December 2017 - Page 2 of 2 - Notary Blog - Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice - 123notary.com
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December 12, 2017

The Notary Profession is a Profession — act like it is!

Filed under: Marketing Articles — Tags: — admin @ 3:52 am

Carmen and I are tired of Notaries treating the Notary profession as if it is a quick way to make some cash on the side — Make a few extra bucks — five bucks here, ten bucks there. This is a very bad way to look at the profession. First of all, there is liability in this profession. You can get sued even if you don’t do anything wrong. People are doing big deals that are being Notarized. If something goes wrong, they can sue you for a few thousand dollars. If the Lender did something fraudulent, you might get wrongfully sued too. If you put your package in a drop box that doesn’t get picked up and the borrower loses their lock — guess what could happen? You get the idea.

The root of the problem lies with the states who mostly have low requirements or no requirements for being a Notary. If you are 18 or over, not a felon and are breathing, you can be a Notary. Being a notary is a profession that safeguards the transactions of multi-million dollar estates. Any lack of integrity or caution on the part of the Notary can lead to disaster.

Imagine that you Notarize John Hancock only to find out he was a different John Hancock and siphoned a million dollars of equity from someone’s estate. You might end up in court as a witness, accomplice, or get sued for negligence. You have no idea what you are playing with in this profession. You have to be careful what you put your stamp on. You might step on a mine.

Many Notaries also think that because their state has minimal requirements, that it is not necessary to go above and beyond your state minimum Notarial behavior — this is wrong. If you don’t keep a journal, don’t use an embosser and don’t thumbprint, you can get in huge trouble.

Think of state requirements like you think of speed limits. If the law says you can go 100 on the highway as was the case in Montana in the past and perhaps present, that doesn’t mean you are safe doing so. There could be deadly accidents. Just because you slow down to 95, you think you are being prudent, but are you really? You are still going faster than is safe. You can blame the state, but you are responsible for your own behavior.

Most professions have licensing tests that you have to take every year or two. Some professions make you take a test of 200 questions to make sure you understand all of the regulations and standards in your industry. The Notary profession has NNA tests that are taken every year or two. California has an exam you take every four years. But, people complain when I want to ask a few questions. People try to convince me that they know it all and don’t need to be tested because of all of the years they have been in business. These are the same people who score 20% on my quizzes.

Once again, the Notary profession is a profession — treat it like one. You should be quizzed every year on all the sites you are on. Since the states do not test your competency, I am forced to. It is a huge waste of my time and really frustrating dealing with all these resistant and incompetent people who think they are so smart.

If you really are so smart, just answer the questions, get an A, and then get on with your day. It would take two minutes to test people if they just knew the answers. The problem is that they resist, and then have to think about everything I ask, and then want to argue, and I need to teach them things and a simple quiz can take fifteen minutes that should take two minutes if I were dealing with professionals. How upsetting and what a waste ot my time.

To be a professional you need to do more than study. You need to master the art of being a Notary. You need to know everything and skip the snow job of trying to convince others you know everything when you don’t. The con jobs are getting very old. I have heard it all too many times. I really don’t even want to list such people. 123notary is a directory for professionals, not posers. At least that is the word young people use these days. When I was growing up we didn’t use that king of language, we said fakers.

You might also like:

Would you accept a signing without a confirmation?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22588

A list of things you probably didn’t add to your notes section
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22287

I’m a high end notary in a low-ball world
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22263

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December 8, 2017

The Notary Police

Filed under: General Stories,Popular on Linked In — admin @ 8:22 am

Have you ever been pulled over by the Notary police? The problem is that there is no such thing. But, if there were, then there would be one more thing to gripe about. Can you imagine if there were Notary police? If you gave an Oath the wrong way or forgot all together, you might get a citation — I swear it. And if your seal was smudgy you might get a warning. What if you identified someone incorrectly because the ID did not match? You might have to spend the night getting booked at the Notary jail.

I think that the Secretary of State should pretend to be a customer and see how many things you do wrong and then book you. That is my idea of what the Notary police should be like. California used to audit people’s journals. That was the one type of Notary procedural checks and balance that they had. I am not sure they are still doing that.

I do a little Notary policing to make sure people know their basics. The sad part is that only 5% of our Notaries on 123notary are up to my standards for minimal Notary knowledge acceptability. That is really sad. But, what can I do? I can’t force people to learn who refuse to know their job (yet brag about how great they are because of how many years they have been doing their job probably incorrectly.)

In the mean time — licensed and commission certificate please. Keep both hands on your seal.

You might also like:

A bar only for cool notaries
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22546

Notary arrested for stealing spices from borrowers
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20799

A forged notary seal ends someone up with a prison sentence
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21355

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December 6, 2017

The signer claimed they never signed the Deed

Filed under: Popular on Linked In,Technical & Legal — admin @ 1:18 am

If you went to someone’s house to notarize a letter that says that little Tommy cannot go to school today and also notarize a Deed for the same person — most Notaries put the two documents in the same journal entry. If the signer only signs once, you don’t know which document they signed for and you cannot prove which document they signed for in court with any probability.

