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September 14, 2018

Why you REALLY need to know your profession and have thick skin…..

Filed under: Carmen Towles — admin @ 11:33 am

When speaking with notaries, I tell them all the time that they need to have tough skin, and that they need to know their stuff (meaning your state notary laws). Here is a recent example of why it is so important.

A few days back, I got a call from a law firm in Canada. She stated that she had ONE document to be notarized. We discussed the assignment and she told me what she needed and we agreed on a fee. She immediately followed up at my request with a confirmation email in which she cc’d the signer and I was given the, time, place, conformation of my negotiated fee and contact information. I met the signer at her home. She produced a bundle of documents and laid them on the table. As I go through them, I notice right away that there was at least 20 additional documents that seemed to require an oath with notary signature and seal but oddly there are no signature lines for the signer. Red flags immediately go up. I let the signer know this is not customary and that we needed to call the attorney for further instructions.

We reached the attorney (surprisingly) and she said that there is only one signature to be notarized and the other jurats just require MY signature. I explain that this is not customary, and I just can’t ‘sign’ these. I ask her what would the purpose of me signing as they are just Jurat words stamped on the document with NO signature lines for the signer to sign at all. She goes on to tell me that I am signing that the signer has reviewed each of these documents and to their truthfulness. I tell her, I cannot accommodate her request as it is improper and illegal. I go on and further explain to her that a notaries only function is to verify identity and signature on a document and when required, administer an oath to the truthfulness of the document they (the signer) are signing. You can tell she is beginning to get very annoyed with me. After all she is the attorney (like that means anything to me) and tells me notaries do these all over the country with NO problem and I am the first to refuse (so now of course, I am the bad guy and trouble maker). I tell her that I can’t speak for any of the other notaries but if they are doing these it is illegal. I also tell her that if the Secretary of State was open (it was after 6) I could prove to her (and the signer) that this would be improper and illegal for me to do and I could loose my commission. It is obvious the attorney doesn’t care in the least and still insists and tries to connivence me to do as she requests.

At this point I am getting VERY angry. I know my job very well and I certainly don’t like to be talked down to or bullied. So, I turn to the signer and I say; “I am sorry, I am not trying to be difficult but I cannot do as the attorney requests, I will notarize the one document as agreed, you can pay me and I’ll be on my way. Then the attorney can find one of those many notaries she claims signs off on these with no problem.” The signer says no, “I want to get this over with. Can you make this work?, What do we have to do?.” I tell her, “You will need to write a little statement of your choice on each document that has the jurat wording (which I also have to cross out and use California compliant verbage), then sign, and I’ll give you the oath, then I can notarize each document”. But, I tell her it will be expensive and that each of these is 15.00. Long story short. I make a deal with her so it didn’t cost her too much more than we originally agreed, just to get through it. I also never wanted the signer to think I was trying to get allot more money out of her.

As you can see it was a hot mess. However, I got through it. But fellow notaries a word of caution; please learn your profession. Know your job; cold. Know what you can and cannot do in YOUR state. Don’t let anyone tell you what other notaries are doing so they can get their way. The have THIER best interest at heart NOT YOURS. You should ALWAYS know what is appropriate for each situation. If other notaries have been knowingly, unknowingly (or bullied) into doing what was being asked of me to do, I would not have had such a problem. These type of situations makes us ALL look bad…

Remember this is not a ‘California’ thing. It is a notary thing. You just don’t sign your name to a Jurat willy-nilly just because the hiring party says so. You must follow proper notary procedure. Period.

Thanks for reading, and I’d love to hear your feedback…

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2 Comments »

  1. The “other” illicit notaries never existed. I’ve had the same BS many times. “Others do it” – my reply “call others”.

    Comment by Kenneth Edelstein — September 15, 2018 @ 12:38 am

  2. Totally agree!

    Comment by Rula — October 17, 2018 @ 2:30 pm

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