When do I need to use a California All-Purpose Acknowledgment?
A Notary Public in California only needs to use the notarial language found in an All Purpose Acknowledgment if the document is being filed in California.
California Civil Code Sec 1189 ( c ) allows a Notary to use the preprinted acknowledgment language from another state as long as the Notary is not required to determine or certify in which capacity the signer is signing the document. Certifications are prohibited for Notaries to perform by California law. Notaries are not required to even include the disclaimer at the top of the notarization which essentially states that the Notary Public completing the notarization is only verifying the identity of the signer and not the “truthfulness, accuracy or validity of the document”.
A document that many Notaries see and something that I see brought to my office often at A1 Live Scan Fingerprinting and Notary Services in downtown Los Angeles is Form TSP-70 which is the Thrift and Savings plan Financial Hardship In-Service Withdrawal Request form. This form has preprinted Notarial Language for Acknowledgment and has specific instructions for the Notary that reads in relevant part, “Notary:……No other acknowledgement is acceptable (see instructions)”.
When you see forms such as TSP-70 that is being sent or filed in another state or jurisdiction, use the preprinted form as long as you are not being asked to certify the capacity in which the signer is signing the document.
At our office in Downtown Los Angeles — A1 Live Scan & Notary Services – we get to correctly renotarize many notarized documents that the SOS rejects doing an Apostille because the wrong notarial certificate was used by a Notary.
Let’s first start with what is an Apostille?
An Apostille authenticates the Notary Public as a valid and licensed Notary to a foreign government or agency. The foreign entity relies on the SOS to make sure that the document being sent to them was in fact notarized by a currently licensed notary in good standing.
Next the question is what type of Notarial Certificate do you attach to a document being taken to the SOS for an Apostille?
First and foremost, ask the singer and explain the differences between the 3 commonly used certificates – All Purpose Acknowledgment, Jurat and Copy Certification by Document Custodian.
If the signer is not sure, go over the preprinted language on the document with the signer if there is notarial wording. In most cases even if there is notarial wording, it would not comply with California Notary Laws. So then look at the existing language and if it has “affirmations”, “oaths” or “swearing as to the truth of the contents”, use a Jurat.
If the language does not have an Oath but merely says the person appeared in front of you and acknowledged signing the document, then use a California All-Purpose Acknowledgment.
The third type of Notarization for an Apostille is when a signer brings a document such as College transcripts, Degree Certificates, Passport copy, letters from third parties. These documents are already signed by the issuer and there is no notarial wording. In this case, you use a certificate called, “Copy Certification by Document Custodian” to notarize the document by the person who brings it to you even if it is not that person’s document. Hence the name “…by Document Custodian”.
Hope this clarifies the confusion surrounding certificates used for an Apostille.
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.
1. When walking into a house where the borrower’s have large dogs, remember to not wear a suit of meat, as you will most likely get mauled ferociously
2. Always remember to have a small spare small container of vicks vapor rub, use just a little bit when entering the domicile of a hoarder or, of the special person who hasn’t figured out how to connect their ostomy bag
3. Under no circumstance should you ever bring your 175 lb ferocious rottweiler to a mobile appointment and let them attack your customer.
4. If you’re trying to conserve paper and think it is prudent to duplex (print on both sides), please don’t use that copy for the borrower’s to sign.
5. It’s common sense that if you don’t have your own solution, to print docs as in your own printer, don’t go into the borrower’s home and ask to use their printer to print their docs, and even more especially so, if they happen to be the respective secretary of state in your jurisdiction… remember to swear them in.
6. Body modification is great, and it is completely fine if you want to be an individual…. but if you look like you just bought the hardware section at home depot and affixed it to your face, maybe that isn’t the best way to impress a perspective client….
7. Always remember, the set of documents that the borrower’s signed, is the one you’re supposed to send back to the title company, If you have sent back the blank copy to the title company, you might not get away with stating you used invisible ink.
8. Always be prepared for almost every scenario, make sure you have extra stamp pads for when the ink starts to fade, blue or black pens depending on your jurisdiction, a writing or signature guide for the nearly blind or elderly goes a long way and you can be certain they’ll sign in the right spot. if you have a mobile printer, extra toner and always have extra paper.
9. If you plan on adding a piece of new technology to your equipment list, make sure to test it, find the faults, search the solutions, before you bring it out on the street. Also, before you go out for the day that your devices have a full charge. It’s great if you have a mobile scanner, but if something goes wrong, as things do… its even better if you have a solution or back up plan in place.
This post was written by a guest blogger who is one of our Notaries on our directory.
HOW MUCH A MOBILE NOTARY SHOULD BE PAID?
This Forum debated the issue one hundred times. How to substantiate the answer? A coincidence of stimuli made me reflect yesterday on the life and profession of the so-called “mobile Notary”, the one who generously drives to the clients’ home to execute documents and, thus, save them the trip to his/her office.
