June 2012 - Notary Blog - Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice - 123notary.com

Notary Blog – Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice – 123notary.com Control Panel

June 30, 2012

Can a notary public act as a witness?

Filed under: Witnessing — Tags: , , , — admin @ 12:13 pm

Can a notary public act as a witness? 

We already have a very thorough blog entry entitled:
Can a notary be a witness?
That contains all pertinent details regarding notary witness requirements and procedures.  To sum it up, a notary can act as a witness in any state in their capacity as an individual.   However, in Delaware, and Washington State, and perhaps a few other states, a notary can do witnessing as an official notary act, and charge an official fee set by the state for their services.
Is it better to hire a notary to be a witness?
Since notaries work exclusively with signers, signatures, documents, foms, certificates, etc., many people feel that notaries are better equipt to handle the (not so vigorous) responsibilities associated with being a witness.  Additionally, notaries have been screened by their state and are more likely to be honest upstanding citizens — or at least that is what many of us like to think.  The reality is that some notaries have no idea what they are doing, while others are very particular about witnessing, and documenting information in conjunction with witnessing. 
Why would it matter who you picked as a witness?
If someone witnesses a document signing or a Will signing, it doesn’t matter much who they are provided they are at least 18 years of age.  On the other hand, if the witness ever needs to be contacted after the fact, it is good if the witness has lived in the same place for a long time so you know where to reach them.  If your witness works for the circus or lives in a caravan and moves around a lot, you might never see them again. Having a witness who is a notary might help if they provide some extra documentation for you. Additionally, a mobile notary supposedly knows how to show up at the appointed place at the appointed time and might be more reliable with logistics.

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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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June 22, 2012

Notary Public Oath of Office Information

Notary Public Oath of Office Information 

Each state has a different procedure for becoming a notary.  But, it is common for states to require a newly commissioned notary public to purchase a bond and file it with the county recorder. When the notary comes to the recorder’s office to file their bond, it is also common for them to have to take an Oath of Office, and file their oath at the county recorder’s office as well.  California requires notaries to file two completed copies of their oath with the county recorder. Remember not to sign the Oath documentation until the clerk at the county clerk tells you to!
The Oath of Office
Generally, the Oath will be a piece of paper with a quick statement that you swear to. You will need to raise your right hand and swear or affirm under oath that you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and you will have to agree to the terms in the document.  You need to sign in the presence of the clerk, and then the clerk will affix their stamp to the Oath paperwork.
Verbiage for the Notary Oath of Office
Here is some sample wording from Michigan’s Department of State:
Do you solemnly swear that you will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of this State, and that you will discharge the duties of the office of Notary Public in and for said County to the best of your ability?

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June 19, 2012

Texas, Utah, and Virginia e-notary rules

Texas e-notary rules
Any Texas Notary Public may perform an electronic notarization.  An e-notarization must meet the requirements of any other notarization such as personal appearance of the signer.  The electronic seal must meet the same requirements as a conventional seal. All parties must agree to have the notarization done electronically.  Please refer to Texas code (law) 322.011
Utah e-notary rules
http://notary.utah.gov/ – please click on the 2010-2011 Study Guide section 3.
Based on the Utah Notary Handbook, notarizing of an electronic signature requires personal appearance and certification of a signature made voluntarily.  No other information was given.
Virginia e-notary rules
We are including this information on separate post.  Please visit the link below to see that information. The information we have about Virginia e-notarizations is by far the most thorough that we were able to find for any state in the United States. Please see Virginia e-notary rules for more information.

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June 13, 2012

Florida e-notary rules

Florida e-notary rules
The information in this link is very hard to follow or understand.  It looks like all Florida notary public applicants must be trained in notary rules as well as e-notarizations before they can be commissioned at all. I didn’t see any restrictions as to who could do e-notarizations, so I will assume (perhaps incorrectly) due to the lack of clarification that any Florida notary with an electronic journal can perform an e-notary act.
Here is an interesting excerpt:
“Notarization and Acknowledgment
(a) If a law requires a signature or record to be notarized, acknowledged, verified, or made under oath, the requirement is satisfied if the electronic signature of the person authorized by applicable law to perform those acts, together with all other information required to be included by other applicable law, is attached to or logically associated with the signature or record. Neither a rubber stamp nor an impression type seal is required for an electronic notarization.
(b) A first-time applicant for a notary commission must submit proof that the applicant has, within 1 year prior to the application, completed at least 3 hours of interactive or classroom instruction, including electronic notarization, and covering the duties of the notary public. Courses satisfying this section may be offered by any public or private sector person or entity registered with the Executive Office of the Governor and must include a core curriculum approved by that office.”

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June 11, 2012

Which states allow e-notarizations?

