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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 identifcation is male/female
The sex change or change in dress happed 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

We are a notary directory and therefore should not discuss certain topics.
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20073

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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

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.)

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.

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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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November 15, 2017

The way you treat Jeremy might be the same way you treat Title

Many Notaries think they can be stubborn and difficult with me during our interactions. The fact is that I assume that if you are rude to me, that you will also be rude to title companies. Then the Notaries say that because they are paying me, they have the right to be rude to me. What an attitude! These are the same people who think they have the right to claim to know what they are doing when they don’t.

Then I talked to Jen who confirmed my theory. She had many title clients and she said that if a Notary is rude to me, they will be rude to others too. I was thinking that since Notaries get paid by title they will start out polite. But, if anything goes wrong, that the rudeness will come out fast.

My spiritual master says that if someone is rude to one person, then they are just rude and will eventually be rude to everybody. I have no way of proving this true. But, I have seen behaviors of friends who were hostile to strangers. This hostility came to me too, but not right away. I had to wait six years to see that hostility come back to me, but it came loud and clear.

So, if you see red flags, don’t discount those flags. They are real, and the consequences of the behavior is real too.

123notary is a directory that caters to Escrow and Title. We need professional Notaries who take their job seriously. Otherwise, the end users will get a bad impress of me, and I can’t afford that. So, treat me professionally, otherwise I will assume you are unprofessional towards everyone sooner or later.

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Bad customers are a pain in the liver
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20005

Why are older notaries so argumentative?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19579

Do you talk back to people?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20003

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

What are Jeremy’s favorite blog entries?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18837

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November 13, 2017

Notary loses $4000 in legal fees because fraud adds name to Acknowledgment certificate.

When I was a Notary and was handed some other Notary’s work, I normally saw that the he/she/they and capacity(ies) that needed cross outs did not have cross outs. By omitting the cross outs you cannot know if the signer is a single man, woman, or multiple people. California no longer allows Notaries to verify capacity which leaves one less thing to cross out.

If you as a Notary omit to cross out the she/they on an Acknowledgment for a single man, someone could add another name to the certificate and get away with it undetected. Notaries can be extremely negligent and don’t get caught — usually. But, I catch them by the dozen every day and penalize them on my site. I throw hundreds of Notaries off my site for failing my over the phone Notary quizzes. And others stay on the site but I deduct points from their point algorithm results which makes it very hard for them to upgrade. You might not take doing your job correctly seriously, but I do.

And then the Notaries who take their job seriously, but have been doing it wrong for 20 years and think that their work is flawless. I will catch you. I will expose many things you are not doing or are doing incorrectly. Better that I catch you rather than ending up in court with legal fees for not filling out forms correctly. Being a Notary is not rocket science. There is no reason for such negligence!

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Penalties for Notary misdeeds and misconduct
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2067

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

10 risks to being a Mobile Notary Public
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19459

The FBI is at your door and names you as a suspect!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20013

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November 1, 2017

Notary Public 101 — Real Life Notary Scenarios

Return to the table of contents of Notary Public 101

Knowing how to be a good notary is all fine and good. But, if you don’t know how to handle scenarios, you might get into some sticky situations.

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1. Confirming the signing
When you call the borrowers, go over the:
Date, Time, People Signing, Location, if there is a check or wired funds, if they have 90 minutes to complete a signing, and any fees that seem critical in the CD or HUD. Additionally, you should have them read the names in their ID to make sure they match, …read more…

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2. The name on the ID says John Smith
Q. The name on the ID is shorter or not matching the name on the document? What do you do?
A. Ask for other ID. If they don’t have it, if your state allows credible witnesses, use them to identify the signer. You can always… read more

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3. Rectify errors on Notary certificates
Most Notaries like to cross out and initial changes in certificates. Keep in mind that these are legal documents affecting million dollar properties. Cross-outs look like tampering. It is CLEANER to take a fresh acknowledgment form from your Notary bag … read more…

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4. The signer would not sign the flood disclosure.
If you go to a signing at 11am and the signer signs everything except the flood disclosure, what do you do? You call the contact person or people in title or lending. If they do not call you back, you cannot stay at the borrower’s house all day long. Let’s say you leave …read more…

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5. The green pen scenario
You go to a signing, open the package and the instructions read:
Sign in GREEN, don’t call unless it is an emergency, get it to Fedex on time or you are fired.
It is 5:30, last pick up is at 6:00pm. Nobody has a green pen. There is a stationery store in the same complex …read more…

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6. Ten grant deeds.
If you have one signer signing ten grant deeds, you need to do the following:
Create ten journal entries, one per person per document. Put thorough information about who the grantor and grantee is, a thumbprint, and …read more…

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7. The FBI is at your door.
What piece of information will they want from you if someone gave you a fake ID?
A journal thumbprint. If you don’t keep one, start now… read more…

