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October 27, 2018

All Mortgage fraud is investigated by the FBI

Filed under: Popular on Twitter,Technical & Legal — Tags: , , — admin @ 10:17 am

The FBI is federal and your state is local. So, if your state doesn’t require a journal, you notarize a fraudulent mortgage, and then get investigated, then the feds will be investigating you. If you don’t keep a journal which is your only evidence that showed who you notarized, you will have no evidence.

Additionally if someone copies your seal and impersonates you, and you don’t keep a journal, you will have no proof or way of knowing if you were the one who notarized the transaction or whether an imposter did. These are some of the many reasons you need a journal. The excuse, “My state doesn’t require a journal.” Might not cut it with a Federal agency, because a Federal agency goes by Federal guidelines not the backwards rules of your state.

The FBI can name you as a suspect and if you don’t keep a journal it looks like you are doing a cover up for fraud and are in cahoots with the Lender. It looks like you are hiding evidence.

Additionally, the FBI needs forensic or biometric evidence. Texas and Florida discourage or prohibit taking such evidence. If you show the FBI a line in your journal that has a fake name, fake ID serial number, fake address and fake signature, how will this help the FBI catch anyone? Try to think from their perspective. They are trying to catch people who are ruining dozens or hundreds of peoples’ lives. If you are a concerned citizen, you might try really thinking hard about this. Taking journal thumbprints is a foolproof way to identify signers. Whether you do this or not is something I cannot advise, but there are serious consequences to not keeping thumbprints — consequences for the safety of society.

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You might also like:

Penalties for Notary misconduct, fraud and failure of duty
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21315

Notary loses $4000 in legal fees because fraud adds name to acknowledgment
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19477

My stolen identity and the fraudulent notary seal
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20753

Fraud – The 30 point course discusses this issue
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14514

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May 1, 2018

Letter to California Notary Division

Filed under: California_Notary,Popular on Facebook (very) — Tags: — admin @ 10:46 am

Dear California Notary Division,
I am someone who runs a Notary directory and is acutely aware of the deficiencies in Notary knowledge throughout the state and the nation. California Notaries are better than those in other states on average due to the excellent training, but the training does not cover practical aspects of the Notary profession. Additionally, there are issues with fees that need to be addressed.

PRETRAINING
As there are so many ethical violations out there among California Notaries, and misunderstanding of Notary law, it is clear that a longer and more comprehensive notary training is necessary. However, I also think that due to the incompetence out there, a few other pre-measures should be taken.

1. A IQ test should be administer to applicants. It can be a ten minute quiz. Notaries with low intelligence often bungle and misinterpret Notary laws which can lead to illegal activity and wrongful explanations to clients of what can and cannot be legally done.

2. A meticulousness test should be administered to Notaries to see if they can be orderly about conducting tasks which require multiple steps. Being a good Notary means filling out journals and forms correctly in their entirety, and a meticulous person is less likely to make errors. The majority of your Notaries are far from meticulous.

3. Following directions and ethics are some other problems that are common with California Notaries. How you test this is hard. You have to find a way to trick them into doing something right or wrong while they are being watched.

4. Preference to those with clerical, police, military, legal, mortgage, or settlement backgrounds might help attract better quality Notaries as those are professions that are normally high in terms of integrity, and clerical skills which are both critical in the Notary profession.

TRAINING
A single day course on Notary Public knowledge is not enough. California stresses theoretical knowledge and does not test on hands on aspects of being a Notary. When a Notary is out there in the field, they need to know how to handle various types if situations. Here are my detailed comments.

1. Oaths & Affirmations
Administer Oaths correctly and roughly half of Notaries in California do not administer Oaths at all, or not in a relevant and acceptable way. Here are some examples of irrelevant or wishy-washy Oaths.

(a) Many Notaries have the signer to swear to their personal identity rather than to the truthfulness of the document.
(b) Many Notaries make the signer swear they signed the document but not to the truthfulness of the document.
(c) It is common for Notaries use Affirm in an Oath when they should ideally use the verb swear.
(d) Many Notaries do not understand the term “administer” in the sentence “Administer an Oath to an Affiant.”
(e) Many Notaries use a court Oath for a witness asking if they swear to the truth, whole truth and nothing but the truth when the document does not necessarily reflect a whole truth.
(f) It is common for Notaries not to mention the document being sworn to when administering an Oath, hence administering an Oath that is regarding thin air.
(g) Most Notaries do not know the difference between a court Oath for a witness, a document Oath and an Oath for a statement that has not been made yet.
(h) Notaries need to be taught asking “Oath questions,” such as, “Do you solemnly swear this document is true and correct?” or “Do you solemnly swear that the statement you are about to make is true and correct?” Many Notaries will ask the Oath question about the statement, get a yes, and then not have the Affiant make the actual statement. This is why an IQ test should be mandatory and a result of 95 or higher should be required. Most of the problems I have with Notaries arises from low IQ’s and bad attitudes.

