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October 7, 2019

How often do you do a clean up job because Notary #1 botched the signing?

Filed under: Business Tips — admin @ 11:21 pm

Most of the more experienced Notaries out there have done clean up signings. It is amazing to see what types of errors the initial Notaries made. Forgetting to have borrowers sign, forgetting to have acknowledgment wording, or forgetting to cross out the pronouns. Sometimes it is missing initials, or missing pages. Many Notaries do not know how to date a Right to Rescind, and I find this out when I test them.

No wonder so many companies want you to fax every page to them. There are so many careless and sloppy Notaries out there. Notaries used to do better on my testing 15 years ago. Things have gone downhill and so have fees. This gives more work for people I call, “The cleaners” — sounds mafia.

What are the sloppiest errors you have seen while doing a clean up job?

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August 27, 2019

Notary class where students are full of wise cracks

Filed under: Humorous Posts — admin @ 10:52 pm

TEACHER: Okay class, please turn to page four.

CLASS: Yes, teacher.

TEACHER: Now who can tell me what an embosser is?

JOHNNY: An embosser is a type of notary seal that leaves a raised impression.

TEACHER: Very good Johnny. You may sit down now.

JOHNNY: Does that raise your impression of me?

TEACHER: Yes Johnny, you are a fine young man.

TIMMY: Will he get a raise?

TEACHER: Enough out of you Timmy. No raise for you. Now, a Notary must keep a journal of Notarial acts, does any one know why?

TIMMY: Because the state makes us?

TEACHER: Yes, Timmy, but I was looking for more of an intrinsic reason.

TIMMY: Umm, because it would look more official?

TEACHER: No class, it is because you need a record of what you notarized just in case someone claims that the particular document was fraudulently notarized. Now, do we know why the State of California requires thumbprinting for recorded documents and Powers of Attorney/

FRED: Umm, so you get to hold the signer’s hand… like if she is a hot woman?

TEACHER: No, it is because an identity document can be forged but you cannot fake a thumbprint, at least I don’t think you can. So, how would you rate this class so far?

JOHNNY: Two thumbs up, but two thumbs not from the same signer as you are only supposed to use the right thumbprint in your journal unless it has been amputated.

TEACHER: Very good Johnny, that is the first intelligent and non demented thing you have said all semester. How did you acquire this knowledge?

JOHNNY: I broke down and actually did something called (pause) reading.

TEACHER: God forbid! Now how do we fill in a certificate?

TIMMY: Won’t it fill in on its own shortly after it hits puberty?

TEACHER: Only if it is a female certificate Timmy. But, good try. You need to fill in the county, name of notary, signer, date, and cross out unnecessary information in the pronoun section. But, the optional information below is also critical. You should mention the number of pages in the document, the document date, and the name of the document just in case someone wants to put that certificate and attach it to some other document.

FRED: Hmm, I think we’re on the same page here. But, I didn’t know documents had dates. Do they kiss on the first date?

TEACHER: I think that depends on — what kind of document it is.

TIMMY: I tried kissing a document and it said very loudly, and I quote — “I’m not that kind of document.”

TEACHER: Well, if you are the one trying to kiss it, I think that most documents would say the same thing.

JOHNNY: Yeah, maybe you should try to kiss a blind document, that way it would not realize what it was kissing.

TEACHER: Another intelligent point Johnny. We are really on a role now! Well, that concludes class for the day. Thanks for coming. Don’t forget to initial on your way out!

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May 16, 2019

Notary Quiz of the day

Filed under: Humorous Posts — admin @ 11:30 am

Notaries hate being tested, but love reading Notary tests on blog entries for some reason. I’ll have to ask my psychic why that is. Maybe it is because they are not on the spot with this. Here is a fun quiz of the day.

1. Notaries notarize
(a) Documents
(b) People
(c) Signatures
(d) Signatures on Documents
(e) People’s signatures on documents.

2. Initials. If you initial a change on a loan document, where should the initial go?
(a) To the right of the crossed out text
(b) To the left of the crossed out test
(c) Above the crossed out text
(d) Anywhere around the crossed out text
(e) Below the crossed out text to the right.

The processor I used to work for did not want me to cross out the text, but initial below the text and below the right end of the text. The processing dept. would do the rest according to good old Emily. I wonder how she is.

3. What is the difference between a conflict of interest, interest, financial interest, and beneficial interest? This reminds me of the joke about the Mortgage Broker who left the industry in 2008 because he lost interest.