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8. What types of pads of forms should a Notary keep in his/her bag?
Acknowledgments, Jurats, Copy Certifications. Skip the POA forms. Have them consult an Attorney. I carried permission for minors to travel. I created my own very thorough form with room for thumbprints. The Mexican authorities loved my form!… read more…

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9. Chad assigns a job to you. He says if there is a problem, call him and only him. If you can’t reach him, then email him. You get to the signing, the signer signs half the documents and then has a question. What do you do? Call Chad and if he doesn’t answer then email him. Many Notaries just don’t follow directions… read more…

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10. Frank does a loan signing on Monday and drops the package in the drop box at 3pm, calls in the tracking number and then wants to go camping. How many days should Frank wait before embarking on his camping trip and why? I think that Frank should wait until he confirms with the Lender that the package has been looked over in its entirety or… read more…

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11. What entities might want to see your Notary journal?
I have gotten in hundreds of arguments with notaries from states all over the county. Those who live in states where journals are not legally required think they will not get into trouble if they don’t have one. If you end up in court, your journal is your only evidence of what happened. You might become a witness for a long case or a defendant if … read more

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12. Hospital signing issues
Have you ever done a signing in a hospital? You should be prepared, because one day you might do it. There are many issues that come up in hospital signings. First of all, it is common to have to decline service because the signer has been medicated, or has lost their mind. As a Notary, you should be aware that you can easily be subpoenaed for hospital signings as it is common … read more

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13. How do you notarize a document with no signature line?
If you have been instructed to notarize a document that doesn’t have a signature line, that is a cross between a quandary and a conundrum. You cannot notarize a document without a signature. Notaries notarize signatures on documents, not documents, and especially … read more

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14. Sixteen year old Samantha calls a Notary to notarize an Affidavit for her mom who does not speak English. The Notary arrives only to find out that he/she cannot communicate directly with the signing who is the mother. Samantha offers to translate as she does that on a daily basis for her mom. What do you tell Samantha? In 49 states, direct ORAL communication with the client is required REGARDLESS of whether the document is in English, has been translated, or whether the Notary understands the document. You cannot use an oral translator except perhaps in Arizona (check AZ handbook for an accurate answer). Refer Samantha to find a Notary who speaks their language.

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15. John appears before you to sign a loan as an Attorney-in-Fact. He knows two verbiage variations for signing as an Attorney-in-Fact and wants to know which one to use. There are no written instructions. What do you do next? In this situation you have to call for instructions because POA verbiage is a matter of preference as there are eight legal verbiage variations for signing as an AIF. So, call the Lender or Title company in this case as the loan will not close if you did not use the verbiage of their choice!

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16. Credible Witnesses.
Jim appears before you to sign an Affidavit. But, he has no ID. What do you do? Many states allow for credible witnesses. Some states require two CW’s who must both know the signer while others allow for one that must know the notary and the signer. You can read up on your state specific rule on this convoluted subject of credible witnesses.

Also read – http://blog.123notary.com/?s=credible+witness

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17. Name two situations where you might need subscribing witnesses. Subscribing witnesses are witnesses that watch someone sign their name on a document. They are used for Proofs of Execution (look this one up in our Notary Acts section) and for Signatures by Mark or Signatures by X which is allowed in certain states (look up in our glossary.)

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18. The document is written in a language that the Notary does not understand. All states except for AZ require direct oral communication with the signer. However, written comprehension is a different ballgame and is very state specific. California only cares that the Notary notarizes the signature and doesn’t care if the Notary understands the document although the signer must understand what they are signing. However, other states can vary. Does your state require you to be able to read the language the document was written in? Look this one up in your handbook as we cannot help you in this matter because we don’t know!

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19. You have been instructed to notarize a form that does not have a certificate.
You are at a notarization and the instructions say, “Notarize this page.” However, there is no certificate wording on the page. What do you do now?

The Notary may not choose the Notary act as that might be construed as UPL. So, just ask the client or signer what act they want and then attach the corresponding certificate to the document. That’s all.

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20. Deeds of Reconveyence.
You go to a signing and one of the documents is a Deed of Reconveyance. Under the signature line has the word Trustee. Who is the Trustee, and do you notarize this document?

The Trustee is normally the Lender, but could also be the borrower if he has a company and is lending money to himself in another capacity. The Trustee could be anyone, so without specific instructions you should probably not have this form signed or notarized.

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October 26, 2017

My bad karma from testing people by phone

Ever since I have been bothering hundreds and thousands of Notaries by testing them by phone, I have had bad karmic consequences. All I want is quality control, and all I get is flack. I called more than 1000 Notaries to ask basic notary questions and document questions to see if they knew what they were doing. I got mostly complaining and wrong answers.

The results were that bad things kept happening to me.

