

Having digressed on one thing my reader expects me to digress again. So…… I won’t disappoint. Did you, take out the inkpad and clean the rubber die – in the last year? Please do so. I use an old toothbrush (a soft one) with a few drops of Dawn dishwashing detergent. It’s good enough to clean the oil off of ducks, so it probably won’t irritate you or your precious stamp die. Wait an hour for everything to dry prior to reassembly.

OK reader, I’ve blathered on long enough. Now, to the title issue. But first a side note about Jeremy. He gripes and complains (to me!) often that the title of my articles do not let him “at a glance” know what the blog entry is about. Just to drive him extra nuts (as if he was not nutty enough already) – I added, the two somewhat re/un related paragraphs above. Perhaps our fearless leader will count this as a third irritating paragraph also!

So, without further ado (whatever that is) let’s think about “what lies beneath” the document you are about to stamp. Most of the time it is either other paperwork, or the table top. Both are relevant to making a proper image with your stamper. Yes, it is a rather mundane aspect of notarization. However, many are the loan packages that admonish you to affix a clear and readable stamp. In addition to you personally, that thousandth of a penny bit of ink must also “make a good impression”.

Stamping on a pile of paper is often the case, especially when they only provide to you a 9 X 12 inch area for your “workplace”. You need a “flat and level” area beneath the target location. The documents under the one you are about to stamp might not meet that requirement. Are there paperclips or those annoying little stickers on the pages below? If so your stamp will not image perfectly. If it’s a “piggy” the pile of paper will be somewhat “spongy”, and retract (compress) from the force of the stamp. The pile might also be irregular due to interspersed letter and legal pages. OK, you got it – you need to make sure the target is flat and even when working atop a pile of documents.

I prefer to work on the table top – if it qualifies, or can be made to qualify. Glass or smooth plastic is “almost” always great. Wood can have “grain” and provide an irregular surface. You will quickly find that irregular spot. It lies directly beneath where the year of your commission expiration date “would” have stamped clearly. But, alas, the last two digits of the year are not readable because there was a “dip” in the wood – exactly in the wrong place. You certainly would not attempt to stamp with the page laying on a concrete surface – far too rough. Sure, that’s obvious – but is the table you have under the page really smooth?

The solution is simple. You already have your “work order” and perhaps a printout of a map to the location. Those are “scrap” paper. Select what “appears” to be a good “stamping surface” and place (face down) two or three sheets of your scrap paper. Place the document to be stamped on your scrap paper and stamp. You are not working “on the pile” nor directly on the tabletop. Even a great looking glass table may have a tiny chip or two – and rest assured your stamp image would line up with that flaw.

Thus, even with a well maintained stamper, it’s possible due to environmental conditions to make a crappy impression. Call that “the mark of the Rookie”. My well seasoned (Tabasco Sauce?) readers probably know all of the above. The issue here is to put “best practices” into play – each and every (redundant) time. I know that you know all of the wordy ranting above. It is my hope that dwelling upon what you already know will remind you to “do the right thing” – and leave a clear readable stamp every time. Yes, it takes a few more moments of effort to ensure perfection, however it is those perfectionists that get the repeat calls.

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April 13, 2017

The Power of Attorney was Rejected

Filed under: Ken Edelstein,Popular on Facebook (shares) — Tags: — admin @ 9:15 pm

Booking the Job
It’s all too common for the public to think of notaries as being sources of free legal advice. “But you know so much more about these things than we do”. And, more to the point: “Will this Power of Attorney allow me to access the safe deposit box?” The first statement was flattery, hoping to “open the notary up a little”, the second an invitation for you to provide a legal opinion. I keep reflecting on the words of the Chief Clerk at the New York County Clerk office. “You check the ID, give an oath, and notarize nothing more”. Foolishly, I asked a “can I also” question. “If you don’t understand – nothing more – perhaps you should hand in your commission now”.

