July 2017 - Page 2 of 2 - Notary Blog - Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice - 123notary.com

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July 7, 2017

5 New Official Notary Acts

Filed under: Best Humorous Posts,Humorous Posts — Tags: , — admin @ 8:50 am

My comedy writer and I decided that the existing Notary acts are boring, and that we should create some new and more interesting ones. So, here they are!

Notary Ax – For New Yorkers who can’t pronounce “notary acts.”

Adjustment: Swearing you signed the document on a certain date, but you wrote down the wrong date and it needs to be adjusted. If your notary is a chiropractor, you go for multiple adjustments. If your notary is a nude chiropractor, there are other cracks that have nothing to with adjustments.

Wine Certification – Certifying that a wine is good during a wine tasting. A particular wine had two notes but no closing disclosure, because the cork broke so they couldn’t close the bottle. Was it the wine that had a lot of notes, or the mortgage? Both.

Marriage Officiation – The form has to have room for both parties to sign. He and she. Or he and he. Or she and she. Thanks to the hes and shes on the Supreme Court who went for the hes and hes and shes and shes. Why was the lady’s mother pleased she married a mortgage broker? He had many good points.

Divorce Officiation – Where the notary executes a document to prevent the he and she, or he and he, or she and she, from executing each other.

Disavowment – A notary act where you swear you didn’t sign a document. “That’s not my signature. I didn’t sign that. It doesn’t even look like my signature. A bad forger must have did that!” “What happens when a forger gets his signature forged? Does that make it valid?”


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July 4, 2017

The “Switching” Durable Power of Attorney

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — Tags: , — admin @ 9:23 am

Durable – this means the Agent “Might” have authority at any given moment. Unlike the regular Power of Attorney, the “agency” relationship (not the specific powers) between the Principal and Agent (can) switch on and off. The status can be elusive, as it is/might be based on incapacitation of the Principal to manage their own affairs. And, specifically how the Power of Attorney is worded. It becomes even more interesting when the variations of the Durable are considered. Note: these variations are usually not in the title; the devil is in the details. Also note: I have never seen the word Switching used in the title of a real POA; that’s my term.

Even When I’m Sick – Durable in this variation continues the agency relationship when the person becomes incapacitated. Unlike a regular POA, this maintains agency even when the Principal is unable to revoke the Agent authority. This is the format that I have most commonly seen. It generally takes effect upon notarization of both the Principal and the Agent. It is “durable” in the sense that it maintains agency, thru incapacitation until revoked.

Not Now, Maybe Later – In this variation the agency relationship does not exist when the Principal signs the document. The objective is to establish agency when the Principal is no longer a valid subject for notarization – incapacitated. Clearly at the moment of notarization; the Principal cannot be incapacitated. It may look like a “ready to use POA”, but Agent has no authority while the Principal is able to manage their own affairs, IF it is written that way. Contrast with the regular POA which establishes the agency relationship (Agent has authority) – immediately.

The Notary Point of View – the internal wording of the Power of Attorney, Durable or not – does not concern the notary. What it says, or does not say; is of no concern to me. The usual criterion for us to notarize a signature applies, regardless of the wording. Perhaps a bit more so, as POA documents are potential vehicles for mischief. Care should be taken with IDs and that there is no intimidation.
The Acceptors Point of View – So many nooks and crannies, it could be difficult to establish a current agency relationship, and Agent’s current authority. Perhaps that is why many banks insist upon only accepting their own POA document. Usually? There is no usually, the acceptor will probably need an Attorney and some research to determine current validity. It may be titled “Durable Power of Attorney” but if the fine print says it’s only valid when (and that when can be a moving (off and on) target) the Principal is incapacitated – is it valid when presented?

A POA form may look “routine” – but the notary steps over the cliff if they “explain” it. I am not an attorney, nor can I relate how this document applies to your situation. Or, in the very unlikely situation can I advise the acceptor as to acceptance. I can only say that the signatures were notarized following all applicable laws. That’s it.

Due to the potential for fraud and litigation, many are the local (to me) notaries who decline to process any Power of Attorney documents. We are not required to read or understand the contents of documents we notarize. Apply the basics, to the letter – if it feels “bad” run away.


July 3, 2017

Snapdocs’ Business Model Doesn’t Add Up


It was the best of times, and the worst of times. SnapDocs has the best technology but the worst notaries. Their business model should last as long as the careers of the accountants who gave Warren Beatty the wrong envelope. A chain of Notaries is as good as its weakest link. Just ask the crummiest McDonalds about that. So in the long run, how good can SnapDocs’ service be?

Two out of three notaries interviewed can’t stand them. And these weren’t SNAP decisions! Will SnapDocs’ ship come in, or did it never leave the docks? Hold on – I’m getting a text. Let’s see… thirty dollars for a signing a hundred miles away, with two hundred pages and 120 fax backs… no thanks! Four out of five notaries surveyed agree that one out of five notaries… is an idiot! And recommend sugarless gum for the borrowers who step in it on their way to a signing.

