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April 9, 2018

When do I need to use a California All-Purpose Acknowledgment?

Filed under: California_Notary,Other Guest Bloggers — Tags: — admin @ 10:42 am

When do I need to use a California All-Purpose Acknowledgment?
A Notary Public in California only needs to use the notarial language found in an All Purpose Acknowledgment if the document is being filed in California.

California Civil Code Sec 1189 ( c ) allows a Notary to use the preprinted acknowledgment language from another state as long as the Notary is not required to determine or certify in which capacity the signer is signing the document. Certifications are prohibited for Notaries to perform by California law. Notaries are not required to even include the disclaimer at the top of the notarization which essentially states that the Notary Public completing the notarization is only verifying the identity of the signer and not the “truthfulness, accuracy or validity of the document”.

A document that many Notaries see and something that I see brought to my office often at A1 Live Scan Fingerprinting and Notary Services in downtown Los Angeles is Form TSP-70 which is the Thrift and Savings plan Financial Hardship In-Service Withdrawal Request form. This form has preprinted Notarial Language for Acknowledgment and has specific instructions for the Notary that reads in relevant part, “Notary:……No other acknowledgement is acceptable (see instructions)”.

When you see forms such as TSP-70 that is being sent or filed in another state or jurisdiction, use the preprinted form as long as you are not being asked to certify the capacity in which the signer is signing the document.

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April 8, 2018

An Absurd Forgery of “my” Notarization

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — admin @ 11:17 am

An Absurd Forgery of “my” Notarization

I have just been speaking with an insurance company investigator. When the caller identified themselves I took the precaution of verifying the caller via several methods. Once convinced of the caller identity the facts were relayed to me. I then proved the document to be a forgery.

There were several interesting aspects to this particular identity thief. They managed to swindle a car dealership in the Midwest using a notary stamp clearly purporting to represent a New York notary – me. The stamp, to any New York notary appeared false, having both improper information (my address) and lacking required information (the primary county of my registry).

Thus, so far, the stamp is being “used” outside of its lawful jurisdiction and was improperly designed.

Now for the truly strange aspect: The document was a very brief Power of Attorney, ostensibly from the owner giving the Principal the right to receive the vehicle and register it. The seriously weird part was that the “notary” also was the Agent who received the authority.

I don’t know the notary rules where you are reading this, but I would guess that the applicable New York notary laws probably apply where you are reading these words.

To the best of my understanding (and common sense) the notary is not permitted to either be a part of the transaction nor have a financial interest in its outcome.

Strike One: The notary stamp is formulated improperly (of course the general public won’t know)
Strike Two: The notarization is taking place outside of the state indicated.
Strike Three: The forger forged the Principals signature and the Notary signature to make them the Agent at the car dealership and did indeed receive the vehicle.

Not wise in my opinion as the registration leaves footprints and a vehicle license plate to be caught.

So where am I going with this? We, as both active notaries and users of notary services are well aware of the various regulations that are applicable. So, rather than keeping that knowledge to ourselves, I ask the notaries to add “mini lessons” to their clients to educate them about the basics of notary law. The public will easily grasp the concept that a notary stamp that includes the name of a state can only be used within that state. They can also be informed that the notary must be totally “outside” of the transaction, not part of it in any way; especially with any financial or other gain.

Two simple concepts that would take but a moment to explain. As “officers of the court” holding commissions we have a duty to serve the public, not just collect fees from them.

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April 7, 2018

When You Might Need a Notary Public When Traveling

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 11:08 am

When You Might Need a Notary Public When Traveling

Even if you are a person who travels fairly regularly for pleasure, you may never have thought of the fact that the day might come in which you need to access the services of a notary public while on a trip. There are, in fact, a variety of situations in which you might require the services of a notary public while you are traveling for one reason or another.

The situation is different if you travel for business. The reality is that if you do travel for business, the reality is that you may require the services of a notary public when you are on a business trip.

Business Trips and Notaries Public

There are a wide array of different situations in which you might require the assistance of notary public while on a business trip. For example, if part of your business trip is to address contact issues, a notary might be needed if a contract is to be signed. Keep in mind that in many instances a notary public is not required when a contract is signed. Oftentimes, whether a notary is needed depends on the terms and conditions of a contract itself.

If a notary is needed while you are on a business trip, you may be able to find an available notary public at the hotel in which you are lodged. This is not always the case. However, larger hotel chains are responsive to the needs of their business travelers, including the development of business centers in these properties.

