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December 20, 2016

The Universal Residential Loan Application — AKA, the 1003

The Universal Residential Loan Application is a common loan document. Also known as the 1003, this document is very disturbing to the borrowers as it contains routine errors in its personal information about the borrower. This document goes over where the borrower is from, their age, where they went to school, what their income is, and social security number. It is very common for the clerks who create this document to make a plethora of mistakes.

There is often a blank page on the 1003 that says, this page intentionally left blank. That bothers borrowers as well. Some like to put a diagonal line through that page.

Backdating. Sometimes the 1003 is backdated or the lender will leave instructions not to date it at all. Why? Because the borrower, most likely, has submitted a more user-friendly form to the borrower, of which contains the same information that the 1003 does. At a closing you are often pretending that you are signing the 1003 when the borrower filled out an earlier version of the application several weeks prior to the signing. As a Notary, just don’t backdate Notary documents. But don’t worry, this one is not a Notary document, and you aren’t backdating, the borrower is.

Signing and initialing. There are different formats for the 1003. Many of the pages have one-centimeter initial lines in the bottom right corner. Keep your eyes peeled, as the different formats of this document have different arrangements. On some variations of this document, one of the pages is blank for the most part. Sometimes, you will need to have the borrower initial and sign the same page (which seems strange). Sometimes the initial lines aren’t easy to see. Sometimes you initial on top. Just make sure to check the document through and through. If you are not sure if a particular document needs an initial, it is generally a good idea to have the borrowers initial it. When in doubt, initial.

The good news is that the information in the Universal Residential Loan Application is not binding. Just make sure that the information in your Closing Disclosure or HUD is correct because that is final and binding information.

To learn more about loan documents, you can visit our free online 30 point course which goes over all of the major loan documents in a loan signing.

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You might also like:

Index of information about documents
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20258

The 30 point course – a free loan signing course
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14233

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March 1, 2015

Point (8) 1003 (9) Compliance Agreement; Marcy’s Problem w/the 1003

Marcy was on her way to another Notary assignment. She had been studying a little harder now, and knew her materials a little better. But, she got stuck on the signing with the Jennings. The loan signing went well, but there was a snag.

MARCY: Hi, I’m Marcy and I’ll be your Notary Signing Agent today.

Mr. JENNINGS: Is that like being a Private Notary, like the Tina Turner song?

MARCY: I’m your private Notary, Notary for money, do what you want me to do (within reason)
I’m your private Notary, Notary for money, any old loan docs will do…

Mrs. JENNINGS: How did we get on this topic? Aren’t you supposed to be a Public Notary?

MARCY: Well, yes, but for the purposes of the song, and the appointment, I’m temporarily private — at least during the signing.

Mr. JENNINGS: And this is the most fun you’ll have with your stamps on. (laughs) Oh, love that one.

Mrs. JENNINGS: What’s love got to do, got to do with it?

MARCY: It’s okay. There is nothing wrong with a little humor, so long as the wife is around. Just make sure he doesn’t make these jokes when you disappear to the kitchen to get coffee.

Mr. JENNINGS: Yeah, otherwise you’ll have to wear that T-shirt that says, “I’m not your husband’s mistress, I’m the Notary!”

MARCY: There he goes again! I actually saw 80 year old Mrs. Appleby wearing that T-shirt with her walker. I almost died laughing.

(20 minutes later)

Mr. JENNINGS: In any case, we seem to have gotten through most of the loan. But, let’s take a look at this 1003 Universal Residential Loan Application. Didn’t we already apply? Oh my God. It has my college wrong, and my age too. I want to talk to my Lender right away!

MARCY: Oh no. I just called him, but he won’t answer. I’ll leave him a message. Any chance we’ll get this loan signed in the meantime?

Mr. Jennings: Not on your life! I’m not signing anything until I hear from my Lender.

Poor Marcy ruined yet another loan through lack of training. Little did she know that the 1003 is notoriously riddled with errors, and that the information in that document is not binding for the loan. It is just backup misinformation as the case may be. It is so common and inconsequential for the 1003 to have endless information that is just wrong that you don’t even need to talk to the Lender about it most of the time. SPOILER ALERT: The question of whether or not you should cross out wrong information in this particular document will be addressed in a later chapter.