The building maintenance guys came knocking on our door and insisted that the smoke detector was inspected. So, they decided to change it and now I am stuck with a much more attractive and shiny new smoke detector. What a bummer.

Next was that the building maintenance guys started knocking on our door again They claimed that our carpet was torn in the hall and that is was manditory that it was replaced. The next thing you know they put in this beautiful new carpet in our hall which doesn’t match the ugly beige carpet that has turned almost black from not being steam cleaned in a while. More bad luck.

Then, I went to New Mexico to receive the healing work of very benevolent shaman spirits who care for me. But, they did a little too much and now I wake up in the morning feeling ready to work for the first time in 33 years. No more sleeping late! I used to sleep until 1pm and could not fall asleep at night. That problem is over.

Next, a maintenance guy with a cocky attitude put new and beautiful caulk in my bathroom.

Then, another maintenance guy finally bolted my toilet down. It had been rocking for years.

And finally, maintenance finally fixed my squeeking door and greased the hinges.

Of all the bad luck. I guess that me fixing all of my Notaries (or kicking many of them off who are beyond help) is causing me to have the bad luck of other people fixing my broken things. But, what’s next? I can’t take this any more!

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You might also like:

The way you treat Jeremy might be the same way you treat Title
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19590

A follower with two masters
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19630

Why you don’t want to be a Notary in NW New Mexico
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18972

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October 17, 2017

Notary Public 101 — Basic Notary Acts

Return to table of contents for Notary Public 101.

BASIC NOTARY ACTS

Each state has a different list of official Notary acts. Some state handbooks don’t make it clear if certain actions are considered “official” notary acts or not. However, all states or the vast majority have Acknowledgments, Jurats, Oaths, and Affirmations. Many also have Protests and Proofs of Execution, while only a few have Witnessing, Attesting, immigration form filling, and depositions as acts. There are a few more acts I will not mention as they are obscure and very state specific. Let’s focus on the main acts that we will hold you responsible for knowing.

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

When I studied to be a Notary, my teacher said you Acknowledge a signature, Execute a Jurat and Administer an Oath. This is not true. The Notary is not the one who acknowledges a signature. The SIGNER acknowledges the signature and then the Notary CERTIFIES that the signer acknowledged the signature by virtue of filling out the Acknowledgment Certificate. Here are some basics on Acknowledgments.

1. The signer acknowledges having signed the document.

2. The signer must physically personally appear before the Notary for such an act.

3. The signer does NOT have to sign before the Notary according to most if not all states such as AK, IA, SC, SD, VT, and WV. Lenders might require the borrower to sign in the presence of the Notary, but that is a particular Lender’s standard and not necessarily a state standard or even a best practice.

4. The Notary must positively identify the signer using identification documents acceptable to their state which normally include Drivers Licenses, State issued identification photo ID’s, Passports, and Military ID’s. Other ID might be accepted on a state by state basis and you can look that up in your handbook. Also, see our section on identification.

5. The Notary should ideally keep a journal entry of all Notarial acts even if their state does not require this.

6. There should be Acknowledgment wording appropriate or acceptable to your state inscribed within the document, or you can attach a loose acknowledgment form with a staple.

7. After you fill out the certificate form, you sign and stamp the page (some states allow you to write in your seal information without a stamp.) Make sure your stamp is clear and not smudgy otherwise the county recorder has the right to reject the Notarization.

8. Note — some states require the Notary to ask the signer to attest to the fact that they signed in their own free will. Please be aware if your state has any unusual requirements or special wording on forms.

9. A California Notary faces many restrictions as to what type of out of state forms they can use. Please check the California Notary Handbook to see what you can accept and what you can’t otherwise you could get in trouble particularly if it is a recorded document.

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JURATS

Jurats are a Notary act where the signer or affiant by definition signs and swears (and/or sometimes affirms) before the Notary. Jurat wording differs from state to state. However, some basic verbiage includes the phrase, “Subscribed and sworn to before me.” What does this mean? This means that the document was signed in the physical presence of the Notary Public as well as sworn to before the Notary Public at the signing. In an Acknowledged signature you can sign prior to seeing the Notary, but you acknowledge before the Notary. A Jurat is completely different. Modern verbiage for Jurats sometimes says, “Subscribed and sworn or affirmed to before me.” This does not mean that you can administer an Oathfirmation and mix the Affirmation and Oath verbiage. This means that you can have the client choose if they want an Oath or Affirmation and do one or the other. Don’t mix these Notary acts unless your state specifically says you can.

Many Notaries are unaware that when executing a Jurat, you do need to administer an Oath particular to the document being signed. Please see our commentary on Oaths below. Failing to administer an Oath on a Jurat is illegal and could void the legal completeness of the document. Some states additionally will reserve the right to suspend your commission if you omit a legally required Oath.

