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January 2, 2020

Recorded Documents at Loan Signings

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 7:21 am

As a notary, you will probably encounter numerous loan signings of various types. Any type of loan that uses real property as collateral will most likely have some sort of security instrument such as a Deed of Trust or Mortgage, perhaps other deeds, and other recorded documents.

Recorded documents get recorded normally at the county clerk’s office for a small fee. It is critical that your notary seal be very clear on a recorded document as the county clerk staff has the right to reject the notarization if there is any small problem with it. Below are a handful of recorded documents.

Recorded Documents:

Grant Deeds
Quit Claim Deeds
Warranty Deeds
Deed of Trust / Mortgage
Subordination Agreement
Riders to Deeds
Power of Attorney (commonly recorded)
Deed of Reconveyence
Tax Liens
Wills
Deed in Lieu
Assignments of a Deed of Trust
Declaration of Homestead
Rescission of Notice of Default.
Substitution of Trustee

On the 123notary Elite Certification test we normally test Notaries to see how fluent they are at naming recorded documents and explaining them. It is prudent to be aware of which documents are recorded so you can be more cautious when notarizing them. I also recommend thinking twice before having cross-outs on recorded Acknowledgment certificates as that looks very messy and perhaps questionable.

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December 28, 2019

Alzheimer’s signings — how to determine whether to carry through or not?

Filed under: Hospital & Jail Signings — admin @ 11:07 pm

Let’s say you are at a hospital for a POA signing or Medical Directive signing. Let’s say that the signer has been officially diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Do you notarize or not? If you notarize, and the signing comes back to haunt you in court, the small fee you made will not be worth any significant risk of court time. However, if you can get the signer to describe the document, why they are signing it, who they are, who their relatives are, and who the president of the United States is, they are probably competent enough to sign.

Now, let’s say that a medical professional at the hospital advises you not to notarize for the patient due to this mental disease. The fact is that you are the Notary, and only you can decide the fate of the notarization. The main thing is to consider the risks, and how you can go about proving competency in a prudent way.

I would continue writing about this article, but I forgot what the topic was. Hmm.

You might also like:

12 questions to ask for hospital notarizations
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December 25, 2019

An alleged Notary forges a signature in Hawaii

An alleged Notary forged Puana’s name. Puana, a Hawaii resident and Notary, as relative of the victem named Kealoha was investigated by forensic experts to determine who signed the name. An alleged Alison Lee Wong was determined to have forged the signature, however, it was later found that there is no such person.

A person named Kealoha who was a former deputy prosecutor stated that her mailbox had been stolen, and that was the damage of this forgery case according to the news article that I am linking to below.

https://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/2019/06/08/hawaii-news/kealoha-corruption-trial-focuses-on-alleged-fake-notary/

This is a very odd and convoluted story. I hope you enjoy the link and can figure this one out! Aloha!

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November 14, 2019

Permission to travel for minors

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 5:46 am

I once created my own permission to travel for minors. The reason is that I wanted places for thumbprints of the various parties involved. I got feedback from repeat clients that the officials in Mexico liked my form because it was thorough and included lots of good forensic information. Here is what I put on my form.

1. Name of the authorizing party.
2. Name of who (name of child) they were authorizing to travel
3. Dates they authorized the child to be gone.
4. Name of the accompanying adult and their relationship to the child or family if any.
5. Places where the party would be traveling to.
6. Thumbprints of the authorizing party and optional prints of the child, and accompanying parties.

I (name of authorizing party) authorize (name of child) to travel to (name of place) accompanied by (name of guardian adult). They will leave (name of city leaving from) on (date) and return on (date). They will be traveling to (name of cities and country).

I do not remember the exact verbiage, but this covers the bases and all pertinent information if I am not mistaken. Traveling overseas as a child is a big deal. You want to make sure nobody is getting kidnapped and make sure nobody is suspicious of kidnapping.

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November 3, 2019

Are you safer at a psych hospital or a jail?

Filed under: Hospital & Jail Signings — admin @ 8:36 pm

Ken wrote a blog comment many years ago saying how a patient at a mental institution threatened to rip his ears off, lunged at him, but how a fast thinking security guard saved the day. People in mental institutions are out of their minds. I have visited many. For the most part people are docile and harmless, but there could be a few who are dangerous and how would you know as an outsider?

Many Notaries are too chicken to go to a jail. However, in jail, the bad guys are behind bars and cannot hurt you. I have only been face to face (without a glass separation) with an inmate in a room with a Sally port once. It was no big deal for me, but a woman might not have felt so comfortable.

Jails are places where there are Attorneys and women in the waiting room, guards, perhaps long hallways, elevators, and visitation rooms. You need a guard to pass the journal and pen back and forth to the inmate at a visiting room — that is the only main snag at a jail signing unless they have moved the inmate or are having a lock down.

So, basically you might not be familiar with jails, and there can be logistical issues. But, you will not be in danger as far as my experience tells me.

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October 30, 2019

If you notarize a document, does that make it “legal”?

