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March 23, 2017

The 3 day right to rescind

Filed under: (4) Documents,Loan Signing 101 — admin @ 8:00 am

This article intends to clarify dating on the Notice of Right to Cancel or RTC.

A borrower went to confession

TOM: “Forgive me father for I have rescinded.”

PADRE: “Did you rescind in the 3 day period?”

TOM: “Yes, father.”

PADRE: “Then, it is okay in the eyes of the lord. 3 hail Mary’s.”

TOM: “It was in two days, so can you reduce my sentence to 2 hail Mary’s?”

When you get a non-commercial and non-investment personal refinance, traditionally you get three days to resind or cancel your loan. Counties these three days is a skill that Notaries need, but don’t always have. In the old days, and with certain lenders, the Notary is reponsible to write in the TRANSACTION DATE in a blank in the RTC.

The transaction date is the date when a notarization is done or when a loan is signed. Technically with Acknowledged signatures, the signature can be made previous to the Notarization. It might be five minutes previously or twenty years previous to the notarization. During loan signings, the documents are normally signed at the time of the loan signing and promptly notarized.

The signature date is normally the same as the transaction date, but not necessarily and is the date the person signed the document. Once again, in an Acknowledgment, that could come before the notarization if the borrower wishes to sign ahead of time, but at a loan signing is normally on the date of the loan signing.

The notarization date is the date when a document is notarized.

The recission date or deadline or last day to rescind is three days after the date of the signing not including Sundays or Federal hollidays or other days that the Lender allows.

Please note that business days only include Monday to Friday while days to rescind include Monday to Saturday not including Federal Holidays of which there are ten.

Let’s do some practice runs.

(1.) A loan is signed New Year’s eve on Friday the 31st. What is the last day to cancel your Refinance?
Sat would be New Year’s Day a Federal holiday. Sunday would be a Sunday and not counted. So, you would have… Mon, Tues, Wednesday would be the last day.

(2.) A loan is signed on Monday in April when there are no Federal holidays. The last day to cancel is… Tues, Weds, Thursday would be the last day.

(3.) A loan is signed on Sunday in April. The last day to cancel is… Mon, Tues, Wednesday would be the last day to cancel.

(4.) A loan is signed on Thursday in April. The last day to cancel is… Fri, Sat, skip Sunday and Monday would be the last day to cancel.

(5.) A loan is signed Wednesday before Thanksgiving. The last day to cancel would be… Fri, Sat, skip sunday and then Monday would be the last day to cancel UNLESS the Lender allows Friday as an arbitrary holiday (they can be generous if they like) in which case it would be… Sat, Mon, and Tuesday would be the last day to cancel. Whether Black Friday is considered a holiday or not is up to the Lender and they are 50/50 on this one. But, if they don’t specify, then it is considered a regular business day with exceptionally long lines!

Now boys and girls, we understand the RTC or Notice of Right to Cancel. We hope you are also aware of when the ten Federal holidays come. It is not a bad idea to have a Rescission Calendar. I heard that the NNA might have them, so get one that fits in your wallet.

What’s in YOUR wallet?

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March 21, 2017

When to refuse a notarization: a comprehensive guide

Filed under: Technical & Legal — Tags: , — admin @ 9:38 pm

Most clients you have will have legal requests, but from time to time, there will be someone who wants you to bend the law, or someone who doesn’t understand proper protocol. Here is how to handle the difficult requests.

Situations where a signer is not appropriate to notarize
(1) If you cannot prove the signer’s identity with satisfactory evidence. Some states allow personal knowledge of the signer, so please study your state rules. Satisfactory evidence normally involves current, or near current driver’s licenses, passports, or other government issued ID. Each state has different variations on what is acceptable, so know your state rules!

(2) If the signer doesn’t appear before you.
This means that they should be a few feet from you and fully visible.