“Subscribed and sworn to before me” is NOT Oath verbiage! That is the written documentation that you gave an Oath. When you ask the affiant to raise their right hand, do NOT utter the words, “subscribed and sworn to before me.” otherwise they will think you are an idiot and there will be no way for them to respond unless they repeat. Start an Oath with, “do you solemnly swear” after they have raised their right hand.

A good Oath for a document could be, “Do you solemnly swear under the penalty of perjury that the information in this document is true and correct to the best of your knowledge, so help you God?” Then the other person says, “I do.” Then you pronounce them “man and document” by the powers vested in you.

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OATHS

Not all Notarial acts include a written document or written certificate. Some are purely oral. Oaths and Affirmations are oral acts where most states do not have a certificate for the Oath. You should write in your journal if you administered an Oath and where it says, “Name of document” you should write that you gave an Oath about a particular topic. You do not write the actual verbiage of the Oath in your journal. You might write, “Oath regarding military duty” or “Oath of citizenship,” etc.

Oath verbiage is generally up to the Notary and few states have any actual requirements for what you should say. However, common sense and tradition dictate certain things about Oath verbiage.

Raise Your Right Hand — you traditionally have the signer raise their right hand before swearing under Oath.

Solemnly – it is traditional to ask the signer if they solemnly swear. An Oath is a solemn occassion and swearing to a Notary is as official as swearing to a judge in a court of law.

Swear — you must use the word “swear” in an Oath otherwise it is no longer an Oath.

Document or Statement — in an Oath you should make a reference to the content you are swearing to. It might be a document, or a statement you are about to me. Just make sure you reference the content in a way that makes sense. Asking someone to swear to “the information” is not as precise as asking them to swear to the truthfulness of “this document” while pointing to the document.

God — Oaths traditionally refer to God. If someone doesn’t like God, rather than remove God from the Oath, do an Affirmation INSTEAD of an Oath.

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Correct Oath wording for a Notary to make for a Document
“Please raise your right hand. Do you solemnly swear that the document you signed is true and correct to the best of your knowledge, so help you God?” — The answer would be, “I do.”

Wrong Oaths for a Document
“Do you solemnly swear that the statement you are about to make is true?”
“Do you solmenly swear that the information you provided is true?”

Commentary
If you are swearing to a document there is no statement you are about to make. There is a document you already signed that you swear to. You cannot swear to a statement you are not going to make — that is nonsense. The information in the document might have been provided by a Lender or Attorney, so don’t make them swear to WHO provided the information. Just have them swear that it is true.

Administering an Oath
When you are a Notary and you give or supervise an Oath to someone, you are administering an Oath. When you administer an Oath there are two ways to do it. You either ask an Oath question such as the ones mentioned above, or you say, “Repeat after me.” Repeating after me is really tenous as every three words the affiant has to repeat those words and it is like being six years old doing the pledge of allegience. How annoying!

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AFFIRMATIONS

An Affirmation is similar to an Oath. The are equal in their significance and used during the same situations. Affirmations are legal in most states. Check your state’s handbook to see if they are used in yours and if there is any state specific wording that you must use. However, you cannot mix and match the wording in an Affirmation. If your client wants to do an Affirmation, you use the word Affirm or State rather than swear, and you do not mention God. Leave God out of it! Other than that, the verbiage is the same as an Oath, so help you nobody!

To better understand choosing Oaths vs. Affirmations or mixing them up together read this fun article about Airline Meals versus Oaths and Affirmations.

To administer an Affirmation for a document just say, “Do you solemnly affirm or state that the information in this document is correct?” or for a purely oral statement just say, “Do you solemnly affirm or state that the statement you are about to give is true and correct?”

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PROOF OF EXECUTION

Not all states allow proofs of execution, but it is a traditional Notary act that I would like you to know about. In a proof of execution, the principal who is the one who signs the document signs when a subscribing witness is witnessing his signature. The definition of a subscribing witness is one who watches someone else sign. Then the subscribing witness appears before a Notary and swears under Oath that he/she witnessed so and so signing the document. I have never heard of this act being done, but for less formal documents, it is often allowed and it is interesting to read about as it is so unusual.

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PROTESTS

Not all states have protests. Protests are normally done by people working in banking to protest the non-payment of a bill or bounced check. We do not hold our Notaries responsible to understand this act although it is good to know what it is.

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September 15, 2017

Psych Notary Episode

Filed under: Best Humorous Posts,Popular on Facebook (very),Popular Overall,Sit-Coms — Tags: — admin @ 11:54 pm

There is a sit-com on Ion television that you can sometimes get on other cable stations called Psych. It’s about a psychic Shawn Spencer and his sidekick Burton Guster. In any case, the psychic is a fake half the time who sees real clues that nobody else saw him see and then pretends to have a vision.

