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July 27, 2020

Does the signer sign the notary certificate?

Filed under: Notary Mistakes — admin @ 10:21 pm

Many of you will notice that on a Notary certificate such as an acknowledgment certificate or jurat certificate there is no place for the signer to sign. The certificate forms are for the notary to fill out — for the notary ONLY. The notary indicates the venue, date, who the signer(s) are, and entering the name of the notary. The notary signs and seals (stamps) but the signer should not inscribe any information on that form.

BTW, this is a beginner question. If you are advanced and don’t know this — good God!


August 22, 2019

He put crazy glue on his thumb

Filed under: Notary Mistakes — admin @ 10:48 pm

If you are in a hurry as a Notary to get the job done and get out, think again. Your job is to deter fraud. In fact, detering fraud is so critical in your Notarial profession, you should be called Fraud-Deteraries (not sure that is a word, I’ll Google it.)

A Notary went to a signing. The signer had put crazy glue on his thumb. Personally, I think that a more professional grade adhesive would have made more sense, but the borrower didn’t google “best adhesives for using during fraudulent notarized signings.” His loss! In any case, putting sarcasm aside, The Notary thumbprinted the signer in their journal (they were in California) didn’t notice that the thumb had no tire tread on it.

Later on, the signer, and the Notary ended up in court as the signer had impersonated a home owner and used fraud to steal or embezzle property from someone else. This would not have happened if the Notary had paid attention to the lack of tread and taken a look or felt the signer’s thumb and said, “something is up!”

However, please be advised that for the elderly, it is common not to have any tread, especially for the 80+ crowd. So, that is normal if there is no wear or tear left on their thumb. But for someone middle aged, that is not acceptable.

Putting crazy glue on your thumb is just plain crazy, but being a notary who is not on the ball is even worse. Stay alert and realize that your job is to prevent crazy people from impersonating others!

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July 28, 2019

Perhaps Donald Trump will take Notary competency more seriously now that he is affected

Filed under: Notary Mistakes — admin @ 2:19 am

It is now being claimed that Trump never signed a non-disclosure agreement with Stormy Daniels. Due to a botched notarization done by a Notary who received little or no training, a very important business document is now null and void. For years, the various state notary divisions have allowed shoddy Notaries to represent 99.9% of the notary population, and do little or nothing to train or scrutinize them. California does the most, but still 70% of California Notaries that I test cannot and will not administer a correct sounding Oath nor do they think it is important.

The fact remains that if you don’t keep a proper journal, don’t give an Oath, or make a mess of your certificates, you can invalidate the legality of a very critical financial document and that is no joke. The government for decades has behaved like it doesn’t matter and that the Notary profession is one big joke where people should get paid pennies for their work.

Now that the most important man in America has gotten his fingers very badly burned by a typical Notary who was never scrutinized by her State of Texas (which is a state that not only doesn’t teach you how to be a good Notary but prohibits you from inscribing ID serial numbers or taking thumbprints which is the only sure fire way to know a person’s true identity.) The State of Texas allowed this Notary to practice, never checked up on her, and the result is that the President of the United States is now in a lot of trouble. Maybe I should write to Donald and let him know that Notary education is the secret to resolving this problem in the long run. What do you think he will think? I think someone or a lot of someones are about to be fired.

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July 27, 2019

Texas suspends notary who handle Stormy’s hush money

Filed under: Notary Mistakes — admin @ 2:11 am

Stormy Daniels signed a document regarding being paid $130,000 in hush money before the 2016 election. A Texas Notary named Erica Jackson notarized that non-disclosure agreement document concerning the money. But, the State of Texas terminated her Notary commission as a result. The Notary claims she did nothing wrong, yet got canned anyway?

However, the plot thickens. After I watched a video about what had happened, there was a stamp on the signature page, but no notarial certificate verbiage and no notary signature. The notary claimed that the Acknowledgment page which was the third page (that was no longer attached) that stated who was being notarized, etc., was omitted.

Additionally, there was an accusation that the Notary notarized without a signature of the Notary, but the Notary claims that she signed on other pages which were attached.

There was also journal record for the corresponding document, and the journal seemed to have been filled out correctly.