You may be able to access a notary public through a hotel’s business center. Failing that, check with the front desk. If that proves to be futile, track down the hotel concierge. He or she will be able to help you connect with a notary public.

These instructions for finding a notary public while on a business trip can also prove helpful if you end up needing this type of assistance while on a pleasure trip as well.

Pleasure Trips and the Need for a Notary

Odds are that on most pleasure trips, the need for a notary public will not arise. However, depending on the state in which you are traveling, and the type of document you might have to sign, the need for a notary public may arise.

One situation in which the need for the services of a power of attorney may arise while traveling is if you need to establish what is known in most states as a durable power of attorney for healthcare. This is a legal instrument that designates another person to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so.

If you, or a traveling companion, end up with a medical issue while traveling, you or your companion may end up needing surgery or some other type of treatment. The recommendation may be that you complete an appropriate healthcare power of attorney in advance of the procedure. Depending on the laws of the state in which you are in, you may need a notary public to attest to your signature on the instrument.

If you are traveling and come upon an automobile or piece or real estate that you elect to purchase, you will need the assistance of a notary public. The title to a car as well as the title to real estate and other documents will require notarization.

What You Need to Obtain a Notarization of Your Signature

You will need to have an appropriate form of identification to obtain a notarization of your signature. When traveling, one of three different types of identification will suffice for the purposes of obtaining a notarization of your signature. These include a driver’s license, a state identification or ID card, or a passport. These types of identification must be current and cannot be expired. You will not be required to produce multiple forms of identification for the purposes of obtaining notary services provided you have one or another of these forms of official identification.

Notary Fees

The issue of whether or not you will need to pay a fee to get something notarized while traveling depends upon a variety of factors. The key really is the circumstances upon which you need a notary and how you access the services of a notary public.

If need a notary for a medical power of attorney, the hospital or medical center will have a notary public on staff. There will be no charge for the notarization of your signature in this and similar types of situations.

Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Documents International LLC, a leading apostille service for individuals and businesses.

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April 6, 2018

The curse of the Notary mummy

Filed under: Humorous Posts — admin @ 10:28 am

A few years back, and Egyptologist went to Giza to do some research one some new findings. There were mummies buried in a chamber far deeper in the pyramid that had never been discovered before. The maps of the interior of the pyramid did not include this room and it was discovered using sound technology. The sound technology spotted (perhaps heard would be a better word since it is sound technology) a hollow area far within the ten thousand year old pyramid.

The historian was from America and was very logical. He didn’t believe in curses. After all, we all know that couldn’t possibly be real. So, he ignored the warnings from his Egyptian colleagues and went into the chamber — alone!!! He discovered all types of artifacts and encrypted messages written in hyroglyphics on the wall. It reminded him of his last trip to Hunan Garden where the bill was written in hyroglypics. There was a bird character, some people walking like Egyptians pointing their hands forward, a paper, and then a notary seal. Oh my God. Our historian had discovered an ancient Egyptian Notary Public.

Then he looked further. There were pictographs of the king asking him to administer an Oath. But the Notary said, “Sorry, my state doesn’t require Oaths.” Maybe that’s how the Notary died. He was so poorly trained, that the king or Pharoah had him put to death to teach a lesson to the other Notaries. The other Notaries said, “That’s so unfair—o!” In any case, the Notary must have either been high ranking in the dynasty he lived in or have been from a prominent family to be mummified. Enbalming don’t come cheap, and neither does space in a pyramid. I tried looking up rooms in pyramids on Craig’s list and the prices were astronomical.

In any case, this dumb Egyptologist took the liberty to open the casket and try to move the mummy. Immediately his lamp flickered, his electronic devices suddenly failed. He was all alone, in the dark and screamed — help!!!! Luckily, he was able to feel his way out of the room, down the hall and to his awaiting comrades who were down the hall. His colleagues warned him that terrible things would happen because of what he had done, but he didn’t believe them. After all, this was just a coincidence, right?

Nothing bad happened to that historian. However, many people working for signing companies who don’t pay Notaries reported having dreams of mummies coming unenbalmed following them around. Perhaps the mummy in question did not get paid by ancient Egyptian signing companies and wanted revenge on signing companies, but not on archeologists (hmm). One reported that it was hard to breath and felt something pressing on her chest. Another felt something touching her at night that wasn’t there. Finally the signing companies started to talk to each other. They decided they were being haunted by the spirit of the Notary mummy. Something had to be done. So, finally after a few years of discussions and talking to people in Cairo, they decided to have someone go back into that pyramid into the forbidding chamber and close that casket once and for all.