In this episode, a Notary is found dead and his stamp is found missing. The detectives arrive on the scene.

LASSITER: The body is dead — and it’s cold. It could have been lying here for a good seven to ten hours in my estimate. The cause of death seems unclear.

JULES: Let’s take the body to the lab and see if there is any sign of food poisoning. The victim seems to be a Notary Public, and you know how those type of people are — you know — eating on the road on the run.

SHAWN: You’re right. He might have eaten a poisoned fish filet or….wait a second, I’m getting something… (puts his right two fingers to his head) This MAN, did not die from accidental food poisoning (pause)… he was murdered.

LASSITER: You and your unsubstantiated hunches. I just can’t stand it. And what’s worse is that you’re right more than half the time.

SHAWN: Some people say that I’m talented. Oh, and I’m sorry about your tragic breakup.

LASSITER: Yeah… so am I. I really fell for her.

SHAWN: Don’t despair Lassie, there are other fish in the sea… and coral, particularly Staghorn coral.. and sometimes Pillar coral, and it really sucks when that filmy type of algae gets stuck on the coral.. hmmm. I wonder how that happens. But, I digress. My point is that I’m sure you’ll find someone else.

GUS: Yeah… You’ll find someone. Algae on coral? Ain’t no algae on coral.

SHAWN: I’ve seen it. At least half a dozen times.

GUS: Where?

SHAWN: Snorkeling

GUS: Since when do you snorkel?

SHAWN: I snorkel… Why, you didn’t think I snorkeled? I’m a snorkeler. And I can communicate with fish too. Watch this (puts face near the fish tank and blows bubbles in the air) bubble bubble bubble… See. I told you. I am all about the sea.

JULES: Well, we’ll have to inspect the scene thoroughly and then round up some suspects. Hmm. It seems that this man is a Notary, yet his Notary seal seems to be missing. Perhaps this Notary was murdered to cover up a botched notarization.

LASSITER: Or perhaps the Notary had an exclusive contract with his boss, and his boss found out….

SHAWN: That the Notary was cheating on him… I think you’re projecting, Lassie. Your ex-girlfriend.

LASSITER: She never cheated on me! She was arrested for conspiracy.

SHAWN: Sure she didn’t. I understand. We need to know who the last one who was in the room was — and that man (or woman) will be… the killer.

GUS: What if there were two of them.

SHAWN: Okay… I’m getting something. (puts right fingers to side of head). I know who the killer is… or should I say… “Killizz”

LASSITER: According to this security footage, a well known gangster named Tommy Walker was the last man to come here.

SHAWN: Wait a second, I recognize those finger tattoos. Put them all together, one one hand is says love, and on the other hand’s fingers it says hate. And mom told me not to use four letter words. The killer had a document missing a page and the Notary refused to sign it. So, the killer murdered the Notary, stole the Notary’s stamp and backdated the notarization so that it would APPEAR to have been done long before the murder even though it would not be recorded until after because of some last minute travel arrangements gone bad.

JULES: How do you come up with this?

SHAWN: I have a natural gift.

(Meanwhile the main suspect Tommy Walker, a hardened criminal is at home eating fruit loops and watching the muffets when our dynamic team of sleuths barges in)

LASSITER: (pointing gun) You’re under arrest for the Murder of John Q Smith, Notary Public at large.

TOMMY: I didn’t kill him. He just died shortly after our Notary appointment.

SHAWN: Ah-ha, but your Notary appointment yielded no actual notarization. Or did it. Wait a second… I”m getting something (see’s notarized form in the bag) I see a … win a trip for two to Disney Land…

GUS: Shawn!

SHAWN: Oh, sorry, no… check right behind the Disneyland document and you will find the incriminating document. Yes… A falsified Power of Attorney with a classic missing page… The NNA warns people about that type of situation.

JULES: Oh my God Shawn. You’re right. This Notarization was dated several days ago, but the ink is still fresh.

SHAWN: Caught… in the act. And… we happen to have access to this Notary’s Notary journal which has no record of your transaction on May 5th, “el cinco de Mayo” of the Power of Attorney in question. Which proves that either the Notary kept lousy records, or that you faked the notarization. We’ll have to take the form to the lab so that Woody can inspect the ink for aging.

TOMMY: Okay, I did it. I stole the Notary’s seal, but I didn’t kill him. The killer

SHAWN: Or “Killizz”

TOMMY: is STILL at large. We’ll have to wait for the autopsy. In the mean time… hello travelocity.

JULES: Not so fast. We have the right to detain you until we resolve this.

GUS: Good thing this Notary kept good records because many Notaries on 123notary don’t think they need to keep a journal since their state doesn’t require it. And the ones in California who are required, don’t understand that each document and signature require their own journal entry. You can’t just put them all on the same line and expect that to be a legal record.

