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December 21, 2012

When to dump a signing

Filed under: Ken Edelstein,Popular Overall 2012 — Tags: , — admin @ 1:31 am

When to Dump a Signing

Dumping (backing out of or adjourning) a signing is to be avoided at (almost) all costs. However, that “almost” does allow for some exceptions. As Signing Agents many people are depending on us to perform on time, flawlessly, and without fail. Unfortunately, that is sometimes an unrealistic goal and we must occasionally face the reality that not all assignments that we accept can be completed. It’s just good manners and proper professionalism to give a much notice as possible prior to taking this drastic action.

In the real world we serve “two masters”. The first is our client; the one who we “hope” will be paying for our services. The other is ourselves. I don’t know of any agents who are doing signings as a hobby. They do it for the money – to make a living. Thus, it becomes necessary to balance the moral obligation (to complete the assignment) against the need to earn a fee. We all know it is reprehensible to dump an assignment to accept a more lucrative one; similarly it is wrong to “overbook” and “run late” disappointing the borrowers, title companies, etc.

However, there are times when the warning signs clearly indicate disaster ahead. As a NewYorkMobileNotaryPublic.com I VERY rarely “dump” a signing – but it does happen. Most of us have had situations where we could not notarize (no ID, name mismatch, etc.) document(s). Similarly, there are times when we should retreat from a (probably) doomed signing assignment.

We work in a free market economy. Signing Agents and their employers both wish to maximize profits. That is right and proper. But, there are ethical limits – flagrant “mis-truths” – designed to exploit the party on the other side – can and do occur.

When you get a signing assignment request, get as much information as possible. Always log the caller’s name and company as well as their phone number. Once the logistics (date, time, edoc?, faxing?, and fee are resolved – Immediately ask for the name of the borrower and their phone number too. If you “have” the assignment the caller should be willing to give you the borrower information, if not, they might be putting you “on the hook” – and then start shopping for a lower priced agent – with you as a “fallback”. The “other side” does not like to have borrowers contacted by multiple notaries.

Most of our assignments are edoc. We have calendars and plan to optimize our day; processing as much as is practical. When Kenneth-A-Edelstein.com accepts an edoc, I generally tell the caller that I need an hour to print and review the docs; and an additional hour; due to NYC traffic, to get to the assignment. I allow a reasonable time to process the package and often have an obligation scheduled subsequently. I understand that late docs are often unavoidable; however that does not mean that I should “blow away” my other obligation. I inform my client of a “cutoff” time by which the docs (including final HUD) must be in my inbox if I am to proceed. Of course if I can wait, I do. But not at the expense of the innocent party scheduled to follow.

There is also an issue with “known non-payers” and “unrated” clients. I can’t check the history of callers while driving a car. I accept the assignment, and do my “due diligence” as to their payment history when I can. If they have a bad payment history on Rotary or 123, or no history at all – it’s “up front” on PayPal, or the assignment is deleted from my calendar. Most of my clients accept the argument that when my credentials (A+ BBB, 123 feedback, Chamber of Commerce, etc.) are solid; and theirs are negative or non-existent – it’s logical for them to “trust me” (by prepaying) rather than me “trust them” to send a check.

Another warning sign to me is the unavailability of a valid contact number for the borrower. In almost every case this has lead to disaster. If it’s not an ID mismatch, it’s a wrong meeting address or date/time error. I have a policy of not printing the edoc until I am able to confirm the ID, location (including the often overlooked company name & floor/room), date and time. As I write this I have a job “pending” where I was given two contact numbers. One was for a totally different person the other was out of service. I emailed the Signing

Service with a very reasonable deadline for me to receive a correct borrower phone number.

We have all heard the term “bait and switch”. It also applies to what we do. When the job is described as “A” and becomes “Z” – it’s time to re-discuss the fee. Not for little issues, not to nitpick about 100 pages being 125 pages. But, if the scheduler says “no faxing” and when the docs arrive they want the entire 125 pages faxed – that’s a real issue. Sometimes a “tiny” refi can arrive as a “piggyback”. If they are not willing to change the fee based on a change in the work – it’s “dump” time. But go carefully here; the Signing Service often does not know the “scope” of the work when they contact you. A gentle call describing the situation, generally works wonders.

