May 2013 - Notary Blog - Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice - 123notary.com
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May 30, 2013

My date with Jeremy

He was striking and utterly took my breath away–like a traffic accident. I couldn’t take my eyes off of him. He had deep, penetrating gray eyes that seemed to notice everything. His shirt was the color of numbers.

We got out of the car at the restaurant. He took the ticket stub the valet handed him and scrutinized the numbers. “These add up to 33, an excellent number for business,” Jeremy noted. “I hope my good fortune extends to this restaurant as well. Let’s go in and see what’s on the menu.”

The sign above the entrance said Le Jurat.

“How did you pick this restaurant?” I asked.

“I have an algorithm for restaurants,” Jeremy said, opening the door for me.

“How chivalrous!” I replied. I was in awe of him, and I didn’t know what else to say.

“I assess the restaurant according to reviews, how they answer the phone, and zip code… and then I try the food,” he explained. “I test the food before bringing a friend here. Sometimes the reviews don’t match the quality of the service provider. In my opinion, good reviews don’t necessarily translate to good service–but I don’t know if you subscribe to that opinion, Sealia.”

As we were being taken to our table, a woman with frizzed red hair like the bride of Frankenstein ran up to Jeremy, tapped him on the shoulder, and demanded–“My password! I need my password! I can’t get in to update my page!”

Jeremy looked her in the eye and said sternly, “I’m having dinner. I emailed you your password three times in the last few months. You need to request it by email. Not now.”

I wondered exactly what the woman was talking about…and whether this man ever had any time to himself.

The decor of Le Jurat was elegant, parchment beige with traces of pink and gold, and there was no waiting line, yet the restaurant was full–an amazing combination for a Saturday night in Los Angeles. On all the tables, a little sign next to the placemats read, “Customers who subscribe to our newsletter have sworn by us…” The music playing in the background was “I Swear” by John Michael Montgomery…

“When I was choosing restaurants,” Jeremy said slyly, “it was a choice between this place and a Christian Korean place called the Hyung Moon Temple where the signature dish was Stained Glass Noodles.”

I laughed. “So tell me about this business of yours,” I asked. “What exactly do you do for notaries?”

“I provide advertising, education, and entertainment for notaries–visit us on Facebook! I also use algorithms to assess the notaries’ performance and knowledge.”

“I didn’t know Al Gore had rhythm,” I smiled and nodded.

“I didn’t know he had rhythm, either.” His phone rang. “123notary, this is Jeremy” he stated automatically.

“It’s Vicki from Hyung Moon,” he said aloud; “Sorry, Vicki, I have to cancel…I will not be able to make it this evening. I wish to rescind.”

He hung up quietly and said, “I kind of double booked…”

He was just about to smile again when the phone rang–again.

“Hullo,” screeched a voice.

“123notary, this is Jeremy.”

“Are you a notorizor?”

“I used to be a notary but I’m not anymore. Please look on 123notary. I’m the site administrator. Please call a notary on the site. Have a nice night. Goodbye.”

Again the phone rang,
but this time, he glanced at the number and said, “I’m not going to answer now because I’m with you, but I’ll have to call them back in exactly one hour and 56 minutes. That will be the best time to speak with this person who wants to take a phone test. I remember their number and the exact time they said would be optimal to call. That gives us enough time to have our meal and a dessert…before we go to FedEx to finalize the date,” he said, focusing on a tiny spot on the tablecloth.

“FedEx?” I said. “Why FedEx?”

“That’s where my dates always end–at a FedEx drop box.”

We tried to catch the waiter’s attention. “Hey–the waiter didn’t even acknowledge us!” Jeremy quipped. “Do you think our waiter will personally appear before us? I would like to order the Soup du Jurat…and a Certified Angus Burger…I like this restaurant because it’s 24 hours…although they don’t answer the phone after 11…if you want late-night service you have to call before 11… ”

I decided on the Rack of Lamb. “Is that a dual rack or a single?” I asked the waiter, who had finally appeared.

“Well, technically it’s a single rack….but we put in a separator program…so the legal size chops can go on a legal-sized plate.”

