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October 17, 2017

Notary Public 101 from 123notary!

Filed under: 30 Point Course — admin @ 12:32 am

It has come to my attention that most Notaries are unaware of the existence of Notary Acts above and beyond simple Acknowledgments and Jurats. Additionally, the vast majority of Notaries draw a blank when I ask them the rules for Acknowledgments and Jurats. I did not know how bad the level of ignorance is. But, now that I know, I am writing this tutorial. It is mandatory that you understand basic Notary acts if you are to be listed on 123notary, and we WILL test you on it and you will be regarded as a “Fake Notary” if you don’t know your basics when I drain the notarial swamp so to speak.

This Notary course is for those who are already Notaries who need a brush up on the most critical aspects of the profession. This is not a how-to course for beginners.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Basic Notary Vocabulary — http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19495

Basic Notary Acts — http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19500

Journals — http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19511

Identification — http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19507

Certificates — http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19502

POA & Other Topics — http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19517

Quiz Questions – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19520

The 30 Point Loan Signing Course — http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14233

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Thank you for studying from our course. We hold Notaries advertising with 123notary responsible to score at least 70% if we ask them random Notary questions by phone.

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A Massachusetts Notary Speaks Out. A coerced signature.

Filed under: Technical & Legal — Tags: — admin @ 12:02 am

A few days ago I spoke to a Massachusetts Notary Public on our list. She told me that there are some strange laws out there that almost got her in trouble. She had to appear before a judge due to a Notarization gone wrong. The wife was forced to sign by the husband and she didn’t really want to. I think they were from a foreign country where men boss people around because American men know what will happen to them if they boss people around.

Unbeknownst to me, there is an unusual law in Massachusetts where for some or all Notarial acts, the Notary must ask the signer (or ask the signer to swear — forgot which) if they are signing on their own free will.

I have never heard of a signer being coerced to sign in America. In India it happens a lot when people want to steal your property.

The judge made the Notary promise to always make the signer claim that they are signing under their own free will otherwise their commission would be revoked. Yikes. But, that is not a bad law.

I wonder why we don’t have that law in California. We have all types of other nonsensical laws. Hmmm.

Acknowledged signature
Witnessed signature
Forged signature
UnCoerced signature

So, now we have a new notary act — an uncoerced signature. That should be its own act not to be confused with an acknowledged signature.

The moral of the story is, if you notarize strange foreigners where the men think that men can still act like men and get away with it, beware, they might be forcing the females to sign.

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October 15, 2017

Airline meals verses Notary Oaths & Affirmations

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 3:06 am

Have you ever wondered what airline meals have in common with Notarial Oaths? More than you think. In the old days airlines would only have one choice. The choice would normally have meat, and a few sides. Those were the good old days when women stayed at home and men supported them, and children had fathers. But, we solved the problem of children having fathers (so old fashioned and unnecessary.) Now, we are all the more wiser and realize that children do just fine without a live-in father and don’t need school prayer either. What a waste of time. Additionally, we have stopped reproducing for the most part which is another way to solve our sociological problems.

On the other hand, a preacher from Tennessee on television says, “If God goes out, then the Devil comes in… Since we have stopped prayer in school, there has been an upsurge in drugs, teen pregnancy, violence, and the list goes on…” But, I digress.

Now, you can get the regular airline meal, vegetarian, vegan, gluton free, high fiber, and about ten other choices. Singapore air even has some good Asian delicacies (yes please!) But, let’s get to the point of this article. It does have a point, right?

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AIRLINE MEALS

Let’s say that on Trans-Notarial Airlines you have two choices of a meal.

(1) THE REGULAR MEAL: which has a chunk of certified angus beef, two veggie sides and an embossed oreo plus a can of Affiant Cola. And then, there is

(2) THE VEGETARIAN OPTION which gives you the broccoli with tofu, their signature salad, corn, chocolate cake and a drink.

The problem is that the Notaries who ran Trans-Notarial Airlines thought they knew everything about notary food law, but didn’t. What the Notaries did was to offer vegetarians the regular meal, but remove the meat. The Notaries did not know that there was a vegetarian meal since they had not been trained.