Recalling the stern admonition from the Chief Clerk, I tell my client that I am not permitted to answer their question. What I can do is check the Power of Attorney to see that the Principal, Agent, Monitor and Successor Agent areas are completed correctly. I can also check to see if specific powers were initialed correctly. As a professional notary, I add embossing to each notarization, a requirement for use in some jurisdictions and courts. Of course my clients blithely ignore my words. They again ask: “Will this Power of Attorney allow me to access the safe deposit box?”

The question falls under the “suitability for use” category. Will what I have do what I want? My consistent answer is first “I don’t know” and second: Only the ultimate recipient is able to answer that question. That entity, be it person or organization makes that decision. I can proceed now to notarize the Principal and the Agent (there were no Monitors or Successor Agents). Or, you can submit the blank Power of Attorney form to the “ultimate recipient” and ask them if your submission will accomplish the purpose you intend. As is usually the case; my client did decide to go ahead with the Power of Attorney they downloaded from the Internet.

Processing the Job
Fee was collected prior to meeting in the reception area of the prison. The incarcerated was to be the Principal, my client the Agent. I had mentioned the need for proper ID with my client; he showed me two driver licenses. One was his, the other for the prisoner. We proceed with the facility entry procedures; only carrying into the secure area the Power of Attorney and a pen. About an hour and a half later, Power of Attorney properly notarized for both Principal and Agent; after we retrieve personal property from the check-in lockers. They really don’t like an embosser going into the facility.

Aftermath (failure)
As related to me by my client: The safe deposit box clerk sent me to see an officer. Sorry, that form is not acceptable to the bank. We have our own Power of Attorney form and its use is required. I see you had it notarized, however, the wording does not meet bank requirements. Just a moment, here it is; this is the form you need to complete and have notarized. That clearly was not what my client wanted to hear. The prison is located two counties north of Manhattan.
So, what went wrong? As is often the case, there was blame enough for both of us. The client assumed a Power of Attorney is a Power of Attorney; any of them will do anything. I was only told that notarization of a Power of Attorney was required at an upstate prison. With my mind on the ID issue, I did not press for how the document would be used. It seems “a bit much” to ask the Agent what powers were to be granted by the Principal. I “could” have asked “how would it be used”? It ended up as a redo, I lowered to 2/3 fee; supposedly with the right Power of Attorney form, from the bank; all went well.

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March 28, 2017

Get the Special Jobs

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — admin @ 8:03 am

I have one scheduled for the end of this week. (I guess that is somewhat meaningless as you don’t know when this is being written). Sorry. A special job is one that is: different, high paying, and probably requires integrity, experience and problem solving skills. As to those three requirements; they are attributes shared by my Notary Public readers, and to a lesser extent: me. I communicate with many of my peers; the vast majorities are “by the book”.

Back to integrity, experience and problem solving skills. As Jeremy has often commented, most Notaries laud themselves highly in their notes section. They are writing their own “feedback” and not writing about themselves. Sure, experience counts; and you probably have a lot. But, stressing the trivial in a boastful manner is not the answer. “I have completed thirty thousand loan packages without missing a single initial.” When I read that I think “You’re about due”.

Integrity can be demonstrated or advertised. It’s most often demonstrated by what you write in your communications. Do you stress the need for proper ID? Though at first thought it sounds improper to purchase proof of your integrity – it makes sense to do so. You pay a fee to earn the equivalent of the “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval”. Most likely those with that seal had to pay for their product to be tested. Well, you want to “advertise” your integrity; so have yourself tested by NON-Notary based certification authorities. Your local Chamber of Commerce and the Better Business Bureau are obvious first choices. You’re not buying “integrity” – you are having your integrity checked and verified by already trusted authorities. To your prospective clients – if “they” say you are OK, “that’s good enough for me”.