The signer could say, “I never had that notarized, I must have been forged.” or “I signed the document, but I never requested to have it Notarized. The Notary must have seen it on the table and attached an Acknowledgment without my knowing — after all, I didn’t sign for it in the journal.”

I have only heard of a case like this once where the signer claimed not to have signed anything and the Notary had to go to court. But, a signer or borrower could claim not to have signed more than one of the documents if you keep your journal using the multiple documents per journal entry system.

Additionally, the Lender could be accused of adding extra documents with extra terms to a loan signing that were added after the signing to the journal. Using the multiple documents per journal entry system of journal filling it looks very suspicious. Eventually you could get nailed.

So, play it safe and do one journal entry per person per document. Two signers each signing twelve notarized documents = 24 journal entries and yes, you will have to buy a new journal every several weeks and no, it is not that expensive and yes it is necessary.

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You might also like:

An absurd forgery of my notarization
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19974

A forged document vs. a forged notary seal
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=10391

Compilation of posts about notary fraud
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21527

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December 5, 2017

If you’re named as an identity theft conspirator, it could cost you $20,000 in legal fees

If you are named as a conspirator in an identity theft ring or identity theft case, you might be looking at some serious legal costs. Being a Notary is not safe, especially when you refuse to keep your books correctly (oh, but my state doesn’t require me to.) Excuses will not get you off the hook when you are a suspect in an identity theft case and when your journal doesn’t has a fake ID documents and no thumbprint (oh, but my state doesn’t require me to). Your state’s shoddy lack of requirements could cost you $20,000, but only if you choose not to keep proper records. Your state is not forbidding you from keeping good records. They just don’t require good records. It might be fun to just stamp things without keeping a record of what you did. But, the fun will go away when you are named in a law suit.

Legal costs might only be a few thousand, but could be as high as $20,000 in a worst case scenario.

Keeping a journal properly with:
1. One entry per person per document… i.e. if two signers each sign five documents that is ten journal entries.
2. Keep journal thumbprints as that is the only way the FBI can catch frauds if a fake ID is used (in many cases.)
3. Keeping additional notes about the signers might help in court such as mentioning tattoos, a nervous twitch, or anything else noteworthy.

Keeping good records is your responsibility as a good Notary whether required by law or not. Your refusal is pure obstinate and I won’t tolerate it for a minute. If you don’t understand good record keeping, the NNA teaches journal filling procedure quite well. So, consult them or risk possible legal consequences! Keeping your journal correctly doesn’t keep you out of court — it just normally shortens your time dealing with investigators and the court system to a few minutes instead of a few months. Take your pick!

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You might also like:

What’s your sign? Tricks to uncover fake identification.
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19638

Notary Public 101 – Identification
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19507

Do you keep a journal to please your state, a judge, the FBI or 123notary?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19483

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December 3, 2017

Oath, what oath?

Filed under: Carmen Towles,Popular on Linked In — Tags: , , — admin @ 10:48 am

So it has come to my attention and honestly to my surprise that most notary signing agents don’t give oaths. And whats even worse they don’t seem to know that it is part of the job. (btw, I give them regularly) I asked those that don’t, “Why not?” Most replied that, ‘they aren’t required to give oaths in their state’ and others didn’t know anything about them at all. Really? Then I went on to ask, “Don’t you know that most sets of loan documents have a few documents in the loan package that require an oath be given?” Such as, for example; the signature name affidavit, correction agreement? And that all ‘jurats’ certificates require an oath. Most tell me that they were never trained that this was necessary. But, here and now I remind you that It is part of your job description. So it may be time to get those handbooks out for your state and take another look. Just remember that anytime you see the notarial wording that begin with, “Sworn or affirmed before me”, will always require an oath to be given. And it should go something like this: ‘Please raise your right hand. Do you solemnly swear or affirm to the truthfulness of the document that you are are about to sign?’ Feel free to make your own, this is mine.:). They undoubtedly will say yes and you can proceed with having them sign the document, Remember these documents typically require the signer to sign in front of you. (If they have signed the document already you can have them resign in front of you or use a fresh copy) State notary law regarding this may vary.

Now, I have never heard of anyone getting in trouble for not giving an oath. But it is part of your job. And it could have the potential to render your notarization void if a judge asked you if you gave the oath and you didn’t. So it is better to know what your duties are and do your job. It is better to be safe not sorry.

You might also like:
Oaths, how Notaries completely screw them up
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19369

Should you use book wording for Oaths or improvise?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19660

When are you required by law to give Oaths?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21017

Notary Public 101 – Oaths, Affirmations, Jurats & Acknowledgments
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19500

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