SHAWN: How do you know all this?

GUS: Because I used to be a commissioned Notary Public for the state of California, County of Santa Barbara — thank you very much for asking.

SHAWN: Oh cool, so can you notarize my stuffed penguin I’ve had since childhood?

GUS: You never had a stuffed penguin.

SHAWN : Did too, you just never saw it.

GUS: Where did you keep it?

LASSITER: Gentlemen, let’s be done with this inconsequential rambling and get to the task at hand. We need to take Tommy into custody and then question him. Meanwhile, we need to see Woody to see what the autopsy reveals.

WOODY: Hmmm, I’ve checked the body thoroughly and it seems that the Notary was administered a tiny amount of poison that would make him drowsy for just the amount of time it would take Tommy to borrow the Notary’s seal, stamp a document, return the seal and then leave. Tommy probably figured the Notary wouldn’t suspect a thing. HOWEVER, since the Notary had an allergy to some of the chemicals in the poison, the Notary died on the spot. Although the death was accidental, the poisoning was not.

LASSITER: Involuntary manslaughter. Tommy will get a much shorter sentence. A petty crime gone wrong.

SHAWN: Couldn’t the Notary die on an x, or on a dotted line instead of on the spot. Wouldn’t that be cooler.

GUS: Shawn! A notary can’t die on an x marks the spot. That’s ridiculous. He could die on a chair.

SHAWN: Or a gezebo. Or … wait a second, or a pagoda. But, that would probably only be a Japanese Notary.

GUS: Unless it was an American tourist Notary who was on vacation in a place where there are pagodas.

SHAWN: True, but would the American Notary carry their seal with them to Osaka to a pagoda and then just die there?

GUS: I don’t know. But, the Notary seal might drop out of his bag while he was bowing. When Americans bow, they bow too low. Japanese bow just a little bit — just the right amount.

SHAWN: How do you know so much about bowing?

GUS: I studied Hokkaido style karate — that is how I know. And if you studied that too, the knowledge would come from within you.

SHAWN: Right now the only thing coming from within me is an intense desire to eat a pineapple. Wanna share one?

GUS: Okay!

LASSITER: You guys are both insane. But, we cracked the case and we can all go home now, except for Tommy who’s going to do some real time.

SHAWN: Yes, unless he also finds a way to backdate his prison sentence!

.

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August 22, 2017

Oaths — how Notaries completely screw them up!

Oaths are an official Notarial act in all states if my memory serves correctly. Oaths unfortunately are very misunderstood and generally poorly administered if administered at all. So, let me straighten out some common problems that I have seen with Oaths.

By definition, all Jurat Notary Acts must include an Oath. A Jurat is a Notary Act with a written statement and an Oath. The documentation of the Oath has verbiage such as, “Subscribed and sworn to before me ______ on this ______ (date) by _____ (name of affiant).” There are various problems that occur here. Oaths also can occur as independent and purely oral acts.

1. Omission of Oath
Most Notaries omit the required Oath for a Jurat. In California, your commission can be suspended, revoked, or terminated by omitting an Oath and you can also be fined $750 per incident. Other states do not teach Oaths, not fine you if you forget to administer it which is exactly why most out of state Notaries simply don’t do the Oath. Nobody is putting a gun to their head, so why should they unless they have integrity which they usually don’t have according to my recent findings. Sad!

2. The word Swear omitted.
When administering an Oath, you must use the word swear, otherwise in my book it is not an Oath. A good Oath requires the signer to raise their right hand, the word solemnly should ideally be used before the word swear (for good form), the phrase, “under the penalty of perjury” could also be used, and the clause, “So help you God” should also be used. Although there is no prescribed Oath verbiage, if you don’t swear, it isn’t an Oath. Some Notaries prefer to affirm, state, acknowledge or attest rather than using the word swear since swearing offends the ultra-religious and ultra-athiest members of the public. So, for those who don’t want to swear, don’t use an Oath — use an affirmation instead which does not mention God or swearing.

3. What if people don’t want to use the word swear?
Some people find it offensive to use the word swear or God in an Oath. For them, you use the sister act which is an Affirmation which is allowed in most if not all states. But, don’t confuse the two acts even though they are interchangeable — they are not the same thing and you can not cross use the verbiage for one act on another. If you Oath you swear and if you do an Affirmation, you Affirm. You do not affirm with an Oath.

4. Using exchangeable verbiage.
Some states allow or prescribe verbiage such as, “Do you solemnly swear or affirm that the contents of this document are true and correct?” That is acceptable to me as an Oath because you used the word Swear even though you had alternate verbiage. But, you did not omit swear to only use the alternate verbiage which would disqualify the act as an Oath.