I used to think personal safety would be an irrefutable reason to cancel an appointment. I was wrong; according to an employer who shall remain unnamed. While waiting for a (late) borrower, after 45 minutes – freezing rain started to fall; forming a slick coat of ice on the roadways. The signing location was in a very hilly part of the Bronx in New York City. Weather reports were warning of a major Ice Storm, a rare event in NYC. As the ice started to accumulate I made the decision to leave (with the docs) and get home – slowly and carefully. The Signing Service called me when I arrived home to inform me of the borrower’s arrival (over an hour late). They insisted that I return to the treacherous roads to complete my assignment. That did not happen.

How about “at the table”? After all the preliminaries are resolved and the signing has actually started no one wants an “unhappy” ending. But, even at this stage it can happen. I have had a situation where the attorney for the borrower, over my objection, made changes to the documents. Not typo corrections, but literally dozens of revisions to “protect my client’s constitutional rights”. I knew the docs were destined for the shredder on sight. The last straw was the attorney’s refusal to even speak to title, escrow, lender or anyone else. I adjourned the “farce in progress”.

We know to not discuss why the interest rate is X and not Y. This is when the borrower needs to speak to someone with the proper authority and accurate information to answer their question. They place a call (or a few) and wait, and wait, and wait…… How long is reasonable for me to wait if they are “stalled” on a specific issue. Even with a Right to Cancel, not every borrower is willing to sign something they feel is inaccurate. I don’t have a set limit to “wait for callback” – but I certainly will not wait over an hour if the process has stopped.

A final “at the table”, and probably weirdest event, happened to me. The son, who also was an attorney, was present at the signing. He said he “represented” his mother. He insisted that I only converse with him and not speak to his mother. Odd, but certainly not a show stopper. The straw that broke this camel’s back was his insistence on responding to the Notary Oath – for her! It was not a language issue, everyone present spoke English; and he conversed with her frequently. But he would not permit me to “oath” her directly! That set of documents would not get my signature!

The Blog section of 123Notary.Com supports reader comments to posts. I sincerely solicit your feedback to this blog entry. The issue of “dumping” an assignment is an important one. It is likely that my peers will disagree with some of my reasoning. It’s equally likely that I overlooked to mention some important considerations, which should have been included. Please post your comments, so that I (and others) may learn from your experiences. Your feedback will help all Signing Agents, to develop personal policies that are fair to their clients, and themselves.

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December 14, 2012

Signing Service wants me to do MY part?

Many closings — many companies
When I first started out I use to do a lot of closings for quite a few signing services. That was before I really knew the business. There was one signing service in particular that was my very favorite. They were great. They paid $75, but there was no printing involved. So I could live with the fee. All their loan were usually were A paper loans and trouble fee and they were only about 70-80 pages total either sent to me or the borrowers. And they gave me several loans per week so it was a perfect situation all around. The more I worked with them the more they gave me. On the first of the mouth I could count on payment for all of the jobs for that previous month. It was just a great company to work for. Period. Fyi, and they are still in business.

The industry slowed down and attitudes changed
But when things started to go south and the business started to dry up people started to change how they did business. Attitudes and personalities started to change. To put it bluntly people started to turn on each other.