The handbook makes it clear that an Affiant must swear to the truthfulness of a document. However, there is no prescribed wording or guidelines. My solution is to have prescribed components of Oaths, but no official verbiage just to keep life flexible. At a minimum, in an Oath, the Affiant must use the word “I”, and then the word “swear”, mention the foregoing document, and make reference to the fact that they feel the document is authentic or correct. Using “affirm” was asked to administer an Oath means that the Notary has overided the client’s request to have an Oath which means that the Notary chose the notary act instead of letting the entity who is paying or swearing.

2. Fill out their journal correctly
Many Notaries are unclear as to how many journal entries should be filled out if there are multiple signers signing multiple documents. The 2018 handbook does not make it clear HOW MANY journal entries are necessary if there are multiple documents per signer all using the same Notary act. This should be clarified as it is an area of common misunderstanding. One journal entry per person per document is how I was trained. Additionally, the use of arrows for repetitive information in appointments with multiple documents per signer are discouraged now from what I have heard, but the handbook does not mention this. There needs to be a SINGLE SOURCE of notary law information and that source should be the handbook and not some bulletin or blog article or other supplemental sources (although those can help teach the materials in the handbook.)

3. Understand the components of notary forms including the “Additional information” section of an Acknowledgment which might not be legally required, but deters fraud by making it very detectable if someone swaps an Acknowledgment and puts it on a different document than what was intended.

4. Many Notaries do not understand how to handle requests that are illegal or seem illegal. Many Notaries will accept illegal requests while declining acceptable requests. This is due to poor training. So, training needs to focus on handling questionable requests. Many Notaries feel it is illegal to EXPLAIN the various notary acts to clients while it is not. It is illegal to choose for them, but not to explain them as far as I know.

5. Foreign language signers are an area of misunderstanding as many Notaries are not aware that they are NOT required to understand the content of the document but ARE required to have direct communication with the signer/affiant.

6. Many Notaries are unaware that the ID does not have to exactly match the name on the document but must PROVE the name on the document. Many Notaries take liberties and will Notarize a signature that says John W Smith with an ID that says John Smith, etc. It is common for Notaries to refer to the “more than but not less than rule” which is a rule created for Title companies and not a law which states that the signer can over sign their name to include more middle initials or names, etc. However, the Notaries who remember this law often do not care if it is legal to notarize a name that is over signed. It is not clear whether you can notarized John W Smith as John Smith if the ID says only John Smith. This is another common occurrence that needs to be clarified.

7. Credible Witness law is a little bit complicated and perhaps should be simplified. Most Notaries are unaware that the handbook states that the credible witness is the entity who has to swear to the fact that he/she believes that the signer cannot easily obtain an ID. Since the Notary has OFTEN seen an ID with the wrong name on it, how can the Notary ACCEPT an Oath from a credible witness that the Notary knows to be based on false information or made fraudulently regarding how the signer cannot find an ID? This law about CW is convoluted and a source of a lot of trouble. Close to NONE of your Notaries would be able to recite these laws by memory. Therefor, I suggest simplifying it because most notaries cannot learn it properly and the CW rules are convoluted and make no sense. Here is my idea of a better set of rules.

(a) A Notary can use the Oaths of two credible witnesses to identify a signer.
(b) The credible witnesses must either be immediate family members or know the signer intimately enough so they know his/her middle names without being reminded. (The law for how well you have to know the signer to be a CW is convoluted, wishy-washy, and useless currently.)
(c) The Oath for the credible witness should be, “I solemnly swear that the signer in front of me is legally named _____.”
(d) A CW can be used regardless of whether the signer has ID or not as names on ID do not always reflect the whole, complete or current name of a signer.
(e) A journal thumbprint must accompany all Notary acts done involving credible witnesses.
(f) The CW must not have any beneficial or financial interest in the document being signed.