4. A Notary was asked to notarize a document with no signature line. What should the notary do?
(a) Ask the borrower to write in a signature line.
(b) Tell the borrower that he cannot notarize the document without a signature and signature line.
(c) Write in the signature line himself.
(d) Refuse to notarize the document.
(e) Call Carmen at 123notary and ask for help.

5. A Notary does a job for an old lady at a hospital notarizing a document. The notary asked the lady if she understood the document and she said yes. Two months later all parties were in court because the lady did not understand what she had signed. What should the notary have done?
(a) Ask the lady to paraphrase the document.
(b) Tell the lady how he went to the white house to visit President Johnson and see how she reacts.
(c) Stick to jail signings — they might be criminals, but at least they are in their right mind (whatever that means.)
(d) Start a conversation about current events to do a “reality test.”

6. A Notary was asked to notarize at the peace process. The Palestinians said you can’t have peace without a process. The Israelis said you can’t have peace without security. The Notary said you can’t have a notarization without a signature. After a long discussion, the Palestinians wanted to be acknowledged twice for one signature, Since the Israelis wouldn’t acknowledge the existence of their people, at least a Notary could acknowledge their signature twice to compensate. What is wrong with this picture?

(a) The Palestinians wanted to trade one Israeli signatures they had captive for two hundred Palestinian signatures as a peace initiative.
(b) The signer is the only one who can acknowledge a signature, not a Notary.
(c) An Israeli Notary will not acknowledge a Palestinian signature until they acknowledge the State of Israel’s signature.
(d) Yes, a single signature can be acknowledged multiple times, but it is the signer who does the acknowledging.

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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.

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September 12, 2018

Redaction – the legal Eraser

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — admin @ 11:39 am

Redaction – the legal Eraser

When something needs to be changed, typically the spelling of a name; there are many wrong ways. There is only one right way.

Wrong Redactions

If you wish to destroy, as in making it generally unacceptable for most filing and legal purposes, the surest way is to plaster on the White Out. Equally bad is to simply erase the error (not so easy with LaserJet printouts) but it still can be done with a white ink eraser. There is also the time honored method of obliteration via multiple cross outs. Neater, but equally inappropriate to simply overwrite one letter with a different one. The classic example is adding a second loop to the bottom of a capital P to make it a capital B. Less neat, but still wrong is to simply write a new letter on top of the old one. There are probably other wrong ways, I have not seen them all.

Proper Redactions

Simply draw a THIN line (a Pilot Precise V5 RT pen does this well) thru the middle of the WORD (not a single letter) or phrase that is in error. Thus, “Kenneth A Ebelstein” becomes “Kenneth A Ebelstein”. Note that the thin line allows the underlying text to remain fully readable. Few can draw a thin straight line, use a credit card as a line guide. Initials (more on whose are used later) go at either end of the strikethru line or in the margin at either side of the text. Lastly write the correct value “Edelstein” as nearby as possible. It WILL look bad, you will think a discreet “overwrite” looks better. Perhaps, but that overwrite is never acceptable.

The Two Parts of a Notarized Document

Documents to be Notarized consist of only two parts. There is the document itself, almost always first. The document is followed by the Notary section. One tiny exception is the possibility of the Venue (State of xxx, County of xxx) residing at the top of the document. Even though it is “first” the Venue is always considered as part of the Notary section.

Who makes Changes Where

This is simple. Only the notary can make changes to the Notary Section (including a top most Venue). Affiants make changes as needed outside of the Notary Section. I have been told to “correct the name spelling everywhere it appears” and refuse to do so. I do not make any writing of any type outside of “my” area. Nor, do I permit others to make changes in “my” area. Any change to the body of the document should be made by someone who will be signing THAT document, and by nobody else. Thus, you MUST teach them proper redaction procedures.

Who Initials in the Notary Section

I’m sure you guessed this one. ONLY the notary. Correcting a misspelled name in the Notary Section is NOT initialed by anyone else. I have had “low IQ” persons tell me that the named person should initial a name correction in the Notary Section; sometimes they want me to ALSO initial the fix, I do not allow anyone other than me to write anything, including initials in my area.

Who Initials in the Body of the document

ONLY persons whose signature appears at the end of the document, never the Notary. Take care to check who will be signing. Often one spouse is on some documents, but not all; and that is the one needing name correction. If they are NOT signing – even though their name is in the body of the document they do NOT initial the correction.

This can lead to strange looking corrections with a split signing. The prior affiants will not be initialing changes made during the “second session” – that’s one for the attorneys to argue.