Jeremy’s Comments
If you are a Notary Public, it is quite likely that you could end up on the 6pm national news. So please take your job a little more seriously and get rid of this “I already know it all” attitude, as it is that attitude which prevents you from learning.

This Notary did several things wrong.
1. She stamped the signature page with her Notary seal but omitted Acknowledgment and/or Jurat certificate verbiage. She also omitted a Notary signature to accompany her notary seal which is illegal and she should be terminated if that was the case. It is hard to see what actually happened when you have an inconclusive video.

2. She attached a certificate that was to constitute page three, but that page three ended up missing. Your stamp can not be on page two when the certificate wording is on page three. Those legally have to be on the same page. If the stamp had been on page three where it was supposed to be, she wouldn’t be in a world of trouble.

3. I originally thought (because I prejudged the situation) that the Notary was in trouble because of her association with some dirty business. That was how her improper notarization was discovered, but not why she got in trouble. Interesting in any case.

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June 11, 2019

A Los Angeles detective seizes two journals and complains about a blurry thumbprint

Filed under: Notary Mistakes — admin @ 10:14 pm

Yes people, it really happened. A Los Angeles Notary notarized the wrong person. That person was committing some type of fraud. The next thing you know, some detectives were banging on her door. She had to let them have two of her journals. But, that was not good enough for the detectives. They went through a long whining session.

One of the thumbprints taken by the Notary was blurry. How can you do forensics on a blurry thumbprint? Why was that Notary so lazy that they could not take a proper thumbprint? It’s not rocket science — you just push down — and that’s it. Take thumb, press down in ink pad, rise thumb, press straight down on journal thumbprint designated space, feel good, that’s all.

Then on another journal entry, there was no thumbprint, and trust me, the detectives complained a whole lot about that.

So, if you are Notaries and say, “You’re being too picky Jeremy, and besides, my state doesn’t require that.” There are real reasons why I make the recommendations that I do, and it is not just to give you a hard time. You can get in real trouble without thumbprints and proper journal work. Don’t let it happen to you.

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May 17, 2019

Can you scan loan docs back using a cell phone?

Filed under: Notary Mistakes — admin @ 11:08 am

Can you scan loan docs back using a cell phone?

Yes, but should you? Notaries commented on forums that cell phone scans are unclear and unprofessional. If you want to get fired, then do what you like. But, for nice clear scans, use a professional machine or better yet, get a portable.

You can use whatever equipment you like so long as the output is clear. Maybe a higher end iPhone will do the trick… or not. I don’t know because I am not a technical guy. Or better yet, ask your employer and they can recommend what they want. The main thing is to not get fired. You are not assigned notary work for your convenience but for the convenience of others — something that notaries conveniently forget!

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September 25, 2018

Penalties for Notary misconduct, fraud, and failure of duty

Filed under: Notary Mistakes — Tags: , , — admin @ 11:23 am

Notaries by and large do not willfully engage in any type of illegal activity or illegal notarizations. The normal types of crimes Notaries commit are due to complete ignorance of Notary procedure, Oaths, and certificates. The only serious and purposeful crime I have ever heard of a Notary associated with us committing was one that assisted someone in fraud concerning real property — and the Notary ended up in jail. Please keep in mind that Notary law is different in every state and changes all the time as well. Penalties and fines for Notary misconduct are different in each state, California being the most stringent.

Negligent vs. Willful Misconduct

In California, the penalties are much more severe for Notaries who have engaged in willful misconduct rather than just making a careless mistake or omission.

Failure to keep your seal & journal under lock and key.
In California this is very serious and is a crime. You can keep your Notary equipment in a bag with a small lock that locks the zippers together. If you are the only one with access to your car, then the trunk of your car could work as well.

Unauthorized Practice of Law
The definition of UPL differs from state to state. However, offering opinions on legal matters or offering to draft legal documents might constitute UPL. For a professional opinion — ask an Attorney!