5. Court Oath vs. Jurat Oath.
There are many types of Oaths out there. You can swear people into court, solemnize a marriage, swear someone into office, or have them swear to a document. Notaries should PRACTICE the various types of Oaths so that they can master each type and not confuse them otherwise the Notary will look like an idiot (this happens a lot with our members.) It is common for me to ask for an Oath for a document and the Notary says, “Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?” I say, “I do, but can we now say an Oath for my document?” That is not a document Oath, that is a swearing you into court Oath.

6. Swearing that I voluntarily signed a document
Many Notaries will have me swear that I voluntarily signed a document. This is required in many instances in Massachusetts, however, swearing that I signed a document is not necessary in most states since the Notary watched the person sign, and making sure you signed voluntarily has never been an issue for anybody I know. If you were under duress, would you suddently tell the Notary simply because he asked or would you get nervous? Hmmm. There is no harm in asking if I signed a document on my own free will, so long as you don’t forget to give Oath verbiage about the document in Jurat Oath where the point of the Oath is to swear to facts contained in the document.

7. Swearing that I am the person in my ID
This is ridiculous. If I were an identity fraud, would I say that the ID was not mine? Many Notaries administer an Oath on my ID when I ask them to do an Oath on my document. The ID is not the document — get it straight.

8. Omitting the word document
If you are doing a Jurat Oath but give an Oath that “the information” is true and correct doesn’t cut it. If you are giving an Oath about a particular document, you must reference the document somehow. “Do you solemnly swear that the contents of the document before you are true and correct to the best of your knowledge, so help you God?” That would be an acceptable Oath because you are swearing, and swearing to a particular document rather than to thin air.

9. Relying on cheat sheets.
Many Notaries can only do an Oath when they have their recommended wording from their state with them. If for any reason they should lose the cheat sheet, they would not be able to lawfully conduct their duties as Notary Public. If you practice giving Oaths, you can give them by heard. Additionally, many Notaries give inapplicable Oaths as I mentioned above, so relying on reading text that you don’t understand the meaning of is useless. You need to understand the meaning and significance of the Oath you are giving otherwise it serves no intrinsic purpose.

10. Subscribed and Sworn.
Many Notaries say, “Subsribed and sworn to this ____ day of ___” when I ask them to deliver an Oath. That is the written documentation that an Oath took place. It is NOT the Oath itself. Oath wording typically starts with, “Do you solemnly swear…” and you should have the person raise their right hand.

11. A Jurat is not an Oath
Oath is to Jurat what Motor is to Automobile. A Jurat has an Oath, but a Jurat is not an Oath. An Oath can be an independent Notarial act which in most states has no written certificate. Florida has a useless certificate which says there was an Oath, but doesn’t give any indication of what was sworn to or the type of Oath. You might as well not have paperwork if it is that lame.

12. Notary Acts
When I ask people to name some Notary acts, most people claim not to know what I am talking about. They commonly mention Acknowledgments and Jurats. Few mention Oaths. Oaths and Affirmations are Official Notarial Acts in all or nearly all states. Notaries are required by law to administer Oaths if the public requests them from you. If you have never been asked to do one, that doesn’t preclude the possibility that you will be asked to do one. You are also not exempt from the responsibility of knowing how to administer one. If you are a commissioned Notary Public, you are responsible to administer Oaths, and correct sounding relevant Oaths, otherwise your state has the right to decommission you — and in my opinion they should.

MY RECOMMENDATIONS

Here is some standard Oath wording I like for documents.
“Do you solemnly swear under the penalty of perjury that the information in this document is true and correct to the best of your knowledge and that you agree to and will abide by the terms — if any in the document, so help you God?”
Please notice that I mentioned terms. What good is swearing to an agreement if you only agree that the agreement is true? The point of an agreement is that you agree to the agreement and will follow the terms of the agreement. Having a “useful” Oath rather than a correct but “useless” Oath makes a lot of sense. If your Oath serves no purpose, then why give one?

BAD OATHS
Here are some examples of wrong Oaths for Jurat documents for your reading pleasure.

“Do you acknowledge that this is correct?”
“Do you affirm that the document is correct?”
“Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help you God?”
“Subscribed and Sworn to before me.”
“Do you solemnly swear that this is your true ID?”

OKAY OATHS
“Do you swear that the foregoing is correct?”
“Do you solemnly swear that the document in front of you is true and correct to the best of your knowledge?”

COMMENTARY
Most states do not teach the art of Oath giving, but they should. Notaries are required by law to administer Oaths, yet the majority of Notaries either give no Oath, inapplicable Oaths, or poorly worded Oaths while others rely on cheat sheets which is bad. Using cheat sheets is okay, but relying exclusively on some standardized wording for Jurat Oaths is not acceptable. There are situations where there is REQUIRED prescribed wording where you have to use that particular wording. In such a circumstance it is okay to rely on particular wording. However, for Jurat Oaths, you should be able to make up an Oath, otherwise I will fail you.