“If I don’t like the entree, do I have the right to cancel?” Jeremy demanded.

Finally the waiter delivered the food–and not a minute too soon.

“This lamb is delicious!” I said.

Jeremy ate his certified burger. “This stuff is as good as Kobe beef!” he replied.

“So what is it really like running 123notary?” I asked.

“It’s like dealing with a series of situations that never end,” he said.

“So it’s like marriage,” I said.

“That’s a good analogy. Trying to get people to do what they’re supposed to is like separating ribs. I need people to answer their phone, or write their Notes. They don’t all do it.”

“So it’s like a cross between babysitting and marriage…”

“Another good analogy! We’re really on the same page here. Would you like to have dessert at Le Venue down the street?”

“I’d love to!”

“Waiter, would you bring our settlement statement? Was my appetizer amortized over the life of the dinner?”

The waiter brought the check.

“When is my first payment due?” asked Jeremy.

“In five minutes,” the waiter answered. “The term of your loan is 45 minutes–with no accrued interest. The final payment is due tonight as well.”

“Is my APR different from my rate?”

“They are the same–due to the fact that we are not adding finance charges to your transaction,” the waiter explained.

“I see your point.”

“There are no points– because points would be considered finance charges–and no origination fee,” concluded the waiter.

“This conversation is completely irrelevant, considering there is no security instrument,” said Jeremy.

The waiter returned with the credit card statement.

“What color ink would you like me to sign with, black or blue?”

“Either. Just as long as you are personally appearing before me, I can accept your signature…but I could give you an oath…because I saw you were raising your right hand as you were trying to hail me,” the waiter replied.

“Shall we leave?” I asked Jeremy.

“Let’s go,” he said.

We walked down the street to Le Venue, a Restaurant for Notaries, for dessert.

“What county are we in?” Jeremy asked the hostess.

“Why do you need to know?”

“You always need to know what county you’re in when you fill out a venue. You’re not a notary, are you?” Jeremy told the hostess.

“Is everyone here a notary?” he asked the waiter.

“Pretty much…except the hostess,” the waiter replied.

I noticed the placemats read, “State of California…”

We looked at the menu anyway, even though we were only there for dessert…and saw “Roast Seal with Ink.”

Jeremy considered the mousse for dessert…

“What county is the mousse from?” Jeremy asked.

“It’s not from a county, it’s from a province, sir” the waiter replied.

“Can we get an Alaskan mousse?” …

“How about this dessert made with oreo cookies– what a great raised seal they have!” I suggested.

“Does the seal on the embossed cookie have an expiration date?” Jeremy asked.

“It doesn’t expire until 2015,” the waiter attested.

“How about the analytics dessert? It’s a graph… It’s in the form of a pie graph…”

“Oh, I can’t eat a whole pie…” I said.

“Well, most of the pieces are missing…the anayltics weren’t very good…” Jeremy pointed out.

Jeremy got the mousse, and I asked for the Locus Sigilli Sundae.

“Today is Friday. Do you serve the sundae today–or only on Sundays and federal holidays?”

“We serve this sundae with the oreos every day, sir,” the waiter replied.

The food was perfect.

“I can’t finish my dessert,” I said. Can you finish it for me?” I asked.

“I think we have to get a power of attorney for me to finish your dessert,” Jeremy replied.

On the way out, he went up to the hostess and asked, “Can you validate us?”

“You’re a very nice person,” she told him, smiling.

“No, I mean stamp our parking receipt…Can I stamp it myself? I’m a notary; that’s my thing. Can I backdate it? We’ve been here quite a while…”

“No, sorry sir, we don’t allow that…”

“I enjoyed eating the date stamped on my oreos…” I said, wondering what to expect next.

“I enjoyed eating my mousse…but I would have enjoyed it more if the antlers hadn’t been crushed by the car that hit it in the dark, ” Jeremy laughed. “Can I take you home?” Jeremy asked softly.

“No….just drop me off at the FedEx drop box.”

