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November 26, 2012

You will be all alone with me

Notary Public Virginia – Here is a story that happened recently.

“When I called to confirm the signing, the man said, ‘You do know you will be alone with me.’ I immediately called my husband and although he didn’t want to give up his poker night, he did…because he saw how upset I was. He also brought a weapon, a small handgun, just in case. Now if that happened, I would not go at all! It turns out this man was joking– but it was a very dark sense of humor, and I think there was something wrong with him. He kept twitching all during this signing for a refinance…and I wondered how he could have refinanced at all because the house was so filthy,” says this notary in Virginia.

(1) The notary’s husband had to give up poker night cuz the borrower said, “You will be all alone w/me”
(2) The borrower said, “You will be all alone w/me,” & the signing agent freaked out!


October 2, 2012

Top 5 books every notary should own (and read)

In any career, being the best means that you have to participate in professional development and be aware of new developments in your field. This is even truer for notaries who can face fines, suspended licenses, lawsuits, and other consequences if they make a mistake. Whether you’re new to the notary industry or a seasoned professional, make sure that you stay on top of your game with the books listed below.

The U.S. Notary Law Primer

Published in June, this book by the National Notary Association provides up-to-date information that every notary, or aspiring notary, needs to know. For those interested in becoming a notary, it lists the necessary qualifications and gives contact information for notary regulating officials. For those new to the profession, this book includes a variety of basic information including signer identification, notary journal maintenance, and misconduct penalties.

2012 – 2013 U.S. Notary Reference Manual

In the 11th edition of this manual, Charles N. Faerber has compiled the most current notary regulations from all 50 American states and six U.S. jurisdictions. Faerber, the National Notary Association’s Editor-at-Large and Vice President of Notary Affairs, makes sure to include detailed information for each state as well as the overarching laws that govern all notaries. This information is especially useful for national companies that use notarized documents and notaries who practice in multiple states.

How to Open & Operate a Financially Successful Notary Business

In this guide, Kristie Lorette and Mick Spillane not only review notary basics, but they also offer advice as to how to grow a notary business. This thorough book contains checklists, case studies, an appendix of state-specific information, and even comes with a companion CD-ROM of customizable professional forms. This how-to has invaluable information for notaries at any level in their careers.

101 Useful Notary Tips

Written and published by the National Notary Association, this handbook delivers the answers to frequently asked notary questions. Topics range from the basic (e.g., stamp expiration dates) to uncommon situations like notarizing a spouse’s document. Filled with practical advice, this book is a helpful reference for both new and experienced notaries.

Twelve Steps to a Flawless Notarization

As the title implies, the National Notary Association offers readers the twelve steps they should take each time they notarize a document. This book also includes helpful tips that notaries public should follow in order to guarantee that the notarization process is accurate as possible. The information provided will guide beginning notaries through their first notarizations and assure that practiced notaries don’t miss any steps.

These books are just a starting point in ensuring your success as a notary public. Since rules regulating notaries vary from state to state, always make sure that you are familiar with the exact laws within your jurisdiction and pay attention to any changes that may affect your notarizations. New developments in state-issued identification or the mortgage lending process affect how you do your job. Stay current by reviewing updated versions of your state notary handbook, talking with colleagues, and visiting industry websites such as this one.

Stephanie Marbukh is a freelance blogger who writes about a variety of topics including legal matters, education issues, and the importance of maintaining your home gutters. http://www.gutterhelmet.com/

(1) Being the best #notary means keeping up on industry trends & reading these top notary books!
(2) The top 5 books every notary should read include: 101 useful notary tips, 12 steps, law primers, etc…

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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!


September 17, 2012

Sample Notarized Affidavit

Here is a quick sample notarized affidavit.
I apologize that I am not able to scan a copy of a realistic signature or notary seal for legal reasons, so please accept my unrealistic looking signature and notarial stamp (seal)
I, John Doe authorize Mary Spencer to type of business documents for my company XYZ Associates. She is to have work completed by 5pm Pacific Standard Time daily, and will be paid half price for late work.  Mary is to work in our office and travel to locations to visit clients upon request.  Either party has the right to disolve this agreement at any time in writing.  A letter stating that you want to discontinue this relationship  and agreement will terminate and nullify this agreement.
John Doe
Mary Spencer
State of Nevada
County of Clark
Subscribed and sworn to ( or affirmed ) before me on
this 20th day of March, 2012 by

John Doe and Mary Spencer, proved to me on the basis
of satisfactory evidence to be the persons who appeared before me.
Larry Doe, notary public
Signature of Notary
|   Larry Doe                        |
|   Notary Public                   |
|   County of Nye, Nevada     |   (official notary seal)
|   Exp. 3-21-2012                |         

Please see our glossary’s article on affidavits

(1) Sample Notarized Affidavit verbiage including notary certificate & Oath wording.