8. Acknowledgment confusion.
(a) Box at top of page
Many Notaries get confused by the information in the box at the top of an Acknowledgment. Many Notaries feel that the signer does not have to verify the validity of the document where it says clearly that the Notary does not have to. It is better to clarify this point as many Notaries are lacking the gift of logical thinking which can cause a lot of confusion.
(b) Perjury clause in Acknowledgments
Many Notaries feel that the signer is signing under the penalty of perjury in an Acknowledgment where it is clear that it is the Notary who is filling out the form correctly under the penalty of perjury. This point is widely misunderstood and needs to be elaborated since there are so many who cannot think logically about this point.
(c) Notaries are often unclear about whether the signer has to sign in their presence. Since the signer must personally appear, Notaries misinterpret this to mean that the signer must sign while they personally appear which is not true in California. The signer can sign ten years ago, but cannot be notarized until they appear.
(d) Notaries are often unclear about who is acknowledging what in an acknowledgment. Many thing that the Notary is acknowledging that a signature is correct. This is not true. The signer needs to acknowledge that they signed a document in the presence of the Notary. This point needs to be clarified for your notaries because there is too much confusion and misinterpretation going on out there.
(e) The additional optional information on NNA forms should be REQUIRED by law on loose certificates as it deters the fraudulent switching of acknowledgments to other documents by virtue that it identifies the name of the document, number of pages, document date, signers, and more…

9. Chain of Authority.
Many Notaries work with Title companies regularly and think of the Title companies as their boss. Wrong! The state is not exactly their boss, but is the entity they have to refer to if there is a legal question. It is common for Notaries to ask Lenders and Title what they can and cannot do as a Notary. This is wrong. They will get either a wrong answer or an answer that benefits the Lender or Title both of whom have beneficial and financial interest in the documents being Notaries. This point needs to be drummed into the Notaries heads. The State of California should ideally have a Notary hotline because there are so many times when Notaries have questions about what they can and cannot do, and often late at night when help is not available. The point of a Notary is to ensure the integrity of transactions done involving signed documents. If the Notary cannot find out what the law says, then the notarization will not have any integrity. This is a very serious issue.

10. Hands On Training
Notaries take a written exam, but this is not really as important as practical matters. What is important is to have someone do hands on training and testing to see if the Notary can fill out forms, journals, administer Oaths, take thumbprints, use credible witnesses, and decipher between legal and illegal requests. A written test cannot do this.

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SUMMARY

1. Notary training should be two, three or four days long for new Notaries with a refresher every year to keep everyone serious.

2. Notaries should be trained by hand to see if they can handle requests, explain terminology and fill out forms, etc.

3. Notaries need to be audited regularly. Not only journal auditing which you are already doing (super!!!) Auditing people by pretending to be customers and asking them to do Oaths, or asking them if such and such a notarization would be legal under particular circumstances will let you know which of your Notaries are acceptable and which are criminals. It takes work, but you are a prudent organization that values integrity and I believe you will do the work.

Thanks
Sincerely,
Jeremy Belmont
123notary manager

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You might also like:

Letter to Florida Notary Division
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19896

Logic errors can cost you as a notary
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20110

Letter to Trump about the sad condition of American Notaries
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19403

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March 26, 2018

Notary Marketing 102 — Contents

In our blog, we have many educational articles as well as marketing help and entertainment. We have written extensively on Notary marketing, including a few comprehensive articles. But, this time, I am creating a free mini-course on marketing which is designed to be a lot more thorough than anything I have ever written before on the blog. Below are the contents:

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1. Notary Education — http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19771

2. Notary Advertising — http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19738

3. Notary Profiles — http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19754

4. Notes Sections — http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19788

5. Notary Reviews — http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19760

6. Certifications — http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19762

7. Phone Etiquette — http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19764

8. Negotiating fees — http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19784

9. Promoting Yourself — http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19778

10. Pricing — http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19781

11. Getting Paid — http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19794

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Please also read

Best marketing resources for Notaries. This was written long time ago and is a good reference.
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16322

A comprehensive guide to Notary organizations
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=17088

Notary Public 101 — a free resource for learning notary procedure from A to Z.
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19493

Signing Agent Best Practices: 63 points
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4315

The 30 Point Loan Signing Course
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14233

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January 31, 2018

What types of questions should we be asking Notaries?

Filed under: Etiquette,Popular on Facebook (A little) — admin @ 11:12 am

I know I know — since you are paying me, therefore you can commit bloody murder and I should not even utter one word about it. But, that is not true. If you do bad service for our users, then you are causing damages to my business – so your knowledge level and performance is my business! But, once again, we ask Notaries questions routinely, but what should we be asking?