But, the person chosen to close the casket decided that the mummy would feel much happier if he put a Notary journal in the casket with him to take to the afterlife. They put the journal in, closed the casket, and moved it back to where it had originally been. Then the dreams continued. The mummy said, “My state doesn’t require journals!” People in five different signing companies had this dream.

Finally, they called a Shaman in to solve this for good. The Shaman had a clever plan. He had someone imposter the mummy’s Notary seal, and the mummy’s spirit was called into Notary Court in heaven. The judge asked for evidence of the transaction that the notary allegedly notarized. The Notary explained that his state didn’t require a journal. The judge sentenced him to 100 years in spirit jail. Kind of a harsh sentence, but the bad dreams stopped, and everyone was happy. The Shaman made out well as he got free notary service for life and after-life which was all fine and dandy until he asked for an Oath and the notary said, “Sorry, my state doesn’t require Oaths. Then the Shaman looked up their state handbook, found out that they do indeed do Oaths in the Notary’s state, reported the Notary to the Secretary of State, and the Notary got busted.

To be safe, the shaman decided to put some ancient egyptian money in the casket where the mummy with a note in hyroglyphics that said it was from that ancient Egyptian company that never paid him. The note said — payment plus 3000 years worth of interest.

And so ends the saga of the Notary mummy.
The moral of the story is — never trust a dead Notary who doesn’t keep a journal.

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April 5, 2018

The name on the ID vs. the Acknowledgment, Document, and Signature

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 11:08 pm

As a Notary, you will be confronted by a myriad of inconsistencies. Names on identifications don’t always match names on documents. We have discussed this multiple times in our John Smith examples where the name on the ID is shorter than the name on the document which in my examples is normally John W. Smith. However, I want to introduce the complexities of name variations in an organized way.

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RULE #1: The name on the ID must prove the name on the Acknowledgment
The name on the ID is not always identical or “matching” the name on the document. I do not like the term “matching” because it has multiple connotations and therefor is not clear. The name on the identification must PROVE the name on the Acknowledgment as a minimum.

Example
The name on the ID says John Smith.
The typed name on the document says John William Smith
The signature on document says John William Charles Smith
The name on the Acknowledgment cannot say more than John Smith otherwise you are notarizing someone whose name you cannot prove.

Whether or not your state approves you notarizing a signature that is longer or not matching the name on the identification is between you and your state. But, according to sensible practices, the main thing is what name you are Acknowledging the person as, because that is your job as a Notary. As a Notary, you have to prove the identity of the signer and certify that information in the form of a Notary certificate. What goes on the certificate must be true under the penalty of perjury in California and must be true in other states otherwise it could be considered fraudulent. In this example, you can prove the signer is John Smith, he over signed the document which the Lenders don’t usually mind, and you notarized him once again as John Smith — nothing more, nothing less.
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RULE #2: The typed name on the document ideally exactly matches the signature, but, if the Lender says it’s okay, an over signed version of the same name would suffice.

i.e. If the typed name says John William Smith, then the signature could be John William Charles Smith.
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RULE #3: The name on the Acknowledgment can be an exact match of the signature if provable by ID, or a partial match of the signature that is proven by the identification.

i.e. If the signature says John William Charles Smith, you can notarize the signature as that name if it that name variation is entirely provable based on the ID, or you can notarize him as John Smith as the ID proves that name.
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RULE #4: The typed name on the document is supposed to match the name on Title.

The recording agency has a particular name on title, and loan documents are supposed to match the name on title. Sometimes people change their name on title using Grant Deeds and Quit Claim Deeds and which form you use to change a name on title depends on what state you live and your individual situation, and I am not trained in these matters, (sorry.)
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Rule #5: Just because you are obeying sensible practices and the law doesn’t mean the Lender won’t get mad and fire you.

The Lender wants the name notarized based on how the name reads on the documents as a general rule. Usually times you can get away with notarizing a shorter version of the name for legal reasons. If you have a situation where you have a choice between breaking the law and pleasing the Lender, choose obeying the law. If you have a choice between pleasing the Lender and taking liberties identifying someone which is a wishy-washy point in the legal code in many states (look up your state’s requirements for proving someone’s name — many states only say that you have to check their ID, but not see if the names exactly match) then you have a judgement call.