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August 27, 2012

Notarizing Documents for the Elderly

Notarizing for the elderly: Making a difference

Notarizing documents for the elderly can sometimes be a precarious task. At best, it can also be very rewarding, a chance to save senior citizens from poor medical or financial decisions. Some of our notaries have recently done a great service by scrupulously looking out for this fragile population and speaking out in order to protect them.

A California notary tells us, “I was going to a signing, and I really didn’t have any information about the borrower. The caregiver for the elderly man answered the door, and said ‘Are you aware that Mr. Jones has Alzheimer’s? He thinks you are here to give him $3000. He was cleaning the house all night to impress you.’ Apparently, someone had called him from an Internet company and had gotten him to do the loan. The care attendant said she would have to call the man’s son. I left the loan documents with the man, and immediately called the loan officer. I said, ‘This man’s son has a power of attorney. If I hear of this man signing these documents himself, I will turn you in.’ I never heard from them again,” sighs the California notary, who knows to this day she provided an unanticipated service for Mr. Jones.

Another California notary from Oakland tells a similar story: he came to notarize a refinance, but the woman who owned the home did not want to sign. It turned out that the ‘relative’ who was claiming to have a valid power of attorney was not even related to the homeowner…but had somehow persuaded the lender that she had a POA–and was planning to drain $20,000 from the home and then put the woman in a nursing home. The notary got a bad feeling about all this when he first called to confirm the signing. The old woman confided in the notary her unwillingness to sign, and the notary, on a hunch, called the authorities. They arrested the “relative”…and an actual relative was called upon to assist. Luckily, the equity in the home remained intact, and our notary was very pleased. “It was just lucky that I realized what was going on,” he says, “and made the call. Some people might say it wasn’t any of my business. A notary actually is taken quite seriously as a ‘reporter’ in cases like this. I was glad I did what I did,” says our California notary.

“One man thought he was getting back $400 more on his loan than he actually did. When we went over the paperwork, he actually started crying. I was able to explain things to him, but he chose to call the lender and delay the closing…although he did end up closing that week. The lender did something for him, made some deal with him that made him feel better. Many elderly people feel they are being taken advantage of, and many are in a position of weakness. I see a lot of happy, wealthy elderly, some who own several houses in several parts of the country. I also see a lot of poor people who are elderly and who never recovered from 2008,” says one Hawaii notary with relatives in California. “We are trying to do more to protect them.”

A Hawaii notary in Honolulu who does a lot of notary work with the elderly tells us, “Sometimes at a hospital signing I have to determine whether or not the person knows what he or she is signing. I ask the person’s name and I keep asking questions. If the person does not know what he or she is signing, I leave.” Our astute young Hawaii notary adds, “There are lots of times there is a doubt as to the competence of the person, and you really have to be very sure. Your have to protect their interests. That is why it is good that California, for instance, just passed a new law regarding notarizing a power of attorney.” [see blog June 3 2012 “A New California Notary Law”]

(1) Notarizing documents for the elderly can sometimes be a precarious task; at best very rewarding
(2) “Are you aware that Mr. Jones (the signer) has Alzeimers? He thinks ur here to give him $3000!”
(3) Many elderly signers feel they are being taken advantage of, and that they have a weakness.

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August 25, 2012

Borrowers With Guns

Stay with me here! It may be a wild ride. Yee-haa!

A few years ago, a Texas professor showed his class this wonderful, funny animation, a kind of protest song, “Cows With Guns,” about the underdog…or in this case, the undercow. That was where I first saw it. You can still see and hear this humorous short animated musical cartoon: http://www.cowswithguns.com/cgi-bin/listen_animation.cgi?cart=1344148843.

