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January 29, 2018

Journal abbreviation keys

Filed under: Journals,Technical & Legal — admin @ 12:50 am

Many people take the easy way out with their journal. Journal keeping is seen as just an arduous task with no higher meaning. Many people feel that they can do a shoddy job doing their journal since it is not required in their state. However, if you are in front of a judge you need a clearly filled out journal whether your state requires it or not.

Many Notaries use the check box journal. I recommend against this. The check box journal says, “E&O” as one of the names of a document. If the real document says, “Errors and Omissions Compliance Agreement” that is a completely different document. E&O is an abbreviateion for the first three words, but what about the last two words? Don’t take liberties.

Then there are other Notaries who just write, “10 Grant Deeds.” If you are ever in court, you need to know which Grant Deed is in question and if you really notarized it. Keeping escrow numbers, names of parties involved and addresses helps to narrow it down.

DOT could be a good abbreviation for Deed of Trust. However, if you are in court years later what will the judge say? What if you have bad handwriting and use abbreviations?

My philosophy is to keep an abbreviation key in the inner cover of each journal you use. I had 70 journals in my career so I could have a lot of keys. You can have a key that says:

DOT = Deed of Trust
AFF = Affidavit
E&O Comp Agree = Errors & Omissions Compliance Agreement.
Corr Agree = Correction Agreement.

This way you have a system that is documented just in case.
Or, just write the entire name of the document out. Or you could only abbreviate Deeds of Trust since they are so common and not abbreviate the others just to keep reading the journal more straight forward.

The worst thing you can do is to write, “Loan Docs.” When you put the names of documents in your journal, each document is legally separate, and the fact they are part of a package does not make them legally all have the title, “Loan Documents.” Each document has a name that must be entered in your journal if you notarize it.

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January 18, 2018

Thumbprinting in Texas

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 12:16 pm

Texas Notaries are advised by their Sec of State not to take journal thumbprints. It is illegal to distribute biometric data to the public in Texas. However, I do not think it is illegal to take the information and keep it locked up in your journal.

The fact is that if an identity thief gets notarized and they steal equity from someone to the tune of half a million dollars, the only way to catch them is with that thumbprint that you have been told not to keep. It is a little like telling someone not to wear a seatbelt because what if it jams?

The second fact is that I have never heard of anyone getting in trouble for taking a thumbprint except from a few title companies who get complaints from their clients about it. However, you might be in court for a month because you did not keep the thumbprint.

So there are arguments for and against keeping journal thumbprints. The arguments for are for the safety of society from being raped by people who will pillage every penny you have, and the arguments against is so Mrs. Anderson doesn’t complain that she is being inconvenienced. Do the math.

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December 26, 2017

Affirmations – Pleasing the politically correct while offending the traditional people

The politically correct movement has become so strong. We have lost our freedom of speech and are controlled in so many ways that it is upsetting. However, it applies to the Notary world too. Those who don’t believe in God or don’t want to mention God have been so adamant that Notaries had to change how they did their job in terms of Oaths and Affirmations.

What was supposed to happen was that those who did not want to swear, could choose a different yet legally equal notary act called an Affirmation to replace the Oath. However, most Notaries do not understand the rules and principles of Oaths vs. Affirmations. What many Notaries do is administer an Oath with affirmation wording which is as stupid as doing and Acknowledgment with Jurat wording or going to a urinal in a female bathroom. It doesn’t work that way.

Oaths are Oaths and Affirmations are Affirmations. They are interchangeable but you cannot mix the verbiage from one to another.If you do an Oath you swear whether that offends people or not. If you do an Affirmation you affirm or state whether that offends people or not. But, you cannot affirm during an Oath to spare people the offense. And by the way, affirming during an Oath offends me because it is wrong.

It is the customer’s choice if they want an Oath or Affirmation. As long as your state recognizes it, it is up to the client.

Many Notaries say, “I don’t do Oaths, I only do Affirmations.” That is not your choice. You have to offer all Notary procedures that your state says are on the list. It is up to the customer to choose any type of notarization your state recognizes.

So, get it straight people because I test on this stuff and I take it very seriously. In fact I’m writing a few other articles on the topic that clarify the matter.

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You might also like:

Airline meals vs. Oaths & Affirmations
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19549

Notary Public 101 – Oaths, Affirmations, Jurats & Acknowledgments
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19500

Should you give book wording for Oaths or improvise?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19660

Oaths – how Notaries completely screw them up
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19369

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December 19, 2017

Do you keep a journal to please your state, a judge, the FBI, or 123notary?