My Special Job is about 50 miles away, more distant than I usually travel. It’s really a very simple assignment. I receive a package with a deed and a certified check. The deed gets notarized in the distant county (hmmmm, better be sure which it is) – and when that is completed the affiant gets the check. There can be no mistakes. Even though there is but one notarization, the distance puts it into the local area piggyback price range. I did suggest – yup – 123notary.com for a closer notary. Reply: I like your credentials.

This was not a repeat customer so there was no established trust. I was selected on the basis of my web site and my 123notary.com notes/reviews. By documenting qualifications, my client had no issue with “up front” PayPal; my requirement for any distant assignments. The client is paying over triple what an “unknown local notary” would charge. So I get to ride in the woods for a couple of hours, because he trusted the agencies that “vouched” for me.

Rock solid and reliable (in the mind of your prospective client) accreditations are what rings the bell. Take hiring a babysitter as an analogy. The baby is clearly more precious than any certified check. If at I-Baby-Sit.com there is the statement: no baby ever fell out the window or drank bleach in my care – would you want to hire them? Probably not. However, kudos from “name” associations that do more than collect a membership fee – that is what wins. Imagine yourself on “their” side. What would give you the confidence to prepay and trust a high dollar slightly unusual situation to a person you never met? Answer that, then apply it to yourself.

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March 14, 2017

Living Will vs Durable Medical Power of Attorney

Living Will vs Durable Medical Power of Attorney

NOMENCLATURES
The Living Will (LW), unlike a Last Will and Testament, takes effect immediately. The LW&T, is used when the Testator dies. The LW has no further function when the Principal dies.

The Durable Medical Power of Attorney (DMPA) is often referred to as a “health care proxy”. The DPMA is also called a “health care surrogate” as that position is what it creates. Durable, in the sense that it typically has no expiration date and continues when the Grantor is incapacitated.

SUMMARY
Typically used for serious illness and near end of life medical care decisions, both the LW and the DMPA are both unrelated to the disposition of assets. The LW is essentially instructions from the patient to the doctor(s) and hospital staff as to the patient’s wishes. With the LW the patient is directly expressing desired care. With the DMPA the patient is granting decision making power to someone else.

POSSIBLE CONFLICT
It is possible for both a LW and a DPMA to be active at the same time. If the health care surrogate has a different opinion from that expressed in the LW it probably becomes a very complex issue to resolve.

THE LIVING WILL
The LW expresses your “will” or desire how to be treated while you are living. It is often used to reject life-sustaining treatments when terminally ill. These treatments often include intravenous feeding of food and water, heart-lung machines, ventilators, etc. When there is no detectable brain activity, and the body alone is being sustained, artificially; some prefer to terminate their existence. Note that the LW will not affect routine medical treatments. Prior to the discontinuation of “life support” two doctors are usually required to make the determination that the outlook for recovery is virtually non-existent. Key point: the LW does not change any pain or routine treatment for non life-threatening medical conditions.

THE DURABLE MEDICAL POWER OF ATTORNEY
The surrogate comes into power under this document only when the patient is unconscious or not legally able to make decisions on their behalf. More commonly called a Health Care Proxy, this POA often allows for successor agents, the same as a routine Power of Attorney. This form may be statutory or must be drafted by an attorney. The DMPA lets the physician know who is authorized to “make the call”; as the relatives may have a variety of opinions, and sometimes their own agenda.

NOTARY CONSIDERATIONS
This is an area where the more notarizations the better. Both documents are “human life” and “estate” related; and, for some, timing is everything. Obviously the author and any witnesses should be notarized. As “state of mind” is often an issue; the patients doctor, if possible should add a “sound mind” witness statement. If the documents are prepared well in advance of hospitalization, the attorney can also add a similar statement, also notarized. This is a highly emotionally charged situation. Great care must be taken to be sure names are printed legibly and your work is flawless. Witnesses should be totally unrelated, have no interest in the estate or payment of medical bills. These documents call for empathy, attention to detail, and very strict adherence to local governing laws.

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