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 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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