Some Parting Thoughts

Get the initials right. When I change a Venue it’s KAE as my middle initial is on my stamp. The same applies to affiants. If the signature line of the document has Jr. Sr. III or similar, those attributes follow the regular initials EG: KAE Jr. or KAE II. As the name attributes are part of the legal name, they follow into the legal initials.

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June 26, 2018

Which rules are laws, Lender practices, or best practices?

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Notary Rules or Industry Rules?

It is confusing with all the standards in the Notary business. When 123notary teaches Notary practices, we are not teaching laws, but solid practices. Many Notaries argue with us about our practices because they are not required by law. That is the whole point — we are not teaching law because we are not authorized to, and because we don’t know it. We do know solid notary practices, and teach it as you can get into trouble for not knowing your basics. However, notaries have many misconceptions about the rules of the industry. So, let me clarify.

1. You can always over sign — industry practice (not a law)
Is this a Notary law, industry practice, or what? This statement means that you can sign a document with a name that is longer than the name typed in the signature line. However, that does not make it legal to notarize that longer name unless you can prove the name with an ID. Pleasing the Lender is one aspect of being a Notary. Obeying the law is a much more important one. If you displease the Lender you get fired. If you get in trouble with the law you can end up in jail. Pick your poison.

2. The name on the ID has to match
Please keep in mind that there are four names we have to keep track of:
(a) The name on the ID
(b) The name typed on the signature section of the document.
(c) The name signed on the document
(d) The name on the acknowledgment.

In theory these names could all be different variations, but it is cleaner if they are identical. The critical points are that:

(e) The name on the Acknowledgment must be identical or matching but shorter than the name on the signature line of the document. If the signature on the document says John W Smith, you can put John Smith or John W Smith in the Acknowledgment to please the law, but the shorter name might not please the client.
(f) The name on the Acknowledgment must be provable based on the name on the ID, but does not have to be an exact match. The ID could say John W Smith and you can put John Smith in the Acknowledgment if you like.
(g) The name signed on the document can be identical or matching but longer than the name typed on the document to please most Lenders, but legally notarizing the longer signature or shorter signature is dependent on proving all of the components of their name with an ID.

3. The Lender is the boss of the Notary Public (true for signings, but not for the actual notary work)
The Lender is your boss as to the general assignment, and what happens with loan documents. They are NOT your boss about Notary issues and you should not ask them for Notary advice ever as they might have you do something illegal out of ignorance or greed. You ask your state’s notary division if you have a Notary question and perhaps the NNA hotline and that’s it. The Notary can ask the Lender their preference in how something is notarized if there is more than one legal way to do it, but you can not ask a Lender how to do your job. You are the appointed Notary, not them. If they want to do it their way, they should come over with their stamp and do it their way which hopefully is legal — but, it is their commission at stake if it is not legal. Don’t risk your commission depending on the Lender or Title for Notary advice.

4. The Notary is the boss of the Lender?
The Notary is a state appointed official who represents their state, although the state is not the entity that pays them. If there is a discussion between the Lender and the Notary as to how a Notary act is done, the Notary dictates how it should be done. If there are multiple legal ways to do something such as fixing a mistake by crossing out and initialing vs. attaching a loose certificate — then, the Notary can ask for the Lender’s preference, but not for advice. However, there are liability issues with doing cross outs and initialing. It looks like tampering and you don’t want to end up in court. So, once again, it is the Notary’s discretion as to how problems are solved when there are multiple methods to solve. You can ask the Lender what they like or you can dictate to the Lender what you are going to do. But, the Notary is the boss of Notary work. If they don’t like it, they can find another Notary. It is best if you explain the reasons why you want to do something a particular way. If your reason sounds prudent, there is a chance you might get some respect for your decision. Most Notaries don’t think issues out carefully and do not have well thought out reasons for anything they do. Read our course more and become reasonable! Your commission might depend on it.

5. Send me a loose certificate or jurat in the mail (illegal)
Acknowledgment or Jurat certificates must be stapled to the documents they are associated with. If there is one floating around, you cannot create another one until you destroy the original yourself. Some states do not allow creating new certificates for botched notarizations and require you to do the notarization all over again. Consult your notary handbook on this issue, especially in California where there are many new rules created in the last few years that I have heard about but not actually read to my satisfaction.

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April 4, 2018

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 1, 2018

Scenarios: What is the cleanest way to rectify an error on a certificate?


Notary Certificates


In this article I will address multiple points affecting fixing errors on certificates.

WHAT IS THE CLEANEST WAY TO RECTIFY AN ERROR ON A NOTARY CERTIFICATE?

