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December 11, 2018

What if the signature or notarization is in the middle of the document?

Most times you go to a Notary job, the certificate wording is at the end of the document. But, sometimes one document might have two certificates. There might be a signature in the middle of the document, or perhaps multiple signatures in the document. It might be confusing to know which one you are notarizing. You really need to document this in your journal and on the Acknowledgment form so there is no doubt after the fact as to what you notarized and which signature you notarized.

Just remember that you notarize signatures. You do not notarize people or documents although in spoken language we speak as if we are notarizing people and documents.

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You might also like:

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

A coerced signature
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19457

Get the special jobs
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19106

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December 9, 2018

Venue — Definition

What is a venue in a notarial context?
The venue is a place in a notarial certificate where the state and county (or parish, burrough, or unincorporated city) are documented. This typically appears at or near the top of a Notary certificate or the top of the Notary wording embedded in a document.

State and county of venue
The state and county that should be recorded would be the state and county where the notarization took place and NOT where you reside, and not the county where the notary is commissioned. Sometimes you might not know what county you are in, so please find a way to look it up as this is a legal matter.

Where are venues used?
Venues show up on Notarial certificates (notary certificates) such as Acknowledgments, Jurats, Proof of Execution, etc. The venue is normally left blank and for the Notary Public to fill in. You might see:

State of _______
County of ________
and an “s.s.” somewhere in the venue section as well.

Keywords:
Acknowledgment Venue
Jurat Venue
Notary venue symbols
Notary venues
Notary venue
Notary with jurat and venue
Two signers on document different venues
Does venue correspond to notary stamp
Notorization venue
Notarial venue sample
Notary Public venue
State and county of venue means
The venue in a notary certificate is
The venue of a notarial certificate
Venue description notary jurat
Venue on a notary
Venue on a notary certificate
What is a venue in reference to a notary
What is an acknowledgment venue
What is venue when notarizing
What is venue on a notary document
What is venue on a notary certificate?
What does state and county of venue mean?
What is venue when signing a notary
Venue portion of notarization examples
Venue and notary
When dealing with a venue on an acknowledgment statement, what shoudl the notary list in the blanks.

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You might also like:

One signing two venues?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=17047

What is a venue in a Notary certificate?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=8454

Venues explained in the 30 point course
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14514

Venue — legal definition
https://dictionary.law.com/Default.aspx?selected=2216

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December 3, 2018

Compilation of posts about lawsuits & legal risks

Here are some posts about Notaries getting in legal trouble.

Notary loses $4000 in legal fees because fraud adds name to Acknolwedgment
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19477

If you’re named as an identity theft conspirator, it could cost $20,000 in legal fees.
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19481

13 ways to get sued as a Notary
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19614

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

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

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

Who is the authority at a notary signing?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20175

Don’t have unprotected notarizations!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19467

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November 29, 2018

Attorney States in the Notary Profession

Filed under: Technical & Legal — Tags: — admin @ 11:57 am

What is an Attorney State? Is that a state where everyone who resides there is an Attorney? What would they do all day long besides wake up, have breakfast and sue everyone? Or does it mean for an Attorney to state a fact about something? Neither.

An Attorney State is a state in the USA where only Attorneys are supposed to be able to do loan signings. Anyone else who facilitates a loan signing could be convicted of the unauthorized practice of law — or so I’ve heard. However, in these states which currently are Massachusetts, South Carolina, and Georgia (possibly a few others too) we do have Notaries who do loan signings for a living. They often do signings for out of state properties and think that they can get away with it.

One Attorney in Georgia that I talked to told me that if your two feet are on the ground on Georgia soil (or perhaps a hardwood floor) that you cannot conduct loan signings unless you are an Attorney — regardless of where the property is. Hmmm. Looks like people are breaking the law.

One Notary listed on our site got fined $40,000 over ten years ago or almost got fined that amount. They had to hire an Attorney to defend them in court. What an ordeal. And this was for unauthorized practice of law because they were doing loan signings.

If in doubt, consult an Attorney to see what your rights are as a notary to do loan signing in your state and ask what constitutes UPL as the definitions are frequently very arbitrary and convoluted.