Most Notaries do not keep a journal because their state doesn’t require it. This is a mistake. Your journal is your only evidence in court. Many Notaries who list with us end up in court. However, since most of our Notaries keep some sort of journal records, their time in court is normally just a visit to the judge’s chambers where the judge might dismiss the case due to good evidence provided by the Notary.

Some Notaries keep a journal, but do so in a fashion I call minimal, where they do not keep the book according to NNA best practices and do not record thumbprints. Since their law might not require any journal, the Notaries often figure that they are already doing more than necessary so why do the maximum?

The answer is that your journal thumbprint which most of you refuse to keep is the ONLY way a judge or investigator can figure out who the signer is in the case of a falsified ID given to the Notary. You don’t know if an ID given to you is real, fake or falsified. But, the thumbprint is real. So you accept ID that can be falsified but refuse to take ID which is genuine — stupid! Take both.

The bottom line is that the real reason you should keep a journal is NOT to please your state (although you must uphold the laws of your state.) California is the only state I have ever heard of who audits people’s journals. If you live outside of California, the chance of your state ever seeing your journal is minimal. However, it is very likely that a judge, an investigator, or the DOJ might need to look at your journal in the case of identity theft. So, keep your journal with the intention of making their lives easier AND making sure that they don’t consider you to be a suspect! Keeping inadequate journal records is suspicious, do don’t be shoddy — be thorough!

Additionally, Jeremy (that’s me) at 123notary is sick and tired of Notaries who are shoddy and don’t keep good records. Keeping a journal is not good enough. You must keep one journal entry per person per document and thumbprint for serious documents such as deeds to please Jeremy. Jeremy wants investigators to be able to catch bad guys, so if you deny them the critical piece of evidence (a thumbprint) to catch the bad guys, then in my opinion — YOU are a bad guy! I would personally throw you in a lion’s den for not keeping a thumbprint if I could have it my way. But, I am not in charge of the world — I’m only in charge of my site.

So, if 123notary gives you a little phone quiz and asks you some questions and we find out that you don’t keep your journal correctly we will deduct points from your score. If we find out you make excuses for your abhorrant behavior, you lose even more points. Why act like a disobedient third grader when nothing prevents you from keeping good books! Only you can prevent forest fires and only you can provide the missing link to catching identity thieves — so do a good job otherwise you will get into a little trouble with 123notary. But, your state won’t care because states other than California don’t seem to take the Notary profession at all seriously! Food for thought!

Summary
Don’t keep your journal to please your state. In real life they will never see it unless you live in CA. Keep your journal using the best practices possible to please a judge, jury, the FBI, KGB, the Mossad, and Jeremy from 123notary. I will penalize you if you don’t keep good books as that reflects poorly on my reputation!

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You might also like:

Notary Public 101 – Journals
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19511

Do you keep a journal? Don’t wait until you get a call from the FBI.
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19377

How many journal entries do you use for two signers on three documents?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19391

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December 6, 2017

The signer claimed they never signed the Deed

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 1:18 am

If you went to someone’s house to notarize a letter that says that little Tommy cannot go to school today and also notarize a Deed for the same person — most Notaries put the two documents in the same journal entry. If the signer only signs once, you don’t know which document they signed for and you cannot prove which document they signed for in court with any probability.

The signer could say, “I never had that notarized, I must have been forged.” or “I signed the document, but I never requested to have it Notarized. The Notary must have seen it on the table and attached an Acknowledgment without my knowing — after all, I didn’t sign for it in the journal.”

I have only heard of a case like this once where the signer claimed not to have signed anything and the Notary had to go to court. But, a signer or borrower could claim not to have signed more than one of the documents if you keep your journal using the multiple documents per journal entry system.

Additionally, the Lender could be accused of adding extra documents with extra terms to a loan signing that were added after the signing to the journal. Using the multiple documents per journal entry system of journal filling it looks very suspicious. Eventually you could get nailed.

So, play it safe and do one journal entry per person per document. Two signers each signing twelve notarized documents = 24 journal entries and yes, you will have to buy a new journal every several weeks and no, it is not that expensive and yes it is necessary.

