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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.

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November 14, 2017

That will never happen to me!

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 3:49 am

There was a Notary who generally did a good job, but didn’t understand that the Notary profession isn’t completely safe. He knew that other people went to court from time to time but thought — that will never happen to me. He did his job faithfully day after day. One day he did a routine job for Annette Rockafeller. Little did he know that the ID was fake. Since his state law did not require thumbprints, he notarized Annette based on her fake ID which looked real. Several months later, our Notary friend had to appear in court. He was in court for a month because he did not have incriminating evidence to nail the suspect in the case who had committed identity fraud and robbed someone of half a million dollars.

The judge finally figured out what happened and convicted someone names Judy who was pretending to be Annette. My only question is that if Judy was pretending to be Annette, then who was pretending to be Judy? In any case, the Notary lost half his loyal clients because he was tied up in court for a month with no pay. He was frustrated and upset that this had happened. After all, his state didn’t require thumbprints so he had done nothing wrong.

The judge sat his down and explained that India does not require seat belts but you can still get killed if you don’t wear one. The law allows people to drink alcohol, but you can still die if you drink too much. There is nobody forcing you to take a thumbprint and nobody forcing you not to. But, next time YOU could be named as a suspect as a conspirator in an identity theft ring if this happens again. Guess what the Notary said to the judge?

That will never happen to me!

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October 29, 2017

Multiple title companies told notaries NOT to thumbprint?

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 1:00 am

When I ask Notaries to thumbprint, they tell me that title companies don’t want them to. I don’t want anyone to get fired. However, I don’t want the Notary to be named as a conspirator defendant in an identity theft case either. Most Notaries don’t want to do anything they are not forced to do, especially if the people who pay them do not want them to. The only solution is for 123notary to contact Title companies and explain why it is so critical to take thumbprints.

Thumbprints are the only way to catch identity thieves. And Lenders can lose thousands of dollars should an identity thief slip through the cracks and they do from time to time on loans. So, why would a title company want to prevent the FBI from catching the bad guys.

Should 123notary write to title companies and explain why this is so important? Maybe that is the only way they will listen. The Notary industry is screwed up, so it is up to us to turn it around, right?

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October 18, 2017

An identity fraud case in Florida with 13 defendants: 10 minutes w/a judge

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 12:54 am

This case made the news and was going to be a Federal Case. There were 13 defendants named in this identity fraud case. The Notary had to spend a week filing out paperwork for court. Then she appeared before the judge in his private chamber. The judge spent ten minutes looking at the journal and filled out some forms and said, “Case dismissed.” The Notary did not have to go to court for a month or appear a second time. It was her journal that saved her butt.

The main defendant added a second name to a Deed and forged someone’s initial. An entire court battle just because of one forged signature. Don’t underestimate how dangerous notarizing Deeds can be, so take all the necessary precautions.

So, if you say, “But, my state doesn’t require me to keep a journal.” Ask yourself if you want to lose a month of your life trapped in court without pay.

Keeping a journal is not that hard, so don’t make a Federal case out of it otherwise you might be involved in a Federal case.

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October 17, 2017

A Massachusetts Notary Speaks Out. A coerced signature.

Filed under: Technical & Legal — Tags: — admin @ 12:02 am

A few days ago I spoke to a Massachusetts Notary Public on our list. She told me that there are some strange laws out there that almost got her in trouble. She had to appear before a judge due to a Notarization gone wrong. The wife was forced to sign by the husband and she didn’t really want to. I think they were from a foreign country where men boss people around because American men know what will happen to them if they boss people around.

Unbeknownst to me, there is an unusual law in Massachusetts where for some or all Notarial acts, the Notary must ask the signer (or ask the signer to swear — forgot which) if they are signing on their own free will.

I have never heard of a signer being coerced to sign in America. In India it happens a lot when people want to steal your property.

The judge made the Notary promise to always make the signer claim that they are signing under their own free will otherwise their commission would be revoked. Yikes. But, that is not a bad law.

I wonder why we don’t have that law in California. We have all types of other nonsensical laws. Hmmm.