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Point (8) The 1003 Uniform Residential Loan Application

This form can be irritating because it often contains incorrect information about how old people are, where they work, how much they are borrowing, etc. Some borrowers insist on making changes to the 1003 because they are offended that the lender, for example, believes that they were born on 1-01-95 and have 3 months experience at their job when they are sixty years old and have 20 years experience. However: the information on the 1003 is not final.

Please note that often times this document must be initialed, but the location of the required initials can vary depending on the format. Additionally, there is often a blank page in this document which some people like to cross out.

For final numbers, see the Note, Deed of Trust, Truth in Lending (TIL) and Settlement Statement. Loan amounts are often misquoted by several thousand dollars in the 1003. Refer them to one of the “Final” documents like the note if they are concerned. . If the borrower remains upset, just have them write down each mistake on a piece of paper and have them talk to the lender on the following day.

Backdating. Sometimes the 1003 is backdated or the lender will leave instructions not to date it at all. Why? Because the borrower, most likely, has submitted a more user-friendly form to the borrower, which contains the same information that the 1003 does. At a closing you are often pretending that you are signing the 1003 when the borrower filled out the user-friendly application several weeks prior to the signing. As a Notary, just don’t backdate Notary documents. But don’t worry, this one is not a Notary document, and you aren’t backdating, the borrower is.

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Point (9) Compliance Agreement Errors and Omissions

There are various names for variations on this document which include:

Compliance Agreements, Errors & Omissions, and the Correction Agreement Limited Power of Attorney.
These documents all deal with the same issue. Some loan packages will have a Compliance Agreement and a Correction Agreement. There are many variations to these documents, but they have universal purpose: Mistakes happen on documents all the time, and the lender needs to make sure that they get fixed faster than a celebrity’s nose. These documents allow them to make clerical corrections, basic changes, to the loan package. Please note that the difference between the various types of Compliance Agreement and the Correction Agreement Limited Power of Attorney is that the Compliance Agreement requires the borrower to “cooperate” when clerical changes need to be made while the Correction Agreement Power of Attorney allows the lender to make the changes on their own.

The Compliance Agreement
The Compliance Agreement states that the borrower will cooperate in the correcting of information if the situation arises. “The errors and omissions” is sometimes a phrase that comes in the beginning of the document like Errors and Omissions / Compliance Agreement. An omission is a piece of information that someone has left out of the document.

The Correction Agreement Limited Power of Attorney
This document makes some borrowers worry. This document transfers power to the lender to make changes to their loan documents. It is only to correct clerical and typographical errors, like misspellings and other simple errors. It doesn’t affect the numbers or terms in the loan at all. Make sure to comfort the borrowers with a similar explanation if they are alarmed. They are not really signing their life away.

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You might also like:

30 Point Course Table of Contents
http://blog.123notary.com/?cat=3442

30 Point Course (10) The Signature Affidavit
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14356

Notarizing a compliance agreement (discussion)
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3913

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November 15, 2013

Common Mistakes with: 1003, Crossing out, RTC, TIL & APR

The problem with the signing agent industry is that education is simply not taken seriously. Newer signing agents will take a certification course somewhere, pass by the skin of their teeth, and then say, “I’m done learning”. The effect is that their brain turns off, and there is no more curiousity to learn or thirst for knowledge.

123notary offers a lot of information in the blog which is free, not to mention a plethora of signing courses and new testing systems that are currently being experimented with. Please take advantage of the information that is out there for best results.

Here are some common mistakes that are really dumb that newer signing agents do.