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Summary of rules using fortune cookie English

1. Name on ACKNOWLEDGMENT must be proven by name on IDENTIFICATION

2. Name on ACKNOWLEDGMENT must be part or whole of name on SIGNATURE

3. Name on SIGNATURE can match exactly or be a longer variation of TYPED NAME on document.

4. TYPED NAME on document should MATCH name on TITLE

5. LENDERS want name on the Acknowledgment to match TYPED NAME on document, but this is not always legally possible.

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You might also like:

The ID says John Smith
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19953

What’s your sign? A guide to spotting fake ID’s.
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19638

Credible Witnesses – the ins and outs
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19634

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April 4, 2018

123notary 2018 Certification Standards

Filed under: Certification & Communication Skills,Loan Signing 101 — admin @ 2:26 pm

Due to the fact that the Notary industry has changed, and the values of people hiring Notaries have changed, we have changed the requirements for being certified. In the past, people valued our certification and gave our certified members a lot more clicks as knowledge was a commodity with a price tag. These days, knowledge is less valued and the type of knowledge that is valued changed from being more document focused to be more about manners, following directions, being business-like, and being good at Notary work. Additionally, those hiring Notaries either want someone who is very knowledgeable or don’t care about knowledge at all. The Notaries who were simply mediocre with a certification or without a certification seem to get the same amount of business. However, those who do not know how to function at all as a notary get substantially less clicks on our site. By passing our online test you can get a temporary certification. However, the over the phone test gives a longer term result. We feel free to retest people as often as we find necessary. Below are our new elaborated requirements for regular 123notary certification.

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NOTARY KNOWLEDGE

Note — we require an 80% on general Notary knowledge. Topics included are listed below and are taught thoroughly in Notary Public 101.

Notary Acts
Intimate knowledge of Notary acts such as Acknolwedgments, Jurats, Oaths, Affirmations and Proofs is necessary to pass our test. You need to be able to distinguish between the details of the characteristics of each act and explain each act thoroughly and accurately which is harder than most Notaries realize.

Form & Journal Filling
Detailed knowledge of how to fill in a Notary journal and certificate forms based on good practices and NOT based on your state’s particular rules.

Oaths & Affirmations
Detailed knowledge of administering Oaths & Affirmations that are worded correctly for a variety of situations.

Identifying Signers
A basic knowledge of how to identify signers under varying circumstances.

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SITUATIONAL KNOWLEDGE

We require Notaries to know how to handle curve balls before, during and after signings. This information is taught in the scenarios section of Notary Public 101.

Common points include:

Confirming the signing
There are many things you need to go over with the borrower when you confirm a signing. Do you know them all?

Handling Power of Attorney Signings
There are many ways a signer could sign in a capacity of an Attorney in Fact, but do you know the right way you need to have them sign so as not to get in trouble?

Dating the Right to Rescind
Many Notaries on 123 Notary cannot count 1, 2, 3, which is why they need to review dating the Right to Cancel.

A list of other situations
A variety of other situations that could really vary and could be based on questions that stress following directions which cannot be taught. Read about these on our scenarios page in our Notary Public 101 course.

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DOCUMENT KNOWLEDGE

We require Notaries to know the basic characteristics of the following documents with an 80% accuracy under time pressure. We teach most of this knowledge in our 30 point course on our blog.

Deed of Trust / Mortgage
Note
Right to Cancel
Closing Disclosure & Closing Statement
Truth in Lending (semi-antiquated)
HUD-1 Settlement Statement
Compliance Agreement
Correction Agreement
Occupancy Affidavit
Signature Affidavit & AKA Statement
Owners Affidavit
Automatic Funds Transfer Disclosure
Various Riders
Subordination Agreement
Quit Claim & Grant Deeds
Understanding the APR (listed on the TIL or Closing Disclosure)
Initialing

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Also see — Elite Certification Study Guide

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Documents you need to understand for Elite Certification

Filed under: Certification & Communication Skills — admin @ 11:50 am

I published a study guide for our Elite Certification. There are a handful of documents you need to understand and be able to answer questions about. Here they are.