Acknowledged signature
Witnessed signature
Forged signature
UnCoerced signature

So, now we have a new notary act — an uncoerced signature. That should be its own act not to be confused with an acknowledged signature.

The moral of the story is, if you notarize strange foreigners where the men think that men can still act like men and get away with it, beware, they might be forcing the females to sign.

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October 15, 2017

Airline meals verses Notary Oaths & Affirmations

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 3:06 am

Have you ever wondered what airline meals have in common with Notarial Oaths? More than you think. In the old days airlines would only have one choice. The choice would normally have meat, and a few sides. Those were the good old days when women stayed at home and men supported them, and children had fathers. But, we solved the problem of children having fathers (so old fashioned and unnecessary.) Now, we are all the more wiser and realize that children do just fine without a live-in father and don’t need school prayer either. What a waste of time. Additionally, we have stopped reproducing for the most part which is another way to solve our sociological problems.

On the other hand, a preacher from Tennessee on television says, “If God goes out, then the Devil comes in… Since we have stopped prayer in school, there has been an upsurge in drugs, teen pregnancy, violence, and the list goes on…” But, I digress.

Now, you can get the regular airline meal, vegetarian, vegan, gluton free, high fiber, and about ten other choices. Singapore air even has some good Asian delicacies (yes please!) But, let’s get to the point of this article. It does have a point, right?

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AIRLINE MEALS

Let’s say that on Trans-Notarial Airlines you have two choices of a meal.

(1) THE REGULAR MEAL: which has a chunk of certified angus beef, two veggie sides and an embossed oreo plus a can of Affiant Cola. And then, there is

(2) THE VEGETARIAN OPTION which gives you the broccoli with tofu, their signature salad, corn, chocolate cake and a drink.

The problem is that the Notaries who ran Trans-Notarial Airlines thought they knew everything about notary food law, but didn’t. What the Notaries did was to offer vegetarians the regular meal, but remove the meat. The Notaries did not know that there was a vegetarian meal since they had not been trained.

Similarly, Notaries are unaware that most states have an OATH and an AFFIRMATION. The affirmation was created or invented as not to offend those who did not want to mention God or swearing. But, what Notaries often do is to administer an Oath, but remove the required Oath verbiage of “swear” and “God” as to please the politically correct and religious zealots instead thereby bastardizing an Oath rather than administering an Affirmation. The other mistake Notaries make is to only do Affirmations when legally they might (are likely to) be required to offer a CHOICE of acts.

MY RECOMMENDATIONS

Offer your clients a choice of an Affirmation or an Oath in a Jurat execution or if they want a purely oral sworn statement. It is their choice, so you have no place choosing for them. It is the same as offering a choice of the regular meal or the veggie meal rather than giving the regular meal without the meat. Where’s the beef? My opinion is that if you leave God out, the devil comes in. So, when you administer a sworn statement to me, don’t forget the God part. Without him/her, we wouldn’t even exist! And for New York Notaries, I recommend not doing Affirmations with the cab drivers because cabbies prefer to swear!

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August 8, 2017

What is someone signs in the wrong line in my Notary book?

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 9:57 am

We recently got a bunch of questions from newer Notaries about journals which were interesting. Here are the questions and my commentary.

1. What if someone signs in the wrong line in my Notary book?
If someone signs in the wrong line in your Notary journal, this poses a problem. If they signed above the journal entry in someone else’s entry, if it covers the other signature, that is a problem. Just cross out the wrong signature without defacing the signature that belongs there. On the other hand, if someone signs below in a blank journal entry, just cross the entire line of journal entry out and have them sign in the correct place. If you are doing a husband and wife notarization and you fill out your journal for all of the loan documents for each signer — and the husband signs where the wife is supposed to sign (but hasn’t yet) just cross out the entire entry, make a note of what happened in the journal and make a new entry for the one that got botched.

It is better to watch signers and use your finger to point to where they are supposed to sign as they will likely sign in the wrong place.