Questions about following directions
Questions regarding tricky scenarios
Notary technical questions including certificates, oaths, journals, rules, identification
Document related questions
Higher level complicated questions that we only ask for the elite.

Do you guys have suggestions for what matters to you if you work in title? What do you think I should ask? What do you ask Notaries when you hire them? I strongly recommend asking a few questions to see if the Notary is a dimwit or is capable of thinking and communicating clearly (a rarity.)

Your input is valued. Thanks.

You might also like:

Notary Aptitude Test
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15853

Notary Aptitude Test 2
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=17065

Notary Quiz of the Day
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21266

Notary Jeopardy
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14557

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January 26, 2018

The new acknowledgment form for transgender people

Filed under: Humorous Posts,Popular on Facebook (very) — admin @ 11:28 am

With all of this politically correct nonsense going on, there will soon be an official change to Notary paperwork so that the LGBT community’s needs will be represented. The current form (I made this up) says:

On (date), before me (name of notary) personally appeared (name of signer) who proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence to be the person who’s name is subscribed in the within instrument, and acknowledged to me that he/she/they executed the same in their his/her/their authorized capacity(ies), and by his/her/their seal on the instrument, the person(s) acted and executed the instrument.

But, as of January 1st, 2019, the new form will read.

On (date), before me (name of Notary) personally appeared (name of signer) who proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence to be the person who’s name is subscribed in the within instrument and acknowledged to me that

(he/she/he who used to be a she/she who used to be a he/he who dresses like a she/she who dresses like a he/T/they)
executed the same in his/her/it’s complicated/their authorized capacity(ies), and by his/her/unclear/it’s/their seal on the instrument, the person(s) acted and executed the instrument.

Additional information
The signer’s “assigned” gender is male/female
The signer’s “current” gender is male/female/ambiguous/depends on how long the line is to the bathroom
The gender indicated on the identification is male/female
The sex change or change in dress happened before/after when the ID was issued.

On a brighter note, I had lamb with shishito peppers. I asked the waitress if shishitos had genders. The male could be a he-shito, and the female a she-shito. She said it didn’t work like that. I told her that was for the best, because what if we got a transgender-shito? That would be confusing.

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You might also like:

Who does what in an Acknowledgment?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20108

Millennial Notaries and gender roles
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22535

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January 12, 2018

Notary Jail

Filed under: Best Humorous Posts,Humorous Posts,Popular on Facebook (very) — Tags: — admin @ 12:00 pm

WARDEN: Welcome to Notary Jail — Don’t drop the embosser!
It’s time for mug shots. Turn to the right and say “scilicit” — that’s a notary term. You would know that if you read your Notary handbook. And by the way, selling your notary seal on eBay, was it really worth it?

NOTARY: Hey, I got paid $800 for it. I was in a pinch and needed the money.

WARDEN: Well you won’t have to worry about being behind on rent here!

I think that I am the first person to come up with this concept. Notary jail. Where Notaries go when they’ve been bad. But, most Notaries have been bad, they just didn’t get caught because their secretary of state’s don’t bother to enforce a single law. What is the point of having laws if you don’t enforce them?

Oath Omissions
If you forget to administer an Oath you should be sent to Notary jail and get booked. The first thing they will do is thumbprint you in their journal. Then, they will ask you if you take journal thumbprints. If you say, “My state doesn’t require that.” Then they will put you in solitary confinement. After all, an innocent person could be scammed out of everything they own and the culprit could run free simply because you didn’t take a thumbprint.

ID-ing
If you didn’t ID someone correctly, then a cell in the insane ward would be in order. Since you let John Smith sign as John W Smith, you will also not mind being around five people who are sure that they are Abraham Lincoln.

Loose Certificates
And then there are the people who don’t fill in certificates properly or send loose certificates in the mail. Tisk tisk. The staff at Notary jail will goof on your jail paperwork if you do that and you’ll be in for a long time.

Jail Food?
Oh, and the food at Notary jail? Embossed flat bread sandwiches. You get that nice raised seal embossed pattern on every bite. Then they have a breakfast cereal called frosted mini-seals. Oh, and one more thing. They have soap shaped like a Notary seal. But, don’t drop the soap (or don’t drop the seal.)

Entertainment at Notary jail involves watching television documentaries on the notary profession and NNA how to materials. When they run out of sleeping pills, they have written Notary materials for you to study. The yard outside is shaped like a giant notary seal. You get an hour of outside time per day.