Recorded Documents
How many recorded documents can you name? I can think of a few…

Grant Deeds
Quit Claim Deeds
Warranty Deeds
Deed of Trust / Mortgage
Subordination Agreement
Riders to Deeds
Power of Attorney (not sure about this one)
Deed of Reconveyence
Tax Liens
Wills
Deed in Lieu
Assignments of a Deed of Trust
Declaration of Homestead
Rescission of Notice of Default.
Substitution of Trustee

Riders
How many riders can you name? I can think of these ones
Prepayment Rider
Family Rider
Condominium Rider
Rider to Mortgage
Rider to the Note
Adjustable Rate Riders
Co-op Rider

Subordination Agreement
The subordination agreement creates a pecking order for which lender gets paid first should there be a default.

Owner’s Affidavit
This document discusses many aspects of ownership and often addresses whether the owner will reside in the property as well as whether or not the owner has conducted particular maintenance tasks on the property.

Deed of Reconveyance
The main point we want you to know about this document is that it deals with Trustees, and the Lender is most commonly the one who signs this document as a Trustee, although in theory it could be any party.

Deed of Trust
You need to know the Deed of Trust intimately to pass the Elite Test. Please study this on your own.

CD & HUD-1
You need to be able to recite many particular points about these documents to pass the Elite Test. Please study on your own.

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123notary Elite Certification Study Guide

Filed under: Loan Signing 101 — Tags: , — admin @ 12:24 am

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ELITE CERTIFICATION

To get elite certification, you need to do well on the regular certification topics, and then know a lot more. Here are the items we quiz about for elite certification. We test by phone for the elite, and if you study hard and know your basic documents, scenarios, and Notary knowledge plus the content on this page, you could pass.

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Documents you have to understand intimately

Recorded Documents
Riders
Subordination Agreement
Residency Affidavit
Owners Affidavit
Deed of Reconveyance
Deed of Trust
CD & HUD-1
Please read the details of the required documents. Read more…

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Procedures or Acts to Understand

Signature by X or Mark — read more…
Apostilles and Authentications — read more…

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Other Terms or Information
Please click on the links below to get detailed information on the following points.

The term Elizor — read points 23 on this link. An Elizor is a court appointed official that can sign over property when the owner refuses to cooperate in court.

Explaining beneficial & financial interest. A Notary may not have beneficial interest or financial interest in anything he is notarizing. A beneficial interest could be construed as …

Federal Holidays in chronological order (memorize these). Let’s start with New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Day, Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Independence Day …

Fraud Prevention & types of fraud that happen in the Notary world. Falsified identification, incorrect dates on certificates, using someone else’s Notary seal …

Authority – Who has the highest level of authority if there is a question about a notary act or document at a signing? The Notary is the authority as to how a notary transaction happens, but…

Annual Percentage Rate — a detailed understanding is required. The APR is based on the amount borrower after certain (but not all) fees and closing costs have been deducted, and expressed as a …

Pros & Cons: — Adding an Acknowledgment rather than fixing the original. if there is a mistake on a preprinted form. It is cleaner to add a new form, but there can be recording fee issues involved…

What to do if John & Sally’s names are inscribed in an Acknowledgment by the Lender and Sally can’t make it. — Cross out or add a new form? This is similar to the last point, but there are some extra snags…

Handling name variations and discrepencies such as: ID Name, vs. Typed Name, Signature on Doc, and Name on Ack. Relationship between these names if they don’t exactly match. The main thing is to obey the law first…

Understanding dates such as: Transaction Dates, Signature Dates, Rescission Dates, and Document Dates… A transaction date is the same as a signature date, but a document date is arbitrarily chosen, but by whom?

Loan Signing FAQ’s that Borrowers ask. FAQ’s have been greatly reduced by Lenders being required to explain documents to the borrowers in advance. But, you still might be asked why the APR is …

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April 3, 2018

Confirming the signing

Confirming a Notary Signing

As I continue to teach people and quiz Notaries on the subject of confirming the signing, I realize that the subject is more complicated than I previously realized. When confirming the signing with the borrower, there is a lot to go over. But, sometimes you don’t have the means to know what you should ask, especially when you have not received the package. Sometimes there are instruction pages with requests for checks or Quit Claim Deeds where non-borrowing in-laws need to sign. You might not know this until the last minute, but you could put it on your list of things to ask about during your initial call.

Since there are so many things to ask about during a confirmation call, it makes sense to keep a cheat sheet in your wallet with a list of things to ask about.