On the other hand (apologies to the amputees) one out of three notaries (and I was never great at fractions) really like the convenience and quantity of work they get from SnapDocs. And the signing companies love the technology and the convenience. But the love won’t last any longer than the rescission period if they don’t maintain critical mass. The question is… with such a small number of notaries who like them, can this business model last over the long haul? Another factor to consider is that out of SnapDocs’ roughly 6000 notaries, only about 800 of them have logged in in the last thirty days. SnapDocs’ technology can text dozens of nearby notaries, but if each area averages only 7 notaries that actually log in, how effective can this technology be if a critical mass of notaries aren’t cooperating with it?

We also notice SnapDocs’ web stats were down 70% in December, while 123notary was only down 25%.How long before their business model SNAPS?

Whoops, I’m getting another text. Can’t you see I’m driving??


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July 2, 2017

A long complex assignment

Filed under: Ken Edelstein,Popular on Linked In — admin @ 10:06 am

A Long Complex Assignment

The initial request
“I need to send my NY law degree and NY marriage certificate to China. So far I have spoken to a dozen notaries in New York City and none of them are willing to work with me. Are you?” Yes, I know how to complete your project, but it will take some effort on your part. I will tell you what you need to do, and you must be willing to follow my instructions to the letter. Your one sentence specification sounds simple, but processing it is not, nor will it be inexpensive. Do you agree?

The Law Degree
NY is very strict about processing educational documents (this assignment would have an English Translation (from Latin) and a transcript of grades. The client must make an appointment for me to meet with the Registrar of the college. I request proper wording to be typed on school letterhead stationery, to be signed by the Registrar; and notarized by me. I also request that the raised seal of the school be embossed onto both the cover letter, and each page that follows. The cover letter in addition to specific NY wording, lists in detail the attachments. The cover letter, properly notarized by me (of course including my embossing) is put aside pending the common path it will follow with the marriage certificate.

The Marriage Certificate
For me to pick up a marriage certificate in NYC I need a very short notarized POA from one party to the marriage. Also, copies of my client ID and my ID must be submitted. An application form must be completed by the client and signed. As only the originals can be submitted, these documents must be sent to me; preferably via FedEx. At the marriage office I request that the hand written signature of the NY City Clerk be included on the Certified Copy.

Common Path
The law degree has my notarization; the marriage certificate has the signature of the City Clerk. Both signatures are registered with the state of NY. Both documents now travel to the validation section which confirms the validity of each signature; adding their approval form. With the approval form on each, it’s off to the Apostille office. A cover letter is prepared by me, requesting the appropriate “Apostille”. They do not attach an Apostille. Rather, as the intended country of use is China they add (via a non removable grommet) a “Certified”. Most other countries receive an Apostille.
On to China Consulate

China requires a submission form and a copy of my ID. They also require a very complete copy of each document. Care must be taken to not miss any part of the document in the photocopy. When submitted they do a page by page compare for completeness. They offer various processing speeds, with related fees. Basic service is drop off and return in a few days for pickup.

While waiting for China
Now is when I request the shipping address to prepare a FedEx label to ship the completed documents. As they are going to Chile, for later use in China – I request the exact address including postal code and phone number at the ship to destination. I prepare the airbill and send a screen shot to my client for approval. I inform them that I cannot ship without their confirmation that the airbill is absolutely perfect.

Pickup from China and ship
Back to the China Consulate to pick up the documents, now containing a “sticker” atop the Apostille. That is there Legalization “stamp”. The completed documents go into the FedEx envelope with a copy of the airbill inside (in case the outside gets torn off) – and 3 copies (for international shipments) of the airbill in the outside pouch. When tendering to FedEx a drop off receipt is requested. A quick photo via cell camera sends the drop off image to my client. Done.

Security Clearances
If you are not student or staff – you must be pre-approved to enter the grounds of an educational institution. I had requested the Registrar to inform lobby security of my appointment. Here in NYC governmental offices have metal detectors similar to airport screening. I walk in with nothing in my pockets, everything in a clear zip lock bag, including my keys and wallet. That bag is put thru the metal detector, as I walk thru with nary a beep.

Consider the Waits
It takes time for the Registrar to prepare a letter to be acceptable to the validation section. All of the municipal offices have long slow moving lines. Always. I play chess with my cell phone, many carry a book. Most of the time in the total project is waiting time; and travel time – there is no way around it.

Be Prepared to Pay
There is no commonality as to how the various entities accept payment. The most extreme is the Consulate of Brazil which only accepts US Postal money orders – nothing else! On this project I had to pay validation section with cash, the Apostille section with a check, and China with a credit card!

Final Thoughts
Be careful about time commitments. One time I went to China, but they were closed for two days due to a national holiday – surprise to me! At the Apostille section it’s possible to wait for hours, especially if those in line ahead of you submit stacks. Go early to China, stand outside in the rain till they open officially. Lots of travel, lots of waiting, many forms to have “just right”. It really hurts when the client submits (to me) inaccurate information such as the marriage date; ouch! When it’s all done, and perfect – sending the client a PDF of the scan of everything will earn you a very positive review – IF you remember to send them the link to submit your review!


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