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March 24, 2016

Two guys with the same name; One cashed the other guy’s check!

Imagine your worst nightmare. Someone else with your same name. But, it’s not identity fraud if the person really is you, or at least shares your name. We had a Notary in Alabama and another Notary in Indiana who had this exact situation. I am not sure if their middle initial or middle name is the same, but the first and last were. They were both on the same database for several signing companies. The problem was that the guy in Alabama did a bunch of jobs for several signing companies, and then the guy in Indiana got paid for those jobs — and deposited the checks.

I actually personally know both of these people and remember a conversation I had with one of them three years ago. He thought his bill was too high and kept saying, Jeremy…. Jeremy…. Jeremy…. Jeremy… with this amazing tonality. He got removed from his high position because it was too much trouble to bill him. Now he has a free listing at the bottom of the list. He might not get that many jobs down there, but if he can get paid for the other guy’s jobs in Alabama, I guess it all works out just fine — for the mean time!

In any case, let this be a lesson to be learned. If you have children, and you have one of those standard type names like Jack Smith, or David Rutherford, consider a name change. Either change your last name, or name your children something that nobody else would name their kids such as Bullwinkle, Shakazulu, or Pleiades! Think in the future, and pick a name that is out of this world, or at least out of this constellation!

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5 Comments »

  1. I had this exact same thing happened to me. The signing company sent 900 to another signing agent in Virginia with the same name. The signing company did make good on the money. I have to spell out my full name now through a few different signing companies. So far that has been the only time our names were confused for payment. I have never received any checks of hers..

    Comment by Sherry — March 28, 2016 @ 2:31 pm

  2. Interesting story, things like this can and do happen, but let’s not lose sight of the fact that notary number 2 DID commit a crime….it’s called Petit Larceny or Grand Larceny based on the value of the money HE STOLE. He doesnt need to commit identity theft or forgery to be a criminal…..he stole someone else’s money. And yes, once he cashed or deposited checks that were not rightfully his he committed a crime. Good luck to him trying to justify what he did by saying he was confused and thought they were his payments. I do not think that anyone should panic over what they name their child based on this story.

    Comment by Michael Swain — March 28, 2016 @ 5:03 pm

  3. Years ago I did a closing that could have turned out a real tragedy. Two men with same name in the same family. The older was a Senior while the younger was a fifth or sixth. Anyway, the suffix didn’t show on the ID. Some families will give their male names to another part of the family if they know they will have no male children to carry on that name, so they become a fifth or whatever.

    While I was there I noticed there was an older gentleman in a back bedroom and the borrower said that he and his wife were taking care of him. I didn’t ask any further. I got everyone’s ID, finished the signing and noticed the cash back to borrower was basically the purchase price of the house. When I got back to the office I asked the loan officer how he could get so much back. Did he pay cash for the house our inherit it or something? I mean to me this borrower was just a kid, maybe mid 30’s. The loan officer said, \No, he paid it off over time. He’s been there 25 years.\ I told the loan officer the borrower had to be 10 years old when he bought it then.

    Turned out, the younger had the exact same name but didn’t use a suffix. He was literally stealing the house from his relative.

    MORAL OF THE STORY: Be careful what you name your children. If they have numbers, make them use the numbers.

    Comment by Cindy Besio — March 29, 2016 @ 8:54 pm

  4. Wow. What a thief! No excuse for that one! He should be in jail. Before I got married I shared the same name as a notary in California. I never recall getting any of her checks and I doubt she got any of mine. I did get more Closings because of her. She was notary of the year and I got confused for her all the time. Dunno how they confused the fact that she was from California and I was from Florida. At any rate I got a lot of companies that way that became regulars because they liked the work I did. When I receive a check it usually has the name of the borrowers on it so I can match it to my records. Never got confused about that.

    Comment by Jamie — April 3, 2016 @ 10:17 pm

  5. I had the same thing happen to me over this last year. Same first and last name, in the same state. Although I Always used my middle initial. She cashed closed to $1000 worth of my checks. Multiple companies paid her my money and she never said a word. A few companies even told me she would call them immediately if they were even a day late on sending her payments for her closings. Luckily, all made good on their payments to me. I just had to wait a lot longer to get paid.

    Comment by Christina Hernandez — May 4, 2016 @ 6:56 pm

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