October 2010 - Notary Blog - Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice - 123notary.com
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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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October 22, 2010

Arizona Notary Public Q&A Topics

Arizona Notary Public Q&A

Q. How long does it take to become an Arizona Notary Public?
A. It takes roughly 30-45 days for the entire process

Q. How much does it cost to become an Arizona notary public?
A. The application fee is $25 as of 2011 & 2012, plus there is an $18 bond filing fee.

Q.Can I get a refund after I have sent in my application fees?
A. No, it is not possible to get a refund.

Q. If I’m in themilitary, can I become an AZ Notary Public?
A. If you are in the military, certain officers are federally commissioned to do notary acts for other members of the armed forces.

Q. How many years is an Arizona Notary Public term?
A. Four years. A term beginning May 2nd 2010, will expire on midnight of May 1st 2014.

Q. When do I begin my renewal process?
A. Begin the process within 60 days before your expiration date.

Q. If I don’t begin my renewal process early enough, what can I do?
A. Can expidite the process for a $25 fee resulting in 24-48 hour processing.

Q. Who do I contact to get an apostille?
A. The secretary of state can provide this service for $3 and their address is:
Arizona Secretary of State Attn Notary Department
1700 W. Washington, 7th Floor
Phoenix Arizona, 85007

Q. How do I resign my Arizona notary commission?
A. Send a letter to the governor, and send a copy to the secretary of state’s office as well. You must surrender your Arizona notary seal and journal as well.

Q. How do I file a complaint against an Arizona notary public?
A. Contact the Arizona attorney general’s office for an investigation into your complaint. If the violation was criminal, then contact your local police station.

Q. What type of ID does a signer need for documents relating to real estate?
A. A current driver’s license, passport or government issued identification.

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October 21, 2010

Massachusetts Notary Odd Information

Massachusetts notary odd rules and conditions.

A Massachusetts notary has restrictions about signing loans since Massachusetts is an attorney state. But, many Massachusetts notaries still sign loans. In Georgia, notaries never sign in-state loans in my experience because the rule about non-attorney notaries not being allowed to sign loans is more strictly enforced.

Massachusetts is the only territory in the United States that is a commonwealth, not a state, but we call it a state in any case.

The secretary of the commonwealth does not regulate the activities of Massachusetts notaries. A Massachusetts notary public is regulated by the governor.

Massachusetts notary fees are pitifully low.
A protest for over $500 – the notary can charge a fee off $1.00, or 50 cents for a protest for a lower value. These fees are suitable for the 1800’s, but a modern day notary can not make a living making pennies for their work.

A 50 cent fee for recording a protest is allowed. A fee of 75 cents is allowed for noting the non-acceptance of a non-payment for a bill of exchange. For each notice of non-acceptance or non-payment of a bill of exchange, order, draft, check, or note, given to the party liable for the payment thereof – a fee of 25 cents.

The whole cost of a protest including all notices and record: $2 for amounts $500 or more, or $1.50 for protests under $500. Costs for noting, including recording and notices shall not exceed $1.25.

Interesting witnessing rule
A Massachusetts notary public may ONLY witness documents while physically present in Massachusetts at the time of the notarization.

The Governor recommends:
Common places to look for a Massachusetts notary include city and town halls, courts, banks, law offices, insurance companies, drug stores / pharmacies, and in the phone book. I wish the governmor would also recommend 123notary.com. I think that the Massachetts notary materials on state websites were written more than ten years ago.

What is the purpose of the executive order?
Up until the effective date of the Executive Order, there had been no guidance for Massachusetts notaries public about what to do and how to do it. The Executive Order provides that information. In addition, there have been no safeguards in place to help prevent fraud, forgeries, and other misconduct by a small but significant number of notaries. The Executive Order provides notice to notaries as to what behavior constitutes misconduct, and then allows the Governor to remove or decline to re-appoint notaries who are engaging in misconduct.

