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December 24, 2010

Notary Public: Just Say No #3

Just say no 3 
Notaries need to know what to do and what not to do.  Although rules change across state lines, here are some basic rules to think about.
 
Staples anyone?
Many states require that the notary certificate be attached to the document.  Many companies will get mad at you for stapling their deed of trust together. But pages can easily be switched without a staple.  Attach is one particular formal way of saying staple. There doesn’t seem to be any other way to “attach” a certificate to a document.
 
Leaving loose certificates
Once again, certificates can not be sent without the document they correspond to.  If you notarize a document, the certificate wording should either be embedded in the document, or on an “attached” form.  If you are asked to send another “Jurat” (by this, people really might mean acknolwedgment certificate) in the mail.  You need to ask the company to send the document so you can attach it.  They they say, “Oh, come on”.  Tell them that if they want their “jurat” you need the original document otherwise they could attach it to anything.
 
New pages in a document?
If a signer had a document notarized and has a new page that they want notarized, you need to notarize the document all over again despite their whining.   You can not notarize individual pages of a multi-page document.
 
Notarizing a photograph?
You can not notarize a photograph.  If you have a document regarding a photograph, you can staple the photo to the document and notarize the document.  You could even put an embosser halfway through the photo with the other half going through the document as its attached to the document.
 
Notarizing before the signer signs?
Don’t save time by filling out the notary forms before the signer shows up.  If you affix your notarial seal before the signer has signed the document and your journal, you have committed a crime.  Just wait until all the other necessary steps are complete and then fill out the wording and affix your seal.
 
Beneficial interest?
If you are mentioned in a document, or are closely related to a person who is mentioned in a document, that can constitute beneficial interest.  If you derive a benefit from a document being signed, that is definately beneficial interest.  One of our notaries informs us that if you only get paid as a notary if a particular document gets signed, then you have beneficial interest.  Get your travel fees at the door before you figure out if you are doing to notarize a document.  If the ID is not good, or the signer is drugged at a hospital, you will feel motivated to try to find a way to notarize that person if you haven’t been paid. That is actually a very common type of beneficial conflict of interest that invovles notaries on a daily basis.
 
Notarizing yourself?
Don’t notarize yourself. You can not notarize your own signature no matter what in any state.  The whole purpose of a notary is that they verify other people’s signatures.

Tweets:
(1) It is illegal to notarize something without making sure the certificate is attached!
(2) If you are adding a new page to a document, do you need to notarize the whole thing all over again?
(3) Some notaries save time by notarizing before the signer signs! This is illegal!

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Notary Etiquette from A to Z

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December 18, 2010

Notary Etiquette from A to Z

Notary etiquette from A-Z

Here are some basic rules of notary etiquette to keep you out of trouble and on good terms with your clients.

Don’t park in the driveway?
But, that is what driveways are for. They are for parking in. Wrong! They are for the borrower to park in, but NOT for you to park in without permission. You could be taking someone’s spot, or blocking someone. You might be leaking coolant on their driveway too. If there is a snowstorm and a snow plow will destroy your car, or if there is nowhere else to park, then ask to park in their driveway. Most people will not mind if you park in their driveway, but a few will mind.

Introduce yourself at the door.
Its good to have a pre-canned speech to give at the door. Let the borrowers know your full name, and that you will be assisting and supervising (facilitating) the signing of their loan. Let them know that your job is to introduce the documents and figures in their loan, but not to actually explain any of the concepts particular to their loan. Let the borrowers know that the lender is the only one qualified to answer specific questions about their loan.

Confirm the signing
Its polite for the notary to call the borrowers and confirm when they will be coming, and especially who is to show up at the signing. If Aunt Matilda is on the loan documents, she needs to cancel that visit to the hair salon and be at the signing.

Don’t make unpleasant remarks
Don’t make negative remarks about anyone regardless of whether they are associated with the loan or not.