(1) Call the lender about the 1003
The 1003 is always wrong. It is not a final document by the way. The natural order of documents in terms of the finality of information starts with the 1003 which is an application. This application is typed up by minimum wage workers who systematically make mistakes, and the lenders as a group seem to think it is okay to make mistakes on loan documents for loans of half a million dollars. First of all it is NOT okay, secondly it upsets borrowers, and thirdly, it leaves signing agents in a perceived quandary. They think they need to call the lender if information in this document is wrong. This is the one document you can do cross outs on. It doesn’t matter. The next version of information about names and numbers would be the Good Faith Estimate. It is once again a preliminary document and just an estimate. The final document with numbers is the HUD-1 Settlement Statement. If there is an error here — then it is time to call the lender and perhaps even redraw the documents or just cancel the entire loan process

(2) Just cross out and initial
Many lenders have low standards. We live in a world where standards are pathetically low. Just because a handful, or more than a handful of the lenders you work with have low standards doesn’t mean that you should. There exists a concept called “Best Practices”, and that concept involves not making a mess unless you really are compelled to. If names are wrong on documents AND THE LENDER IS NOT AVAILABLE (which is the norm), you can initial under the last few letters of the last name. This is clean, and the processor can cross-out after the fact or do whatever they like. YOU are not compelled to cross out. Just leave a voice mail for the lender to let them know what you did and why. If there are errors on the notary certificates, once again crossing things out is unprofessional and messy. Keep in mind these are LEGAL documents and making a mess on a legally binding document seems very questionable at best. It is cleaner to get a loose acknowledgment, staple it and start fresh without the cross outs. So, when do you need to cross things out? On the right to cancel if you need to change dates, and there is no borrower copy with the dates left blank — THEN, and only then in my experience are you compelled to cross out the old date and write in a new date and have the borrowers initial

(3) RTC
Guess what. The day of the signing is NOT included in the (3) days to rescind. Many newer notaries don’t know this. The reach for their rescission calendar because they can not think on their own. Learn to calculate, learn to count, and learn to think. Learn when the Federal holidays happen and learn to calculate rescission dates when a signing happens right before a Federal holiday.

(4) TIL
Many signers think that there is detailed information about the prepayment penalty on the TIL. Wrong. The TIL states that you will, won’t, or might have a prepayment penalty. That is not what I consider detailed, that is merely a tidbit of information.

(5) APR
Few if any newer signing agents, or even experienced signing agents can discuss the APR and sound professional doing so. Learn and memorize a professional sounding definition of this figure so that when asked, you will be able to answer FLUENTLY, even in your sleep.

You might also like:

How do you explain the APR to a non-borrowing spouse?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4455

Minimum competency guide discusses RTC, APR, Journals & more
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4337

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October 10, 2019

Stand up routine at a signing

Filed under: Humorous Posts — admin @ 11:23 pm

It started out being just a normal signing. But, the Notary was no ordinary Notary.

NOTARY: Hi, my name is Charles and I will be your signing agent this evening. If you have any questions during the signing process, please feel free to address those to me.

BORROWER: Sounds like a deal, Charles. We’ll conduct the signing in the dining room.

NOTARY: Great.

BORROWER: Would you like to sit down?

NOTARY: Oh, you see, my style of signings is more of a stand up signing.

BORROWER: Oh, yeah, I read in your reviews that you are a stand up guy. Now, I think I know what they meant.

NOTARY: Good one. I didn’t know my reviews said that. I thought it said that I showed up on time;

BORROWER: That was only for one signing, the one where you set your clocks back an hour in November. No wonder you were on time for the first time in your life.

NOTARY: That was low, but it works. Anyway. Let’s begin with the Deed of Trust. We need to initial each page.

BORROWER: Have you done this before, or do you consider this to be improv?

NOTARY: I did my routine once, but on a reverse mortgage, so I have to turn my jokes around for this type of signing.

BORROWER: Do you need to go back into the driveway and turn your car around too?

NOTARY: Not until the signing is over.

BORROWER: Good one! Okay, look. This is my initial initial.

NOTARY: Hey, not fair, you are funnier than me. Oh look, your APR is 6.2% — what a joke!

BORROWER: Uh oh, I could have you reported for kibbitzing on my loan. No commentary aloud — allowed.

NOTARY: Did you just make a word play? You are right, I have no place commenting on your loan, especially not satirically.

BORROWER: I didn’t shop around for this.

NOTARY: It’s okay. The 30 years you are paying 6.2% instead of 6.1% will probably only cost you $40,000 and I’m sure the ten hours you saved by not shopping around is worth more than $40,000, right?

