July 2013 - Notary Blog - Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice - 123notary.com
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July 19, 2013

Interview with a Title Company

We recently had the opportunity to speak with a seasoned escrow & title officer at a reputable title company that hires the very best notaries from 123notary. He had a number of interesting things to say about how the escrow-title-mortgage industry works, why those darn documents are sometimes late, and what a title company looks for in a notary.

Q. What is the need for a title company? When and how did the current system come about?

A. Before W.W. II, there was only an abstract about a property that you could get. The problem was, this abstract did not insure the results. As sales became more complex, they needed to find a way to remedy this. Title insurance guarantees that, if someone else owns the title to your property and you cannot obtain that title, you get all of your money back. So say you buy a property from a man, but it is actually owned by his sister, to whom it was given in a will. If you cannot obtain title, title insurance guarantees that you will get back all of your money–because the property wasn’t legally yours. The escrow company is the one that does the financials for the lender and sets up the closing, and the title company is hired by the realtors and builders. However, the states have set up the system differently. Some states have companies that do both the title and escrow work, and in some states these companies are separate.

Q. There seem to be a number of hands in the pie: lenders, title companies, escrow, signing companies. How does it actually work?

A. The top of the feeding chain is the realtor. He (or she) finds the lender and the title company. Some lenders want to work with certain title companies, even if the buyer wants to work with a certain one. Each state has its own laws governing real estate. In some states, a seller can use one title company and the buyer can choose another. So there’s lots of work for notaries. The escrow or title company must choose a notary who works in the state where the property is being sold. Since there is no national certification for notaries, the title company has to have a list of good notaries in each state, and in each area of the state. We are constantly looking for the very best notaries. The notary works for the title company or the escrow company. The lender sends docs to the title company (or escrow company, depending on how the state laws are set up). Escrow handles the closing; Title prepares the settlement statement.

Q. Notaries constantly have to deal with late documents. Why are the documents late or full of errors, and how do you personally help notaries avoid this problem?

A. Ninety-nine percent of the time, late documents are the fault of the lender. However, getting a loan is a group effort, and it’s really hard to point a finger at any one person. The lender did not realize, for instance, that something was missing. Maybe the borrower didn’t provide the lender with tax returns in a timely manner, for instance; there could be several pieces of information that were found missing. The loan officer is more or less responsible for the processing of the loan.

Q. What is the training and education you need in order to be a loan officer, and how much does he/ she get paid to do the job?

A. The loan officer is trained on the job. He/ she is not required to have a college degree–or even a high school degree. Of course, most do have such degrees. The loan officer might have started as a loan processor, or an accountant. A loan officer is well paid, and can make as much as a million dollars a year! I know one who does 42 closings a month. The loan officer is paid a percentage of the origination fee. Most lenders (banks) have a retail and a wholesale division. The wholesale division buys loans from mortgage brokers. A mortgage broker can do a loan in one month; a bank takes longer to do a loan. They don’t have enough employees, and maybe not enough good ones. These same employees can make much more money working for a mortgage broker, and lenders often lose good employees. This may have something to do with the errors that frequently appear on the documents from lenders.

Q. On the other hand, what kinds of errors do notaries make that are a problem for you?
A. The notary may miss a date or a signature. I put an X by every place I want signed. You can’t miss these. If a notary makes even one error, no matter what that is, I will never call that notary again.

Q. What about late documents? These can really mess up the notary’s appointments and affect income. If the notary is working for you (the title company), and you know the docs are coming in late from the lender…

A. I won’t call a notary until I have the documents; some title companies are different, and have notaries waiting and waiting. In fact, if I don’t have the documents, and cause a notary to change his/ her schedule, I think the notary has a right to charge me for the extra time and inconvenience.

Q. Now all our notaries are saying, “We like this guy!” What do you look for in a notary? What influences your decision to hire one or to not ever hire the notary again?

A. When I need a notary, the first place I look is 123notary. I look at the notary’s service area, background (profile), reviews, equipment, and hours. We also cannot hire notaries who do not answer their phones, of course. I am looking for experience. If a notary has years of experience, but has zero reviews, that’s a bit odd. I mean solid reviews that are specific, genuine, and obviously well written. It matters. It shows effort. Look at the top New York notaries’ reviews on 123 notary, for example. To any notary looking for work from a title company, I’d say, “Get listed on 123notary. That’s where I’m going to go.”

You might also like:

Interview with a veteran notary
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=6851

Interview with Timios Title
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=6718

Interview with Title Source
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=6553

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July 9, 2013

The Power of Attorney was rejected by a bank

I was reminded of this situation as I looked through our retweets. Apparantly, our followers like tweets about Powers of Attorney. So, I decided to come up with some real stories about Power of Attorney signings that can inform and inspire notaries everywhere.