Go to their work — not their home?
On this particular day I received a call from this company asking if I was available and I told them of course I was for them. I received the confirmation, called to confirm with my borrowers and off I go. Now instead of meeting the borrowers originally as planned at their homes they want me to meet them at one of their place of employment. They will both be present. I ask them about parking but was told they don’t validate. So When I get to the area there is no where to park except for the 20.00 or so lots. (beachfront area) I call my beloved signing service to let them know the situation and that I will be invoicing the additional parking fees that I will have to pay out of pocket.. (which would have never been a problem in the past)

They wouldn’t pay for parking
But to my surprise they tell me we cannot authorize that. The scheduler goes onto tell me times are tight and that I need to bare this expense or find better parking. She says that we must all our part and need to make sacrifices in these lean times. I am about to blow a gasket!! Is she serious with this. I am only getting 75.00 so know I have to lose $20.00 of that to parking. I’m thinking that she has lost her mind!!. I decide that I am not going to argue with her because she couldn’t possibly know what she is talking about. I will go on and do the closing and discuss it with the owner of the company at a later date. And I know if I drag this out any further on the phone I will be late. I park and complete the signing.

The owner wouldn’t help
The next day I call the owner expecting that that I would get an entirely different outcome. After all they had always been good with the little extras if I had to pay out of pocket… but to my surprise and shock I am told the same exact thing by the owner..that we have to do are part, we have to share in the expense and get through these tough times. I am thinking lady you are nuts, that is your place not mine. They were getting over $250.00 per signing and I have to make the sacrifice. Yeah right! At the time that was the most ridiculous thing that I had ever heard. So it was at that defining moment that I decided that I no longer would be able to work for this company. And I told them so. And I cried for over a week. But, I was blessed with other better paying clients so it ending up being their loss not mine.

They called many years later
And the most ironic thing is that just a few days ago (keep in mind I haven’t heard form them for years) out of the blue I received a call from them. I did not answer the call so they left a voice mail. It went something like this. “Hi, Carmen, we found you on 123notary we see you are still a signing agent, can’t figure out why we stopped working together, you were great, Please give us a call”…..

Well now I guess they will know……

Until next time, be safe

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They always accepted this in the past


October 5, 2012

How to get low ballers to stop bothering you

How to get lowball signing companies to stop bugging you for good!
I just talked to a Vermont notary who gave me some very common sense solutions to a problem she had been having for  a long time.  For years, low ballers had been bugging her offering her not enough money. Then, she put in her NOTES SECTION, what here minimum charge was.  Immediately, the nuissance calls stopped! 

Wow! What I recommend, is put it high in your notes section, because the first 100 or so characters of your notes show up on the search results.  If it clearly says: $90 minimum for loan signings, the low ballers will ball somewhere else.  It’s that easy!

If that doesn’t work, then change your business name to, “Elite Mobile Notary” and hope for the best!

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October 1, 2012

3 Notaries walk into a bar

3 notaries walk in to a bar. The first thing that happens is that the bartender asks for ID.

Notary #1 says, “Wait a second… I’m a notary… I ID YOU… YOU don’t ID me.”

Then the bar tender says, “Listen buddy, if you want a drink, I need to know you are of age”.

Notary #1 said, “No problem, I can produce ID, but I can also swear under oath, and the other notary sitting next to me can take the oath for me.”

Notary #2 — Raise your right hand

Do you solemnly swear that you are above 21 years of age and of sound mind and body?

Notary #1 — Sound body I’m not so sure about, but my mind is pretty sharp, and I’m 63… at least last time I checked I was.

Notary #2 He’s 63… do you really need to ID him?
Bartender — thats what I said last time I saw a notary and he asked for ID. I said, I’m 63, I don’t need to be carded, now STAMP THIS FORM!! damn it!

Notary # 3 retorted — well, notary #1 didn’t need to be carded because he looks old. But, you Mr. bartender don’t look a day over 18 which is probably why the notary needed to card you!

Bartender — that has nothing to do with it… he carded me because I ordered an affidavit with a MIXED notarial wording: 2 parts acknowledgment with an oath and a touch of mint (no olives).

(1) 3 notaries walk into a bar & the bar tender asks for ID. But, the notary wants to ID the bartender!
(2) Do you solemnly swear that you are above 21 years of age and of sound mind and body?
(3) You don’t need to ID him because he looks old, but you look about 18 Mr. Bartender, so we should ID you!


August 12, 2012

The Mannequin Signer

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The mannequin signer

AKA — Notarizing a weirdo!