BORROWER: Grumble. You are so fired, but thanks.

NOTARY : On the other hand, rates just went up, so you probably lost your lock, and the financial institution you borrowed from is one of the best and gives competitive rates, so you did okay. I just said what I said in jest.

BORROWER: Hey, you just made a word play with the just and the jest. Was that a soliloquy?

NOTARY: No, you are just being silly-oquy. Now, let’s look at the HUD or the Closing Disclosure. Hmm, it says the Notary fee is $300. Guess how much of that I get?

BORROWER: Umm, the whole thing?

NOTARY: You missed your calling in life — you should have been a comedian. No, I get $60 which covers my gas, printing, other auto expenses, and a happy meal.

BORROWER: Reminds me of the time I went on a rick-shaw ride in India. The guy wanted 70 rupees and I offered him 60. He said, “Hey buddy, the price if imported whiskey is not going down — 70, no discounts.”

NOTARY: How comforting. That reminds me of the Arabian signer I had who told me all about his harem. He had four Saudi girls, two African girls, but wanted a blonde. So, he went to all types of trouble to coerce a blonde to live with him in his palace. He finally got a girl named Christina to be part of his harem. He said, “Once I had a blonde blue eyed lady as part of my harem — Christina. She always used to talk back to me… I found it so (pause) refreshing. After three months I had to send her back to the states. I will never forget my little Christina.”

BORROWER: You know how it is for people in third world countries. I think there is an expression about white girls (or guys) — Once you’ve had vanilla, you’ll love like a chinchilla, sipping sarsparilla, on a beach on the coast of Manila.

NOTARY: That must be a come back to — once you’ve had black, ain’t no turning back.

BORROWER: Something like that, although yours is more imaginative especially with the chinchilla. Do they have chinchillas in the Philippines?

NOTARY: Not sure, I think they are cute little creatures who live in the Andes. Okay, now to the Right to Rescind. Forgive me father, for I have rescinded.

BORROWER: Oh, that’s an old one. I’ve heard that many times from all of the past Notaries I’ve met.

NOTARY: I know, sounds like something they would say on late night television on Craig Ferguson’s show. Okay, you can cancel by email, fax, or in writing.

BORROWER: I don’t have a fax.

NOTARY: Well then better make sure you really want this loan!

BORROWER: I think I want it. But, I do have email.

NOTARY: Better print out the email and the send date so you have proof that you sent it. You know how these banks are.

BORROWER: Okay, I signed here. Are you going to acknowledge my signature.

NOTARY: No, you are.

BORROWER: So, let me get this straight. I acknowledge my own signature, and then you are the one who gets paid.

NOTARY: As I said before — you’re in the wrong profession.

BORROWER: I’m beginning to think you are right.

NOTARY: Now, on to the signature affidavit. You have to swear that you signed it.

BORROWER: Okay, (raising his right hand) I swear.

NOTARY: But, you haven’t signed it yet.

BORROWER: Oh yeah.

NOTARY: Thank God you’re not a Notary, missing a signature like that — otherwise you’d really be in the wrong profession! That’s not only careless what you did, but illegal — 5 years.

BORROWER: Five years for a little joke?

NOTARY: That was under Oath with a public official — me.

BORROWER: Good God, I’ll stick to jokes about the APR from now on. Did you hear about the APR that wanted to go onto the next stage in life? He became a BPR.

NOTARY: Bad one. Boo. I got one. How do you define the APR to a non-borrowing spouse?

BORROWER: You mention it deducts many of the fees and closing costs before doing the calculation? That’s not funny.

NOTARY: It is with your loan. Have you seen the appraisal fee — that’s insane!

BORROWER: You’re fired… again. Except I can’t fire you because you have something on me — that damn Oath I took. My pre-signature Oath.

NOTARY: Those pre-signature Oaths will get you every time. I call them pre-sigs. Happens all the time. Borrowers will swear to anything, they think it’s cool.