(3) If you cannot communicate directly with the signer.
This means that the signer needs to speak the same language that you speak. If you speak the signer’s language as a second language, but don’t know it well enough to understand all of the communication necessary to give instructions and answer questions regarding the notarization, then you should decline.

(4) If the signer refuses to swear under Oath if an Oath is required as part of the notarization.

(5) If the signer is being coerced to sign or pressured to sign.

(6) If the signer is drugged (perhaps in a nursing home or hospital,) confused, or disoriented. If they can’t answer basic questions about the document, they are not in a clear enough mental state to sign.

(7) If the journal entry requires a thumbprint by law and the signer refuses to furnish you with one.

(8) If the signer refuses to pay the Notary fee

(9) If the signer is so incapacitated that they cannot sign their own signature.

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Situations where the document is not satisfactory

(1) If there are blanks, or omitted pages in the document.

(2) The document lacks a notary certificate and the signer refuses to tell you which type of notary act they need done.

(3) The document is a vital record, or a type of document that may not be notarized or be copy certified.

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Situations where the Notary cannot notarize due to conflict of interest

(1) If the signer is your parent, spouse, child, or other close family member. It might be okay to notarize for cousins and more distant relatives although it is generally better to avoid notarizing anything important for a family member due to conflict of interest.

(2) If you are named as a beneficiary in a document or have any type of financial interest in the document being signed.

(3) If you are the signer of the document, you may not notarize your own signature (contradictory to popular belief.)

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I created this blog because of a discussion I had with a Notary who went to another Notary at a UPS store to get notarized. The Notary refuseed to notarize because the signer (also a Notary) refused to be thumbprinted. I had to look this up. California state law did not discuss the issue, but did say it was illegal for a Notary to refuse service. I researched what NNA had to say about this issue and they concured with California in an article about when to say no. In any case, I hope this article was helpful.

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March 16, 2017

Video notarizations? Good idea or not?

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 7:58 am

As you may or may not know, Virginia and Montana are states where webcam notarizations are allowed. So far, only one fraudulent individual has cracked the record keeping system which involves technology a lot newer than it was five years ago when webcam notarizations first started.

Timothy Reiniger is a Director of Digital Services Group who said that, “The idea of a physical presence makes no sense in a global economy.” Tim is correct, however, the purpose of a Notary is not to facilitate a global economy, but to defacilitate (deter) fraud. The Notary’s job is to make life harder not easier — and for the purpose of reducing criminal activity involving signatures. Tim wanted the Notary to have a role in online internet commerce which he felt was needed. However, if you are online in any part of the world, you can get notarized by someone in a nearby UPS store.

Companies offering webcam notarizations use KBA which is a knowledge-based authentication to verify the identity of a signer. The system uses a srious of questions about the signer’s personal background which is based on information in credit bureau databases. Unfortunately, a professional identity thief can steal exactly the type of information that KBA would most likely verify. Therefor, such a system should not be used for transactions involving any large financial value including Deeds to properties in my opinion.

The Notary is required to keep a video record of each remote notarization in the two states that allow this type of notary act. The video is a deterant to frauds who don’t want to be on camera.

A video notarization wouldn’t be able to tell you so easily if the signer was signing under duress. Another issue is that relatives of the signer can easily know the personal questions KBA would ask such as mother’s maiden name, date of birth, favorite color, etc.

In my opinion, if online notarizations are to continue or grow in popularity, an online thumbprint is the most fool-proof system of identifying an individual. You can fake an ID; You can give correct answers to someone else’s security questions if you are a friend, relative, or identity thief. But, you cannot fake someone’s thumbprint. When I was a Notary, I took journal thumbprints for every seroius transaction I performed. It takes seconds, and is a much more reliable form of identification than anything else. When in doubt, use the NNA inkless thumbrinter!

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March 15, 2017

Questions to ask to see if an ID is fake

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 7:58 am

As a Notary, you might run into a fake ID from time to time, but there are not so many of them out there proportionally. Most Notaries don’t bother to take a closer look at ID’s, but perhaps you should inspect each one as if it was fraudulently created.