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December 5, 2017

If you’re named as an identity theft conspirator, it could cost you $20,000 in legal fees

If you are named as a conspirator in an identity theft ring or identity theft case, you might be looking at some serious legal costs. Being a Notary is not safe, especially when you refuse to keep your books correctly (oh, but my state doesn’t require me to.) Excuses will not get you off the hook when you are a suspect in an identity theft case and when your journal doesn’t has a fake ID documents and no thumbprint (oh, but my state doesn’t require me to). Your state’s shoddy lack of requirements could cost you $20,000, but only if you choose not to keep proper records. Your state is not forbidding you from keeping good records. They just don’t require good records. It might be fun to just stamp things without keeping a record of what you did. But, the fun will go away when you are named in a law suit.

Legal costs might only be a few thousand, but could be as high as $20,000 in a worst case scenario.

Keeping a journal properly with:
1. One entry per person per document… i.e. if two signers each sign five documents that is ten journal entries.
2. Keep journal thumbprints as that is the only way the FBI can catch frauds if a fake ID is used (in many cases.)
3. Keeping additional notes about the signers might help in court such as mentioning tattoos, a nervous twitch, or anything else noteworthy.

Keeping good records is your responsibility as a good Notary whether required by law or not. Your refusal is pure obstinate and I won’t tolerate it for a minute. If you don’t understand good record keeping, the NNA teaches journal filling procedure quite well. So, consult them or risk possible legal consequences! Keeping your journal correctly doesn’t keep you out of court — it just normally shortens your time dealing with investigators and the court system to a few minutes instead of a few months. Take your pick!

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You might also like:

What’s your sign? Tricks to uncover fake identification.
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19638

Notary Public 101 – Identification
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19507

Do you keep a journal to please your state, a judge, the FBI or 123notary?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19483

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November 28, 2017

Five things a Notary must do

This article is sort of like — how to be a notary in a nutshell. But, if you were a Notary in a nutshell, would your seal fit in the nutshell? Notaries are a bunch of nuts anyway, so they probably were inside a nutshell at some point in their evolution. In any case, what does a Notary do?

1. Identify
2. Journals
3. Filling out certificates
4. Giving Oaths
5. Understaning the difference between a legal and illegal request.

The most important thing a Notary does is to identify the signer and make sure they are the one who is intended to sign the document. Many Notaries take liberties identifying people which is dangerous and could come back to them. There are fake ID’s and people who impersonate others with the same name or variation of the same or similar name. If you think this will never happen to you, guess again and then you will understand the reason why the Notary profession exists — to deter fraud and safeguard transactions. If you are not safeguarding transactions through proper identification, you might as well not be a Notary.

Not all states require a journal, but if you are in front of a judge or FBI agent and don’t have a journal, you will be in a ton of trouble. So, there is more than just your sec of state to be accountable to. You need a journal in case there is an investigation and if you don’t keep on, you should not be a Notary. Period!

Filling out certificates seems easy enough. But, what if there is a snag? What if the certificate was filled out by the lender and one of the signers cannot show up or what if the state is wrong? Then, you have to make a change. But, what if you don’t know who initials the change, or forget to initial altogether? Then, you will be in huge trouble and will deserve it. What if you don’t know how to add a loose certificate with a staple to a document and fill out the “additional information” section. If you don’t know, then you are taking a huge risk being a Notary. That is mandatory knowledge.

Giving Oaths is something Notaries are generally legally required to know, however, no state audits people’s Oath giving abilities. The result is that 70% or more of Notaries do not know how to give an Oath. Some rely on their cheat sheets, but not knowing how to give an Oath off the top of your head is as ignorant as needing to consult a manual every time you tie your shoe. A real notary would not need a cheat sheet.

Knowing what is legal and not is a must. Different states have different laws. By rejecting legal requests, you are no longer a Notary Public, because a Notary Public accepts all legal requests from the public. Most Notaries reject legal requests on the basis that they don’t feel personally comfortable with the fact that someone already signed a document to be acknowledged or that the document is in a foreign language. In California, the document can be in Slobudian. You are notarizing the signature not the language. Then, the very same notary who declined a legal request will stand in line to do something completely reckless and illegal out of carelessness or stupidity like mailing a loose certificate in the mail simply because — it’s okay because the Lender told me it was okay or, it’s okay because I always do that. Always doing something doesn’t make it legal or safe! The law decides what is legal and acceptable — not you!

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You might also like:

Notary Public 101 Real Life Notary Scenarios
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19681

Notary Public 101 A Guide to Notary Best Practices
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19493

Confirming the Signing
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19976

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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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You might also like:

10 risks to being a Mobile Notary Public
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19459

A Notary gets sued because of a scrambled ID
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19443

You could get sued if you don’t have a business license
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=7100

Help, I’m being sued and E&O won’t help!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3570

The FBI is at your door and names you as a suspect!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20013

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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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