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March 21, 2012

Background Screening for Notaries?

Background Screening – who needs it?
 
Notaries are never quite sure whether background checks and background screening are an important part of the industry, or just a way for the agencies who provide it to make more money.  The state and DOJ screen you when you become a notary, right?  You can not be a felon and still be a notary, right?  So, why a redundant background check?  Does it make the signing companies feel better? Do they even want it?  The reality is that few companies ever ask notaries for background checks, but a few do.  How much work will you lose by not being background checked?
 
In California or Out of California – it makes a difference
If you are outside of California, aside from getting more inches of rainfall per year, the standards for becoming a notary are different.  California has been more
stringent in commissioning notaries for more than a decade, than other states in the country.  After 2005, it got even harder… a lot harder.  Its now very difficult to become a California notary public.  The test is murder, and then you need to get live scan fingerprinting (last I checked — and this is always changing), and checked by the DOJ and the FBI, and in some countiesof California maybe even the KGB.  Okay, maybe not the KGB, but I’m trying to illustrate how picky things are here.  Nobody who is the least bit sketchy or questionable will be able to become a notary, unless they didn’t get caught yet.  But, what about other states?  The rules change from state to state. It is possible that many states are very lax about background checking their notaries, and in those states, maybe the NNA should background check notaries!
 
A popular topic on the forum
Background checks are a very popular topic on the forum simply becuase there is so much confusion and emotion tied to the subject.  There is nothing notaries hate more than having to do something redundant.  Personally, I do redundant things daily, and I don’t mind providing I’m getting a benefit from it.  Others don’t see it the way I do based on these blogs. 

You might also like:
If you visit the forum and use the search box you can look up many more strings about background checks, but these are the strings that I thought you would like the most!
 
Question 13: Background Checks
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2673
 
Background check standards 2010
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=4035
 
2nd Background check by Service Link
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=4007
 
Nations Direct and Background Checks
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3518
 
Background Screening?
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=328
 
Its back, background check requests
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3442

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March 7, 2012

Death and the Notary

Death and the Notary

I have heard that it it best to get some things done sooner rather than later but this one takes it to another level….

Some borrowers won’t let even a death in the family stop them from a refinance transaction. I had a mobile notary that received a job from one of his trusty signing companies. He confirmed everything and prepared his documents. On the day of the signing he received a last minute call stating that the borrower had a death in the family but they were  going to proceed with the closing at the agreed upon time.

So, our mobile notary arrived at the house as scheduled not only to find that there indeed was a death;  the female borrower had sadly lost her mother. It was apparent that she was distraught and he could see that she had been crying, but she insisted that she wanted to proceed anyway. So our mobile notary pulled out the tools of the trade and got ID’s logged in and proceeded to start to pass the docs down the assembly line  for signature and initials. However about ever two or so docs the door bell would ring a family member  and/or friend would start to come bearing food, gifts of condolence. So as the visitors would come the female borrower would stop the signing and get up go to the door greet her quests as they came to pay their respects. They would offer their sympathy and condolences and then tears would begin to flow again. ANd she would come back to the signing table and begin to sign again. Needless to say this went on for over two hours. Boy, all I can say is the signing agent on this one was a trooper. It seems that the motivator for this borrower to sign no matter what was a 30 year fixed at 3.8 or so. I guess who could blame her. Life does goes on….

So It seems a great interest rate no matter what the circumstances (good or bad) will never stop some borrowers from signing loan docs.

Until next time!

Be safe!

You might also like:

Bad identification at a notary job

A tale of four notaries at hospitals

Power of Attorney at a nursing home

Do they refinance haunted houses?

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March 2, 2012

Notary dragged into court!

A Notary gets dragged into court!

I love it that you guys share your stories and/or experiences with me. I feel that not only are they interesting they need to be told. They also serve to educate all of us of whats happening out here and also make us think. This is one of those stories.  I was speaking with one of our long standing notaries about their renewal and some other matters which led him to tell me this story which I feel it is very important, because although through no fault of the notary public we need to remember to do our jobs to the best of our ability and to  always be on the lookout for fraud.
It seems that this notary public had received a summons to court and had been going to trial for the past few days and he was not at all pleased.  I cant believe it because as far as I know it it not that often a notary public gets called into court. At least for me it is something that I don’t hear about too often. 

It seems that a loan signing assignment had been given to him which he completed with no problems but it had turned out many months later that the person that had appeared before him and the person that had signed the loan documents was not the true borrower named on the documentation nor was it his property.  The culprit was the son. So, I guess it is safe to say,  the son desperately needed money for god knows what and had initiated a loan in his fathers name using the father’s property using his fathers name. I thought to myself “What kind of person does this”? Did the son actually think he was going to get away with it? I mean the note would possibly be changing as well and some of the other things like maybe the lender, etc.  What did he think his father would not notice? DId he think he wouldn’t get caught??? or did he even care.

I guess for some folks desperate times calls for desperate measures.  So now our notary had to spend precious time for which he wasn’t compensated for in court because of someone else’s crime. The notary was required to produce his journal and had to ID the son as the one who had impersonated his father.
I asked the notary public how the ID looked he said it was not a fake as far as he knew. He told me that nothing was out of the ordinary. And the signing went smooth.

Now, the notary did absolutely nothing wrong in this case and it was out of his control but it got me to be thinking that sometimes we can become too comfortable in our job and our duties.. So the  moral of this story is that we need to be paying attention at all times because there there is always somebody out here trying to pull a fast one….check those id’s carefully and document everything in your journal. And if your state doesn’t require you to keep a journal then you should. It may save you a whole lot of trouble if a ‘situation’ should ever arrive.  The notary had his journal and all of the proof that he needed so he was in the clear.