BORROWER: Now to do the Jurat. You need to watch me sign in your presence for one of these according to what I read in Jeremy’s course. Are you watching? I’m signing now, keep looking…. I saw you look away… Keep looking.

NOTARY: Are you even watching what you are signing, or are you just watching me?

BORROWER: Oh, you are … what a scribble. I signed that? I should have been paying attention.

NOTARY: Correction, you should have been witnessing your own signature instead of trying to witness me witnessing your signature.

BORROWER: Once again, I’m in the wrong profession, but thank God I’m not a Notary.

NOTARY: Exactly. Jokes aside — yes! Okay.. got one. What did the Notary say to the borrower?

BORROWER: Umm. Sign here?

NOTARY: No, he said, “Sign exactly as your name appears on title.”

BORROWER: That sounds about right, but isn’t funny. What if the borrower is irate about their APR?

NOTARY: That’s more along the lines of where you get to the punch line. Or getting thrown down a flight of stairs.

BORROWER: Ouch. Did that really happen?

NOTARY: It’s all documented in Jeremy’s blog — real story, and that’s no joke. Now let’s look at the 1003.

BORROWER: Page three says, “This page intentionally left blank.” sounds like a Seinfeld situation. It’s more like a joke than a real loan document.

NOTARY: That’s the irony. It looks like a joke, but it actually isn’t a joke.

BORROWER: That’s kind of like most of your jokes in reverse. They sound like jokes, but they aren’t funny.

NOTARY: You laughed, so they are funny, at least to you.

BORROWER: You got me on that one just like my Lender got me on the APR.

NOTARY: Now it is time to do journal thumbprints. I need three thumbprints, one here, one here, and one here — one for each entry.

BORROWER: Here you go.

NOTARY: So, how would you rate the signing overall — jokes aside?

BORROWER: I would give it three thumbs, but not three thumbs up. Three thumbs horizontally.

NOTARY: Not sure if that constitutes an official rating, but it will have to do.

You might also like:

Index of best comedy posts from 2015
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20295

The Mayan rescission calendar
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15096

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September 5, 2019

Would you accept a notary signing without a confirmation?

Filed under: Business Tips,Signing Tips — admin @ 10:59 pm

One Notary on NR asks the crowd if they would accept a signing without a confirmation? The fact is that without a confirmation, you don’t know what you are getting paid. On the other hand, the notary payment information might be on the HUD or 1003 or other document. That leads me to another point.

If the notary doesn’t get paid after the job is complete, but the fees are documented on the HUD, does that constitute Mortgage fraud since they cheated you based on what was typed in a formal Mortgage document? Hmmm. But, I digress.

Even if there is a confirmation, the actual confirmation doesn’t guarantee you will get paid. However, it has the names and the address, loan number and other pertinent information.

Back in my day (boy am I sounding old) I used to have a lady who would just ship me documents and I would schedule them on my own. The problem is that those would arrive as a surprise and I had no idea they were coming. I guess she trusted me. Maybe she was busy. I got them signed fast and they paid okay.

As a general rule it is better and more professional to have a confirmation. However, the bigger issue is to trust the company you are working for. And trust is a result of keeping very good records on everyone you work for especially issues such as: Do they pay on time, do they jerk you around, do they lie, and do their incidents of cancellations compared to completed jobs (ratio). That way you can compare the various companies and see which ones are schmucks!

If it is a new company hiring you, I would be more adamant about formalities. But, with a company you trust it is less critical. On the other hand when someone asks you to visit them at a hospital for a signing, they do not give a written confirmation, but you would still go out, correct?

You might also like:

Confirming the Signing
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19976

Notary Marketing 102 – Getting Paid
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19794

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August 23, 2019

More on bad boy Notaries

Filed under: Humorous Posts — admin @ 10:49 pm

I wrote a blog article about the difference between bad boy Notaries and “nice” Notaries. It seems that “nice” Notaries are basically not nice at all, but a bunch of losers who want to attain other’s positive opinion and never assert themselves. The intrinsic meaning of “nice” means that you care for others which is very different from caring about how others think of you which is selfish in a lame sort of a way.

Here are some more things a bad boy Notary could do.