.

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Affirmations – pleasing the politically correct while offending the traditional people.
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August 3, 2017

Black Notaries vs. White Notaries: The Notary Manual

Black Notaries vs. White Notaries: The Notary Manual

TEACHER: Hello class. We are gathered here today to talk about Notary terms, and the state Notary manual. But, first I would like to ask what the manual means to you.

SHELLY: I see a short book designed to teach the Notaries of tomorrow the rules of the road in order to safeguard the integrity of notarized transactions which protects society at large in a broader sense.

TEACHER: Very good Shelly! And very wonky.

KIM JONG “AKA Korean mom”: It’s so very difficult to understand. Half the terms don’t show up in my English-Korean dictionary. What a pain! I have to use my English dictionary and then translate the words in the definition into Korean to figure it out. How will I pass my test? I tried to use that as an excuse to get out of jury duty but they chose me anyway until they found out I didn’t understand any of the legal terms they used! Like “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.”

TEACHER: Okay, just let me know if there are any terms that I can explain to you. I may not understand Korean, but I can break the complicated terms down in an understandable way.

SHALONDA: I see three things. (1) I see a technical manual that teaches the state & civil laws affecting Notaries public, and more that could help Notaries deter fraud, keep transactions official, and keep paperwork straight. (2) A book that teaches the how-to of doing daily Notary work and (3) A book full of new names for black people to name their kids — you know what I’m saying?

TEACHER: Well, I hadn’t thought about it like that before.

SHALONDA: Oh yeah. I named my kids after Notary terms several years ago. Jurat and Venue… that’s short for Venuetta.

SHELLY: Do you swear under Oath you named your kid Jurat?

SHALONDA: I most certainly do (raising her right hand). But, Jurat is more of a jokester. He doesn’t have a solemn bone in his body. The tread on his boots is shaped like a Notary seal, and he was playing outside after it was raining. It looked like we had impressions of notary seals all through the house. I told him to take his boots off after that.

SHELLY: All of this studying for the Notary exam is tiring. I heard that reading too much can be bad for your eyesight. No wonder Trump doesn’t need glasses.

KIM JONG: I know. That’s why my kid Myong is forbidden to study more than six hours a night. We are recommending dropping his study time from seven hours to five hours and forty-five minutes with the last forty-five minutes mostly study-oriented games, songs or something where he is not staring at a book or computer.

SHELLY: Well we were going to increase Tommy’s study time from forty minutes to an hour and twenty minutes after we found out how hard college is. But, we don’t want him to ruin his eyes, so we’ll compromise at seventy minutes a day.

KIM JONG: How will he possibly compete with those studying five hours a day?

SHELLY’s HUSBAND: She has a point. Tommy will never survive in college unless he studies more. What he does now will affect him for the rest of his life. And if he does poorly in school like my brother, then he might get stuck driving a garbage truck for the rest of his life. Or an Uber.

SHELLY: Or worse — he might have to become a Notary. What has four wheels and flies?

SHALONDA: Ooh! I know this one! A garbage truck.

KIM JONG: No, that’s the junior high version of the joke! The answer in this context is a Notary who is late to a signing because he would be driving so fast!

SHALONDA: Good point. Not funny point, but good. But, honestly, to be a Notary you need to study too. In some states you need to study at least 30 hours to pass the Notary test and then another 30 hours to be a good signing agent. This profession isn’t for jokes — that is if you want to succeed in it. And by the way, you should say what has four wheels and screeches, because when you round those corners, you’re gonna be screeching those tires, girl.

TEACHER: Well class, we do seem to be diverging now don’t we. Being a Notary is a very honorable and noble profession and not for those who lack character. No wonder Trump was never a Notary.

SHALONDA: But, it is for those who lack a high school diploma. There is no educational standard for this job other than passing a test. California, Louisiana and New York make the test hard. But, the other states will just hand out seals to any fool who applies. Like Presidential Seals. Where’s the nobility in that?

TEACHER: Good point. Well, in theory it is supposed to be noble.

SHELLY: Theory doesn’t cut it when a clueless Notary assists a fraud in stealing the Title to your house.

TEACHER: You’re right. Maybe having a longer course than our six hour course would help. Perhaps a background screening too not just for being a signing agent, but for being a Notary.

SHALONDA: In California, the FBI, DOJ, and KGB all check us, but in these other states there doesn’t seem to be a system of checks and balances.

KIM JONG: Perhaps, being a Notary should be regulated federally instead of by a bunch of irresponsible states who can’t keep anything straight. And that wasn’t a reference to the gay parts of California.

TEACHER: Well perhaps you’re right. In any case, let’s practice notarizing a Jurat.

SHALONDA: You’re going to notarize my daughter?

.



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