2. What if someone forgets to sign my Notary Journal?
If you are doing a notarization, you need to fill out your Notary journal BEFORE you stamp anything. Yes, you can fill out the Acknowledgment and Jurat forms before the notarization or before the person signs or swears under Oath. But, you cannot complete the notarization by signing your signature to the certificate or stamping until the person has signed your journal and the corresponding document.

If you make a mistake and forget to have someone sign your journal — call them up and go back. Get them to sign after the fact. That is better than not getting a signature at all. Tell them that their notarization could get “nullified” or not recognized if there is no signature in your book. In real life, a Notarization can only be “disqualified” after the fact if there is a formal investigation by an Attorney, investigator, Secretary of State, etc., who determines that the Notarization was done fraudulently or incompletely. So, you can scare them with this information and they will most likely be willing to sign your journal. However, don’t scare them unless they refuse to cooperate just to be polite!

3. What if I am signing two documents for two signers — how many journal entries?
Two documents that two signers will sign both of? That’s easy. That is two entries per person = FOUR journal entries. Just prepare all four journal entries with the name of each document and signer, plus all other pertinent and required information in each journal entry. Each person’s name will appear in two entries — one for each document.

Jan 1, 10am John Doe Ack Power of Attorney Address CA Dr. Lic 5553334 Exp.10-01-21 Fee… Signature Thumbprint
Jan 1, 10am John Doe Jurat Affidavit Ditto Ditto Fee… Signature. Thumbprint
Jan 1, 10am Sally Doe Ack Power of Attorney Address CA Dr. lic 1234566 Exp. 10-09-19 Fee. Signature. Thumbprint
Jan 1, 10am Sally Doe Jurat Affidavit Ditto Ditto Fee Signature … Thumbprint

You can NOT say ditto for the other signatures. Signatures must be signed. If your state law requires thumbprints on Powers of Attorney or Deeds, then do so for all entries for a Power of Attorney documents and Deeds. There is no penalty for always taking a thumbprint as it is prudent.

There is MORE… to be indicated in the journal entry than I indicated. Document Date, Notes about the signing that might help jog your memory after the fact.

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August 6, 2017

Is it better to piss a few people off, or protect society?

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

The moral of the story is that it is good to look at situations in perspective, preferably a higher perspective. Most Notaries want to please their customers and the way they do their job is for that purpose only. As a Notary Public, your job is to serve the public and to obey the laws of your state. Additionally, you should follow best practices or prudent practices whether required by law or not simply to protect yourself and the public from fraud. The whole purpose in having Notaries is to deter and prevent fraud, so if you take short-cuts that make fraud easy, then there is no point in the existence of your profession.

Many companies discourage thumbprint taking
Many signing companies and title companies do not like Notaries asking for thumbprints because many borrowers don’t like being asked to give thumbprints. Nobody wants complaints. The state of Florida’s FAQ page stated that they did not want Notaries requiring thumbprints, however, they did not object to asking for thumbprints. Many Notaries in Texas claim that their state doesn’t allow thumbprinting. I’m not sure if this is correct or now. The fact is that many entities are against thumbprints since it takes private information from an individual and makes it available to others as well as the fact that many object to thumbprints as it is a pain in the neck (and wrist.)

Identity frauds get caught with thumbprints
Although many people are against thumbprints, many Notaries listed on 123notary claim that they assisted the FBI catch some heinous identity thieves, frauds, ponzi schemers (not to be confused with the Japanese ponzu sauce which is citrus and soy based.) and other bad guys. One Notary on our site help to get a guy nailed for 15 years of hard time who ruined the finances of presumably hundreds of unsuspecting victims. If it hadn’t been for that journal thumbprint that the Notary lady in question took, the FBI would not have been able to catch the fraud.