Tweets:
(1) “Waiter, would you bring our settlement statement? Was my appetizer amortized over the life of the dinner?”
(2) The waiter brought the check. “When is my first payment due?” asked Jeremy.
(3) “Does the seal on the embossed oreo cookie have an expiration date?” Jeremy asked.
(4) The notary asked, “Can I get an Alaskan moose with Russian dressing. They’re our next door neighbors!”
(5) Running 123notary is more like babysitting than you think,
“Did you update your listing? Did you update your notes? Did you renew yet?”
(6) “FedEx?” I said. “Why FedEx?” “That’s where my dates always end–at a FedEx drop box.”
(7) Running 123notary is like a cross between babysitting & a marriage. A bunch of situations that never end!

You might also like:

My 2nd date with Jeremy
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=7074

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May 18, 2013

How do you explain the APR to a non-borrowing spouse?

I was talking to a notary on the East Coast. I was going to ask him a loan signing question, but then he retorted back a question in my direction before I could ask my question.

How do you explain the APR to a non-borrowing spouse?, he asked.

I gave him my routine mathematical definition of the APR and he was impressed. When he asked the question, I was thinking that this is a great question. It sounded like a trick question, but it actually is a very reasonable question. It suddenly occured to me that the non-borrowing spouse is the epitomy of a lay-person, and doesn’t understand complicated terms such as “amortized” or “finance charges”. If you have an MBA in Finance, you might not be the best person to explain an APR to someone’s wife. So, part of the genious of this question is that it tells you to use layperson language without telling you directly.

The other great aspect of this question is that it gives the opportunity to tangent goers to go off on a tangent — and they take this opportunity. I ask this question to many people, and 20% of the people go off on a very long explanation of what documents the non-borrowing spouse has to sign. But, that has nothing to do with the question. They didn’t LISTEN. This is a good listening and tangent going question. You learn very quickly who listens, and who can talk as well.

People notoriously leave out 90% of the meat of the answer when describing this confusing and diabolical term.

“It includes the fees”

Trust me, it includes a lot more than the fees.

“It reflects the cost of the loan”

Trust me, it also includes your interest as well as whatever the cost is.

“It’s usually higher than the rate”

Boy, are we being vague.

“It includes interest and fees”

Better, but very uneducated sounding.

Most answers to this question are either missing the target, or miss the main point of the APR.

The APR is a RATIO that is based on the payments relative to the total amount financed after: some of the finance charges, perhaps points, perhaps loan origination fees, PMI, and perhaps other fees have been deducted — and is reflected on a compounded annual rate.

I am not a lender and don’t know the “Real” definition. But, how the APR is calculated can vary from state to state, and from lender to lender. So, there is no absolute definition, but only definitions that are approximate. Unfortunately, the definitions I am hearing from the notaries are overly simplistic and generally just plain wrong!

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May 17, 2013

Why do I have to sign with my middle initial?

Filed under: SEO,Signing Tips — admin @ 11:03 pm

Do you get asked this question?

If your name on Title has your middle initial, is that the reason? I think so. But, what if your drivers license doesn’t have your middle initial? Then, you can not be notarized with your middle initial. When signing loan documents, if you don’t sign exactly how your name is typed in the signature section, then you probably won’t get your loan.

But, as notaries, you need to watch your signers carefully. Remember, you are there to babysit the signers. Unfortunately, most notaries are so unprofessional that they need to be babysat as well. But, you should know what you are doing.

At a signing, you should tell the borrowers exactly how they are to sign and have them practice on a piece of paper that is not part of their loan. Watch them. Make sure they don’t leave out any initials.

Good luck

You might also like:

Initialing tutorial: Industry standards in the notary business
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4370

March phoninar — also has a section on initialing and many other topics
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4390

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May 15, 2013

Cross-out happy; Not a good idea

Some lenders allow cross outs. Others will fire you after the first cross out. Some signing agent courses recommend that you cross things out without a second thought. Others don’t. Even our loan signing course teaches you to cross out wrong dates in the right to cancel document. But, if you work for Provident or other lenders who don’t allow cross outs — you’re fired! Gulp?