It happened many years ago. I remember many of the details. I went to someone’s home to notarize a Power of Attorney for banking. They had a fancy Attorney draw up the document and it looked very professional. Please note: non-Attorney notaries are probably NOT ALLOWED to draft up Power of Attorney documents or other legal documents in most if not all states. I had notarized many types of Power of Attorney documents in the past. Durable Powers of Attorney, Health Care Powers of Attorney, Living Wills, Limited Powers of Attorney, Correction Agreement Power of Attorney, and many others too. Yes, a Living Will is a form of Power of Attorney where it gives someone authority to make medical and other decisions for the principal should they become incapacitated.

In any case, I notarized this Power of Attorney, and the client took it to his bank, and it was rejected. But, why? Nothing was wrong with the document or the notarization. So, what was it? The bank had THEIR OWN form of Power of Attorney. We learned the hard way. After spending hundreds on an Attorney and $50 on me, he now knew what to do. So, I had to meet the client at the bank. I forget which bank it was. One of the big ones. Perhaps Bank of America, Chase, or some other big name. They had a form on card stock that had a carbon copy. There was no room to put my stamp. It was idiotic. They wanted the stamp on the form itself and no Acknowledgment Certificates stapled on. So, I filled out the Acknowledgment wording and notarized the form. Voila — acceptable.

So, the lesson for today is — what the law says is acceptable is very different than what the document custodian (the person receiving and keeping or holding onto the document) might see as acceptable. Sending notarized documents to China, the stamp has to be on the document, but try explaning to them that the California Notary Verbiage needs to be on the document too if they want their stamp. Good luck. Warn your clients of the fact that their bank might not accept the Power of Attorney. The moral of the story is to ask the document custodian what type of power of attorney THEY want.

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You might also like:

The Power of Attorney was rejected 2017
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18954

Index of posts about Power of Attorney
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20255

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July 5, 2013

Notarizing a Name Affidavit

Most loan document packages include a name affidavit which could also be called a Signature Affidavit and AKA Statement. There are many variations for what this document is called.

Or, should I say that there are many NAME variations for what this document is called?

In any case, this document is notarized the same way that any other notarized document is notarized, EXCEPT, that the signer is signing more than once.

In the notary verbiage, there will be the word name(s) and signature(s) — typically, for a notarization of a single individual, the (s) will be crossed on in both cases. But, on the Signature Affidavit and AKA Statement, the (s)’s should NOT be crossed out as a single person will have multiple name variations, and multiple signatures — one signature per name.

If the signer is a jazz musician, then the Signature Affidavit and AKA Statement might get really long with all of the name variations.

Here is a sample of some of the interior notary verbiage in a California Notary Acknowledgment Certificate Form..

….. On _________ before me, ________________________________________,
(name of notary public )
personally appeared _____________________________________________
who proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence to be the person(s) whose name(s) is/are subscribed to the within instrument and who acknowledged to me that he/she/they executed the same in their authorized capacity(ies), and by his/her/their signature(s) on the instrument the person(s), or entity upon behalf of which the person(s) acted, executed the instrument….

You might also like:

Index of information about notarized documents
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20258

30 Point Course Signature Affidavit
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14356

The signature name affidavit – what it is an its purpose
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22541

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July 3, 2013

How to get something notarized if you don’t have ID

If you don’t have ID, many states allow the use of credible witnesses. Two people could identify you before a notary public, sign the notary’s journal, and produce identification themselves.

But, honestly, if you need to get notarized, go down to your DMV and get a state issued identification card. You need it to go to a hotel, rent a car, get notarized, and more. You might need a copy of your birth certificate to get your ID. So, be prepared to figure out how to get your birth certificate. Don’t waste time. It is a hassle when notaries have to deal with clients who don’t have proper identification.

Personally, I have notarized many people. Some lived in bad areas where they got mugged, and the mugger took their identification. Others were old and had expired identification. Get with the program and get your identification ready.

It is sometimes hard or impossible to get something notarized if you don’t have current government issued identification.

Some states will allow the notary to notarize you if they know you well. But, most states have changed their laws, and no longer allow the notary to claim to know you as a form of identification.

Now you know how to get something notarized if you don’t have ID.

You might also like:

Show me your identification
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=6353

Identification requirements for being notarized
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4299

Signature Name Affidavit: Not a substitute for an ID
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3823

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July 2, 2013

Find a notary public at the last minute on 123notary.com

Do you ever need to find a notary public at the last minute? You might need a notary office, or even a mobile notary public who will travel to you. It seems like a difficult thing to do. You ask around. You ask where you can find a great notary public. You assume you will have to stand in line at some bank or office and fill out a lot of forms.

But, it is easier than that. Just visit www.123notary.com and click on the FIND A NOTARY page. Find 7000 mobile notaries throughout the United States. We have notaries in every state by the boatload. We even have notaries in remote parts of Montana, Hawaii, and Delaware.

Notaries on our site who have our certification icon are a lot better trained than those who don’t. So, even if your notarization is an easy one, it pays off to have someone who knows what they are doing.

Good luck finding a great notary on 123notary.com!

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How do you let people know you are a notary?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1936

Common notary acts from A to Z
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2392

Power of Attorney Signings
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1627

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