Most Notaries like to cross out and initial changes in certificates. Keep in mind that these are legal documents affecting million dollar properties. Cross-outs look like tampering and there is always a small chance that your cross-out will cause a long and drawn out delay in a court case if an Attorney suggests that perhaps there was tampering. It is CLEANER to take a fresh acknowledgment form from your Notary bag, fill it out thoroughly including the additional information section with the name of the document, number of pages, etc., And then staple it on to the document.

To be prepared for this type of situation, please do the following:

1. Keep Notary certificate pads on your person
Buy Acknowledgment, Jurat, and Copy Certification forms from the NNA. These forms come in pads and fit in your notary bag or at least in your trunk. A good Notary carries these and uses them regularly.

2. Ask for preferences, not for advice
Know when to ask the Lender or Title company for their preference. Please remember that as a Notary, it is your exclusive jurisdiction to be the expert and sole authority as to how Notarizations should get done and how Notarizations do get done. However, if there are two legal ways to handle a situation such as fixing an error on a certificate (does not apply to Maryland as I have heard that you may not add a loose certificate there — look it up in the MD Notary Manual to be sure) you can ask for a preference as to which legal way the Lender prefers. But, you must not ask a Lender if it is “okay” to do something in a Notary form, but only if they have an “issue” with it.

The way you think about asking Lenders questions matters as many Notaries think of Lenders as their authority and boss. As to completing the assignment, loan documents and shipping, they are your boss. For the actual Notary procedure, the Secretary of State Notary Division (or whatever they are called in your state) is your only authority and YOU are the authority over the Lender in this regard. You have the right to say no, and they do not have the right to boss you around about Notary issues, but only to voice preferences.

3. Recording fees & issues with adding forms
If you add a loose acknowledgment to a notarized document in a loan signing, that will change the recording fee which might be recorded on the CD, Closing Statement or HUD-1. You are opening a can of worms if you do that. However, in my opinion, the integrity of the notarization trumps any recording fee issues as you are not likely to end up in court because the recording fee went up by $10 or $50, but you might end up in court if someone thinks there is tampering due to initialing and changing information on a Notary certificate.

WHAT IF THE LENDER WANTS YOU TO USE THE ORIGINAL?

Lenders are particular to the fact that they might have trouble reselling their loan if there are too many abnormalities in the Notary section such as adding certificate forms. Additionally, recording fees can go up if you add a certificate to a recorded document, and that affects the information on the CD or HUD which opens up a can of worms. However, please consider that if there are any accusations of tampering, it is you who might spend a long time in court. Adding a fresh certificate that has its additional and optional information filled out, which identifies the document clearly, eliminates most possibility of suspicion.

YOU HAVE THE WRONG STATE IN THE ACKNOWLEDGMENT
Assuming the form is acceptable in all other ways other than the state, just cross out the state, write in the new state, initial, and you are done. Do NOT let the borrower initial Notary certificate forms — that is exclusively the jurisdiction of the Notary.

WRONG COUNTIES VS. WRONG DATES OR NAMES
Having a cross-out in the county of the venue would probably not affect the nature of the contact. Whereas changing a date would affect rescission which could nullify the effectiveness of a loan if challenged in court. Crossing out a name on a certificate can really change the contractual significance of a loan document. I cannot recommend how to handle situations with any authority. However, please realize that changing a county is a small issue while crossing out and initialing a date or name on an acknowledgment for a loan document could cause havoc down the line.

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Cross out and initial or use a fresh form?
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Index of posts about Notary certificates
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Fixing certificates is a state-specific nightmarish issue
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21083

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March 31, 2018

The John & Sally Question Revisited

Filed under: Loan Signing 101 — admin @ 10:28 pm

This is a simple question that throws Notaries off that I like to teach. John and Sally’s names are inscribed in an Acknowledgment for a Deed that the Lender pre-filled out. Sally cannot make it to the signing because she works the night shift. What do you do?

Wrong Answer
Notarize the form as is. Commentary — unfortunately, that is illegal, because you cannot perform an Acknowledgment for someone who does not personally appear before the Notary Public.

Another Wrong Answer
Just cross out Sally’s name and proceed. Commentary — unfortunately, forms have wording in the boiler plate section with he/she/they, capacity(ies), signature(s), etc. If you do not make sure the standardized wording and cross outs are consistent with how many people are there and of what genders, you have created falsified information in a certificate which is a crime.