THE CHECK LIST

1. Signers
Make sure all of the signers will be present. Not all signers are borrowers. It is common to have a non-borrowing spouse, or even in-laws who are on title. It is also common for people to sign off title if they don’t want to be part of a loan. There might be Grant Deeds or Quit Claim Deeds in such cases.

2. Identification
It is common for Notaries to confirm that the borrower(s) has/have a current government issued identification card. That is not good enough. If the name does not match, you will have a very short or cumbersome Notarization. You can avoid a three hour trip that you don’t get paid for by making sure the ID proves that the name on the document is authentic.

3. Surface
To do a signing, you need a surface to do the signing on. Normally, homeowners sign on their dining room table. Many title companies are making sure that the table is clear before the Notary arrives to save time and grief. If you don’t make sure there is a surface, you might be signing on the floor or a cluttered coffee table that you have to crouch to sign on.

4. Duration
Many signers are not aware of how long a loan signing takes. It might take anywhere from thirty minutes to two hours depending on the length of the package, the degree of familiarity with the process and how much reading the borrower intends to do. The Notary should confirm how much reading the borrower wants to do, because the Notary needs to be on time to his/her next appointment. Find out ahead of time how much time the borrower wants, otherwise your schedule might get very messed up.

5. Paperwork going back to the Lender
There are often personal checks, cashier’s checks, tax or insurance forms or copies of ID’s going back to the Lender. Make sure that if there is anything going back, that it is in a folder on the signing table when you come so you don’t have to waste time finding it or forget.

6. Introduction
Many Notaries go over the fact that they are the Notary, what their name is, what their function is, and how they cannot answer legal questions, etc. Introducing yourself is great. But, if I am quizzing you with one minute to go over confirmation, and you waste the entire minute explaining the details of how you introduce yourself and forget to mention that you made sure all the signers would be there with ID’s that match the names on the document, you will fail.

7. Numbers
If you want to go over numbers on the CD or HUD, you can think about that. These days, the Lenders normally do a good job of that on their own, but a last minute brush up can reduce the chance of last minute surprises.

8. Where to Park & Directions
If you want to go over directions and where to park, that matters too. That is the last thing I want to hear if I quiz you, but in real life, where to park can be a serious consideration.

Conclusion
The purpose in confirming a signing is to introduce yourself and go over all issues which would cause a glitch in the signing to make sure the glitch doesn’t happen before you get in your car and drive. Be prepared to confirm a second time after you have the documents printed out as you might learn more about what needs to be done after printing. Be prepared to cancel the signing if any information doesn’t check out as well. Be thorough, don’t leave any necessary information out, and you will have a more organized and stress free profession.

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You might also like:

Notary Marketing 102: Phone & Communication Etiquette
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19764

Notary Etiquette from Atheist to Zombie
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=13718

Don’t Call Title or Borrower
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15066

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Using the correct Notarial Certificate for an Apostille:

Filed under: Other Guest Bloggers — Tags: , , — admin @ 10:17 am

At our office in Downtown Los Angeles — A1 Live Scan & Notary Services – we get to correctly renotarize many notarized documents that the SOS rejects doing an Apostille because the wrong notarial certificate was used by a Notary.

Let’s first start with what is an Apostille?
An Apostille authenticates the Notary Public as a valid and licensed Notary to a foreign government or agency. The foreign entity relies on the SOS to make sure that the document being sent to them was in fact notarized by a currently licensed notary in good standing.

Next the question is what type of Notarial Certificate do you attach to a document being taken to the SOS for an Apostille?

First and foremost, ask the singer and explain the differences between the 3 commonly used certificates – All Purpose Acknowledgment, Jurat and Copy Certification by Document Custodian.
If the signer is not sure, go over the preprinted language on the document with the signer if there is notarial wording. In most cases even if there is notarial wording, it would not comply with California Notary Laws. So then look at the existing language and if it has “affirmations”, “oaths” or “swearing as to the truth of the contents”, use a Jurat.
If the language does not have an Oath but merely says the person appeared in front of you and acknowledged signing the document, then use a California All-Purpose Acknowledgment.
The third type of Notarization for an Apostille is when a signer brings a document such as College transcripts, Degree Certificates, Passport copy, letters from third parties. These documents are already signed by the issuer and there is no notarial wording. In this case, you use a certificate called, “Copy Certification by Document Custodian” to notarize the document by the person who brings it to you even if it is not that person’s document. Hence the name “…by Document Custodian”.

Hope this clarifies the confusion surrounding certificates used for an Apostille.

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