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 11:50 pm

If you notarize a document, does that make the document in question legal or official?

As far as I know in my layperson opinion, if a document will be used in a legal transaction or in court, it might be said to be a legal document.

Notarizing a will, or other document just makes it notarized. Being notarized it might be acceptable to a particular document custodian or might be more relevant in court. Deeds and Power of Attorney document by definition need to be notarized to be effective or be recorded.

Oh yes, and if a document hits its 18th birthday, then it is definitely legal and the document custodian should alert Quagmire from Family Guy of the event too, particularly if the document is female.

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October 27, 2019

Are online notarizations illegal to protect outdated customs?

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 11:48 pm

One blog commentator writes that online and webcam notarizations are illegal (in many jurisdictions) simply to protect the outdated customers of traditional Notaries. Since many Attorneys are Notaries, this in his opinion is a case of mob rules where the public loses. Hmm. Interesting thought.

Security is another issue. It is hard to know on a webcam if that is the actual person being notarized. People change their hairstyle and sometimes more than one person looks like the same person. As a former Notary, seeing people’s ID is not enough in my opinion. Women change their hair around so much they are often not recognizable.

I would feel more comfortable if Notaries had facial recognition technology so that we could really identify people. It would be like that movie from thirty years ago whose name escapes me where you walk into a store and a computer greets you by name due to the technology. How annoying and invasive. China is becoming like that, but then, they have 1.4 billion people (and counting) to take care of. On a brighter note, I think the urban folks have given up having children.

So, is the growth of online notarizations stifled by mob rule, a lust to preserve traditional practices, or for realistic and reasonable concerns about security?

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October 5, 2019

Hospital signing in reverse. The Notary was bedridden

Filed under: Hospital & Jail Signings — admin @ 11:20 pm

A Notary had to go to the hospital for a hernia. He was in pain and drugged part of the time. But, he had a thriving business. and his customers would come to see him in the hospital.

CUSTOMER: Hi, I need this Affidavit notarized. I’ll sign it right here. You’re paying attention right?

NOTARY: (nodding off) ummm.

CUSTOMER: You are paying attention right?

NOTARY: Oh yeah..

CUSTOMER: (signs the document) Can you fill out the Jurat and sign it here?

NOTARY: I am not myself today. I might need to do a signature by X

CUSTOMER: According to what you told me last time only elderly customers can do a signature by mark or X.

NOTARY: Just kidding. Let me just fill this out… okay. Now, do you solmenly swear to uphold the constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic?

CUSTOMER: When you say domestic, does that include Consuela my maid? she is foreign AND a domestic.

NOTARY: You just have to make things complicated.

CUSTOMER: And that Oath has nothing to do with my document. That is the morphene talking, right?

NOTARY: I was just testing you. I’m actually sober, believe it or not. That’s why I’m being so mean. When my father arranged my marriage to Maria he said, “And he’ll beat you constantly — but only when he’s sober which is very little of the time.”

CUSTOMER: How reassuring. Okay, my Oath please? Never mind. I solemnly swear under God that the contents of this document are true and correct to the best of my knowledge.

NOTARY: I hereby affix my stamp. I gotta get out of here. I don’t want to be late to the straight pride parade in Boston of all places. Don’t you just love people from Boston — how refreshing — standing up for traditional values.

CUSTOMER: Yes, I find them refreshing, especially when they call people a “fricking retahd.”

NOTARY: Me too – gotta love it. I pronounce you man and document.

CUSTOMER: I am going to pass on kissing the document.

NOTARY: That will make you more popular in Boston as a result.

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October 4, 2019

Is it practicing law to explain a notary act?

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 11:19 pm

Many Notaries think they are practicing law by explaining a notary act. Notaries are not allowed to choose a notary act on behalf of a client, but can they explain the requirements?

As a Notary, you have to have a signer sign in your physical presence for a Jurat, but not for an Acknowledgment (except in a few underpopulated states). So, are you practicing UPL or engaged in the unauthorized practice of law by explaining that distinction to a client?

For an Acknowledgment you do not have to sign in front of the Notary, although many lenders require the signer to do so. Is it UPL to explain that too?

Is it UPL to word an Oath for a client for their Affidavit? You kind of have to do that otherwise you cannot administer an Oath or Affirmation.

The fact is that your state authorizes you to do Notary work and perhaps even tests you on it. You are authorized do do all aspects of Notary work by law. You are not authorized to explain Mortgage documents but notary procedures are NOT Mortgage documents although they might be done to Mortgage documents.

How do you deal with this quandary?

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September 22, 2019

When can you charge for an Oath?

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 10:32 pm

If an Oath is a separate and independent notary act, you can charge for it as far as I know — I swear!

But, I believe (and please comment below if I am wrong) that you may not charge extra for an Oath on a Deposition, court appearance, or for credible witnesses.

When using credible witnesses for an Acknowledgment, you just charge for the Acknowledgment, but not for the credible witnesses. This is only for states that allow credible witnesses which is about 30 states more or less and you can look them up online.

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