Asking a notary to do an improper notarization.
This is a misdemeanor in California. If it involves real property, then it is much more serious. Clients might ask you to notarize their signature using a different name variation that is not documented on their identification, or put a false date. This is illegal. They would guilty for asking you to do this, and you would be guilty if you give in to their pressure. If you have driven forty minutes to a signing job, in a sense you have a beneficial interest in notarizing their document unless you have gotten your travel fee up front when you walk in the door. So, to be prudent and avoid this issue, you MUST get your travel fee BEFORE you see the document, or are informed who the signers are, or see their ID, because a conflict of interest can easily happen. If someone asks you to do something illegal, you can threaten to report them to the Secretary of State’s office. This is a serious crime and you should treat it as such.

Issuing a false certificate
A notary who signs and seals false certificates, and this could include backdated certificates would be guilty of a misdemeanor. A false Acknowledgment certificate constitutes FORGERY. Additionally, the notary public could have their commission revoked if found guilty of this crime, with an additional fine of $1500 per incident in California (fines change over time so look this up in the statues).

Failure to Identify a Credible Witness
A fine of $10,000 per incident could occur if a notary fails to check a credible witness’s identification documents and see that they have acceptable identification.

Failure to get a thumbprint!!!
This is my favorite. Thumbprints are critical for identifying a signer if fraud is suspected. Powers of Attorney and Deeds require a journal thumbprint in California. A fine of up to $2500 per incident would be the penalty. Most other states do not require thumbprints, and Texas and Florida actually recommend against thumbprinting as those states do not trust Notaries with biometric data which is the only foolproof way to identify a signer. How ironic!

Failure to administer an Oath
A fine of $750 per incident could be incurred, not to mention revocation, or suspension of a notary commission, or refusal to grant a commission. I heard that some Notaries in Oklahoma had to go to court for a loan document signing in question. The Judge found out that the Notaries had not administered Oaths on the Affidavits in the loan package. I heard that the Judge overturned the loan and had the Notaries commissions permanently revoked by their state.

Felony Convictions
If you have a felony conviction or have been convicted of a crime involving dishonesty or moral turpitude, you will most likely not be allowed to get a notary commission in the first place. If you already had a notary commission, it would be suspended or revoked the minute your state’s ntoary division finds out about it!

Professional Misconduct
This refers to dishonesty in your professional activities. The penalty would once again be suspension, revocation, or refusal to grant a notary commission.

Failure of Duty
This means that you refuse to serve a member of the public who has a legitimate request for a notarization. However, if the signer doesn’t have proper identification, or doesn’t have a properly filled out document, or seems very questionable, you have the right to refuse service to such a client. The penalty would be refusal to grant a notary commission, suspension, or revocation of a notary commission. Additionally a fine of $750 could be imposed on the California notary public.

Falsely Acting as a Notary
This is a misdemeanor. Borrowing someone’s Notary seal and doing Notary work is a serious crime. If you are a Notary, keep your seal and journal locked up.

Making false statements to a notary
Anyone who induces a notary to make an improper notarization with regards to real property can be found guilty of a FELONY. This is the most serious type of fraud possible in the notary profession.

False or misleading notary advertising
Making false statements in notary advertising is illegal, and the penalty for a California Notary is $1500 per incident. Additionally, such a notary’s commission could be suspended, revoked, terminated, or there could be a refusal to issue a commission. Claiming to be an immigration expert, or be able to give legal advice could be a serious example of false advertising and perhaps unauthorized practice of law.

Selling personal information
It is illegal for the notary sells or misuses personal information of those he/she has notarized. Remember to keep your journals locked up, so that nobody can have access to that information. When making copies of journal entries, make sure that the neighboring journal entries are covered, so that their information is not shared with the public. Once again, your application could be denied, or your commission could be revoked or suspended for this type of crime.

Misstatements on a notary application (Application misstatement)
Your notary commission could be suspended, revoked, or refused if you are guilty of this misconduct

Here are some other crimes… I will just list them here, but may or may not describe the penalties.

Failure to deliver a journal to the county clerk at the end of your commission. – misdemeanor
Failure to safeguard seal and journal – revoke/suspend/refuse
Failure to report a lost or damaged seal – $1500 fine
Nonpayment of judgement / Refusal to pay child support – refusal to issue a commission
Failure to keep a journal – such notaries will be prosecuted

There are a few others laws that I am not going to mention, but these were the interesting ones…

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November 21, 2017

13 ways to get sued as a Notary

Many people become Notaries to make a few extra bucks and don’t realize there are liabilities in this profession. Here are some ways you can get into trouble as a Notary.