Don’t worry, just read the instructions. Many loans have an instructions sheet. If there is no letter of instructions, then ask before you cross, okay? Don’t assume that you can just cross anything out. First of all, remember the golden rule of cross outs. Don’t cross out unless: (1) you have permission and (2) it is a last resort.

What about the 1003? The 1003 loan application has endless wrong information. It is my personal belief that the clerks they hire are required to make endless mistakes — otherwise they will be fired on the spot. If they get your social security number right they will be laid off immediately, right? In any case, the 1003 is not binding in the loan, but has to be sent back signed. Borrowers whine endlessly about this carelessly prepared document. What is the solution? Cross out and initial? Hmmm. Not sure…

My take on the 1003 is that you will cost yourself 30 minutes of wasted time if you call your contact person about anything, so don’t call unless you really need to. Otherwise you will never get out of the signing. If the lender allows cross outs, you will not endanger your loan by crossing out in the 1003 or for wrong dates on the right to cancel. If the lender doesn’t allow cross outs, then don’t do it.

Trick question

Q. What is the only document the is in a completed loan package that REQUIRES cross outs?
A. Acknowledgment certificates require the notary to cross out the his/her/their, etc.

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May 11, 2013

The carrot, the stick, the notary, and the bag

Filed under: Humorous Posts — Tags: , , — admin @ 5:55 am

We have all heard the story about the carrot and the stick. But, I decided to add complexity to the story by adding in the notary and the bag which are both relevant in their own way.

The Carrot
Most notaries are lured in by the benefit of getting paid for signing agent work. They are desperate to get work. They believe all of the lies they are fed by companies that string them along without paying them what they really deserve — or perhaps without paying them at all. Notaries keep chasing these bad companies around in desperations because these companies have a carrot — or at least a perceived carrot. (money would be the carrot in this case)

Notaries should NOT hover around bad companies like little puppy dogs jump around their master. Have some dignity! You need to market yourself to hundreds of signing companies. Get on their lists. And keep in touch with them. You need to see yourself as a carrot rather than chasing other people’s carrots. The notary’s carrot is that they can provide seamless service. Imagine a notary who is always on time, always well dressed, always polite, rock solid in reliability, doesn’t make mistakes, knows the documents inside out, and knows how much to explain and what to refer to the lender. If you can be that perfect flawless notary — you are valuable — and you would be more than just a perceived carrot to the signing / title companies. You would be a stick.

The Stick
Many notaries try waving their stick around without the carrot. They brag about themselves and try to convince others that they are great, and they are above the childish requirements for fax backs. Companies who use inexperienced notaries require fax backs since those notaries make a lot of mistakes. If you are “all that”, then why are you working for these chop shops in the first place? Don’t wave your stick around talking and whining — become a carrot on a stick instead.

The Notary
Notaries whine about not being offered much money for undesireable jobs with fax backs. The fact is that if you have experience and are 100% reliable and offer 100% quality service — such a notary is NOT REPLACEABLE… Then you develop a tremendous value. Those are the notaries that companies will wait for. They will say, “Okay, we will reschedule the signing for Wednesday if that is when you are free — we will wait for you”. If you are an average notary, nobody will wait for you.

The Bag
If you don’t make yourself into a super desireable notary, you will be left out by the more desireable companies who can pick and choose. And you will be left holding the bag.

An ending quote…

“If life gives you carrots, make carrot juice” — 123notary.com

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May 9, 2013

Show me your ID

Show me your ID & you need to reimburse me for my lost time!

This is something a Notary typically asks a signer of documents. This time, the signer asked me, the Notary to show him my ID. Puzzled, I asked why. “These days, you never know who you are dealing with”, he said. I reminded him that the Title Company with whom he was working already informed him that I would be coming to notarize the loan documents. Because he seemed persistent and my goal was to complete the notarization & get paid (after spending the better part of an hour the night before printing everything in duplicate – 302 pages — and marking which docs needed to be faxed back), I showed him my Driver License and my business card which had the words, Notary Public next to my name.