You might also like:

Everything you need to know about journals

Leave a few spaces open in your journal?

Getting what is due! A clever plan!

A notary gets sued, but E&O won’t help!

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February 8, 2012

Can a notary notarize a birth certificate?

Can a notary notarize a copy of a birth certificate? 

Notaries are advised to stay away from notarizing copies of vital records including birth certificates, marriage certificates, and death certificates.  The state and/or county clerks are in charge of vital records.  Just politely decline when asked to notarize a signature on a brith certificate.  These types of vital records must be certified by the entity (the county clerk).
 
No place to sign!
Additionally, there is no place for a signer to sign on a birth certificate, so how can you notarize a document without a signature?  Conceivably, you could draw up an Affidavit that claims that the copy is a true and complete copy of the original birth certificate.  The signer could sign that affidavit, and you could notarize the signature on the affidavit and give them a quick oath. But, this is not legal in many states in conjunction with a birth certificate.

 What should a notary do?
As a notary, you should know the name of the document that is to be notarized BEFORE you get in your car.  Imagine driving 45 minutes in traffic only to find out that you are going to be asked to notarize a birth certificate. Have fun getting your travel fee in that case when you tell the client, “no can do”. 
 
Fetal Death Certificates?
I never knew this existed until I read someone’s reply to a forum post about notarizing (or not notarizing) birth certificates.  I never knew there was such thing as a fetal death certificate.  How can you give a certificate to someone who has not yet been named?  Do souls have an SKU number?  Was the fetus mature enough to have been infused with a soul yet?  When you study spirituality, you start asking questions like this!  On a brighter note, the fetus will be reincarnated, and won’t suffer much according to a colleague who specializes in past life regression!
 
Notarize THIS!
I am remembering this great mafia movie about the mafia boss and the shrink called Analyze this!  Imagine a movie about mafia people and notaries!
 
 
You might also like:
 
Can I notarize a birth certificate – forum discussion http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3924

How to get something notarized that doesn’t have a signature
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4695

The chicken & egg: Birth Certificate problem solved
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3474

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January 13, 2012

Borrowers and their filthy homes

The notary who was very ill
A while back I had tried to reach one of our notaries (and she has become a dear friend as well) for some time but with no response I started to worry. When I did finally reach her she shared a horrifying story with me. She confided in me that she had been quite ill. In fact she expressed to me that she was very near death.  I could hardly believe my ears what she had begun to tell me.

Coming down with a flu
She had had a busy week with notary work and she became ill with what she thought was the flu/cold. She did not quite know what was wrong but knew that her body was telling her something was not quite right. This was more than a cold. She eventually ended up in the hospital and with her stay her body continued to slowly shut down. She was literally dying right before the doctors and staff’s eyes. They ran test after test and could not come up with anything.

But, what was her illness?
They were baffled. What they did know for sure is if they didn’t do something and do something fast she would surely die.  They were clueless, was this an infection or was airborne or contagious?? They continued with the tests but nothing. They were afraid to give her any medication for fear that it would kill her. If they didn’t know what was wrong how could they treat her. So they quarantined her and everyone that tended to her wore masks, gloves, etc. They were stumped/baffled to say the least.

A test for Legionnaires disease
Now, If it weren’t for what she would call her ‘angel’ she would not have lived to tell this story. There  just so happened that there was a young intern at the hospital (who’s sex it still unknown to her to this date; not that it makes any difference) suggested for them to  run the test for Legionnaires Disease. Why he or she suggested or thought to test for this is still unclear but as far as our notary and I are concerned, it was our heavenly father above. The doctors ordered the test and what a shocker those results were, positive-BINGO-that is exactly what she had. Now you may ask what exactly is Legionnaires Disease?? I have posted a summary below.

Legionellosis is a potentially fatal infectious disease caused by gram negative, aerobic bacteria belonging to the genus Legionella.[1][2] Over 90% of legionellosis cases are caused by Legionella pneumophila, a ubiquitous aquatic organism that thrives in temperatures between 25 and 45 °C (77 and 113 °F), with an optimum temperature of 35 °C (95 °F).[3]

Legionellosis takes two distinct forms:
Legionnaires’ disease, also known as “Legion Fever”,[4] is the more severe form of the infection and produces high fever and pneumonia.[5][6]

The disease was traced to a borrower’s home
If it sounds scary well it is…When the notaries test came back positive the CDC was called in.  Can you believe it! Haz-mats and all. And they wanted to know EVERY place she had been., Every detail.  Being barely able to communicate she let them know all of the places she had been. They traced her steps, they checked her home and all the places that she had been after she had became ill and low and behold the LD was ultimately traced to a BORROWERS home that she had closed a loan for. It seems the borrower had never cleaned/serviced their air conditioning unit and whenever it was warm and they turned it on it was blowing the LD bacteria into the air and our unfortunately notary had breathed this deadly bacteria in while she was there closing her loan. Our notary let me know that the house itself was filthy and she says now with her near death experience she will never enter a filthy home again.

No more dirty homes
She says that if she arrives to a house  that is not clean for notary work, she will not set foot in it. She immediately (but kindly) offers to take them for coffee and they sign the paperwork at the coffee shop. No exception! She told me that she had to learn allot of things all over things that we just do naturally and take for granted, like eating walking, etc. The disease had essential destroyed her immune system and left her weak…so she felt that no signing job was worth what she had been through..so NO more dirty houses.

The borrowers were immune
What got me is that the people that lived in the house never got sick…the CCD said that because it was their filth they were immune to the bacteria. But any friend, worker, etc that entered that house and stayed any length of time on a hot day with that uncleaned air-conditioning running would get deathly sick. So next time a house is really filthy you may want to think twice about entering it.
Until the next time. Be safe!

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