Similarly, Notaries are unaware that most states have an OATH and an AFFIRMATION. The affirmation was created or invented as not to offend those who did not want to mention God or swearing. But, what Notaries often do is to administer an Oath, but remove the required Oath verbiage of “swear” and “God” as to please the politically correct and religious zealots instead thereby bastardizing an Oath rather than administering an Affirmation. The other mistake Notaries make is to only do Affirmations when legally they might (are likely to) be required to offer a CHOICE of acts.

MY RECOMMENDATIONS

Offer your clients a choice of an Affirmation or an Oath in a Jurat execution or if they want a purely oral sworn statement. It is their choice, so you have no place choosing for them. It is the same as offering a choice of the regular meal or the veggie meal rather than giving the regular meal without the meat. Where’s the beef? My opinion is that if you leave God out, the devil comes in. So, when you administer a sworn statement to me, don’t forget the God part. Without him/her, we wouldn’t even exist! And for New York Notaries, I recommend not doing Affirmations with the cab drivers because cabbies prefer to swear!

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BLOG: Ken’s list of things Notaries goof (or might goof on.)

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — admin @ 12:35 am

Most Notaries don’t make this type of mistake. Perhaps it is mostly very new Notaries or those who are just clueless. But, read this list and learn about what other Notaries do wrong and hope that you do not make the same mistake.

1. Wrong venue
2. Cut off commission end year on cheapskate notary stamp and missed filling it in
3. Unreadable notary stamp / covers preprinted text
4. Missed a sig line (in the middle of the page)
5. Allowed borrower copy (that they already had) to mix pages with live docs
6. Did not notice that some more pages printed (they were complex) and thought was working with complete set. But some still in printer output tray.
7. Email had 17 PDFs and did not keep track / printed one twice and another not at all
8. Accepted sloppy scan of airbill which would not scan at fedex/ups so arrived a day or 2 late.
9. Did not verify address with borrower, delay causes missed drop off time
10. Wrote name in notary section from anywhere other than looking at the ID / or did not change to match ID
11. Accepted photocopy of ID as ID
12. Shipped unprocessed borrower copy
13. Fed embossed end into fax first causing jam/ripped pages
14. Permitted distractions during signing – loud TV, noisey kids, dogs, etc
15. Worked in poorly lit area
16. Did not print & bring a borrower copy (just made a CD) thus cannot swap error pages
17. Opened “big mouth” and spoke about politics, religion, “smell in the air”, keep it to job at hand.
18. 2 jobs back to back, wrong docs with airbill (both jobs screwed)
19. Make commitment to complete that is impossible (not allow for traffic, distance) – job should go to closer notary.
20. Did not follow local notary law TO THE LETTER – allowing a fool to tell notary that it must meet notary standards where the property is located.
21. Idiot notary printed double sided, last page of Note shares first page of Mortgage.
22. Ran out of paper (oops no more legal) or toner – Really???
23. One name on work order, hubbie and wifie on docs – did not verify both would be available with proper ID
24. Did a “stamp and sign ONLY” without venue or notary wording or date. (when there is no notary section but it needs to be notarized)

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October 14, 2017

Notice to Title Companies from 123notary about Thumbprinting

Filed under: Best Practices — admin @ 12:56 am

Dear Title Companies,
It has come to our attention that many title companies are asking Notaries outside of California NOT to take journal thumbprints as it seems invasive or offends borrowers. However, we have had many incidents of identity fraud involving our Notaries as unwilling and unknowing accomplices. Here are some benefits of thumbprinting.

1. A journal thumbprint is often the only way for the FBI to be able to catch a Ponzi scheme practitioner, identity thief or fraud. Without the thumbprint, the investigators would be like a boat without a paddle. Why leave such critical members of society helpless when society is the one who ultimately pays the price?

2. Identity theft is not common at loan signings, but a few slip through the cracks and can cost lenders tens of thousands to clean up the mess. A journal thumbprint is often the only way you can find out the true identity of a signer who uses a falsified ID, or, one whose name is identical to someone else and impersonates that someone else and steals the equity in that someone else’s home.

3. A journal thumbprint safeguards the Notary from being named as a defendent in an identity theft case to a particular degree. If the Notary is concealing the true identity of a fraud, a prosecutor could claim that the Notary was a willing accomplice in an identity theft scheme and covered his tracks by not leaving thumb-tracks as the case may be. One of the Notaries listed with us went to jail for fraud which I assume was intentional. Let’s not have that happen to Notaries who are just plain negligent or too stupid to keep a thumbprint!