The signer then had the temerity to tell me that someone form the Title Company had to reimburse him for the time that he lost waiting to sign the docs. To add insult to injury, he then nonchalantly tells me that because I was the Notary, the reimbursement should come out of my fees. Engaging the signer in this irrational argument with distorted logic would have been tantamount to banging my head against the wall. So, I listened attentively and ignored everything he said about reimbursement. I completed all of the notarizations and signings in 45 minutes and told him to contact the Title Company directly if he had any concerns. On the way out, he playfully asked to see my ID again. I politely said NO but gave him a couple of my business cards to give it to any of his friends who needed Notary services.

Lesson Learned: Don’t argue or engage in heated conversations with the signer who is angry over something you did not cause, contribute to or have any control over. Do your work correctly (you don’t want to go back a second time to correct your mistakes and this time the signer is even angrier because you made the error and what is worse you will not get paid the second time), get out, get paid and move on…

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What is a notary public?

What is a notary?

A notary is a state appointed public official that is authorized to conduct certain types of official acts such as Acknowledgments, Jurats, Oaths, Affirmations, Protests, and sometimes other notary public acts. Since notaries are appointed by their respective states, the laws for notary conduct and what types of official notary acts a notary can do vary from state to state.

Notary Acknowledgments & Identification Requirements
A notary public can execute acknowledgments. Acknowledgments are the most common notary act representing about 80% of all acts done by notaries! The notary must positively identify a signer as the first step in executing an acknowledgment. Identification requirements vary from state to state, but most states allow state issued identification cards, drivers licenses, and passports. As a general rule, any government issued photo-ID with a serial number, expiration date, and physical description is accepted. Social security cards, credit cards and green cards are not acceptable.

Identification through Credible Witnesses
Some states allow a notary to positively identify a signer through the use of credible witnesses who must be identified by the notary and then swear under Oath as to the identity of the signer. Personal knowledge of the signer used to be allowed in most states, but in recent years, notaries are required to rely on more “hard” forms of identification.

Notary Journals
After the identification process is over, the notary must fill in a journal entry in his/her official journal of notarial acts. Not all states require journals, but they should because the journal is the only record of a transaction that the notary has, and can be used in an investigation or in court after the fact in a few critical cases where fraud is suspected! The signer is required to sign the notary journal which is one of the most important parts of the notary process.

Notary Certificates
The notary must fill out an Acknowledgment Certificate with state specific Acknowledgment verbiage. The Acknowledgment wording can be embedded in the last page of the document, or could be added and stapled as a loose form.

The official notary seal
Notaries typically affix their seal to the notary certificate area in a document or on a loose certificate. This is a very official way that notaries finalize their notary acts. Notaries may use an inked rubber seal. Some states allow a notary public to also use an non-inked embosser which leaves a raised impression in a piece of paper — as a supplemental seal to deter fraud through page swapping.

Jurats
A Jurat is a notary procedure where the notary administers an Oath. The signer has to raise his/her right hand and swear under Oath to the truthfulness of a document or statement in a Jurat form. Additionally, the signer must sign the document in front of the notary for a Jurat, where they can sign long ahead of time for an Acknowledgment. Identification requirements for Jurats vary from state to state. Jurats represent roughly 18% of all notarial acts!

Oaths and Affirmations
Notaries can perform or administer Oaths or Affirmations for clients. They should record such acts in their bound and sequential journal as well. Wording for Oaths is really up to the notary, but some standardized or formal wording is recommended such as, “Do you solemnly swear that the contents of this document are true and correct to the best of your knowledge?”. Or, “Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?”. The Oath verbiage depends on the situation and the document. However, it should be formal, and the Affiant (Oath taker) must raise their right hand definitively for this type of act. An Affirmation is the same as an Oath except for the fact that the word God is omitted from the Affirmation Verbiage.

Protests
This is an antiquated notary act where someone can protest the non-payment of a bill. I have never met a notary who has actually conducted such a notary act, but most states still include this as one of their official acts.