Always inspect an ID to see:

1. There should be a physical description, expiration date and signature. If these are omitted, the ID is probably fake.

2. Newer ID’s contain raised lettering, embedded images, holographic images and microprinting.

3. A fake ID might have letters blurred together, or print that appears above the lamination.

4. Peeling lamination is a bad sign

5. See if the person’s eyebrows match. Women change their hairstyle and color regularly leaving the eyebrows. mouth and nose as more reliable features for identification.

Questions you could ask

1. You could ask the person their address or zip code.

2. Ask them their sign rather than their DOB. You can memorize a DOB, but nobody memorizes a fake sign. I’m a Leo by the way.

3. You could use an ultraviolet light to see if the perforated image looks authentic compared to a real ID (like yours in your pocket.)

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February 7, 2017

Notary Wording

Notary Wording Varies from State to State
There is no official American Notary wording. Notary verbiage differs from state to state, and varies based on what type of Notary act you are having done. There are various common types of notarizations such as Acknowledged signatures, Jurats, Oaths and Affirmations. The vast majority of notarizations are Acknowledgments whose wording states that the signer appeared before the Notary, was positively identified, and signed the document.

Notary Certificates — what type of wording is included.
Your typical Acknowledgment or Jurat Certificate will include several sections with wording.

1. Venue
The venue states the state and county where the notarization is taking place. Please note that the Notary is not always commissioned in the county where the notarization is taking place. So, if you are in Orange county, but the Notary is from San Diego, please make sure they put the venue county based on where the notarization is taking place, and not where they live.

2. Boiler Plate Wording
The main body of the text could be worded in an infinite variety of ways, but normally state the date of the signing, name of the signer, the name of the Notary, the fact that the signer appeared before the Notary, the fact that the signer signed the document, and if an Oath was included (Jurats by definition have Oaths) then the fact that the signer swore before the Notary. The verbiage “subscribed and sworn to before me this (date)” is commonly used in many states especially in New York where the cabbies enjoy the swearing part more than any other part of the Notarization.

3. The Signature Section
The bottom of the notary wording or notary verbiage has room for the Notary’s seal which might mean their signature or their official notary stamp. In most states the Notary signs and stamps, or might even emboss with a non-inked embosser as a secondary form of stamp.

Types of Acknowledgments
Normally, when people want to be Notarized, they ask the Notary if they can notarize a Jurat for them. In actuality, most Notarizations are for Acknowlegments. Normally people can use an All Purpose Acknowledgment, but in Ohio, there is such thing as a Corporate Acknowledgment and Attorney in Fact Acknowledgment.

Where Can You Find Your State’s Wording?
If you visit our find a notary page, you can click on your state and find current notary wording for your state. Or Google your states notary wording. Example: “California Acknowledgment Wording.”

Sample California Jurat Verbiage

State of California
County of Lake

Subscribed and sworn to (or affirmed) before me on this 5th day of January, 2017, by Jedadiah Goldminer, proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence to be the person(s) who appeared before me.

(Seal)

Signature_______________________

Loose Certificates
Many documents have preprinted notary wording on them. However, it is legal to attach a loose certificate form using a staple. NNA is a great source for Notary certificate pads such as Acknowledgment Certificates, Jurat Certificates, and even Copy Certification by Document Custodian if you want to get fancy.

Filling out the Forms
It is common on Notary certificate forms to have sections where there is he/she/they or signature(s). You have to cross out the non-applicable word(s). If you are Notarizing a woman, cross out the he and the they and the (s). If you are notarizing a man and a woman in the same notary act, cross out the he and the she, but keep the (s). If you are notarizing a man who used to be a women — your guess is as good as mine — good luck, you’ll need it.

You might also like:

Notary Boiler Plate Wording
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2432

Notary Certificates, Notary Wording & Notary Verbiage
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1834

We caught a bunch of frauds using Notary Verbiage
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=notary-verbiage

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January 31, 2017

Can a Notary be an officiate at a Wedding or marriage?

