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November 16, 2020

Notary fined $385 for botching a Notarization

Filed under: General Articles — Tags: — admin @ 10:49 am

Originally posted in 2018

Many of the Notaries on our site are so incompetent about communication and Notary practices that I shutter to list them. The fact is that I am not always informed when Notaries get in trouble. I would like to hear more stories of Notaries who goof and get in trouble because I want to learn how to prevent the problems from happening in the future.

The fact is that a Notary in Louisiana (I don’t remember clearly the name of the state but think it is Louisiana) did a Notary job for a loan signing. The Notary was new and had no idea what she was doing. There were numerous mistakes on dates, signatures, notarizations, etc. In fact there were so many mistakes that the Lender make the Notary pay for the redraw of documents. The bill came out to $385. Ouch. What a nasty surprise for this enthusiastic but clueless Notary.

The moral of the story is that you cannot just get a Notary seal and start working without knowing what you are doing. The states don’t prepare you at all for Notary work. Even California gives very little hands on training. NNA certified notaries have been trained in some basic aspects of loan signing, but that course does not teach basic Notary knowledge. So, if you think you “know what you are doing” because you are NNA certified, try taking NNA’s Notary Essentials course first. It is better to know how to be a Notary than a loan signer, because most of the mistakes notaries make are either rudeness, leaving people high and dry, not following directions, or you guessed it — Notary mistakes. Notaries very rarely get in trouble for not knowing their loan documents and rarely get in trouble for dating an RTC wrong although it could happen.

So, become an expert at being a Notary. You can get into trouble with me if you don’t and trouble with the law, lenders and customers as well. Knowledge is power and ignorance comes at a high expense.


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  1. The signing most likely paid her a low ball fee, and got their money worth. By the way, if it was Louisiana, they have very stringent requirements to become a notary.
    I doubt if even Jeremy could qualify in Louisiana without further training.

    Comment by Larry — August 20, 2018 @ 6:49 am

  2. Larry, I am a Louisiana notary. I agree with your comment! The exam here is 6 hours and I’ve been told by LA attorneys that the exam is as hard as or even more difficult than the bar exam. If you are a LA notary after 2005, when the commission was re-vamped and made extremely difficult, then you should be well educated on the responsibilities and requirements of notarizing documents properly. I had 13 years of mortgage lending before becoming a notary so being a CSA was perfect but for those without mortgage experience, learning the documents could be challenging.

    Comment by Lisa — August 27, 2018 @ 7:07 pm

  3. Training is key for any profession and if you are to be viewed as a “Professional Notary Public”, you need to know what you are doing. As illustrated not only was the notary penalized, the lender was also inconvenienced and incurred extra expense by having to redraw the documents.

    Comment by Dennis Brooks — August 28, 2018 @ 3:41 pm

  4. Something similar, although not quite as severe, almost happened to me in my first loan signing. One one of the forms I added DL number but forgot to put the issued and expiration date. The lender called me twice. Once for the expiration date and once for the issue date. If I hadn’t gathered that info in my journal I would’ve had to contact the signer again. There’s a lot to be said about good journal practices.

    Comment by Harroll V. Chisom — August 29, 2018 @ 6:23 pm

  5. shutter….shudder

    Comment by Duan O White — February 4, 2020 @ 1:58 am

  6. New York also has a comprehensive exam you must pass before being commissioned. When I retired in Minnesots and applied to become a notary, I was surprised that there was nothing in place to test my knowledge. I have a JD, but notary training is imperative to do this job.

    Comment by Elizabeth Croteau — December 21, 2020 @ 7:35 pm

  7. If you don’t know what you are doing you should not be doing closings

    Comment by Jerry Toeben — December 23, 2020 @ 1:21 pm


    Comment by Dennis Brooks — December 30, 2020 @ 1:46 am

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