Don’t discuss politics
Stick to talking about neutral topics like traffic and weather. Politics can run people the wrong way. Freedom of speech does not apply to notaries on the job. You have more freedom of speech in Moscow than on a signing. Talking about the wrong subject matter can get you off of a signing companies list, and then you lose work.

Speak clearly
A notary who mumbles, or speaks incoherently will not be a favorite with anyone. People need you to enunciate on the phone and in person.

Don’t rush the borrowers
Unless you agree on the length of your signing ahead of time, its rude to rush the borrowers. If you are having a night with ten signings and you will be late to all of the rest of the signings, then you are in a pinch. If you legitimately have to leave at a certain time, you can mention that you have to leave at 8pm, and that they are welcome to read their borrower’s copies for the next 72 hours and cancel the loan if they are not happy with any of the terms or figures.

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November 27, 2010

e-notarization definition

e-Notarizations and e-Signings
 
e-notarization definition
An e-notarization is a notary act done purely online. The signer would not actually come into contact with the notary in many cases. Each state has different rules for e-notarizations, so learn your state’s rules if you want to do this. An online journal (ENJOA) would be used to record the transaction as well. e-notarizations would never be used for deeds effecting real property since those types of documents are very critical and involve high dollar figures. An e-signing is different from an e-notarization. Many states allow e-notarizations, but you generally need to get a special commission separate from your regular notary commission to be an e-notary.

e-signing definition

An e-signing is different from an e-notarization. E-signings are electronic loan signings where the notary visits the borrower’s home or meets the borrowers at a mutually agreeable location. The signer is present before the notary during an e-signing. Some or all of the documents in an e-signing are signed online while the remaining documents might be physical paper documents. The journal used in an e-signing would be a bound and sequential physical paper journal. e-notarizations are different from e-signings because the signer doesn’t actually appear before the notary in an e-notarization, and the journal in an e-notarization is electronic, and not physical.

Links

Colorado Notary e-notarization
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2123
Arizona Electronic signatures
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=4256
e-Signings and e-Notarizations
http://www.pawnotary.com/kb/1-2.html

Notes

(1) edelske (forum member) claims that:

 e-signings are really slow and that the savings on printing costs do not compensate for the time consumed waiting for pages to load on your laptop.

(2) LindaH states in a forum post:

E-signings are a process where the mortgage documents are signed online at the lender’s website. You either have your laptop w/ aircard & internet connection or you use the borrowers’ computer (provided they have one and they have stable internet service) . You access a remote site, review some documents online with them and they sign by clicking on a button (the borrowers’ digital signature with the lender is set up ahead of time). If your state does not accept e-recordings, you will still need to print those docs that need to be notarized as they are “wet” signatures – and sometimes you need to print a copy for the borrower … oh, and maybe print an extra set of documents “just in case” the internet connection fails or there are issues with the website. The beauty of e-signings for the lender is that changes to docs can be made at the table, thereby avoiding no-signs…HUDs and TILs can be changed and re-delivered virtually immediately – so if your borrower doesn’t have a computer, be prepared to print table so they‘re provided copies of revised docs!! (So, IMO, in addition to carrying your briefcase with your standard equipment, you’ll now need to carry laptop with aircard AND laser printer)..

You might also like:

12 points on e-notarizations

Everything you need to know about journals

Arizona notary laws vs. other states

e-Notarization and ENJOA discussion on the forum

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October 27, 2010

Stories of notaries that fail and what they did wrong.

Here are some stories about notaries who did no-no’s and what happened.

(1) A CA notary accepted a loan signing from a signing company. The notary waited until 30 minutes after their appt. began to call them & tell them that her car broke down and ASKS THE BORROWERS FOR A RIDE!! The borrowers graciously offer the notary a ride, but it gets better!!

The notary asks if they can stop at Kinkos to print docs. Then, the notary asks the borrowers to pay for the printing fees since the notary was flat broke. The husband borrower got put off and called the loan officer. The LO told the husband to GET OUT OF THERE and leave the notary @Kinkos.

