The following is a phone call between Michael Cohen and a possible notary:
Notary: Thank you for calling D.C. Notary Service, how can I help you?
Cohen: Hi, uh, I need a notary, to uh, sign something…
Notary: Well you’ve come to the right place, notaries sign stuff. Can I ask what part of D.C. you’re calling from?
Cohen: The White House–uh I mean, uh MY house! In D.C….
Notary: (Pause) Okay, well what part of D.C. do you live in?
Cohen: In the Downtown area…Near Pennsylvania…(beat) I mean, I can’t hear what you’re saying-a?
Notary: (beat) Alright, we have an office near Pennsylvania. I could give you that address and phone number, if you’d like?
Cohen: Okay, yeah, but do you typically deal with high level clients?
Notary: I’m not at liberty to say…
Cohen: Well, I need someone who can work with highly important officials, like you know, important people…Like Presidents… OF COMPANIES!! Not like the President of the United States or anything!..
Notary: Right… We can handle larger documents.
Cohen: Great. My client will be just peachy to hear this.
Notary: Don’t you mean orangy! Haha.
Cohen: Excuse me?
Notary: The client, it’s Trump isn’t it?
Cohen: How did you know?!
Notary: Attorney-Client Privilege isn’t your strong suit…I mean, you gave away every hint…
Cohen: (nervously) Hey, I know the law! I understand what that client-attorney privilg-y thing is…But quick question, can you forge some signatures? The President doesn’t want the porn start to actually sign–
Notary: (Hangs up).
Cohen: Hmm, that’s the third one…Wonder what I’m doing wrong.
DWI is full of myths and exaggerations. It’s almost as if it were a misunderstood story, and mostly because it’s a common charge. We know you want to know the real truth, so that’s why we’re prepared some dwi facts for you.
You can still be charged with DWI even if you haven’t had a drink
Driving While Intoxicated means alcohol – that’s what most people think. They imagine a person who cannot talk and stumble because it’s drunk from too many drinks. Truth be told, you can be charged with DWI is valid when it comes to the drugs in your system, illegal or not, prescription, over-the-counter kind of medicine or a combination between illicit drugs and prescription. In this case, make sure you do not make any admissions or statements. Give your license and insurance to the police, but decline politely to answer the questions – tell them you will not answer any question without first speaking to a lawyer.
The police cannot force you to take a sobriety test
Not many people know about this. Some have heard the truth, it’s one of the fundamental mistakes. They cannot force you to do it, so don’t do it. In this case, you can politely decline to do the field sobriety test.
You can get charged with DWI in any vehicle, even a golf cart…
…or tractor, or a four-wheeler. For instance, in Texas, a “motor vehicle” is a device in, on or by which someone can be transported on a highway. Trains are not in this category. This leaves out a lot of motorized vehicles, actually. But if you’re caught, the same DWI rules will apply just they would if you were driving a car.
You don’t actually know how intoxicated you are
Your judgement is the first thing that is going to be affected after you’ve consumed alcohol. Sure, you know what your tolerance is, but the state can and will prosecute you even if you act and look normal. They can prove what the blood alcohol concentration is. To be sure, get a portable Blood Alcohol Calculator.
Those Americans who are charged with DWI or DUI cannot enter Canada without special permission
Most of the people are shocked to find out they’re not going to enter Canada after they’ve been charged with DWI or DUI or even other alcohol-related matter. There’s one way, though, to do this, and that is to apply for a Temporary Resident Permit (or TRP) or Criminal Rehabilitation.
You can get your driver’s license suspended twice
In Texas, many people charged with DWI are facing 2 driver’s license suspensions. One has to do with the breath or blood test and the other one if convicted of a DWI. If you refuse to give a specimen of breath of blood, your driver’s license will be suspended for 180 days; if the specimen is over the limit – 90 days; if you’re getting sentenced for DWI – 2 years.
Do I need $100,000 or $1 million in Errors & Omission (E&O) insurance to get more Notary business?
It is not uncommon for some companies to require that a Notary have more than the standard amount of E&O Insurance. There is no state mandated minimum for E&O unlike a Notary Bond where the law requires every Notary to file an official bond for $15,000 which is designed to pay limited claims against the Notary Public.
But please make no mistake. All Notaries must carry some form of E&O insurance to protect themselves from unintentional errors and omissions they make. Of course, E&O policies will not cover fraudulent acts or intentional errors. Without E&O Insurance, you will have to pay for the cost of the judgment or settlement and your own legal expenses. The financial impact can force a Notary to renounce his/her Notary commission and possibly even declare bankruptcy depending upon then severity of the error.
The high coverage of an E&O policy is based on the false perception that the companies would get a better class of Notary or that they are protected from any and all errors made by the Notary. This is farthest from the truth. I have more than 20 years of experience being a Notary and have never increased my E&O Insurance above the standard amount of $15,000/- primarily for 2 reasons. First, the number of companies requiring $100,000 or even $1 million in E&O Insurance are few and far between and the number of jobs that a Notary gets does not make up for the increased premium for the additional coverage. Second, the E&O policy only covers clerical errors and does not cover any fraudulent acts committed by the Notary. As a matter of practice, I double and sometimes triple check my work and am always cautious of the people who appear before me for a notarization. More importantly, I never do anything that even has the appearance of a scam or fraud. I have no intention of being someone’s boyfriend with no escape clause!!
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.
10. There is no ten. (sorry) I guess we screwed up!
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?