The notary went to the signing, and the signer came to the door. The notary had this bad feeling — something just wan’t right. When she walked in, she saw a site she had never seen before. There was a man who was just — so — strange. And the guy had a female mannequin in his living room. He said he had it there because he felt alone.

Interruption — comment from the editor — “Get a cat buddy!!!”

The signer said he wanted the notary to stay longer after notarizing because he enjoyed the notary’s company. The notary was very uncomfortable with this situation. The signer had a dark and dirty energy about him. It was really a weird situation.

The signing went fine, but the signer just didn’t want to let the female notary go!

Moral of the story — never do a signing with a single person at their home — especially if the signer is a man and you are a woman. Find a nearby Starbucks — because — you never know!!! You might bump into the mannequin signer!

(1) The signer had a dark & dirty energy about him.
(2) Moral of the story – never do a signing w/a single person at their home, especially if they’re male & ur female.
(3) The notary had this bad feeling that something just wasn’t right.
(4) The guy had a female mannequin in his living room. He said he had it there because he felt alone.


May 8, 2012

California notaries with complaints

Notary Public California – complaints against local notaries 

It is easy to hire a notary public in California that you found online. But, how do you know they are reputable, or any good?  You don’t.  You take your chances. However, some notaries on 123notary.com have reviews about them.  You can read who has good reviews or bad reviews.  It is not always safe picking a random notary. As far as horror cases go, we have only had a handful of serious nightmarish notaries over the last decade, and we remove them once we have determined that they are a source of endless trouble!
The Kinko’s story
We had a California notary public fail to print out documents and have the borrower’s pick her up, drive her to Kinko’s where she could print the documents and then driver her to their home.  Borrowers are not chauffers, and this notary got dropped off once the borrowers got a hold of the lender.  A year later — the drama continues.  The California notary public in question is operating under a business name, and hiring other notaries to do tasks for her such as obtaining apostilles in Sacramento.  The problem is, that when checks come, they all have an elastic characteristic.  Notaries have complained on the forum about this company several times, and this particular California notary is one of the worst notary nightmares we have ever experienced and goes down in history as a legend.
Stories of notaries that fail and what they did wrong – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=143
Affordable Notary Service – http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=4880
24 hour service?
Another California notary public advertised 24 hour service.  An individual calls them at 6am with an emergency.  The notary hangs up on the individual claiming that it is “too early”.  If you are not offering 24 hour service, don’t CLAIM that you do.  It is a requirement that if you want the 24 hour icon, you have to be willing to answer the phone after midnight whether you feel like it or not.
The white out story
A notary in California goes to a signing. She forgets to have the wife sign the Mortgage (oops), and then uses white out to change some information in the loan documents.  The worst possible thing you can do during a loan signing is to use white out which voids the usability of the document.  It gets better — then, the notary blames the Title company for not hilighting the signature areas in the documents where the wife was supposed to sign.  When she was requested to return to the borrower’s house to finish the incomplete signing, the notary recommended that they find someone else.  The notary replied to this complaint against her by stating that she used the mother-in-law as a required witness to the signing. Then, the Title company asked her to use someone else at which point she used white out to remove the mother-in-law’s signature and go and get a neighbor. 
123notary’s opinion: There is no crime in having an additional witness.  The problem is using white out, and cross outs also look unprofessional in a loan signing and can cause a loan not to fund. Additionally, a witness should be a party who doesn’t have a beneficial interest in the transaction — they should be uninvolved like a neighbor or stranger.
The four hour rule
Another California notary accepts a job for a signing.  Then she cancels at the last minute because she learns that the company who hired her doesn’t pay their bills.  There were a few forum posts about the company stating that the company didn’t pay their notaries.  In any case, the notary could have researched the company simultaneously while talking to them by using www.123notary.com/s and would have learned that they didn’t pay BEFORE accepting a job from them. Or, the notary could have researched them soon after the phone call and then cancelled.  The last minute cancellations cause a lot of grief to many parties and are not acceptable. The Lender emails me stating that the notary cancelled 2 hours after the signing and said that she was, “not able to help”.  Then, the notary replies to me stating that she EMAILED the borrower 45 minutes before the signing (that is considerably sooner than 2 hours after like the lender stated).  The notary claimed they called the borrowers but couldn’t get an answer or a voice mail. I’m not sure I believe all of this story, do you?  How many people do you know who don’t have an answering machine or a disfunctional one?  I think that the notary should have given four hours notice in a case like this and should have kept trying the borrowers every 30 minutes until she got them. You can’t just leave people high and dry!