At the beginning, the Notary received a call with the Order, the documents were sent UPS or FedEx and returned the same way. Today, the Notary receives the Order, documents are emailed to print 140-145 pages + Borrowers’ copy
I was reflecting on the notary fees while reading in 123Notary Bulletins messages from Notaries complaining about the low fees being paid…when suddenly my email received a new Order.
We cannot blame exclusively the payer (lender, title company) for the low fees being paid to mobile Notaries. Each “closing” is preceded by a contractual verbal agreement: Notary is to perform under the conditions and at a pay the “employer” offers. Whether “sufficient” or “fair” depends upon the fairness of the payer and mainly, upon the self-valuation of the professional payee. When the Notary bargains, companies (frequently) increase fees.
Explore two incidents: Notaries complaints and the Order I received while reading the 123Notary Bulletins. The Order: Refinancing, 6:00pm, house 20 miles away in rural area. Brief computation of Cost and Time.
*Long distance. Three calls to company: $1 (add if documents faxed).
*Car. Round-trip to clients and shipping: 40+6 miles=46. If computed “for Reimbursement”, per 2015 Internal Revenue Service rules: $0.575/mile x 46 = $23.00. If computed as “strictly” Cost: (Notary has to estimate own car mileage use. Mine drinks 1 gallon/12 miles.) At $2.80/gal or $0.233/mile x 46=$9.33. Notary must add “other expenses”: maintenance, registration, insurance, tires amortization.
*Printing. About 260 sheets. If outside (Mail store, Office Depot) at $0.07=$18.20. If at home/office: $5.60, including paper and ink/toner, not maintenance, amortization or other expense.
*Other non-related [Notary] service.- Example: Some companies started asking Notary, “If client does not have IDs photocopy, not to worry; just take photos with your cellular and transmit to us”. Which reminds of that hypothetical proposal of the health insurance company to a physician: “Next time, if the patient does not bring his X-Ray or MRI, do not worry; just use the equipment at your clinic [without invoicing]”.
Estimated out-of-pocket minimum expense: $42.20 (or $15.93, per Notary practices).
*(Driving measurable distance vs. actual driving time: 2 miles office-Interstate takes 10-15 minutes due to endemic heavy traffic; remaining 18 miles may take only 20-25 minutes). Total 40 miles; time 1h20m.
*Calling client, calling company to confirm, upon arrival, upon completion; print originals and copies, review and organize them; signing at clients’ home; updating company; delivering to shipping. Minimum 4h10m.
Total time: 5h30m.
Accepting or declining an Order is the exclusive privilege of the Notary, how much he/she values the professional services, how high/low is his demand for respect (personally, professionally). How much 5 hours-30 minutes of work and $42.20 cash advanced are worth? Compare with other activities. The BLS (Bureau of Statistics of the US Department of Labor) released July 27, 2015 its 2014 Occupational Employment and Wages studies. Results are used by corporations, unions and workers to establish and renew fair compensation indexes. Its Mean Hourly Wage of selected occupations shows:
*Legal [administrative employee] is paid $48.61/hour (thus, Notary’s pay for the above sample Order of 5h30m could be $267.35 plus $42.20 expense=$309.55.
*National Business and Financial $34.81 (Notary’s pay: $190.35 plus $42.20=$232.55).
*Food Preparation and Serving, such as fast-food franchises, $10.57 (Notary’s pay: $58.13 plus $42.20=$100.33).
Compare now the average national hourly wage with the fee Companies pay you: Average ranges $35-$100; meaning, a range from a loss of $7.20 to an income of $10.51/hourly wage.
The sample Order mentioned above offered me a $35 fee. No “problem”. I just would decline. But there was a “problem”! When three minutes later I was ready to email “Decline” (low pay!), I was impacted by the screen that popped up: “Sorry, Order has been already accepted by another Notary”.
CAN A CALIFORNIA NOTARY NOTARIZE AN I-9 FORM?
The straight, simple and clear answer is “NO”.
Why then are notaries in California regularly notarizing I-9 forms?
There is a lot of confusion surrounding the notarization of I-9 forms, because the Secretary of State is silent in the handbook about NOT notarizing I-9s. Instead the handbook only addresses documents that can be notarized. The confusion is further compounded when the I-9 is accompanied by official notification from the Federal government or employer that the I-9 needs to be notarized in accordance with their guidelines.
This is not the first instance where the federal laws conflict with the state laws that govern notaries. As duly licensed notaries in the State of California, we are primarily governed by the laws and rules established by the Secretary of State and therefore should not notarize I-9 forms. It begs the question, whether $10/- that you receive is worth the “civil penalty not to exceed $100,000 for each violation of the Business and Professions Code §22445 that you will be assessed and collected in a civil action brought by any person injured by the violation or in a civil action brought in the name of the people of the State of California by the attorney general, a district attorney or city attorney”.
Who can notarize an I-9?