A Messy but Acceptable Answer
You can cross out Sally’s name, check the wording below and make sure it is consistent with single man and a single signature if indeed there is only one signature on the document (better check to verify.) However, this is messy. Fraud could be suspected after the fact. If you cross out a county, that does not affect the transaction in any way because the loan would still be legal (I’m guessing & assuming) if you signed it in another county of the same state. However, if there is a debate as to whether Sally was there or not, or someone used the initial to add a third name fraudulently, you the Notary are in trouble. By having initials on legal documents and forms, you are opening up a can of worms and will have only your journal as evidence of what actually happened.

A Clean and Correct Answer
The best way to rectify the John and Sally issue is to either drive to the hospital where Sally works and get her to sign before midnight. That is not always possible. But, the forms could be stamped after she signs.

Or, use a fresh Acknowledgment form and just put John’s name on it, and notarize John’s signature as is. Another Notary can deal with Sally and do what James Bond calls — Notarize another day.
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Cross out and initial, or use a fresh form?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19933

Filling in your journal before the appointment?
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The ID says John Smith.
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19953

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Who is the authority at a Notary Loan Signing?

Notary Public Authority

We often ask questions about authority to signing agents, and the results are horrifying. Most Notaries do not know who is in charge of what. So, this article will sum it up clearly.

Notary Public
A Notary Public is a state appointed state official who is paid by customers, but whose “boss” or authority is the state Notary division. Many Notaries Public seem to be confused as to who their boss is, the one paying them or the one commissioning them. The problem is further complicated by the fact that the ones paying them often pay them for more than just Notary services as travel, pick up, drop off, and supervision of non-notarized signatures and packages seem to be part of the deal if you are a Signing Agent.

The Notary is the sole authority regarding what goes in a Notary certificate such as an Acknowledgment, Jurat, etc., what goes in the journal, what is allowed or not allowed, and how a notarization should be done.

It is common that Notaries have questions during a loan signing and direct those questions to the Lender or Title representative. This is okay for Title or Lending questions, but not for Notary questions where the Notary may only turn for help to their state Notary division, official Notary handbook, or perhaps the NNA hotline.

Notaries should NOT ask the Lender for Notary advice because:
1. The Lender is probably not a Notary
2. If the Lender is a Notary they might be in a different state
3. If the Lender is a Notary and in the same state they might not be knowledgeable.
4. If the Lender is a Notary, in the same state, and knowledgeable, they might (are likely to) give you advice that would make the job go more smoothly for them, yet have tremendous liability for you.
5. You are the one appointed to the job, so even if the person you are asking for advice is a Notary, they are not the one whose commission number gets put on the certificate, and you are the one going to jail if something goes wrong. Therefor, you have to know your laws and what you can and cannot do, etc.

Who can initial and where?
Any initials on a Notary certificate are done exclusively by the Notary Public. It looks like tampering if the borrower or anyone else makes marks on a Notary certificate. The borrower may initial documents, but not the Notary certificate or Notary section in or attached to a notarized document

The Lender
The Lender is the “boss” of what happens with loan documents. If the Lender authorizes a change, initialing, cross outs, etc., on an actual loan document that is NOT in the notary section, that is up to them and they are the authority on that matter, not the Notary. The minute the issue becomes with a Notary certificate, then the authority swings over to the Notary (even if the Notary doesn’t have a clue what to do.)

The Title Officer
The appointed Title company might be a good source of information about how to handle any issues that might come up with Title documents or recorded documents. You can ask them if you have questions, but don’t let them answer Notary questions.

Issues of Preference can be asked to the Lender
Sometimes there is more than one legal way to handle a situation. If there is an error on a preprinted Acknowledgment, and your state allows a choice of crossing out & initialing vs. using a fresh Acknowledgment form, you have a choice. The Notary has the right to make that choice on his/her own and choose the option that he/she feels is more prudent or ask the Lender. However, this is a situation where the Notary can ask the Lender not for advice, but for preference. If the Lender would prefer a loose Acknowledgment stapled on to the document rather than crossing out & initialing the original form, the Notary can proceed accordingly.

The Borrower
The borrower has the right to sign, not sign, tell you where to park and more. Their preferences matter as well.

Your State
Your state Notary division decides what the laws are in your state, how they are explained or document in your official Notary handbook, etc. They are your boss, so you do whatever they say. Additionally, if you are weak on your Notary knowledge, that can lead to ending up in court as a witness, having your commission revoked, suspended or terminated. Additionally, it is possible to be convicted of a crime if you are thought to be involved in property related fraud, or if you filled out a form stating that an Oath was taken when in fact it was never taken which is a daily fraud that most Notaries engage in that is unacceptable.
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