1. The “nice” guy Notary arrives in his Toyota Corolla or Honda, parks on the street even if he has to walk three blocks.
The bad boy Notary arrives at the signing driving a Harley. Of course, if the Harley was really noisy that would add to the bad boy appeal.

2. The ‘nice” guy Notary read copious reviews on buying the most sensible laser printer on the market, yet ends up with one that is broken half the time and works at the speed of a snail because his budget was too small. The bad boy Notary invests in a mega printer that spits out 40 pages per minute (on a bad minute) and never breaks, and also has a three year guarantee. When the bad boy Notary introduces his printer he says, and I quote, “check out this bad boy.”

3. The “nice” guy Notary neatly stacks the blank pages (if any) in the stack of loan documents. The bad boy Notary
makes spitballs out of the blank pages in the stack of loan documents, or makes paper airplanes. Japanese bad boys prefer to do origami with the blank pages and show off their Yakuza tattoos and explain the story of each tattoo. The bad boy notary could also play hang man with customers using blank pages (and even hang them if they lose.)

4. The “nice” guy Notary refuses to answer phone calls during the signing because he feels it might upset the client. The bad boy Notary realizes that he will miss his next job assignment as well as tomorrow’s job assignments if he misses phone calls, texts and emails, so he is watching them like a hawk. Moreover, he is concerned that his various lady friends might call while at the signing and he definitely doesn’t want to miss their calls.

5. The “nice” guy Notary explains to the borrower why page three on the 1003 is left blank and then gets funny looks. The bad boy Notary plays tic tac toe with the customer using page three of the 1003. Sounds kind of lame, but is a way to use the page that says, “this page intentionally left blank.”

6. The “nice” guy Notary invests big bucks going to all of the NNA conferences, learns some, and makes a handful of connections that he could have made by making a few phone calls. The bad boy Notary reads Jeremy’s blog and masters the materials in the free courses, gets a few mentors by networking with Jeremy, Carmen and the other more experienced people in the industry, AND, writes sarcastic and mildly inappropriate responses to Jeremy’s blogs… (hmmm, sounds like Ken.)

7. The “nice” guy Notary let’s his customers rack up a huge bill without complaining. After all, he is afraid that they will stop sending business his way. The bad boy Notary has a credit limit with customers which he expects them to honor. If the don’t he will cancel a job at the last minute and send a text saying, “Paypal what you owe me or find another Notary, punk!” Ouch! Once again, sounds a little like Ken, except Ken asks to be paid up front as a standard business practice. I wonder if Ken wears a leather jacket? Ken also doesn’t call people punks… he calls them turkeys instead. (gobble gobble.)

8. The “nice” guy Notary wants to attracts any client he can and is afraid to lose any client. The bad boy Notary realizes that there are some people with more time than money, and others with more money and less time — he prefers the latter and charges them appropriately. If the client is not in a position to pay big and pay fast, bad boy Notary doesn’t have a use for them.

9. The “nice” guy Notary carries pepper spray in the car just in case. Better safe than sorry. The bad boy Notary carries pepper spray in the car, on his person, a gun, has a knife collection and a club. After all, you never know what is coming. Additionally, bad boy Notary always sits closest to the door not because he is afraid — he is just thinking ahead of the game just in case something happens. You always have to have an escape plan.

10. The “nice” guy Notary always brags that he knows what he is doing and talks endlessly about his “experience.” The bad boy Notary is certified five times over and keeps his cool when talking to clients. He answers questions the way they were ask, and doesn’t try to insert little self-promoting statements into the conversation when unnecessary. He figures if someone wants to know about his background in Escrow or the 10,000 loans he signed (or claims to have signed) they will ask. He plays it cool and gets the job, because he is very professional and not at all annoying contrary to the “nice” Notary who falls on his face trying to do a snow job or smoke screen.

So, there you have it. Nice guys finish last not because they are nice, but because they are lame and unprepared, not to mention stupid. Stay ahead of the game and be a bad boy Notary. But, perhaps without the Harley as that pointer is not that critical. However the Harley jacket has been scientifically proven to attract babes.