Can a Notary perform a marriage or be a wedding officiant? There are four states that currently allow Notaries to perform weddings. A Notary can solemnize a marriage if they are commissioned in:

Florida
South Carolina
Nevada
Maine

However, there are some additional qualifications, requirements and authorizations needed from your state. Please contact your state notary division to see how you can qualify to officiate at weddings. It is common for states to accept you as a wedding officiant if you are a Priest, Rabbi, Ordained Minister, Imam, etc.

Many Notaries add being a Wedding Officiant to their list of services. It is easy to make $100 to $250 for each wedding. Just don’t show up late, your you’ll create a bad memory that the married couple will keep with them for life! Many Notaries market their wedding services on websites, web directories such as 123notary.com, or by networking. We even met one Notary who specialized in gay marriages (who ran into trouble when he tried to get a wedding cake made in Indiana.)

The Notary needs to check wedding licenses, official name changes which often accompany the marriage, and then fill out a bunch of forms, get them notarized, and then send them in the mail, or preferably by Fedex. Loan signings typically end at the Fedex box, but that is where Marriages begin!

You can Google the term, “How to become ordained” to learn more about becoming a Minister in your state. Becoming ordained is normally non-denominational, but check with your church just to see if that will affect your relationship with them.

Joke:
A Priest, a Rabbi, and Imam, and a non-denominational Ordained Minister walk into a bar. The bar tender says, “So, what will you be having?” The Imam says, “A ginger ale on the rocks. Drinking alcohol is against my religion.” The Rabbi says, “I’ll have half a glass of Manichevitz Concord Grape if you’ve got it. I can do a blessing on your stock of it at no cost either — this week only.” The Priest says, “Yes brother, I’ll have white wine and a piece of bread.” The bar tender was confused and thought it should be red wine to symbolize the blood on the cross. The Priest explained, “It needs to be white wine to symbolize the color of drapes my wife forced me to buy that I can’t stand.”

So, the Bar Tender asked what they were all doing there.
The Ordained Minister said, “We’re here to perform a marriage — I guess they double booked.”
The Imam said, “Double booked? Quadruple booked! This couple is crazy. But, this ginger ale is excellent, must be one of those boutique brands!”

Q&A
Can a Florida Notary perform a wedding?
Yes, if they have the proper license.

Can a South Carolina Notary perform a wedding?
Yes, if they have the proper license.

Can a Maine Notary perform a wedding?
Yes, if they have the proper license.

Can a Nevada Notary perform a wedding?
Yes, if they have the proper license.

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January 17, 2017

Notary vs. Signing Agent

Filed under: Technical & Legal — Tags: , — admin @ 12:21 am

We write about this topic every so often. It is so basic and so critical that all new Notaries should understand. Every year, hundreds of thousands of Americans become Notaries. As Notaries they can perform tasks such as Acknowledging signatures, performing Jurats, administering Oaths, and other tasks which might be state specific. Notaries can hold their heads up high as their function is to identify signers, keep good records (in most states at least) and deter or prevent fraud. But, that is only if they are doing their job correctly — and most states do not vet their Notaries well enough to know the difference.

What is a Notary?
(1) A Notary Public is a state appointed official that is authorized to perform particular Notary functions. All states allow Notaries to perform Acknowledgments, Jurats, and Oaths, while some states allow Notaries to act as an official witness, safety box opener, proof of execution, protests, take Depositions, and more.

(2) A Notary receives a formal certificate of commission from their state, and a commission number.

(3) Many states require a Notary to have an official notary seal that has the Notary’s name, commission number, expiration date, state andcounty.

(4) Many states require the Notary to keep a bound and sequential official journal of notarial acts.