The next day, the notary calls the loan officer and told him that the wife had to work late which is why they didn’t complete the signing, but that they would complete it tonight. The notary thought the signing company wouldn’t find out what happened. This is pure insanity.See More

(2) We get complaints every month about a notary who makes a mistake on a document. Then, the lender tries to contact the notary, but the notary doesn’t respond to emails or phone calls. Then, we get some lame excuse from the notary about how they were on VACATION or had some family emergency. If you are a notary, take responsibility for your work. Unless you are dead, you can still respond to an email. Wi-fi makes this possible.

(3) From time to time we get complaints about notaries who fail to return documents. The lender needs to know tracking #’s and when they can expect the documents back. Sometimes, the notaries just don’t answer their phone, or respond to email. This is the fastest way to get in trouble with 123notary and your clients. Let people know when and where you dropped their Fedex and what the tracking # is. Send them an email with the same information just to be redundant and show that you are a thorough and conscientious person.

(4) One notary arrived LATE to an appointment, didn’t handle the closing professionally, and then didn’t fax back the correct docs. The documents were also not returned properly. Can you believe this? That makes us all look bad!!!

(5) Another notary couldn’t call Title because she WORKED full time. News flash!!! — most notaries have full time jobs and do this on the side, but are able to return calls!

(6) Once in a while a notary will do a “No-show”. Some of these non-showing notaries will also ignore emails and phone calls from their clients. What a nightmare!

(7) An unusual case. A high quality signer who has been with us for a long time had a serious incident. He went to a signing at a Starbucks. The signers were there. Then he just disappears. I called him to see what had happened. He got a call from his wife that his daughter had hit her head. A parent’s nightmare!!! So, he panicked, and left without even telling the borrowers what had happened.

Where do we draw the line at family emergencies? This is a tough call for all of us.

Tweets:
(1) From time to time we get complaints about notaries who didn’t return docs. Let them know the tracking #.
(2) One notary couldn’t return a call because she had a full-time job. Do you buy this?

You might also like:

Just say no #2

Notary etiquette from A to Z

Best materials from our forum

California notaries with complaints

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August 2, 2010

Funniest things that happen to Signing Agents

Funny situations at signings for signing agents
Signings are usually very normal, but our notaries and signing agents have seen almost everything from roach infested houses, to naked signers, to having a tornado come to the signing. Here are some noteworthy experiences that are from our FACEBOOK profile on May 25th, 2010. WHICH ONE IS THE FUNNIEST?

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Chicken coops
I had to walk around the chicken coops while he collected just hatched eggs. I brought home a 1/2 a dozen.

The two year old
A two year old decided to take all our blue pens hide them and mom could not find them, Lesson keep more pens in the car.

The angry husband
It was probably when a couple began arguing with me present. The husband yelled that she never let him read anything in peace or make a decision so he took his car keys and screeched out the driveway only to end up accidentally running over his kid’s bike in the driveway. We had to wait for him to return so that he could sign the papers as well but… She kept muttering under her breath that he doesn’t understand what he’s signing so what ‘s the point (had to agree with her he seemed unnecessarily confused). Funny thinking about it now but it was dramatic and awkward then. Only two weird incidents like this but they stick out like sore thumbs lol

5 dogs & 3 kids
As a signing agent, I had to notarize for a couple who had 5 HUGE dogs and 3 super hyper kids, that were taller than me, mind you I’m only 4′ 11″ (in high heels! lol ), before I even rang the door bell, I knew it was going to be a challenging job, there were toys all over the front yard, and of course there was a HUGE gate, that I had to get on a tippy toes in order to reach the latch, I walked to the front door, and sure enough, as soon as one of the kids answered one of their huge dogs decided to jump on me and smell me!! to get to know me of course! lol, oh man, I’m cracking up just remembering! The family was so friendly and full of love, it was not a bad experience at all after I shared all my extra pens and paper with the kids.. they were so sweet they even took my business cards and handed them out to their friends and colleagues, I really appreciate that! All in a notary’s day’s work!!