I am smiling and thinking that it’s kind of like that in the notary business: naturally peaceful, calm notaries begin to feel they have to arm themselves with guns in response to formerly secure, mild-mannered clients who used to be their friends but are now arming themselves with guns. Some people feel taken advantage of…and that stress makes them try to retaliate. They crack. Now that we’ve had our laugh, here are a few stories that are snapshots of how crazy things are…at least in some parts of the country.

There are companies that prey on people, particularly the elderly, and try to get them to take on more debt than they can manage. Internet loan companies are notorious for that. One Texas notary came to the door ready for a signing, and was greeted by a man with a rifle pointed at her. All he knew was that his grandmother had taken out a few loans and had a few debt collectors after her. Says this Texas notary, “He looked at me suspiciously, and growled ‘My grandmother is sick. What do you want?’ He thought I was coming to collect a debt…when in reality, I was doing a notarization from a debt relief company to help the grandmother get out of debt.” In Texas, the law basically states that someone can fire a gun if there is even a remote possibility that a person is threatening you…so a Texas notary might very well feel the stress and carry a weapon, too.

A second Texas notary says, “I have done more than one notarization where there are guns in the house. Cows with guns? How about borrowers with guns? Now I know a few borrowers who feel that they need guns…but a closing is no place for a weapon.There is already too much stress.” She continues, “One time a woman did not want to sign because she thought she was being cheated. She took out a rifle and yelled, ‘Oh no you don’t! I’ll kick your butt!’ and started shooting at the ceiling. She didn’t care what she hit, and that is a fact. I got out of there so fast I almost forgot my notary bag with my glasses and the paperwork for the refi. I had to go to the bathroom real bad, but I got out of there and stopped at a gas station a few miles down the road,” our Texas notary concludes.

Another Texas notary adds, “One man insisted on my doing the entire notarization for refinancing his house while he kept a pistol on the table. Turns out it was an air pistol, but he was acting like it was a real one and he kept fingering it. About halfway through the signing, he went outside to shoot a cat with it. But it could have been me! I didn’t know the difference; I couldn’t tell it was an air pistol. As a Texas notary, I have seen many homes where there are guns…and they are 100% real and loaded!,” squeaks the notary.

An Arizona notary tells us, “Some folks are just crazy…and are probably too crazy to responsibly use the money they borrow. One time, I was greeted by a man in the driveway with a rifle. His girlfriend was in the house and he didn’t want his wife to come in and sign to refinance. Their marriage basically broke up right there in the driveway.” She bites her nails, and continues, “Then there was the man who started yelling ‘This is FRAUD!’ It wasn’t fraud, just some of the documents weren’t correct…and I never found out what he was yelling about…but he had an AK47 in a gun cabinet, and I just decided to skedaddle out of there,” she says. “Another Arizona notary told me that, in one town, a notary was murdered. This woman was a part-time notary, and she was missing and found dead under mysterious circumstances…right after she went to notarize a mentally ill man at his home. A lot of women who are Arizona notaries carry guns in their cars or trucks these days when they go out on jobs,” this Arizona notary asserts.

As all the pro-gun sites claim, only people kill people; guns don’t. Certainly cows don’t. However, as one Arizona notary asserts, “In my experience, people who are so emotional and irrational aren’t always capable of using weapons responsibly…and if those people are my clients, I’d rather they didn’t deal with me with a loaded weapon! If I do not know the people whose signatures I am notarizing, and I have to go way out in the country and deal with these folks…as a single female notary in Arizona or Texas, I just might carry a gun. Based on some of the borrowers I have met recently and the situations I have seen and heard about….If only cows had guns, we’d all be vegetarians–and would probably be a lot better off!”

(1) The notary went out and bought a gun because he heard the borrower had a gun!
(2) Mild mannered peaceful notaries are arming themselves with guns to protect themselves from crazy borrowers.
(3) One Texas Notary went to a signing & was greeted by a man pointing a rifle at her.
(4) 1 borrower felt she was being cheated, whipped out a rifle and said, “Oh no you don’t!”
(5) people who are so emotional & irrational aren’t always capable of using weapons responsibly, especially at a signing!