To be short, a Notary can perform certain basic Notary functions that their state allows them to function. Their state offers them a formal certificate of commission, and normally allows them to get one or two official Notary seals with their name, commission number, expiration date, city and state, etc. Notaries use prescribed state specific wording for particular Notary acts and that wording can be used on loose certificates that they can purchase from businesses who sell Notary supplies. A Notary is a public official, although most Notaries don’t understand that on an emotional level. They are appointed by their state as an official who will uphold (or at least are supposed to) the laws of their state at all costs.

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January 5, 2017

When you can’t stamp!

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 12:46 am

When You Can’t Stamp – Conditions For Turning Down A Notarization

Notaries fulfill a critical role in our society. If you’ve taken up the stamp yourself, you’ve already gone through plenty of training to familiarize yourself with your responsibilities. It’s always handy to review the situations in which you should turn down a notarization, though. Handling these delicate incidents with care is an important part of your job.

Know Your Statutes And Regulations

While the broad responsibilities of notaries are the same all over the country, specific regulations vary from state to state. For instance, in some states (like California), employers can set restrictions on what employees can and cannot notarize during business hours. In other states, notaries have an ironclad obligation to provide their services to qualified citizens. Make sure you’re thoroughly familiar with the rules governing notaries in your own state so that you’re in full compliance.

Remember that part of your responsibility as a notary is to document the work you perform. If you refuse to perform a notarization or simply have misgivings about one or more points of a particular document, make sure you record the event in detail in your notarial journal.

General Issues That Can Prevent Notarization

Most of the common reasons to turn down a notarization are fairly obvious. In situations where you can’t verify a signer’s identity, communicate with a signer (e.g. language barriers), or where one or more parties are absent, it is both your right and obligation to turn away the signers. You should also refrain from notarizing documents that involve you or your close family members or those that subject you to conflict of interest in some other way. Incomplete documents or improperly formatted ones are grounds for a refusal as well.

There are more questionable areas where you are within your rights to refuse service. If you know or suspect that the documents presented to you represent a fraudulent transaction, or you suspect that one of the signers is being coerced into signing, you have a right to refuse service. Document such cases extensively in your journal, as these are the sort of circumstances that may be investigated by authorities later.

Hot-Button Topics

As public servants, notaries have an obligation to perform their jobs without regard to their personal feelings and biases. This means you can’t refuse service to a client based on their gender, race, religion, or orientation. Modern society can present you with many different documents for notarization whose content makes you uncomfortable. Examples include documents that touch on same-sex marriage, euthanasia, abortion, and legal marijuana.

In situations like this, you have to bear in mind that your responsibilities do not extend to interpreting the laws which govern your state. Set aside your personal bias and remember that your notarial services do not in any way serve as an endorsement of laws you don’t agree with.

Refusing To Serve With Grace

It’s very easy to think about refusing a notarization when you confine yourself to hypothetical scenarios. Matters become more complicated when you’re facing an actual signer and need to turn them away, though. Tact is your strongest ally in these situations.

Remember that you don’t have any obligation to expose yourself to risk. If you’re turning down a notarization because you suspect foul play, you’re entitled to give a less contentious explanation, such as being unfamiliar with the type of documents involved. Fortunately, these situations are few and far between. With most refusals, you’ll have a clear legal basis for refusing to notarize. Explain this as thoroughly and professionally as possible.

Turning away signers who want your services isn’t the easiest part of your job as a notary. As long as you maintain a clear grasp of your obligations and their limits and behave professionally, though, you should be able to keep both yourself and your clients within the bounds of the law.

Jeff Wise is a health care professional who specializes in senior care. If you are looking for premium in-home care for your loved one, visit MiamiHomeCareServices.com today.

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December 28, 2016

Credible Witnesses

Credible Witness requirements vary from state to state. However, a vast majority of states allow the use of credible witnesses to identify a signer when the signer has no ID. Some states allow the use of one credible witness if the witness knows both the signer and the Notary. Other states allow the use of two credible witnesses if the credible identifying witnesses know the signer (but, not the Notary.) You can find out your state’s rules on credible identifying witnesses on the internet in your state notary handbook. The NNA often has technical information on state-specific Notary issues as well.