The Notary is normally considered a suspect
When the FBI interrogates a Notary Public, the Notary is considered a suspect. If you do not take proper journal records, it might appear that you are FACILITATING fraud by your lack of record keeping. Proper journal entries help uncover what happened at a Notary appointment. If an ID was forged, the information in your journal is useless unless you have a thumbprint which cannot be forged unless you are wearing a latex thumb-cover which would be easily detected by the notary. By not keeping a thumbprint you are facilitating the possibility of fraud. Additionally, keeping journal entries with multiple documents per journal entry raises the possibility that the Notary added extra documents to the journal entry after the fact and used them fraudulently which is why we recommend one journal entry per person per document in all cases even if that means you will have to buy a new journal every two weeks. You could be named as a suspect by the FBI or have to appear in court for a long time if there is identity fraud facilitated by your notary commission. A thumbprint is the single most easy and effective way to get judges, FBI agents and other investigators off your back and keep you out of court. I have heard first hand of many examples from our Notaries where they were off the hook due to proper record keeping who would have been in court WITHOUT PAY for a month if they did not keep good records.

Would you rather piss people off or protect society?
Let me ask you a question as a group. Pretend that over the next four years you will notarize 10,000 individuals. Pretend that ONE and only one of these individuals will be a really horrible identity thief who has victimized dozens of people, cheating them ouf of their life savings. Assume that by thumbprinting them, that when the FBI knocks on your door, your information will be the critical piece of evidence that will be used to nail that sucker and put him away for good. By helping nail that scoundrel you saved 21 more people who would have been financially ruined because of that joker. Pretend that 500 people and some of the companies you work for will COMPLAIN that you are taking thumbprints when it is not required by law except currently in California (hopefully subject to change in those other negligent states that should have their heads examined.) Is it worth pissing off 500 people in a small way to save 21 people from financial ruin and emotional devestation resulting from their victimization? My answer is — don’t let petty concerns get in the way of safeguarding society. Be a good citizen and keep your neighbor safe at night. If they protest being thumbprinted, tell them that someone could fake an ID and pretend to be them and steal all of the equity in their home — and that without a thumbprint the soundrel might never even get caught. Your signers will whistle a different tune when they think of themselves as a potential victim.

Summary
(a) You will notarize 10,000 people
(b) 1 will be a bad identity thief who will victimize 21 more people if not caught.
(c) You will piss off 500 individuals and a few companies by requiring thumbprints.
Is it worth upsetting 500 people in a small way to save 21 people from complete ruin?

Your job is not to be the detective, but to keep good records that the detectives can use to nail really really bad people. IMO it is worth upsetting a million people to save even one person from a serious act of identity theft! Society needs to be safe and feel safe. Do your part!

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May 3, 2017

The whole purpose of being a No-tary is to say No!

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 10:17 pm

In France, the officials love saying no just for the shear pleasure. One American was pulled over in France and asked the officer why he was pulled over. The officer replied, “Because, I can…” Notaries are in such a hurry to please their clients, they forget who they really work for which is Uncle Sam… on a state level that is. Notaries at a Notary office make their money in Notary fees and not in travel fees so there is no conflict of interest. But, Notaries who want to make a good living in the over-competitive field of mobile Notary are so motivated by keeping clients, that they forget the whole reason for their profession which is to say — no!

If a man says maybe it means no. If a woman says no, it means maybe. But, Notaries need to be a little less wishy-washy. You are protecting the integrity of very large transactions here. Allowing something to slide could enable a fraud, and you might have no idea who the fraud was as they might seem like a very nice person at first. Here are some situations where you should say No! (and loudly)

1. The ID says John Smith, but he wants to be notarized as John S Smith because that’s how his name reads on title.

2. The signer’s ID is expired and your state doesn’t allow expired ID. (some will allow up to five years from the issue date.)

3. The affiant refuses to swear under Oath.

4. You are asked to put a different date on the Notary certificate than the date of the signing.

5. The borrower will not or cannot appear in front of you at the time of the Notariztion

6. The signer is in jail and his girlfriend need you to notarize him without ID. “But, he has a wristband” she says…

7. The Lender asks you to mail in a “loose jurat” and says it’s okay because they do that all the time.

8. Notarizing individual pages of multi-page documents

9. Notarizing a thumbprint

10. Notarizing a vital record

11. Notarizing a photograph

12. Notarizing a document with blanks without crossing out or filling in the blanks.

You might also like:

See our Just Say No String
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=just-say-no-2

Are you a yes-tary or a no-tary?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16626

ID — a growing problem
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15074

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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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