Acts allowed only in specific states
New York allows notaries to do Safety Box Openings as an official notary act while most other states do not. Rhode Island has something called a Marine Protest which is only an official notary act in Rhode Island. Various states allow notaries to act as a Witness as an official notary act as well. Additionally, please consult your state’s notary division for information about Apostilles and Authentications which typically involve either a local county recorder, the Secretary of State’s office, or a local embassy.

Documents that are commonly notarized.
Many notaries notarized Power of Attorney documents frequently. Notaries are advised not to draft such documents as they are legal documents. However, notaries can notarize signatures on such documents.

Affidavits of all sorts are normally notarized with a Jurat since they are to be sworn to (usually). The notary is forbidden from recommending a particular notary act over another, but they are not prohibited from stating what is “usually” done.

Wills can be notarized by a notary, however, it is generally frowned upon unless given written instructions from an Attorney!

Notaries can not notarize vital records such as Birth Certificates or Marriage Certificates.

A Notary Public can notarize Real Estate or Mortgage documents or loan documents except in certain Attorney states such as Massachusetts or Georgia where there are restrictions. Common loan documents that might be notarized could include Deeds of Trust, Signature Affidavits, Grant Deeds, Quit Claim Deeds, Occupancy Affidavits, and many more!

Where can I find a notary?
123notary has thousands of mobile notaries distributed throughout the United States that you can find on our Find a Notary page. They typically charge a travel fee and specialize in loan documents. To find a stationary notary, please consult your local yellow pages, or call pack & ship places in your area.

How can I become a notary?
Each state has a Secretary of State or Notary Division that appoints notaries. Please visit our state contact page, and contact your state’s notary division for details. Typically, you need to be 18 years old, not have a felony on your criminal record, be a citizen (some states require this), or in many states be legally residing in the United States. Most states have a Notary Public Application Form, and a Notary Public handbook for you to study from. You are normally required to pay an Application fee for becoming a notary, and there could be other fees for recording your Notary Oath of Office as well as the fee for your Stamp, Journal, and other related fees.

Is it worth it to become a notary?
It can be very rewarding to be a notary. You can make a lot of extra money in your spare time if you have a way to attract clients. You can meet new people, and learn new things. Mobile notaries who are good at what they do can make a full time living driving around doing loan signings. You can get a job more easily if the boss knows you are a notary, as that is a skill in high demand at many offices.

Tweets:
(1) A notary is a state appointed public official authorized to conduct certain types of official acts such as Jurats …
(2) A notary public can execute Acknowledgments, Jurats, Protests, Oaths, Affirmations…
(3) A quick guide to being a notary including: journals, seals, identification, witnesses, jurats, oaths & more…

I want to learn more!
Visit our GLOSSARY of notary and mortgage terms, and read more articles in our blog!

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Following Directions

A notary was given easy instructions for a particular loan.

He was instructed to CALL the Lender, Title Officer, and Processor in the event of even the smallest of problems. If they didn’t answer, then to leave a message. The notary was very experienced and trusted by many companies. So, the notary got to the signing, and started the signing. The borrower was to sign with their middle initial “Z”. Everything was fine, until the borrower had an objection about the XYZ Affidavit. The notary tried to explain the document on his own. Then, the borrower still wasn’t happy. So, the notary called the signing company who gave him an answer about the document. The borrower was happy, and the notary sent the documents back to the lender without issue. There was another small question about the Affidavit of Mahzhong too. But, the signing company was closed by the time he made that call. So, he called the lender, left a message, and then left the signing after a few minutes. Our notary decided to keep the Fedex until the next morning when he would hopefully hear back from the lender.

The next week, the notary got a letter in the mail stating that he was fired.

What did the notary do wrong?

(1) The notary explained the document to the borrower after he was expressly given instructions to call the Lender, Title Officer, and Processor if there was even a small problem

(2) The notary called the signing company instead of calling the Lender, Title Officer, and Processor. It turned out that the Signing Company gave a very shoddy answer to the question that the borrower asked. The Lender knew that the staff at the signing company couldn’t give intelligent answers to questions and that was why he requested that the notary call the Lender, Title Officer, and Processor — all of whom could give very professional answers to all pertinent questions.