Which Massachusetts Notary is required to keep a journal?Non-attorney Massachusetts notaries are required to keep a journal. But, shouldn’t the attorneys keep one too? Paralegals are exempt from keeping a journal too. Records are records, and everyone should keep records in my humble opinion.
A Massachusetts notary public who is employed by a bank can…
“Conducting a real estate closing involves the practice of law in Massachusetts. Thus, non-attorney notaries public may not conduct real estate closings. A notary public who is employed by a bank may notarize a document in conjunction with the closing of his or her employer’s real estate loans. Also, a non-attorney notary public who works for a bank may notarize bank documents relating to an equity line of credit or a refinance mortgage, absent other violation of the Executive Order.”.. from the Governor’s website.

Term of office
A Massachusetts notary holds their office for seven years.

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More info about New Jersey Notary Issues

Filed under: New Jersey Notary — Tags: , — admin @ 5:30 am

More information about New Jersey Notary Issues

Prohibitions and Liability

(1) A New Jersey notary must never pre-date an action. They must never date a notary act prior to the signature date appearing on the document.

(2) A New Jersey notary public must never lend a journal, stamp, or other personal notary equipment to anyone else — ever!

(3) A Notary in New Jersey must never prepare a legal document or give legal advice, or advice relating to land titles. This includes preparation of pleadings, affidavits, briefs, or any other submissions to the court.

(4) A New Jersey notary should never appear as a representative of another person in a legal proceeding.

(5) A New Jersey notary should never act for others to collect delinquent bills or claims.

Questions
How do we define what a legal document is? Is a legal document one used specifically in court, or submitted to a judge, attorney, or court? Can a New Jersey notary assist in writing an informal letter that is to be notarized?

Charge of name or address
If a notary public in NJ changes their name, they must notify the State Treasuer and county clerk where they reside and submit a specific form which is avialable online. Address changes use the same procedure.

Authentication
The State Treasuer and county clerk may attach a notary certificate upon request. This certificate attests to teh time of the notary action, and that the notary was a duly commissioned notary in New Jersey.

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Become a New Jersey Notary Public

Become a New Jersey notary public

On our New Jersey notary search page, there is a link to another page to help you become a notary public in New Jersey. Here is some more resource materials with information about Notary rules in NJ. Notaries are appointed to a five year term and must be eighteen or more years old. They would be sworn into office by the county clerk where they reside. Submit your application to the Division of Revenue, Notary Public Unit, PO Box 452, Trenton, NJ 08646. Get expedited service for a $15 additional fee and submit to 33 W. State Street 5th Floor, Trenton, NJ 08608-1214 Attention – Notary Unit.

Here is a link to the New Jersey notary application for a new or renewed commission
http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/revenue/dcr/pdforms/notapp.pdf

Here is a link to information about New Jersey notary fees
Here is a link to the NJ notary manual http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/revenue/dcr/geninfo/notarymanual.htm

http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/revenue/dcr/geninfo/fees_pd.html#np_fees

Here is some information about apostilles and certifications
http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/revenue/dcr/programs/apostilles.htm

Other information
A New Jersey notary public may use one credible witness who is known to the notary and known to the signer. The function of the credible witness is to identify the signer to the NJ notary public.

It is common for New Jersey notaries to have a second commission in New York if they work in New York. They can apply for that through the NY Dept of State in Albany, NY.

It is common for a New Jersey notary public to have a jurat stamp. This facilitates executing jurats as the venue and jurat wording is on the stamp. Many notaries also use a Jurat certificate form which can be attached to the document that is to be notarized.

Another office similar to being a New Jersey notary public is to be a commissioner of deeds. New Hampshire also has this office.

Although its not the duty of a Notary in New Jersey to determine if a document is false, if the notary somehow discovers that a document is false, they should not notarize it.

A New Jersey notary may not advertise in such a way where they would lead the public into thinking they had capabilities exceeding the rights of a notary public in New Jersey.

See
http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/revenue/dcr/programs/notary.html for links.

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October 14, 2010

Georgia non-attorney notary realities

Georgia Notary Public restrictions

Georgia notaries can NOT perform loan signings.
Its well known nationwide that a Georgia Notary Public who is a non-attorney notary can not perform a loan signing. Its considered legal advice by many to supervise a loan signing. My personal opinion is that if you don’t give any advice or explanations about the specifics of a loan, its not legal advice or the unauthorized practice of loan. However, so many notaries, don’t know their limits and start explaining what they shouldn’t explain, that it blurs the distinction of being legal advice or unauthorized practice of law. To me this is like saying that many individuals commit murder when walking down J street, therefor, we will convict you of murder simply for walking down J street even if you were minding your own business.