When it comes to correctly certifying to the identifying signers, Notaries typically resort to one of two methods. First is the standard state issued identification (valid Driver License or State ID) that is current and the second is where the more experienced notaries resort to using credible witnesses when the signer does not have proper identification. On rare occasions, notaries who are confident in their work will use a subscribing witness to identify a signer who cannot physically appear in front of a notary to sign documents.
SEVEN (7) FORMS OF IDENTIFICATION A CALIFORNIA NOTARY CAN LEGALLY ACCEPT:
1. State issued ID or Driver License from any of the 50 states in the United States.
2. Valid International Driver License from Canada or Mexico only.
3. Valid U.S. Passports issued by the Department of State. Valid Foreign Passports stamped by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Services.
4. Using two credible witnesses to identify the signer. Used when the notary does not know the witnesses and the witnesses does not have a beneficial interest in the transaction. The witnesses vouch for the identity of the signer when the signer does not have proper Identification.
5. Using one credible witness to identify the signer when the notary knows the witness and the witness can vouch for the identity of the signer.
6. Using a Subscribing Witness when the signer cannot appear in person to sign in front of the notary. Because of the susceptibility of fraud, a subscribing witness cannot be used for Real Estate transactions.
7. Valid Military ID that contains the name & picture of the signer, signature of the signer, serial or ID number as well as the issue date and/or expiration date.
Note: The only time a Notary can accept an expired ID or passport is if it was issued within the last 5 years.
SEVEN (7) FROMS OF IDENTIFICATION CALIFORNIA NOTARIES CANNOT LEGALLY ACCEPT:
1. Alien Registration Card (Green Card) for non-immigration documents (§ 8230. Identification of affiant; verification). This can get tricky because the Green card issued by the Federal Government contains everything required in the military ID, but still is not approved by the Secretary of State.
2. Employment Authorization Card/Work Permits
3. Matricular Consular ID issued by the Mexican Consulate or many Central American countries.
4. International Driver License from any country other than Mexico and Canada.
5. Voter Registration or Election Card with picture and other biographical details from any country.
6. Birth Certificate with Social Security card
7. Department of Homeland Security Notice issued as temporary identification that has all the required elements in a military ID.
One day I had gotten a call from a woman who was unhappy with the notary she had used the previous day. She had used am el cheapo notary who took half the day and completely botched the job. I wanted to really help them out so I took the job.
When I met them, the broker was upset with the situation, and the client was incredibly irate with what had happened the previous day, I was surprised to find that she was an attractive woman despite the raspy, grandmotherly voice she had. She had opened a bottle of white wine as I got my documents out, signed the paperwork after I explained everything and then she proceeded to down the entire bottle by the time I left. Luckily, she was in a better mood by the time I left!
I was appalled by the entire situation for two reasons:
(1) Loan Signings go much better with North Coast Zinfandel, and
(2) I felt insulted that she didn’t offer the notary (me) any white wine. Doing signings is a stressful job you know!
(1) They opened a bottle of white wine at the beginning of the signing. By the time we finished, the bottle was empty.
(2) Despite her raspy grandmotherly sounding voice, she was an attractive young lady signing the loan.
So I had a weekend signing to do which is rather unusual for me to do. I usually send my female colleague to do signings on the weekend, but on this particular one, I was the one to carry out the task since she was not available.
I pulled up to the street where the house was where I had the appointment, and noticed a plethora of pick up trucks parked on the street. I found this to be rather unusual as I walked up to the door of the house, and rang the doorbell. I walked in the house and find myself in the middle of a party of about 30 ladies sitting in front of the T.V. watching football. The majority of them wore mullet and football jerseys. They were drinking as well, and I suddenly realized that I was the only male in the room, and also the only one not into football! They were a bunch of middle aged divorcees who were now lesbians enjoying their time at the football party.
I completed the signing quickly, while at the same time being completely aware that there was absolutely no attention focused on me at all except for the dog that started humping my leg. Definitely one of the more interesting signing I had ever done!
When we finished the signing I said, “Touchdown.” They finally acknowledged me and said, “What?”
Then, I said, “Made you look — we finished the loan!”
It is dangerous to be distracted while signing documents for a half-million dollar loan, don’t you think? Especially in the 2nd inning!
(1) All attention was on the football game during the signing. The lady barely even noticed her APR.
(2) At the end of the signing I said, “Touchdown!” loudly & all 30 of them looked!
(3) There were dozens of pick up trucks next to the house & everyone wore football jerseys.
(4) I walked in the house to find myself surrounded by 30 ladies watching football.
This was by far the MOST FRUSTRATING closing I have ever done. This should have been a very easy job – a standard purchase loan. However, the real estate agents dragged this on for 4 hours! Unbelievable! They were just making trouble with every detail even though nothing was wrong with anything on the documents themselves. One of them kept repeated everything I said. She questioned everything on the document. They were bad mouthing the title company in front of the clients. They were cussing in front of the clients and being extremely unprofessional. They made the entire situation extremely unpleasant, lengthy, and unnecessarily difficult.
Note to self : do not work with these realtors ever again, and do not ever let the realtors take control of the situation. Lesson learned!