Notary Questions
And if they ask Notary questions in Notary jail, don’t talk back to the guards like you normally do to Jeremy. Just answer questions the way they were asked and you might get time off for good behavior.

Conclusion
In real life, the Notaries who end up in jail are those who committed fraud involving real property. Trying to steal someone’s property and put it in someone else’s name using your Notary commission is the worst crime you can commit.

Then there are the cases where fraud happens that is not the Notary’s fault. Perhaps if the Notary had been more careful filling out the certificates or journal entries it would be easier to prove what happened. But, in such cases, the notary ends up in court, not jail.

If you do end up in Notary jail, you might bump into a few of your Mortgage Broker clients. On the other hand, they have their own jail — Mortgage Jail.

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Can a Notary go to jail for Notary fraud?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21353

Putting jails and hospitals into your notes section
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19266

Go to jail but DO collect $100
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15361

Find a notary who goes to Twin Towers Jail and other Los Angeles Prisons
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21349

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January 1, 2018

Following directions is more important than you think

Filed under: Best Practices,Popular on Linked In — admin @ 3:55 am

We quiz people on all types of topics ranging from Notary questions, loan signing questions, to situational questions and following directions. The problem is that only 50% of our seasoned Notaries follow directions and the newer ones only about 25%. These are not good odds if you have something to lose.

People who use 123notary are often title companies or brokers who could lose thousands in commissions or fees if you goof on their loan. Knowing what you are doing (not claiming to know what you are doing but actually knowing) is part of the equation. But, following directions is the other part. Many Notaries just ignore what you say and do what they normally do rather than following directions.

I have two recent stories of brokers who lost large amounts of money because the Notary did not follow directions. One lost $5000 because the Notary did not show the pages in the order he was instructed to. The result was that by the time the signer got to the document that the broker needed signed to get a commission, he no longer wanted to sign. In another case, a broker lost $3500 because the Notary did not follow directions about something else.

Then there are the Notaries who don’t bother to learn how to fill out a certificate form. If you forget to initial a change, the entire loan might be ruined or put on hold. I get so many complaints of Notary mistakes that it isn’t funny. Then there are the Notaries who do not fill out the additional information on a loose acknowledgment, and then the acknowledgment gets attached to a different document. Next thing you know you could end up in court.

So, sloppy work, incorrect work, and not following directions can get you in big trouble fast. Not keeping a good journal could also get you in trouble, but the trouble might not come for years. But, errors on certificates will get you in trouble fast!

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You might also like:

The Chad question about following directions
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20009

Marcy overlooks the instructions in the 30 point course
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14379

The green pen question revisited
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20146

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December 29, 2017

The Notary Union raises it’s rates and alienates its notaries!

Filed under: General Stories,Popular on Linked In — admin @ 11:05 am

Notaries who had joined the Notary Union did so to make their lives better. They were not getting enough work, and not getting paid enough. The union seemed like the only way. But, these Notaries were wrong.

A year after a few thousand Notaries joined the Notary and Signing Agent Union, the union started raising its fees to $600 per year. How were Notaries who were barely working going to afford $600 and also afford background screening and the yearly certification requirements from various agencies. It was just too much.

Additionally, the union set Notary prices so high at $100 per signing that many signing companies chose not to use the union. After all, most of the Notaries in the Union couldn’t even pass Jeremy’s easy test. How can Notaries who don’t follow directions, don’t communicate clearly and don’t even know the difference between an Affirmation and an Oath command such fees?

Notaries were dropping out of the union like flies (or like seals in an oil spill due to offshore drilling.) What was the solution? The problem is that most Notaries do not know how to handle situations and do not know Notary law that well either. The common excuse is that they know what they are doing if you put the documents in front of them. But, when I ask simple quesitons about what they are allowed or not allowed to do, the distinctions between what is legal, ethical, safe, or preferred by the Lender get blurred and this is very dangerous.

Meanwhile on 123notary, Elite Certified Notaries are getting monopoly on work. While the uncertified Notaries are not even trying to learn anything to pass this test. Unions won’t get you work — knowledge and the proof of knowledge will. Some people will pay more for skilled Notaries and those people use 123notary more than any other site. Pleasing them means taking your profession seriously and learning to communicate well.

Looking for shortcuts to success like market bending unions does not lead to success in the long run. It is temporary market manipulation and the long term results are evident in places like Ohio which is a burnt out shell of the once great American manufacturing empire.

In short — get ahead using knowledge and studying. Stop complaining and start mastering your trade. It’s not that hard.