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I’d rather stop being a Notary than carry a gun


August 17, 2012

Stealing a Business Name

Stealing a business name 

One of our notaries was accused of stealing someone’s business name.  The notary went to a signing and said she was associated with some other gentleman with a particular name. I don’t remember the name, and would be confidential in any case.  The client was having some paperwork notarized that would be used to register a company name in Wyoming
I couldn’t figure this situation out, so I emailed the client, and they said that the notary name was registered the next day by the friend of the notary, but not the notary themselves.  They registered his business name before he could register it.  Why would someone go out of their way to steal someone else’s business name?  This poor client had already printed out business cards and mailing labels with his future business name, and now he couldn’t register it.
What a sad story.  The moral of the story is don’t print your cards until your business name registration is complete.  Someone else can register that name up to seconds right before you attempt to!!!

Notaries are encouraged to register their business names, and get a business license. Notaries with official business names get considerably more business than those that don’t have a notary business name!

(1) One of our notaries was accused of stealing a signer’s business name right before it got registered!
(2) One of our notaries registered a clients’ business name 24 hours before the client went to register it.

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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.


August 5, 2012

Power of Attorney and Verifying Capacity

Powers of Attorney and Verifying Capacity 

Recently, we had two notaries that had situations where they felt obligated to stick their head into other people’s business.  Both notaries were doing signings for an attorney in fact, and both notaries wanted to see the power of attorney to verify if the signer indeed had that capacity.  But, this seems to be going above and beyond the job of a notary public.  A notary’s job is to identify a signer, and make sure the signer really signed the document, keep a journal, and fill out certificate forms.
So, does the notary need to verify the capacity of the signer: i.e. as an attorney in fact?  In California, notaries are prohibited from identifying a signer’s capacity.  But, what about other states?  I have no idea!  Maybe our readers can comment. We will have a facebook discussion on this topic as well to stimulate dialogue.
I feel it is only the notary’s job to notarize the signature of the signer, and acknowledge that that particular person signed a document.  If that person claims to be an attorney in fact, that is their business. Whether the signature on the notarized document will be recognized in court as an official siguature of an attorney in fact is another story, especially if the “missing” power of attorney form doesn’t show up. I saw let the courts worry about authorization, it is beyond your job as a notary!

(1) When you notarize for an Attorney in Fact, is it your job to verify the signer’s capacity?
(2) It’s only the notary’s job 2identify the signer, not to determine if they’re authorized to sign in a particular capacity.

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June 27, 2012

How many notaries does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

Filed under: Humorous Posts,Popular on Twitter 2012 — Tags: , — admin @ 9:54 am

Q. How many notaries does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

The Split Signing
A notary named Bill was assigned a job on a split signing. He shows up and notarizes the Husband. Then the documents are couriered to the wife who is two counties away and on a different work schedule. A notary named Shelly notarizes the wife’s signatures. Then, the documents are overnighted back to the lender.

The Redraw
The lender decides that the wife’s name variation on title and on the loan documents are going to cause a problem when they “sell” the loan to one of those companies who … what’s the word — consolidates thousands of loans from different parties, and then has a third party do the loan servicing. It gets complicated. Nobody wants to assume responsibility or long term ownership of these loans, so they go through many hands and parties.

The New Documents are Ready
So, then the new documents get ready a few days later. The lender calls Bill again. Bill FLAKES on his appointment, and the lender is furious. So, they have to send e-documents to another notary. The other notary named Larry prints the documents, but then the husband who is signing cancels the signing because he has some last minute questions for the lender. (now? after you already signed a set of loan documents — you are crazy).

Do we call the 1st notary, or the 2nd one?
Finally, the next day, the husband is ready to sign, but who should they call? Should they call Bill, since he was the original notary for the husband, or do they call Larry? I say, you should call Larry, because Bill flaked. So, the lender (who thinks like me since this is an imaginary story) calls Larry and has him sign with the husband. No reprinting necessary! Oh… and no fax backs. Larry gets the loan signed and then a courier drives the documents down to the wife 100 miles awy or so.

Opening the package
Then Shelly opens up the package with the loan documents and looks over the Acknowledgment and Jurat certificates of which there are a handful. Shelly notices that Larry didn’t fill in the Acknowledgment wording correctly, and the notary put both signer’s names on the Acknowledgment wording. Notary #1 can only legally notarize the signature of the husband who appeared before him, and should treat the other party as if they don’t exist. So, Shelly notarizes the wife’s signatures and attaches loose Acknowledgment or Jurat certificates for the various documents that were to be notarized. Shelly calls the lender and REPORTS Larry for doing illegal notarizations. But, Shelly stated that the remedy is easy… Just tear up the Acknowledgment / Jurat wording that has both signers together, and create a new loose Acknowledgment / Jurat form and attach it.