The loophole is that I’ve heard that a Georgia notary can notarize loan documents in Georgia for properties in other states.

Is the public better off?
The business reality is that attorneys in Georgia now control the loan signing business and are making great profits for themselves. It is unclear as to whether or not the public is better off or not having attorneys supervise signings. Maybe attorneys are able to be more helpful than a non-attorney notary during a signing which would make the public much better off. Another reality is that the signing fee charged by an attorney will most likely be $150-$250, plus whatever additional fees the signing agency would like to charge, while a non-attorney notary would charge $50-$150 in usual cases.

Georgia notaries still get work
The irony is that a Georgia notary public can still make a good part time income from doing what we call, “Regular notary work”. 123notary attracts lots of regular notary jobs which call for a notary, or in this case a Georgia notary public to drive to a location, and notarize one or two signatures. A notary can easily charge $25-$70 travel fee plus whatever a Georgia notary can legally charge per signature for notarizing.

123notary is selling advertising to Georgia notaries
We have many notaries in Georgia who renew their subscription with us every year who say they get regular business form their listing on 123notary.com. So, the restrictions on Georgia non-attorney notaries are not fatal! There is hope.

Please see our Georgia notary search page.

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New Hampshire notary public eccentric rules

New Hampshire Notary Public eccentric laws.

Introduction
A notary public in New Hampshire has different possibilities than a notary in most other states. The rules for a New Hampshire notary are different and its interesting to learn about. New Hampshire notaries can become a justice of the peace, or commissioner of deeds in addition to having normal notary capabilities.

Justice of the peace
Anybody who wishes to apply to become a Justice of the peace must be a resident of New Hampshire and have been a registered voter in New Hampshire for at least 3 years before the date of the application. The applicant must sign a written statement with an accompaning oath as to whether or not they have ever been convicted by a crime that has not been annulled by a court, other than a minor traffic violation. Two justices of the peace and one registered voter of New Hampshire must endorse the application for appointment. The applicant also needs to complete a State Police records check form. There is a $75 fee for a five-year commission.

Become a notary, justice, or commissioner in NH
To become a New Hampshire notary public or New Hampshire justice of the peace or New Hampshire commissioner of deeds, you apply to the Secretary of state’s office — state house, room 204, Concord, NH 03301 or email to elections@sos.state.nh.us

The term of a New Hampshire justice of the peace is five years from the date that the Governer and Council confirms your appointment. The new New Hampshire justice of the peace must sign and take their oath of office in the presence of two Notaries public or justices of the peace, or one notary public and one justice of the peace. Then, the oath must be returned to the secretary of state’s office as soon as possible. The recently appointed New Hampshire justice of the peace should keep their commission in their records. Additionally, an index card must be signed and returned to the superior court of the county in which the person resides.

Justice of the peace – capacities
A New Hampshire Justice of the Peace has some capacities similar to a New Hampshire notary. Both designations allow the officer to do acknowledgments, but do not require an official seal when doing so. However, the state recommends using an official seal when performing duties specific to a New Hampshire Justice of the Peace.

In addition to acknowledgments, a New Hampshire justice of the peace can do all the same acts as a regular New Hampshire notary public such as Oaths, Affirmations, Jurats, Depositions, Copy certifications, and Protests.

The two special acts that a justice of the peace can do that notaries in most states can not do are: officially witnessing signatures and performing marriages. Florida notaries can also perform marriages with a special designation.

New Hampshire Commissioner of deeds
The powers of a New Hampshire commissioner of deeds are actually less than those of a New Hampshire notary or justice of the peace. The commissioner of deeds can administer oaths BOTH IN AND OUT OF New Hampshire, for documents that will be used in New Hampshire. They can take depositiosn and affidavits, plus acknowledgments. However, the NH Secretary of State’s website gives no accounting of whether they can do Jurats, Protests, Copy certifications, or other typical New Hampshire notary acts.

New Hampshire notary public application
If you are at least 18, and a resident of NH, you can apply to the secretary of state in NH to become a New Hampshire notary public. There is a $75 fee, and the commission is good for five years. Please visit http://www.sos.nh.gov/notary.html for more details.

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