You might also like:

UPL — Unauthorized practice of law in the notary profession
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21317

Penalties for Notary misconduct, fraud and failure of duty
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21315

13 ways to get sued as a Notary
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19614

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November 28, 2018

Don’t be intimidated

Filed under: Technical & Legal — Tags: — admin @ 9:18 am

HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU AS NOTARIES HEARD THE FOLLOWING?
Don’t be intimidated. Know the laws and stand your ground. Be an empowered Notary!

1. My lawyer said that you don’t need to attach anything. Just sign it and I will get out of your hair.
2. The other Notary I went to did not attach anything to the same document. Why are you?
3. Look, I used to be a Notary. Don’t give me a hard time.
4. I am a Lawyer…I do this for a living. Please don’t question me.
5. Look, if you don’t do it there are a hundred other notaries who will be happy to have my business.

At the end of the day, you need to be confident in the Notary Laws. Take the 123 Notary exam and be listed as an Elite Certified Notary. At the beginning of every year print out the Notary handbook with any new law and us e it as your bible and source of reference when you are questioned. It will add to your credibility and boost your own confidence when you interact with the public especially an attorney who thinks he is the repository of all knowledge and just miraculously knows more than you a licensed Notary.
I have had encounters of the worst kind with Lawyers, Doctors, Real Estate professionals and even other Notaries who have repeatedly challenged me and when they did not like what I had to say took to the internet and unfairly left me and my company bad reviews spewing the most vituperative and vile stuff. I responded in a cool and calm manner on why the reviews were without basis and let the readers decide for themselves.
Here are a few examples of things you are asked to do that you should not do under any circumstances if you want to be a trusted Notary and keep being an advocate of best notary practices.:

1. A Doctor wants you to put your seal on the photo when the Notary Laws prohibit you from doing so.
2. The name on the document does not match the name on the ID
3. An Attorney does not want you to even glance through the document to check if it is complete complaining that it is an invasion of his client’s privacy.

You are licensed and knowledgeable. Don’t let people push you around. Enjoy what you do and help people in the process.

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You might also like:

Cross out and initial, or use a fresh form?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19933

The ID says John Smith
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19953

The one Notary that used the embosser was the one Notary that…
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19650

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November 15, 2018

The Starbucks Oath Question

Filed under: Technical & Legal — Tags: , — admin @ 10:25 am

I created a quiz question for written quizzes about Starbucks. It is a very interesting and caffeinated question. Here it is…

A Notary goes to a signing.

The Affiant asks for an Oath on a document that is an Affidavit that reads, “I love Starbucks.”

The Notary proceeds to attach a Jurat…
and made a statement that was, “Do you solemnly affirm that you are the one who signed this document and that your name is John Smith?”

What did the Notary do wrong?

COMMON RESPONSES

1. Ask for ID?
Many Notaries feel the Notary should ask for ID. It is true that Notaries are responsible for identifying people. However, that is not central to this question and since the document, certificate, and journal entry have not been completed or stamped, that is irrelevant at this point. Unfortunately, Notaries tend to get sidetracked on irrelevant details that are not central to situations while missing very critical points that can get them in trouble. Talking about ID at this point would be going off on a tangent, especially if that is the only thing you mentioned — although in most states you probably would have to identify the signer.

2. Create a journal entry.
Yes, you should ideally create a journal entry. But, that too is not central to the question at hand.

3. The notary used Acknowledgment wording.
I have never heard of a state that makes you take an Oath while doing an Acknowledgment except perhaps that Massachusetts wants to make sure the signer signed on their own free will and makes them make some sort of statement confirming that fact.

4. Make sure the venue has the correct information.
This document has no venue, and Oaths in all states but Florida (not completely sure about this by the way) do not have certificates. Certificates have venues, but if you don’t have a certificate, you don’t have a venue. Oaths once again typically do not have certificates, and therefore do not have venues.