There are many situations where signers do not have identification on them. Here are a few.

1. The signer is in Jail. Laws for identifying jail inmates have changed recently in California. But, before, we needed to have the Attorney, girlfriend or mom bring two credible witnesses to the jail. Don’t depend on the wardens for this as they aren’t always nice. If they were nice, they’d probably be a bar tender or work at Starbucks and not be stuck in a jail — think about it!

2. The signer is in a hospital. Elderly people don’t always have drivers licenses. They often have expired licenses as well which cannot usually be used for notarizations. It is common to use a credible witness or two at a hospital or nursing home for an Acknowledgment or Jurat.

3. The signer lives in a bad neighborhood and got mugged. I notarized a young lady who didn’t look behind her enough. She got jumped in her driveway and lost her ID. When I notarized her, I needed the Oaths of two credible witnesses to identify her. I also thumbprinted her in my journal just to be on the safe side.

4. The signer doesn’t drive. Normally people have a state issued ID if they don’t drive, but a few elderly people just don’t have anything current.

5. The signer forgot their ID at home and you are meeting them somewhere else.

6. The signer’s name is Susie Johnson, but wants to be notarized as Angel Johnson. It might not be legal to use a credible witness in this circumstance unless she can’t find her ID. Hmmm.

Note: A subscribing witness is one that watches a signer sign or in the case of a proof of execution signs for them. A credible witness identifies the signer, and signs the journal as well. The credible witness must swear under Oath to the identity of the signer — which is something they don’t always know. “I just know him as Joe — I don’t know his full name.” — how “useful” from a legal point of view — but, most states allow this!

You might also like:

Types of witnesses in the notary profession
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=5664

Credible witnesses from A to Z
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=452

When can I use 1 credible witness?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2105

Glossary Entry — Credible Witness
http://www.123notary.com/glossary/?credible-witness

The sexist Notary dentist
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16513

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December 21, 2016

DOJ — and the risks of unsupervised notaries public.

On Feb 9, 2012, the Department of Justice released some settlement terms for some of America’s largest lenders regarding the mandate of proper training and supervision of notaries. In October, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released their Examination Manual which included requirements for the proper and correct execution of notarized documents.

There are risks to hiring uneducated and unsupervised notaries. Many do not know how to give Oaths, or properly fill out Acknowledgment or Jurat Certificates. Companies are exposed to losses should their notaries make serious mistakes. If you hire notaries, you should make sure you find a way to test them on basic notary procedures and inspect the forms that they fill out. Additionally, you should ask them all about what types of identification is acceptable and how to fill in journal entries. More than half of commissioned notary publics really don’t know what they are doing.

February 9, 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice released settlement terms for some of the nation’s largest financial institutions; including the mandate of proper training and supervision of notaries public. October 2012, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released their Examination Manual which includes requirements for proper execution of notarized documents.

For years, educators and advocates of notaries public have warned employers of the risks associated with uneducated and unsupervised notaries public. Employers of notaries public can no longer ignore the risk to which these vital employees expose our institutions and companies. This live audio conference outlines the critical protections your company should put in place to protect your reputation and financial assets, above any statutory or regulatory responsibility to do so. In addition to the relevant settlement released in February 2012, precedent setting case law demonstrates the need for employers of notaries public to take a closer look at their notary education standards, management program, and disciplinary actions to protect their company and business transactions from losses that result from unrelated or from their own uneducated notaries public. Considering that the majority of the commissioning agencies of notaries public do not require any education of your notary-employees; your company is exposed to losses as a result of their errant processes.

After completing this live audio conference, you will understand basic notarial responsibilities, identify specific actions of notary-employees that expose your company to risk, and be able to implement a management and supervisory program that includes basic notarial education and performance expectations for all notary-employees.

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