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You might also like:

A Notary union — How would that work?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18878

State of the Notary industry union address
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16244

The Notary Plantation
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19937

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December 25, 2017

123notary’s certifications will get you more business than before

Filed under: Marketing Articles,Popular on Linked In — Tags: — admin @ 11:01 am

A certification is only as valuable as the knowledge it represents. In the past, I thought our certified members were great and did not need to be tested. Then, things changed and I found I was wrong. I had to remove certifications from many people’s listings. So, now there are fewer 123notary certified members. However, the ones that have the icon have a higher level of knowledge than before. Therefore, having our certification icon will get you a bigger advantage now than ever before.

All you have to do is actually know how to be a Notary, know your loan documents, and know how to handle situations. Being 123notary certified is pathetically easy. I am shocked how many people cannot pass our test. It is easy. Most people would rather fail in their career than study a few hours. Studying is not that hard, and this is much easier than studying for a real license. So, what is the problem.

In the old days, 123notary certificaiton would get you roughly 2.5x more business. Now, that I am cleaned up my cert icon and where I put it, it will logically get more than that. I would estimate it would get people 4x more business. However, I need to wait a few months before I get formal readings. In any case this is huge. You would be a fool not to have our icon. The studying involved is only a few hours. It won’t kill you.

Additionally, the Elite icon is being scrutinized. It is not so easy to get, but you can do it if you put your mind to it. Ask us how to get the elite icon. And if you don’t believe me then ask Santa (if he’s real.)

Also read – Compilation of certification posts

The ADD culture and notary marketing
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22309

He took Jeremy’s advice and got new title companies
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22277

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December 21, 2017

The Automatic Repayment Form

Filed under: Ken Edelstein,Popular on Linked In — admin @ 8:28 am

The Automatic Repayment Form
Many packages have this form. You have seen it dozens of times. It’s the one where the borrower is to enter their account information for automatic deduction monthly. IMHO there is only one field that must be completed: the signature of the borrower, and the date signed. Heads up reader; further down the page I will prove to you that, even though you write not a word on this form; you have been processing it “against the law” – honest.

Some borrowers hail this as a great convenience; others don’t like an “auto dip” into their account for any reason. Generally, and I have never seen one to the contrary, this is optional. In other words I have never seen acceptance of this arrangement as required for the loan to process. However, completion and acceptance “sometimes” is tied in with a deduction of cost to the borrower; therefore they should consider the option seriously.

In my experience, often the borrower does not have the “voided check or deposit slip” with them when we meet at a Starbucks; but still want the optional feature. Some technically savvy folks have all the information in their phone, others call a spouse. It’s not mandatory “at the table”, the information can be supplied at a later date to Title, LO, or bank.

Now to make good on my “against the law” issue. The pros who take the time to read blog entries to find a few grains of useful information are my audience. As a pro you are aware that if the borrower copy contains a Right to Cancel – the RTC in the borrower copy (in addition to the set returned) also needs to be completed. You do do that, right? Well, now I have in front of me a “Comical Bank – Automatic Transfer Services” form. At the very bottom it has “As required under Reg E, please provide a copy of the completed form to the customer”. Not having a copier with me I assume the borrower copy must be completed to meet that obscure requirement.

Then there are the “I don’t wanna” people. I stand with them – I just don’t like the autopay concept. The way I handle them is to request the sign and date – that proves that I did offer them the form. And also suggest to them (gasp! Is this legal advice?) that they write in big block letters the word DECLINE somewhere next to their signature. The “don’t want it” borrowers have not objected to this procedure when I explain my need to prove that the form was tendered.

If they want the feature – try to get, if possible the “fill in” information. Otherwise you are bouncing back to your employer the need to contact the borrower to complete the package. That is what they are paying you to do. Of course you remain neutral on the wisdom of accepting – your job is to offer the opportunity to “sign up”, not to pan it or to be an advocate. If the info is not available, a Post-It on the form with “Info not available at the table” is the best you can do.

The bank really really wants these automatic transfers; it saves them time and money. That is why they sometimes shave the interest rate or other cost – a clear benefit to the borrower. If you spot a financial incentive it’s worth mentioning to the borrower. That’s giving information the borrower can use to make their decision; again – present factually and impartially. It’s not a complex form. Doing your best to have it completed according to the borrower wishes is the goal.

You might also like:

Bounced Trustee Signing
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22490

Legality without integrity
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22339

Fix for – your phone stopped ringing
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21097

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