CORRECT RESPONSE

1. The Notary did three things wrong

(a) The Notary added a Jurat when he was asked for an Oath. Although Jurats have Oaths or Affirmations, Oaths do not have Jurats. Humans have diabetes, but diabetes does not have humans. So, please do not assume that an Oath has a Jurat. An Oath can be done as an independent notary act, and most Notaries don’t know this because they do not read up on Notary tutorials, nor do they ever do Oaths as independent acts. In fact, most Notaries do not do Oaths as part of Jurats either — they just skip over it and assume nobody will notice, or they think that filling out the subscribed and sworn written verbiage is the actual Oath (which is not true because Oaths are verbal by definition.) An Oath is a purely verbal act, however, in Jurats there is a written documentation that accompanies and documents the verbal act.

(b) The Notary gave an Affirmation when he was asked to administer an Oath which is bad for two reasons — one, because the notary did not do what he was asked and, two, because the notary CHOSE the Notary act on behalf of the signer which you are not allowed to do. Only the signer or client can choose the Notary act. So, what the Notary did looks like it is bad service, but also illegal.

(c) The statement the notary made was about the signature and the name of the affiant, but not about the content of the document. The Affiant asked for an Oath on their document, so therefore, the Oath should be made purely on the content of the document.

“Do you solemnly swear that this document is true and correct to the best of your knowledge so help you God?” — would be okay.

“Do you solemnly swear that you love Starbucks? — is paraphrasing and is okay assuming you don’t butcher the statement in any way that detracts from the logic of the statement.

“Do you solemnly swear that you love Starbucks, so help you the Starbucks Goddess.” — if you are politically correct and have multiple choice for what divine entity you want to swear to, you might be able to get away with this one. Read your state notary handbook and see if they allow swearing to the Starbucks Goddess, or as I call her — The Goddess of Caffeine.

“Please raise your right espresso…” (fill in the rest according to your imagination.)

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You might also like:

Notary Starbucks – charging for waiting time while sipping Sumatra
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18926

The Starbucks Signing in the 30 point course
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14291

Airplane meals versus Notary Oaths & Affirmations
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19549

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November 13, 2018

The Delaware Oath revisited

Filed under: Technical & Legal — Tags: , — admin @ 10:22 am

I have started asking questions that intentionally lead you into going off on an unnecessary and illogical tangent. Notaries go on tangents all the time. So, if I have multiple choice answers or questions that would lead an illogical person off track, I get to see who is on the ball and who is not. Here is a scenario that I ask about a lot.

An Affiant appears before a Notary and asks for an Oath on a document that says, “I live in Delaware.”
The Notary declined the job because the Notary is an Illinois Notary, and not a Delaware Notary. What did the Notary do wrong and what should the notary have done?

COMMON ANSWERS

1. The Notary should have checked the ID.
If you are going to decline a Notary job, checking ID will not help. If your state requires identification for Oaths (most if not all probably do although I don’t know that for a fact) then identify the person and keep a journal entry.

2. Just change the venue to Illinois.
The document has no venue. It just says, “I live in Delaware.” The word Delaware is part of a statement and not a venue. If your state requires a certificate for Oaths, the certificate would have a venue, but most states do not have certificates for Oaths. No certificate = no venue.

3. He should look up Delaware wording
There is no state specific wording for Oaths in any state that I have heard of. Check your handbook for a real answer as I am not educated in state notary law although I read ALL the handbooks from all states regularly. An Oath is just an Oath and the notary or signer have the freedom to word it and craft it as they see logical and appropriate.

4. He should use Illinois wording on the Oath.
Once again, you do have to follow the notary laws in your state regardless of where a document is going to be recorded or where the custodian of the document is located. However, the document is NOT a Delaware document. It is a document that has no location at all — it merely states that the Affiant lives in Delaware.

5. The Notary should say, “Do you solemnly swear that you live at such and such an address in Delaware so help you God?”
This Notary is adding content that is not on the document. You can’t do that. Just administer an Oath as to the content of the document.

6. Add a Jurat
In this question you are giving an Oath only if you follow instructions. Oaths do not have Jurats, but Jurats have Oaths or Affirmations. You were not given permission to add a Jurat either, and might be considered UPL to choose the Notary act on behalf of the Affiant.

7. Just give an Oath.
The correct answer is to just give an Oath based on the content of the document. There is no state specific wording necessary. You could say, “Do you solemnly swear that the contents of this document are true and correct?” Then the Affiant must say, “I do.”