The mistress
I had called the Borrower the day before to confirm, and for some reason I guess the Wife thought I was the Mistress, because that night at 2am, I received a phone call, screaming at me, yelling at me, asking me why i was cheating with her husband, etc!!!!. When i arrived in the morning to the signing, it was the most awkward thing in the world!!!

He had the H1N1 Virus and died soon after
Was told by the signer if her boyfriend came home to grab the papers and run. That was stressful. But the worst one of all happened in April of this year. The signer was an old man with a walker. He started the conversation with I have the H1N1 virus with a 102* fever. He said “Is that okay with you?”. I told him to go home, get better and then resign. I called a few days later and he had died. Very sad.

The little boy
I went to a signing out in the middle of nowhere. The little boy, probably about 4, comes running out and hugs my legs. The Daddy tells him to get back in bed, he hugs tighter, Dad starts to count to 3.. I tell him you better run. Just as his Dad gets to 3, he tears loose and runs and jumps in bed. Then he yells out.. “Hey Lady, whats your name?”.. I say Susie, he yells out “Good Night Susie”..

The naked daughter
Awkward…at a extravagant house w a couple in the morning. Middle of signing the 3 year old daughter comes running out naked. Wouldn’t stop jumping all over the couches and running around. NAKED.

The argumentative selling agent
I had a sale in which the Selling agent and the Seller were arguing. The Selling agent had called the police because he said their dog had bit him when they conducted the final walk through. The Seller’s insisted it did not happen. It was a hostile closing environment until the agent decided to drop his pants to show the teeth marks on his buttocks! I was in tears from laughing so hard. It remains my funniest closing to date.

Can you help give birth?
I was scheduled to do a closing and the borrower called me the morning of to cancel unless……..I was willing to come to labor and delivery as the wife had gone into labor that morning…..but they really wanted to sign that day. I called the company and they said it was my call. I decided to go. They had to get me cleared through security. We would sign a few pages and take a break, then sign a few more and take a break. I did let them know that they could kick me out at anytime…..lol. We did complete the closing. I didn’t stick around for the birth and don’t know if they named the baby after me or not…..but it has been a great story to tell!

Signing on the hood & Affidavit of &#%
There are a couple of them that stick out in my mind.
1- the request to notarize an affidavit saying this lady never had*****with another ladies husband. people think just because i notarize it it is the truth.
2- the lady who insisted i come to her home at 11 pm and sign documents on the hood of my car, down the block cauz she didnt want her boyfriend to know what she was doing. Oh yeah, she snuck out of the house through a window in her nightgown lol. And she was a fairly large woman.

1 – I went into labor at a signing and tried to hide it from the borrower because the first comment he made when I walked into the front door was, “you’re not going to have that baby today are you?” (I did actually)
2 – I had a borrower on a reverse mortgage closing who was expecting me to arrive with a brief case full of cash because he was receiving $70,000 as a lump sum disbursement. Also, he lived in a mobile home on blocks and planned on putting the cash in a floor safe.

Once you get here we can untie my husband
I accepted a signing and when I inputed the address into my GPS, it turned out to be a hospital. I called the client to ensure I had the correct address and she stated, “yes, we are in the lobby waiting for you. Once you get here we will untie my husband’s hands so he can sign this will.” Needless to say, I cancelled!

The tornado
I was sitting at the kitchen table facing the patio, which was high off the ground, doing a signing. It was cold in the house and I thought the borrower had turned on the heat when she got up, but it was too noisy to be heat. My mouth flew open as a huge stainless steel barbecue grill traveled quickly past the patio doors. What I thought was the heat, turned out to be the freight train sound of a tornado! We looked outside and a tree was down, the legs of their covered swing had gone through the side of the neighbor’s garage, and the people across the street had shingles ripped off a quarter of their roof like you would rip the label off a jelly jar. News crews came to cover the tornado while we finished up the signing. My car and the borrower’s house were fine.

Are you allergic to cats & snakes?
As I walked to the door I knew it was bad..bo meets me asks if I am allergic to cats. Um no. Good she said she has 40 and we go in..She turns and asks what about snakes? Um NO..We walk in and cats and snakes..big ones all in and out of cages all over the place..My lungs hurt from the stench..Got out in a big hurry! Yuk!
 