(1) A notary had the borrowers pick her up, take her to Kinkos where she printed the docs & made them pay for it!
(2) 1 Notary claimed 24 hour service & hung up on a client who called at 6am saying it was “too early”
(3) The Notary forgot that the wife had to sign & then used white out to modify the documents!
(4) A Notary accepted a job, then cancelled right before the signing when she learned the signing co. had a bad payment record.


April 10, 2012

Can a notary sign on a different day?

Can a notary sign on a different day? 

This is a tricky question and a bit vague if you ask me.  The date of a notarization corresponds to the date that the signer signs the notary journal (according to me).  Some signers will sign for an acknowledged signature a minute, day, week, month, year, or decade before the notarization, and that is legal according to California notary law, and probably in most if not all other states.  For Jurats, the signature must be made while personally appearing before a notary public.  Oaths should ideally have an accompanying journal entry, however, there is no signature on a purely oral Oath (BTW… jurats are used with written statements that have an accompanying oath).
So, in all types of notary acts, the signer should ideally sign the notary journal, and the date and time when they sign the journal establishes the notarization date.  Please keep in mind that a signing where the signer signs the document at 11:59pm and signs the notary journal at 12:01am the following day could be dated either day, but I prefer my golden rule of dating the notarization when the journal is signed.
The document date can be the date of the notarization or before, but is generally not after.
The signing date for an acknowledged signature can be the date of the acknowledgment or before, but never after
So, there are three dates that might concern the notary.  It is a crime to backdate a notary certificate, but putting a previous date in the certificate wording. It is also a crime to post date the date in the certificate wording.
So, what does it really mean to ask, “Can a notary sign on a different day?”
If the notarization takes place on Monday, where the signer signs the document by Monday, and signs the journal on Monday, can the notary stamp and seal the certificate wording on Tuesday if the notary has possession of the document?  This is not recommended, and is neglegence. However, if the signing was a late night signing on Monday, and you sign and affix your stamp to the document in your possession early Tuesday morning, that is still unacceptable, but sounds less unreasonable than letting it slide 24 or 48 hours!
So, the official answer to the above question is — NO!  Sign the certificate within a minute or two of when the journal is signed if humanly possible.

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April 8, 2012

Don’t put the Fedex in the drop box!

Please, no drop boxes!

I know a lot of you use drop boxes (Fedex, UPS, etc) to drop your documents. And before you say it, I know some of you have no other options that are close to you. In this case your options are limited. You are forgiven. Maybe you have had issues with this or maybe you haven’t. But, irregardless, it is something to consider, if at all possible please don’t drop your packages in drop boxes. Because, if it goes bad and the documents get lost; and you have no documentation; It can cause you a great amount of grief, stress and aggravation; and  in the end it could cost you a valuable client.

Loan package with a hefty cashier’s check thrown in a drop box

To give you an example, here is one story of several that has been shared with me. I had an Oregon notary just the other day call in to 123notary. From her tone she was obviously very upset. It seems she had completed a signing successfully and had dropped her documents on a Friday in one of those infamous drop boxes of Fedex. It was now Tuesday, and she got that dreaded call: the title company still hadn’t received the package.  I thought to myself, this is going to be bad. When this Oregon notary public and title went to track the package, there was no tracking information available. To make matters even worse there was a substantial amount in a cashier’s check also in the missing package. The assignment that had been given to the Notary in Oregon was for the paperwork that was to be used to purchase the property. So,  now everyone is upset and confused as to what to do.