You might also like:

Are you a bad boy Notary?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22380

Ken’s take on how to be a bad boy-girl, person, Notary
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22374

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July 8, 2019

Looking Beyond the Notary Section – A case Example

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — Tags: , — admin @ 3:01 am

The classic examples
We are often told not to notarize a document that contains blank areas. Of course in reality we do exactly that in every loan package. Take a look at the 1003 (the computer version of the loan application). Lots of blank areas there and nary a single N/A. Once I was put on standby for many hours; to notarize the sale of a super tanker. The neatly bound document was thicker than the Manhattan phone book (alas no longer issued). It was about 1500 pages. I did not turn each page in a desperate attempt to find a wayward and un-entered fill in. After about 6 hours of waiting time, I notarized the (approx from recollection) two dozen affiants at the end.

What happened today
The document was an amendment to an incorporation agreement. There were to be eight affiants; even with the nicely preprinted notary sections it totaled four pages. Simple? Well there was an issue. Just prior to naming the trustees, there was the statement that the names and addresses of the trustees would follow. The names were there but not the addresses. I normally don’t read the documents, but wanted to be sure the list of names matched the notary sections. I mentioned the discrepancy to the person managing the signing. I was asked how this should be handled. I covered the I’m not a lawyer issue. They came up with three possible courses of action.

The first would be to simply write in the addresses. Second, would be to redact “and addresses”. The last was to simply ignore the matter. They choose option 2. So, when the “and addresses” had a line drawn thru (not at my suggestion), I felt compelled to raise the issue of the requirement to initial hand written changes.

The first two affiants had left the session after being properly notarized and were not present to initial the change. The other 5 initialed. Hmmmm, 8-2=5? Sorry, but one of the planned 8 could not attend and would be notarized at a later date, and also initial that redaction.

In all probability the infamous “fix it fairy” would provide initials for the two who left early; of course I did not suggest that. But, as unfair as it sounds to me; some were unhappy that I mentioned the discrepancy between the stated text and the data entered. In other words; it seemed to some that I “created a problem” – just by stating the obvious (to me) flaw.

In all probability I goofed In hindsight, as I peck away at the keyboard; away from the seven affiants who want me to resolve the “issue I created” – I shudda kept my big mouth shut. My biggest blunder was to agree on the 3 possible solutions. Perhaps the address is an absolute requirement for acceptance of the document. I truly don’t know. And, the only reason that I sailed into that blunder was by mentioning the issue.

Resolved: At least for me – if it’s not in the notary section, don’t read it, don’t comment on it. And absolutely say nothing about how they should proceed. It’s OK to mention initialing changes, but take no “legal opinion” about “course of action” when modifications are being considered.

You might also like:

Index of posts about Notary certificates
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20268

A guide to notarizing documents with blanks or multiple signatures
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20252

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May 18, 2019

Don’t hate the portal — hate the game

Filed under: Signing Company Gossip — Tags: — admin @ 11:06 am

A notary on our blog posted a comment calling SnapDocs, “SnapCrap” because the job offers were not worth taking. But, SnapDocs is not responsible for the bad offers, they just provide a super-efficient portal. Don’t hate the portal — hate the game. If the staff at SnapDocs could talk to that Notary, they would call her a “Portal-hater.” And just because you got played, doesn’t make the portal bad.

There are other Notaries on SnapDocs that always get their desired fee. I’m not sure how that is humanly, logistically, or mathematically possible, but I have heard this before. Maybe they live in an area where the buyers are hard up. So, the bottom line is, just because one medium of advertising doesn’t work for you, doesn’t make it inherently bad.

You might also like:

Compilation of posts about SnapDocs
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21531

Snapdocs – are the jobs just too far away?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21003

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March 24, 2019

So the Mobile Notary Well has gone Dry

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — Tags: , — admin @ 2:51 am

I usually don’t date my scribbles. Rather, I try to write what I perceive to be “eternal” truths. Wow, that sounded pompous; even for me. Well today is March 11, 2019, and the calls are down. Not “down and out”, but significantly lower than a few months ago. I don’t know or care about your political leaning; and I’m certainly not going to share mine. Though it probably would result in some interesting comments!

