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August 6, 2019

I Bounced Trustee signing – Refunded – 15 Min after docs arrived

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — admin @ 9:08 pm

I Bounced Trustee signing – Refunded – 15 Min after docs arrived
I asked the all purpose question – Is there anything else I will be asked to do other than print, go, legally
notarize, ship, report completion. They said “that’s it”. They sent my standard PayPal fee in 5 minutes.
When the doc arrived there was a requirement to scan and email two of the pages; OK, I’ll live with it.
Even though it requires finding a parking spot, scan, email, and back out to ship. But, as they paid so
quickly – I just said to myself “such is life”. But, it gets worse, as usual with my telling a lot worse.

Postdate not Backdate.
Along with the scan and email was a statement from title that I could ignore the fact that the docs were
dated for the day after the notarization was scheduled. That was on the Mortgage. Borrower was
predated as (no changes) signing on the 5th, the witnesses (another surprise) date the actual 4th as do I.
That sure would look strange. I check with American Society of Notaries – that’s prohibited. Strike One.

Notary notarize thy self
There were two documents for notary only signatures that called for venue, stamped and seal. The first
had me swear to the validity of the attached borrower ID copy – also prohibited by ASN. The second
asked me to “verify” that the correct person signed, again sworn by me. Strike Two.

The closing Affidavit
The borrower signed over the words “Minnie Mouse, Trustee” – but in the notary section after the before
me was “Minnie Mouse, followed by a lengthy description of the trust details”. They did include a copy of
the trust (to reassure me?). Thus I was providing the trust details that the affiant did not swear to! It
was the same situation for several other documents. Strike Three.

Let me outta here
Fortunately they sent the docs on Tuesday, at 7PM with the task scheduled for Thursday at 3PM, about
two days later. Of course nobody at title was there to answer the phone. How I wished I had asked for the
person who gave me the assignment to provide their cell number. I sent emails only stating that I had
issues with the documents and also processed a complete PayPal refund. I had not printed the docs as it is
my custom to review the PDFs on screen to be sure I would be able to accept the task. I also sent screen
images of the ASN site showing that the specifics mentioned above were prohibited notary functions.

Lessons Learned
During “first contact” I was given the choice of them emailing the doc to me or they would ship the
package to the borrower. Always have the doc emailed to you – so you can take a look at it and not wind
up in a situation where you must decline to proceed and also want a trip fee. That would make for
everyone involved to be unhappy. Look carefully at those notary sections, they are your statement. The
fact that they sent me the Trust is meaningless; the notarized document must be able to “stand on its
own”. Years later if there is litigation would you have the Trust document? Has it been revoked? Are you
qualified to determine if it is valid? I am only allowed in the notary section to have the name as on ID.

What to do
Run away from questionable jobs. Your defense attorney would cost you a lot more than the tiny notary
fee. Don’t count on E&O to step in when your actions are clearly improper – Dump the illegal tasks!

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