Get your tracking — people!

Now in my mind, I’m thinking why in the world would you drop a set of documents in a drop box, especially with a large amount in a cashiers check. This to me this is a disaster waiting to happen.  The first thing I let our Oregon notary friend know is that unless absolutely necessary, you should always hand your packages to a driver and ask him to scan them or take them to hub or staffed service center, have them scan them and  get a receipt. This way YOU are off the hook. Which brings me to another point…

Hand fill the shipping labels

PLEASE remember when you are required to hand fill out the shipping labels with the client; title-escrow etc  account numbers you should always list the person that you are shipping to as the recipient and as the shipper. Do NOT use your information at all. This will serve two purposes. One-if the envelope is lost, it will not come to you it will just automatically go to the company that hired you. Two- if the company has not paid their bill you will not get charged for the service. Currently I have about 3 notaries battling with Fedex on this matter (cause they put their name as the shipper)and they are in collection status with them. Be careful! This can cause you a great deal of trouble with UPS, Fedex etc. and worst of all it will effect your credit if you cant straighten it out. You will have to pay it if you cant prove to their satisfaction that, you were hired by a 3rd party.

Now I understand that some of you may not be near a hub or have a location that you can go into to get a scan or receipt near by. But for those of you that do. It is better to safe then sorry. Always try to get a receipt or have driver scan your packages for you. This will protect you. For me, I need to know where my documents are at ALL times.

Now,  unfortunately as of today I haven’t heard back form the notary in this situation so I cant give up an up to date  but I am confident if those documents didn’t turn up everything would have to be redone…and all I can say is what a mess. If and when I hear from her I will let you know….Just remember: No drop boxes if you can help it…

Thank for reading and be safe…until next time!

PS — Jeremy did a signing ten years ago that was put in a drop box.  The documents were missing for a week.  The signing company eventually called Fedex — and you will never guess where the documents were.  They were still down there at the bottom of the drop box, and getting very cold by this point!  The driver who was assigned that drop box had quit and his replacement wasn’t given good instructions as to which drop boxes to pick up from every day!

(1) You could lose a client if you put a FedEx in a drop box on the off chance it never gets picked up.
(2) Sooner or later, the FedEx you put in a drop box won’t get picked up. Be safe & take it to a hub!
(3) If you put a FedEx containing a cashier’s check in a drop box, that is a recipe for disaster!
(4) Once I put a FedEx in the drop box that never got delivered. FedEx found it a week later still in the box!

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April 5, 2012

Your purpose is NOT to notarize?

You DON’T go to Notarize

Many notaries have lost sight of their primary responsibility, and feel it is their primary mission to go to the assignment to notarize the signatures. This is not the case. The primary mission is to determine if the documents / IDs – qualify for notarization. Only then can the client’s desires be accommodated.

A recent situation that I experienced will illustrate. And, as you will see the affiant DID have “Government issued Photo ID” but did NOT qualify for notarization. In the example that follows, for privacy purposes; the last name has been changed.

I receive a “piggyback” assignment from a very reputable Title Settlement company to process a very high dollar refinance. They stressed that the client appointment was difficult to arrange and that they were willing to pay a higher than usual rate for very careful processing of a large number of documents. In other words: It had to be done right the first time. I had requested a borrower contact number, but was asked to NOT call; just arrive on schedule.

When I received the appointment confirmation the names of the borrowers were Susan and Moe Rice. I immediately replied that Moe was more commonly used as a “nickname” and they should verify that indeed was the true borrower first name. I received no response other than an immediate pre-payment of the full amount to my PayPal account.

The document set was truly huge, over 500 pages (counting the borrower copy), and required many notarizations. It arrived barely in time to print and dash to the signing location. Still literally hot from the LaserJet printer, copies in hand – off I went with 2.5 hours allocated to process.