4. A journal thumbprint deters frauds. If you were a fraud, would you want some anal Notary fingerprinting you? No! That will come back to you in court. It would be safer to be notarized by some other Notary who doesn’t have such high requirements.

Basically, rather than forbidding or discouraging thumbprints, I am asking (pleading) with you to require thumbprints as that is the only way to safeguard your Lenders, Notaries and society at large from the heinous damages that result from identity fraud. I was a victim of identity fraud several times, the first time being really horrible. It is devastating, and I hope you do everything to prevent it rather than entice it.

Discouraging taking thumbprints is analogous to discouraging someone from wearing a seatbelt or discouraging someone from using a condom. The results can be ruin lives!

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October 12, 2017

A Notary gets sued because of a scrambled ID

Filed under: Notary Mistakes — admin @ 12:51 am

This is a real story, but the Notary involved did not give me straight answers when I asked her how the deal went down.

Aparantly, a Notary went to an appointment for a Mexican client. The client had a name such as Frankie Martinez Ramirez on the document. But, his ID said, Edie Ramirez Martinez. The last names were reversed while the first name was different.

This Notary failed my over the phone notary test with a score of around 20% which is really bad. It is dangerous not to know how job as a Notary as it can end you up in court. However, this Notary declinded the transaction for correct reasons and was sued anyway. This was the one correct thing the Notary did during her career.

The client Eddie or Frankie (depending on how you look at it) lost out on a Real Estate deal because he could not get notarized in time. He sued the Notary for $1200 and won.

I can figure out why the guy sued, but why did the judge rule in favor of a guy with faulty ID? I think what happened is either the Notary is lying to me. Or, the Notary is so bad at giving straight answers to questions that the judge could not figure out what the lady’s case was and ruled in favor of the defendant who presumably communicated a little better.

I’m not sure exactly what to learn from this case except:
Being a bad communicator as a Notary is not only annoying, but dangerous. It can lose you clients, court cases and annoy Jeremy at 123notary who likes straight answers to straight questions. A yes/no question should be answered with a yes or not and not a story.

In any case, if you deny someone notary work, you might keep a record in your journal of what the ID said and what the document name was just in case you get sued for obeying the law. Good God. What is the world coming to?

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October 11, 2017

Have you ever met a friend by notarizing?

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 12:50 am

I remember that the only friend I made as a Notary was made as an introduction. I went to a party and met a lady named Mona. I liked her, but she only liked me a little bit. She used me for favors, rides, etc. When you’re desperate you hang out with this type of chick. In any case, she introduced me to her colleague Ravi who was an accountant. He was pretty cool, so we started hanging out. He liked wine and good food, so we made it a regular thing until he moved to the East Coast.

But, my other Notary assignments were for boring people getting loans. Why is the world such a boring place. In fact, I remember very few people that I notarized. I remember Gary who was in jail for blowing up his apartment with explosives. I notarized his jurors too which was a huge coincidence. I remember Jeffrey the Chinese Attorney who loved the fact that I embossed everything. I remember my Korean contact who bought and sold massage places. She had me notarize an acupuncturist called Dr. Kwack. Of all the names a doctor could be named, the doctor was a quack!

I remember doing a Military Oath for a military guy, and an over the phone Oath to swear a Filipina lady into court in the Florida Panhandle. I got to talk to the judge — how exciting. And she cooked for me. Then there was a notarization for a large Chinese family. Yes, I got fed on that one too. Then, a notarization on the trunk of my car notarizing for the brotha’s who told me all about the names black people had. Oooh they got names!

Everything else is a blur. I don’t remember much. It was so long ago. I remember a few of my favorite signing companies.

But, if I could go back into time and change a few things, I would have tried to understand the process a little better and take more notes. I was not as disciplined back then as I am now about keeping written records.

What about you?

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October 10, 2017

RTC Question created by Ken

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — admin @ 12:29 am

At the end of the package the borrower asks where the 3 day RTC form is. It’s not in the package. They insist that it should be there. You cannot reach anyone by phone.