(3) The notary held on to a time sensitive Fedex instead of dropping it off at a staffed fedex station. The receipt for the Fedex was for the next day, and not the day of the signing — another issue which was unacceptable for this picky Lender (who paid generously by the way).

So, the Lender called the notary and reitterated what was in the letter. The notary rebutted by saying

But, I always call the Signing Company when there is a problem.

The Lender responded:

Your job is NOT to do what you always do.

Your job is to do what I asked you to do. After all I am the one who is (or was) paying you before you got fired!

FOLLOW DIRECTIONS as long as they are legal requests!

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May 8, 2013

One person, many names — quite legal!

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — admin @ 5:43 am

One Person, Many Names – Quite Legal

As I write this blog entry, I mentally kick myself for being so positive, for so long, and so wrong. For well over a decade I have been a notary. It has always been my firm belief that any person, at any point in time has only ONE legal name. I am positive many will disagree with what follows. However, read and consider my arguments and those of my licensing authority; on this topic. You just might change your mind too.

The start of today’s awaking came with a routine set of loan docs. Routine, yes, but with a twist. The bank docs had the lady’s married name, title had her maiden name. I am not sure if the names are due to a recent marriage or a recent divorce; however that really does not matter. I spoke to the women in question and she confirmed that she possessed current and valid driver licenses in each name. My usual question would have been – “What currently is you correct legal name?” However speaking to the NY County Clerk’s office really opened my eyes.

“You can notarize any name that can be supported by proper government issued photo ID”, was their guidance. They added that a totally different name (different first name) would also be acceptable under a specific example (which they elaborated upon). Stepping back from
the woman’s marital/name issue a bit. Suppose she emigrated to a foreign country, and in the process received a passport from that country, let’s say Israel – in her “traditional” historical family name. Now she has three “rock solid” ID’s – all different. And, according to my contacts at the New York County Clerk’s office – all of them qualify for being notarized!

My head was buzzing at the end of the signing. I gave her the notary oath twice! Once for each of the two names! I told her that this was a first for me, and went against all of my years of preconceptions. I have had similar situations in the past and fought tooth and nail with title and escrow about “their” problem. I was a staunch “one name at a time” person.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not advocating accepting “stage names” or contractions, or missing Jr.’s or Sr.’s etc. I still require government issued – valid and current – photo ID. And, of course that photo ID must exactly (or more) match the name to be notarized. But my acceptance gate has opened a bit. Now if the affiant can prove “each” name – I can notarize them. Your state regulations many differ. Here in NY State the guideline is a bit vague. It mandates the notary to see “adequate proof” and leaves it to individual notaries to determine in their own mind what is
acceptable.

The big change for me is that it is no longer “only one”.

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May 3, 2013

Find a Notary — one who provides late night 24 hour service

I was thinking about this today. Everybody needs to sleep. In our search results for 24 hour notaries, we should document when their black hours are. Everybody sleeps sometime — even if it is during odd hours. If they are sleeping, then maybe another 24 hour notary would be a better candidate for a particular job. Some people go to sleep at 4am and wake at 8am, and they would be perfect for a 2am job. Don’t you think?

But, 123notary has tons of 24 hour notaries in our search results. Use the Find a Notary Public Search page to find these people. Roughy 25% of all of our 7000 notaries on the site provide 24 hour service (or claim to). This can be a real life saver.

The tricky part is that not all of these notaries are “real” 24 hour notaries. Some don’t answer the phone after hours, or even during business hours. So, how do you know which of our 24 hour notaries are real ones? Surprisingly, I have called many of these notaries myself and the MAJORITY do answer the phone late at night, even after midnight. Keep calling until you find one who can accommodate your job.

24 hour notaries are often used for last minute travel documents, hospital signings, airport signings, and loan signings for people who work unusual shifts. I did a loan signing at 2am for someone who got out of work at midnight. A bit unusual, but there was no traffic, and my client was very nice. It worked well.

Find a 24 hour notary public on 123notary.com on our Find a Notary page. Good luck!

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