Let us know which one you think is the funniest, and let us know if you have some funny stories of your own. As you can see, our signing agents have a very interesting life — at least from time to time.
 
Tweets:
(1) The notary was asked to notarize an affidavit that claimed the signer never had $&%
w/the other ladies husband!
(2) One you get here (to notarize) we can untie my husband!
(3) One signer asked, “Are you allergic to cats or snakes?” What kind of signing is this going to be?

Other related reading material.
 
Tips on being the worlds worst notary or signing agent
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1910
 
Humorous and interesting posts fom the forum
http://www.123notary.com/interestingposts.asp

Top 12 things to do when you are on hold
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3946

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July 18, 2010

Confirming the signing

Introduction
As a notary, there is a lot to know. There are notary laws from your state, navigating your area, business and interaction skills, and much much more. Most notaries take some sort of a loan signing course to get into the mobile notary business. But, loan signing courses don’t tell you everything you need to know! There are always things they don’t tell you because the author either doesn’t know, forgot to put in the book, or didn’t think was important. Other situations don’t hae a set way of being handled and can only be dealt with using a personal approach. This blog entry will deal with some select hot tips on how to handle a signing.

Confirming appointments
As a notary, signing companies will offer you jobs, fedex you a package, and expect you to show up on time to the appointment. How often have you gotten to an appointment only to find that the borrower is surprized by the numbers, or didn’t realize that their cousin Sam needed to be there for the signing, since Sam was on Title? The lending profession is filled with tricky characters who promise one thing, and then when the borrowers see the paperwork with the notary sitting there, they feel pressured to sign, even when they don’t like the fact that they have been hoodwinked. The notary often has to sit through long conversations with the lender that should have taken place BEFORE the signing, not during. Lenders are often sloppy, and don’t fully inform the borrower about all of the numbers on the loan. So, what does the notary need to do to avoid this type of drama? A thorough confirmation call solves the problem.

Going over the numbers
Once the notary has the loan package in their hand, they should call the borrower and go over the Rate, APR, and payoff amounts listed in the Settlement Statement. The notary should go over all Escrow payments, and what the monthly payments are, prepayment penalty, and if its an Adjustable Rate Loan, what the cap is, etc. Additionally, the notary should have the borrower read their ID to the notary, and what the NAME is on their ID, and confirm what individuals will be at the loan signing. Thats a lot to go over. However, it only takes three or four minutes, and will save you hours during those times when there are suprizes — which seems to be 25% of the time. If the borrower is not happy with any of the numbers, cancel the appointment. Don’t waste your time getting into someone else’e drama.

How much time is needed?
Another aspect is discussing how much time the borrower would like to have signing the loan. Its not the notary’s job to sit for six hours while the borrower reads every word in the whole package, and then rereads certain important documents. The notary and borrower should agree ahead of time how much time the borrower needs to that the notary can plan their evening and other appointments. The notary should explain that the borrower has three days not including Sundays and Federal holidays to cancel their loan, so they can skim through it and read their borrower’s copies after the fact. The borrower can cancel in writing and the loan is off, if they cancel before the deadline.

Scheduling and venues
Explain to the borrower when you will be coming, and let them know if you might be slightly early or late… and how late. Some borrowers have issues with their homes. Some have family over or rambunctious children. Others have pets. I always offered to take pawprints just in case Fluffy ever got lost. I’m not convinced that cat pawprints are as unique as human fingerprints though. Its the thought that counts. If a borrower can’t sign at their home for any reason, its good to find a good cafe or restaurant where you can sign. Don’t forget to read in the forum about drinks at signings. Thats a very popular and critical topic. You don’t want your “tall latte” all of the right to cancel, otherwise you will have a very “short signing”.

You might also like:

Typical things notaries do wrong

Bilingual notaries, how often are they needed?

Getting your travel fee at the door

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