1. You name your business a particular name, advertise with that name, but the name is not registered with your county clerk. Someone could sue you for using their business name.

2. You notarize loans in an Attorney state and the local bar association sues you. This has happened to a few Notaries in Massachusetts, and in Georgia the bar association antagonizes Notaries from time to time.

3. You make a mistake on a signing and your E&O doesn’t cover you. E&O is for NOTARY MISTAKES and not for business mistakes you make with loan signing. If a document is not notarized, your E&O will not cover your mistake. For example if you sign the note wrong, that is not a Notary mistake, that is a document signing mistake.

4. You return documents back late and the Lender sues you because the borrower lost their lock.

5. You make a comment to the borrower about their loan, they cancel, and then the Lender blames you and sues.

6. You decline to Notarize someone whose name on the ID does not match or prove the name on the document. One Notary did exacty this and got sued and lost because her communication skills were so bad, but judge could not understand her side of the story.

7. You get in a car accident on the way to a signing and get sued as a result of the accident.

8. You make a mistake in a loan signing and then don’t answer your phone or email for days after. The Lender is pulling his hair out and sues you for his bill with Bosley hair transplants.

9. You don’t follow directions on an assignment. You don’t show the documents in the order the client asked you to. As a result, the client changes their mind about signing the document that will get the client their commission. The client loses $5000 because of you, sues you, and wins.

10. You forget to administer an Oath and your state fines you for malpractice. In California there is a $750 fine for each Oath you forget. Fining and suing are different, but the end is the same — you lose. Or should I say, I swear you will lose!

11. You give legal advice or something that can be construed, misconstrued as legal advice. Then, you get sued for UPL. If you give legal advice to a courier company you could get sued for UPL by UPS.

12. You put the wrong date on the Right to Cancel, the borrower thinks they have an additional day, and find out after the fact that they don’t. Good luck. You would be surprised how many Notaries do not know how to date a Right to Cancel.

13. You misrepresent yourself as an immigration expert and defraud some poor and helpless immigrants. Or you advertise as a Notario. You will be cracked down upon by many state governments for this.


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November 16, 2017

Goofing on the RTC

Filed under: Notary Mistakes,Technical & Legal — admin @ 3:58 am

To be Notary, you need to be a cautious and meticulous person. The problem is, that most Notaries are amazingly careless and go into this profession because anyone can get in. This is a problem. You would not believe how many people goof on the RTC when I ask over the phone.

If a Refinance is signed on a Friday, and Monday is a Federal Holiday, when is the last day to cancel?
The answer is Wednesday night at 11:59pm.

30% of people goof on this ridiculously easy question and say Tuesday and a few say Thursday. What is the problem here? Many Notaries have poor listening comprehension. They are not really paying attention or listening when they are supposed to be listening — even during a test that determines their future. Many others do not concentrate on what they are thinking about. Sometimes it is good to review the situation two or three times in your head before giving an answer.

The Notary profession involves a lot of phone conversation, a few emails and texts as well. If you cannot think and be cooperative over the phone, you will not make it in this profession. It is easy to date a right to cancel. That is kid stuff, yet many Notaries cannot do this.

You can get SUED if you date an RTC wrong.

I signed 4000 loans in my career and did not goof a RTC even once. I made about six technical errors in my career which is not bad. I made more than six social blunders, but as you know, I am not the most socially smooth person in the world.

So, practice the RTC. This is called studying. Remember the basic principles.

The day of the signing doesn’t count as a day to rescind.
Sundays and Federal holidays don’t count as days to rescind.
Friday after Thanksgiving does count unless the Lender says it doesn’t count.
Saturdays are business days or rescission days and do count.

A borrower in a Refinances has three calendar days to rescind not including the day of the signing, Sundays or Federal Holidays.

It’s not rocket science. Learn it correctly so you don’t get fired or sued.


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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