On location, after greetings; I requested the borrowers IDs. Hers was fine, his was a showstopper! The docs had “Moe” but his NY driver license had “Mortimer”. “Mr. Rice” I asked, “What is your legal name”. He replied that “that is a complex issue”. He said that his birth name is not translatable into English. Further discussion revealed that his legal name (at least in the US), came from his Naturalization document, and that Mortimer Rice was also on his passport. He offered me several other New York issued IDs, with photo, that had the name “Moe Rice” on them. I again asked him what was his legal name. He replied “Mortimer Rice” but prefers to use “Moe Rice” and that virtually all of his dealings are in the “Moe” name. He did have a prior driver license in the “Moe” name; however as it did not have his true legal name (per his statement) I could not accept it.

The documents all had “Moe Rice” everywhere. I thought about the “Name Affidavit” but that requires me to notarize “Moe Rice” and enter “Mortimer Rice” as an AKA – the reverse of the Name Affidavit function. Furthermore the existing Name Affidavit would have required me to notarize “Moe Rice” and, of course; that not being his stated legal name, is impossible.

I took a picture of his New York State Driver License “Mortimer Rice” and sent it to the Settlement Company explaining that I had no option but to adjourn the session. In email correspondence with Settlement; they determined that a legal procedure will be necessary to change his Title. The first thought was having me notarize a Quit Claim Deed, but I pointed out that I would have to notarize the seller “Moe Rice” to transfer the property to “Mortimer Rice” – also impossible.

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March 23, 2012

Notarization Dates, Document Dates & Signature Dates!

Document Dates 

We had this question as a Facebook competition question. It was fun, but we got too many wrong answers which is a little bit disconcerting.  There are different dates you have to be aware of as a notary. Some are more important than others, and each date has its own function.
Signature Dates
The date the signer signs the document is the signature date of the particular signature.  There are cases when a husband and wife will sign the same document, but on different days.  People are busy, and two notaries could handle the same paperwork on two separate days with two separate signers.  Those loans are tricky, and are more likely to have to be redrawn.  Just as long as you get paid, don’t stress!
Notarization Dates
The date you notarize someone’s signature is the notarization date.  The date corresponds to the signature, not the document.  A document could be signed by more than one party on different dates.  Or an addendum could be added and signed on another date as well.  Its complicated.
Document Dates
This is the question that 90% of the notaries got wrong.  I had very few choices of contestants to put in the drawing to win Starbucks!  The document date is NOT necessarily the date the document was drawn up, although it usually is.  It generally should not be dated after the signing to avoid confusion.  It is often dated the day the signing is intended to happen on, and is often dated the day it was drawn, or sometime in between.  There is no rule governing when the document date can be.  The function of this date is to be an identifying mark on the document to distinguish it from other documents.  Of course, if you have ten documents all entitled, “Affidavit“, to be signed by the same two parties, and all having the same document date, it really doesn’t narrow it down.
Your Journal
If you live in a state that doesn’t require journals, please don’t read this paragraph.  Actually, do read it, and get a journal anyway.  Your journal of official notarial acts is your record of all notary acts that you have done in your commission. It is evidence if you ever have to go to court, or if you are ever questioned about a particular act. It adds to the integrity of the notarization and safeguards against fraud, especially when you take thumbprints for all documents (optional, but recommended).   If a fraudulent notarization takes place with someone impostering you, without your journal, you will never have proof that you didn’t notarize that person. Journals keep records in sequential order, so you can go back to July 3rd, 2003, and see that you indeed never notarized Shelly Deeds and her Deed.
In your career, you will most likely eventually be asked to put a fraudulent date on your notarial certificate which is refered to as backdating. This is illegal, and you can lose your commission as a result, if you get caught.  A lender might need you to date the certificate for the 27th, when its the 28th, so that the borrowers can keep their lock. Its their problem, don’t get involved.  Lose the client and keep out of jail! Please see our blog article entitled “Backdating from A to Z

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Leave a few spaces open in your journal

Document dates go in the optional info section of an Acknowledgment: March 2013 Phoninar

The transaction date = the signature date: Feb 2013 Phoninar

How do I fill out a journal entry?

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