This question is really an easy question that tests whether you do your job, or get sidetracked by inconsequential details. You would be surprised at how many notaries just cannot do their job the minute they get distracted by something tiny that throws them off.

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November 8, 2018

Fixing certificates is a state specific nightmarish issue

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 11:44 am

I like to ask people questions about what to do if a certificate is wrong and you are asked to notarize using that certificate. The problem is that different states handle this differently.

MD does not allow a Notary to add a certificate — period.

CA does not allow Notaries to fix certificates. You have to start the procedure all over if there is any mistake.

OR does not allow Notaries to play Attorney and make decisions as to what can be crossed out, or added, so in Oregon a notary really has their hands (and stamps) tied.

There might be other states with odd rules about fixing errors, but those are the ones that stand out. Making changes to Notary certificates looks like tampering and could cause a nightmare in court. Adding new certificates can raise recording costs and alter the information on the HUD. You are damned either way. So, learn to deal with these issues without getting in trouble with your state.

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October 30, 2018

How important is direct communication with the signer?

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

It is illegal in almost all states for a Notary to notarize a person with whom he/she does not have direct communication. However, the traditional confusion is regarding whether or not the document needs to be in English.

Some states require documents to be readable by the signer.
Some states require the documents to be readable to the Notary
But, 49 states require the signer to be able to communicate directly with the Notary.

I cannot teach individual state notary laws because I am not authorized and because I do not know the laws and cannot keep up with the regular changes. However, general best practices are something I teach.

If you use a translator to communicate with a Notary, and the translator translates incorrectly, the Notary could end up getting sued, or end up in jail (far fetched, but makes for a more interesting blog article.) The Notary needs to rely on himself/herself to verify that the signer understands the document and wants to be notarized. The Notary needs to give direct answers to any other questions.

There is no need to translate the document unless your state requires that.
As a general rule (state specific though) the Notary notarizes the signature on the document and not the document itself. So, the Notary just needs to be able to verify that the signer signed the document and take all legal measures to properly notarize the signature.

It is common for children of immigrants to call the Notary, and haul you down to the signing only to find out that mom doesn’t speak a word of English. The common rationalization is — don’t worry, I’ll translate for you. At that point you need to either get mom to speak English, or politely leave the appointment.

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You might also like:

Vague communication is not acceptable
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19048

Affidavit of support and direct communication with the signer
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=7084

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

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October 27, 2018

All Mortgage fraud is investigated by the FBI

Filed under: Technical & Legal — Tags: , , — admin @ 10:17 am

The FBI is federal and your state is local. So, if your state doesn’t require a journal, you notarize a fraudulent mortgage, and then get investigated, then the feds will be investigating you. If you don’t keep a journal which is your only evidence that showed who you notarized, you will have no evidence.

Additionally if someone copies your seal and impersonates you, and you don’t keep a journal, you will have no proof or way of knowing if you were the one who notarized the transaction or whether an imposter did. These are some of the many reasons you need a journal. The excuse, “My state doesn’t require a journal.” Might not cut it with a Federal agency, because a Federal agency goes by Federal guidelines not the backwards rules of your state.

The FBI can name you as a suspect and if you don’t keep a journal it looks like you are doing a cover up for fraud and are in cahoots with the Lender. It looks like you are hiding evidence.

Additionally, the FBI needs forensic or biometric evidence. Texas and Florida discourage or prohibit taking such evidence. If you show the FBI a line in your journal that has a fake name, fake ID serial number, fake address and fake signature, how will this help the FBI catch anyone? Try to think from their perspective. They are trying to catch people who are ruining dozens or hundreds of peoples’ lives. If you are a concerned citizen, you might try really thinking hard about this. Taking journal thumbprints is a foolproof way to identify signers. Whether you do this or not is something I cannot advise, but there are serious consequences to not keeping thumbprints — consequences for the safety of society.

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You might also like:

Penalties for Notary misconduct, fraud and failure of duty
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21315

Notary loses $4000 in legal fees because fraud adds name to acknowledgment
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19477

My stolen identity and the fraudulent notary seal
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20753

Fraud – The 30 point course discusses this issue
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14514

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