What to do when the well has gone dry? Basically there are only two real options. Ya dig another well or move on to where water is plentiful. If you can think of a practical and creative third alternative please enter some constructive and informative criticism of my analysis.

Dig another Well

Very few of us are likely able to provide “revenue for a family” from mobile notary revenue. I’m not talking about the “higher ups” who get a slice of many pies. I’m referring to the “rank and file”, the troops in the field who actually stamp, emboss, administer the oath and sign. We are legions of “side gig” entrepreneurs eking out a modest supplemental income. I suspect many of us are retired and use the signing fee for a modest night out. Probably a goodly number are youth who eagerly expend major effort, using their endless energy for usually small rewards.

There are many ways to dig that supplementary well. You can knock yourself out distributing business cards and seek the direct calls. Some will take the gamble and pay highly per click. Many will up their visibility by seeking better placement on notary directories. But, as I see it; these strategies, while valid; are chasing the limited demand. Being different, or more accurately, doing different IS digging another well.

Most mobile notaries run their business the same way; no matter what. I have had emails that state “I enjoy processing loan packages and don’t want to do anything else”. OK, you have chosen to starve, certainly in the current notary signing agent environment. Diversify is the word. You have to use your notary standing to offer to do many things. Learn to do fingerprinting, to process Apostilles, Letters of Protest, obtaining birth, death, marriage, divorce and how to work with educational documents. There are many other “authorities” granted to you by your status as a notary. The more you know how to do, the greater your chances someone will hire you.

Move on to the Water

Your status as a notary is an “edge” you have making you more desirable in many functions. Of course you should still market yourself as a mobile notary – great extra income when it fits into your schedule. But, quite frankly it’s not a gold mine currently. That may change – but probably not soon. So, take a real job; one where your notary skills can be an advantage. Use some of the “real job” revenue to maintain your current advertising and directory listings. I can picture some rural lawn signs: “Notary Public and lawnmower blade sharpening”. IM(not so)HO probably the worst thing you can do is chase the 35 dollar edocs. Do the math; there is virtually no profit. Face the reality, be flexible, ADD a few additional skills; notary skills – of course; but don’t limit yourself to solely notary income. When you dig that new well you just might strike oil!

You might also like:

Snapdocs — are the jobs just too far away?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21003

The art of the decline to new jobs
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15783

Will the next election help our Notary industry?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22267

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October 16, 2018

A guide to notarizing documents with blanks or multiple signatures

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 1:04 am

Don’t notarize documents with blanks!!!
That’s the end to the guide!

Dealing with Blanks
However, the main thing to understand is that as a Notary, you have many responsibilities. You have to identify people, keep a journal, staple things together, give Oaths, fill out certificates. You are so busy, that you might not have time to scan a document for blanks. But, you need to scan every single page.

If you spot a blank, you can put a diagonal or horizontal line through it. The main thing is to make sure that no new information is added to the document after the notarization.

You can also refuse to notarize and make the signer or document custodian complete the document before submitting it to the Notary.

Notarizing Individual Pages (or not)
Additionally you cannot notarize particular pages of a document separate from the document. Sometimes a particular page needs to be fixed or changed in a document and you might get a request to notarize just that page. You simply notarize the entire document as a whole.

Multiple Signatures
However, sometimes you get a document such as a health directive which has multiple notarizations within a very long document. I have seen health directives or living wills with fifty or more pages. Sometimes at a notarization you are notarizing signatures in the middle of the document as well as at the end of the document when the certificate is at the end of the document. I have also seen cases where there are multiple signatures in the middle of a document and a certificate in the middle of the document. This is confusing. Affidavit of Support forms have Jurats in the middle of the form too, and not enough room for your stamp (dumb government workers.)

The 1003 is a great example of a document with an entire page intentionally left blank. But, that is a signed document, not a notarized document.

The main point of this quick article is to remind you that you have to scan documents for blanks.

You might also like:

Cross out and initial, or use a fresh form?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19933

Affirmations – pleasing the politically correct while offending all others
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19606

Five things a Notary must do
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19583

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