1. You allow the borrower to hand write their RTC form and you notarize it.
2. Fortunately you have a different loan package with a RTC form with you. You duplicate it and change all entries to match the current loan.
3. You find the loan on the table is for vacation property, you don’t count Saturday when the missing form (via either 1. Or 2. Above) is created.
4. You find the loan on the table is for investment property, thus the RTC is not applicable.

Jeremy’s comments.
I have not signed loans in 12 years and when I did they were mostly refinances. However, not all loans are refinances and the rules of refinances do not apply to all loans. An owner occupied non-investment loan for a refinances gets a three day right to rescind. Investments or commercial loans might not get this privelege.

These days most packages are consolidations, purchases, Helocs, Shelocs, modifications, etc. Refinances are not as common due to the fact that interest rates have not been going down.

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October 9, 2017

The 24 hour icon and what it means

Filed under: Advertising — admin @ 12:57 am

Many people list hours of 8am to 8pm and want a 24 hour icon. This sounds a little odd. Aren’t you a 12 hour Notary? Others are open from 4pm to 8pm and want the icon too. So, who is the 24 hour icon for, and what does it mean?

The hours you post on 123notary are the hours that people can contact you. This might not be made clear, but that is what I mean. But, it can get complicated.

Many Notaries will go out on jobs at 2am, but only if notified ahead of time. These Notaries normally sleep during normal human hours and don’t want to be bothered unless they know you are paying and they know ahead of time.

Other Notaries really are 24 hours and do not sleep much. They don’t mind if you call them at 2am.

The problem with our icon is that lots of people want it as it attracts lots more business and makes you look like a serious player. The problem is that many people who have it simply don’t answer the phone after hours and some even get belligerent if you call them late.

THEM: “Do you know what time it is?”

JEREMY: “Yes, it is 9:20pm and you are a 24 hour Notary. The night is young!”

THEM: “Well, me and my husband are just setting down for bed, so call back during business hours.

JEREMY: “But, I AM calling during business hours — namely YOUR business (click)… hello, are you still there?”

So folks, please only get a 24 hour icon if you meet the following criteria.

1. You enjoy being called at all hours of the night.
2. You don’t mind if the call is merely a price inquiry from someone shopping around.
3. You are willing to get dressed and leave the house at any hour.
4. If Jeremy at 123notary calls you between 9pm and 11pm (and he might) that you don’t get made.
5. You actually answer your phone at night instead of just letting it ring like most people.

Thanks!

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October 8, 2017

BLOG: which statement is a true statement

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — Tags: , , — admin @ 12:25 am

Here is a situation that Ken Edelstein created for our learning purposes. I am crediting this blog to Ken as he created the content for the question which I really liked.

Both borrowers signed and initialed (correctly in all the right places) all the pages of a 258 page double refinance package; prior to your arrival. Which of the following statements is true.

1. They legally must resign all signaures as you did not witness any of them.
2. Only the Acknolwedgments must be resigned as they include the wording, “subscribed before me.”
3. The Title company notary must do the notarizations as they are the only entities authorized to notarize unwitnessed signatures.
4. Only the Jurats need to be resigned (legally, putting aside Lender preferences.)

This is an interesting question Ken brought up because many Notaries confuse the law with Lender preferences. Most Notaries go through life with the mentality that:

I have to do this and I have to do that.
Jeremy’s comments — yeah, right.

You can ALWAYS oversign…
Jeremy’s comments — what does that mean. Does that mean you can sign more than what is on the typed name in the document or the typed name in the ID. The Lender might not mind oversigning, but you might be in court later on as a witness to identity fraud.

The documents must be signed exactly the way the typed name reads below the signature line.
Jeremy’s comments — once again that is what the Lender wants which is not always legal. You have to please the law, the lender, common sense, and proceed in such a way that you will not end up in court. Taking thumbprints in your journal is the most efficient way to deter identity fraud and catch the perpitrators the fastest as well.

You have to witness all signatures.
Jeremy’s comments. The law says you have to witness signatures for documents receiving a Jurat notarization as it says, “Subscribed and sworn to BEFORE ME.” However, the Acknowledgments in the majority of states do not have a “before me” clause. The Lender might want you to witness, but look up in your handbook to see what the law of the land says otherwise you could create a mess.

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