The plot thickens
The lender, who played hookey on his ethics class (tisk tisk) tells Shelly that he is short on time, and asks Shelly to fill out the Acknowledgment and Jurat certificates for the Husband’s signatures — which is completely illegal. Shelly is shocked, and politely declines. So, now Shelly reported the Lender to the Attorney General, and the Notary to the Secretary of State.

Rehiring an incompetent notary?
The lender doesn’t want to hire Larry again since Larry is so incompetent, but is hesitant to hire Bill again, since bill flaked on his appointment. So, the lender has to hire a 3rd notary just for the husband, and is running tight on schedule — the lock will expire soon. The lender has until midnight to keep the lock on the interest rate. So, the lender hires Gary. The documents are couriered to the husband at great expense, and Gary shows up on time. Gary is instructed to fill out a loose Acknowledgment or Jurat for the corresponding documents and only notarize the Husband’s signature.

Finally Done… except the seal was smudgy and rejected.
The job is finally complete, and the documents are sent back to the lender in correct condition… Or are they? The lender sends the loan for processing, and everything goes okay as far as the loan “going through”. But, then they get a notification from the county recorder that Gary’s notary seal was too light and that the corner didn’t show up completely. They need the Deed of Trust to have a new Acknowledgment form. Since Gary already had the husband personaly appear and sign the journal, Gary could destroy the original Acknowledgment form, and create a new one with a more legible stamp. So, the lender asks gary to quote unquote “Just send in a Jurat”. The lender means an Acknowledgment form.

Gary informed the lender — It would be illegal for there to be two Acknowledgment forms lingering around. Either one would have to be destroyed, or the signer would have to re-appear before the notary.

The lender explained — Oh come on!!!
Gary the Notary Stated — I can’t send a loose Acknowledgment form — it is illegal… I need the document and the old form. Send it over and I’ll take care of it.

The lender said — No problem, I’ll destroy it myself… it’s destroyed… okay? Now, can you create another?

Gary pronounced — No trouble, just send me the destroyed Acknowledgment, so I can be sure, since I don’t want to end up in court for your neglegence, and send me the document, and I’ll staple the new Acknowledgment to the existing document.

The dishonest new new notary!
At this point the lender got fed up, and hired a completely new notary named Susie, who was as unethical, and stupid as this particular lender. The new notary sent in a loose acknowledgment form without even having SEEN the signer. The stamp was clean, and the notary got their lousy check for $50 worth of fraud which you can go to jail for by the way.

The plot thickens again
By this point, the Attorney General had begin to investigate this unscrupulous lender, since Shelly had reported him. The Attorney General questions the lender, but the lender tells them lie after lie about how he never asked Shelly to do anything illegal, etc. The A.G. couldn’t prove anything and was about to give up. But, just to keep everybody honest, the A.G asked each of the notaries to produce copies of their journal entries for this particular notarization job. They had a field day with Larry who had made an innocent, but really stupid mistake, and they redundantly reported him to the Secretary of State’s notary division. But, when they got around to checking up on the final last notary (the new new notary), Susie, they found what they were looking for — deliberate and blatant fraud. So, the case was transfered to the FBI who agreed to lighten Susie’s penalty if they agreed to write up a notarized statement with a sworn oath about how the lender asked her to commit fraud.

The notary after the final last notary
Finally, Susie’s sworn statement about how the Lender asked her to do terrible things that were illegal gets notarized by John the notary. Susie claimed that she was ignorant and didn’t know any better. In the end, Susie only got fined $10,000 since there were no damages to any party, and she didn’t have to go to jail… But, getting back to the main point of this story.

A. It takes five notaries, one corrupt lender, a picky county recorder, the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the FBI to screw in a lightbulb. (Bill, Larry, Shelly, Gary, Susie are the five notaries)

(1) A split signing with notary #1 & notary #2, except there is a redraw & #1 flakes … it’s complicated
(2) Shelly calls the lender and reports Bill for doing an improper & illegal notarization!
(3) The Lender asked Shelly to notarize someone who wasn’t there & she reported him to the Secretary of State
(4) The Attorney General investigated the Lender & the 3 notaries involved & busted Susie for fraud.

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