What states allow e-notarizations or e-notaries?
The status of being an electronic notary is a very new and very misunderstood profession or office.  To be an e-Notary, so you can do e-Notarizations, is often a completely different type of commission in many states.  Another fact to understand is that e-Notarizations can not (or can not always) be done for Deeds or other documents that effect real property.  The biggest issue that bothers notaries about e-Notarizations is that the signer doesn’t always have to appear before the notary to receive an e-Notarization.  The first time a signer is notarized, they should appear before the notary, but in some states, the subsequent e-notarizations  may or may not require physical presence. 
e-Notarizations require the use of an electronic journal (ENJOA).  The signature of the signer would go in that journal.
An e-signing is normally done with a physical journal and done in the presence of a notary public.  The documents might be signed online, or at least most of them signed online. However, the signer woudl still appear before the notary public and sign a physical journal of notarial acts.
Here are the states that currently allow e-notarizations. The rules for e-Notarizations might be very different from state to state.
California, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, New Mexico, North Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin.


20 stories about animals at signings

Filed under: Pets at Signings — Tags: , — admin @ 3:40 am

20 hilarious posts about pets & animals
Dogs, cats, snakes, cockroaches, and neighbors (classified as pets for the time being).
These are all time classics on our forum and blog. Tell us which ones are your favorites!

Wolf Dogs at a signing

The cat jumped on the keyboard

Neighbors and signings, what can go wrong

A dog falls asleep on a notary’s briefcase

The dog peed on me and the docs

A signing with Corky the dog

The woman and the shoe

Farmyard signing

Cockroaches and more

Pets at signings

Humor at signings

The cat lady

Funniest signings from facebook

Pets and signings

Checking for Pets in my bag?

BLOG version of pets at signings

Funniest things that happen at signings


June 5, 2012

How to find a bilingual notary public

How to find a bilingual notary public

How to find a bilingual notary public Many states prohibit a notary public from providing notary services to someone who they can not communicate DIRECTLY with. This means no translators allowed. Therefor, if you have a signer who does not speak English, you will need a bilingual notary public to notarize their signature.

Notaries who advertise as bilingual.
Many notaries advertise themselves as bilingual. Some don’t even specify which two languages that they speak that makes them bilingual. Most people would guess that the pair of languages would be Spanish and English. You will find native speakers of Spanish, children of Latin American immigrants, and home-grown Anglos who will claim to be bilingual — but not all claims were created equal. Some people are proficient in both languages enough to be a certified translator. Some can speak, but can’t write. Many can communicate on a simple level in their second language as well. The notaries you have to watch out for are the ones who know only a few words of Spanish and promote themselves as bilingual notaries to get a few extra jobs, when they clearly are causing more trouble than anything else. Test your bilingual notary out on the phone If a notary claims to be bilingual, half of them have a translator in the back room who is not always there and not always available. That is a semi-fraudulent claim of blingualness if you ask me! Others can not function in the language if your question goes beyond, “How are you, and what is your name?”. Talk to your bilingual notary on the phone and see how capable they really are. Test them before you book them in your calendar. How do I find a bilingual notary public? 123notary.com has a wide selection of bilingual notaries speaking every language from Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Chinese, Farsi, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, (American) Sign Language, Spanish, Tagalog, Vietnamese, and Zulu (not necessarily in that order). Just do a search, and on the upper right hand side of the page you can filter your search by typing in the name of the language. There are actually speakers of many more languages than mentioned above, but those are the common ones. We even had one or two notaries who spoke Chaldean, Tigrean, and Twi among other languages. Don’t use the term Notario Publico The Spanish term Notario Publico is very different from the American position of Notary Public. Notaries are forbidden from using the Spanish term in their advertising in most states. American notaries are forbidden from giving legal advice and are of a much more common position than a Latin American Notario which is a position almost as high as an attorney.

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June 3, 2012

A New California Notary Law

A New California Notary Law

A new law regarding California notaries went into effect on January 1, 2012. One of three main changes to California notary law in 2012 is that a subscribing witness may not sign a Power of Attorney in California in a case where a signer is too frail or unwell to appear before a notary. In other words, it is now clearly mandated that a person giving someone else Power of Attorney in California must be well enough to appear personally before a California notary. There are situations in which an actual signer can’t appear before the notary and a subscribing witness may be used, but this is not as strong as having a California notary take an acknowledgement, and ought not to be allowed in most situations. In matters involving finance and property, California previously made clear that important documents such as mortgages and securities may not be signed by a subscribing witness; instead, the acknowledgment must be taken by the notary with the proper signer present. In 2012, California has now wisely added POA to the list of documents that may not be signed by a subscribing witness.

The second of the changes to California notary law in 2012 setsforth the rule that only California notaries who work for the financial institution concerned may demand payment or accept payment on “foreign bills of exchange” for the institution –and only these California notaries may protest for nonpayment. The third change in the law makes clear that these notaries who work for financial institutions will of course no longer be paid a fee for such services—as an independent notary would have been. The world of banking has its own notaries for all occasions, California notary law reminds us.

(1) A new 2012 California notary law – subscribing witnesses may no longer sign Power of Attorney in certain cases.
(2) Important documents such as Mortgages & Securities may not be signed by subscribing witnesses.

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