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January 30, 2018

The one Notary who used an embosser was the one notary that…

Filed under: Technical & Legal — Tags: , , , — admin @ 11:06 am

A week ago was the first time I ever talked to a Notary who used a secondary embossed seal. Notaries are required to use an ink seal for notarizations. However, many states will allow for a secondary non-inked embosser seal that leaves a raised impression in the paper you notarize.

The raised impression cannot be photocopied.
The raised impression is not easy to forge
The raised impression can go on each page of every document you notarized.

The purpose of the embosser is to deter people who want to swap pages in a document after it has been notarized which is tampering and illegal. Some Notaries emboss several pages all together, while other Notaries emboss pages one by one. There is always a danger the document custodian could swap pages with another document you notarized so it might make sense to emboss a different part of the page each time you emboss. Not sure how to coordinate that. Would you emboss on the left of the page on Mondays or use a random way to figure out which part of the page to emboss.

The irony is that someone did swap a page on a Deed embossed by this Notary. One of the people in the transaction contacted an Attorney since the dollar amount on his copy was different. The Notary had to appear in court, however, since the swapped page was not embossed, the lack of embossing was another layer of evidence used to nail the culprit two or more times over.

The one Notary in the East Coast who uses an embosser to deter page swapping was the one Notary that page swapping happened to in my experience talking to tens of thousands of Notaries. How ironic. I never would have guessed. I guess the Notaries who aim to catch frauds are the ones who karmically do. Another Notary in California routinely catches identity thieves by handing over thumbprint to the FBI. I guess she is tuned in to catching really really bad guys too.

Maybe one day you will catch a bad guy, but it won’t happen unless you take precautions such as keeping a good journal with thumbprints, full names of documents, document dates, other info about the documents, use an embosser, and the list goes on.

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August 26, 2015

Do you use a Notary embosser?

Filed under: Technical & Legal — Tags: , , — admin @ 11:07 am

I read a discussion on Linked In about using an embosser for Notary work. I realize that I used to write about this a lot long time ago. Perhaps it has been since 2010 or 2011 since I have written about using an embosser. Here is what you need to know.

(1) Each state has its own rules about using seals and embossers. Some states don’t even require using a Notary Seal. I personally feel that it is not professional for a notary not to use a Seal and a Journal for all transactions regardless of what their state’s standards are. I have not heard of a state prohibiting the use of seals and or journals, although many make it optional. If you need to query a critical record for a Deed for a million dollar property, that will be impossible if you don’t keep a sequential journal!

Some states allow the use of a secondary non-inked embosser. Ask your state notary division if your state allows this. California allowed the use of an inked seal, and supplemental use of a non-inked embosser when I was a California Notary Public. As a general rule, if you are allowed to use an embosser as a primary seal, it must be inked. However, I recommend using it as a secondary seal because it doesn’t fit in small places, the text is round and hence harder to read, etc.

(2) Embossers help to deter fraud.
The correct use of an embosser as a secondary notary seal is to emboss each page of every document you notarize. That way frauds will think twice about switching pages after the fact which is a common crime.

(3) Embossers help to identify fraud
If someone is stupid and decides to commit fraud by Xeroxing a notarized document, the embosser’s three dimensional raised impression will not show up in the photocopy. Additionally, if a page is swapped, you can easily identify that page by its lack of an embossed impression

(4) Embossers don’t deter fraud unless you use them on every page of every document you notarize. If you get an embosser later in your career, make a notation in your journal of the date when you started using it, and keep notes in subsequent journals of when you started using it. The notes go in the COVER of the journal where you can’t miss it. That way, if any of your notarizations are investigated, you will have easy to query records of when you were using an embosser and when you weren’t. And remember, if you only use it on some documents, if a fraud is committed, you won’t remember if you used your embosser or not, so use it on every document and on all pages, no matter how many pages.

(5) Some people like to put the embosser through all the pages of a document all at once at a particular part of the document. This technique would make it obvious if someone used a forged embosser after the fact. The location and nature of the impression of the embosser would be different and lighter on each page that it went through. I didn’t use this technique because the impression would not be legible if it went through more than several pages. I did each page separately. Some notaries even put the embosser at the edge of the paperwork so only half of the embosser’s seal goes through the paper and the other half goes through air.

(6) The NNA and other notary supply companies can help you purchase an embosser. They cost around $30 when I was a Notary. They might be more now. You might need a letter of authorization from your state notary division to purchase one. Good luck!

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September 8, 2019

The Notary Pride Parade in West Hollywood

Filed under: Humorous Posts — admin @ 11:01 pm

We are having a Gay pride parade or event in West Hollywood. Lots of people were practically naked and the clubs were booked. You cannot drive through that area without huge traffic problems. A waiter asked if I was going and I said, “Hell no!” I don’t want to be molested. Gay people in this area tend to reach out and touch someone. Why can’t hot women be the same way? If we only lived in an ideal world.

But, I think that Notaries should have a Notary pride parade. Except the Notaries should not get naked please. Maybe if you are 20 years old and hot, but not the over 50 crowd please.

There could be a Notary float with a huge notary seal on it — inflatable.
Another float could have signatures hanging on it and off it.
A third float could have an embosser.
Other floats could have documents or certificates.

Notaries could dress up as notary seals or documents or signatures. It would be like Halloween — notary style.

Good God this sounds scary. I think I like it though. I just hope none of the signatures in the parade are false otherwise it would be a falsified parade. What do you guys think?

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September 3, 2019

Should you include Kleenex in your notary bag?

Filed under: Humorous Posts — admin @ 10:57 pm

One Notary on NR had a signer who burst into tears and left the room. I guess she didn’t like the terms of her loan. I have never had that happen thank God although I had some moments where borrowers were not filled in properly and had lots of last minute questions.

If someone starts crying, you will look a lot more professional if you have a box of Kleenex on your person. I guess it might not fit in your bag unless you have the Kleenex travel pack for air travel. But, you will look more professional if you have it even if you don’t need it.

You could do show and tell to impress the borrowers. “Check out my notary bag contents – I have a stamp, embosser, law primer, ack forms, jurats, permission to travel, copy certification, pens, stapler, oh, and don’t forget — Kleenex, just in case the borrower doesn’t like the terms of their loan.” How professional!

I heard in the future there will be a new app to get therapy from Siri.

NOTARY: Siri, the borrower doesn’t like the terms of their loan.

SIRI: How does that make them feel?

NOTARY: Bad

SIRI: What was their relationship like with their mother?

NOTARY: Bad

SIRI: It looks like the problem lies within and not with the loan documents.

NOTARY: Thanks Siri, I think you are in the wrong line of work. You should be a cheesy guru instead of an app. Maybe you can call your service iGuru. Whatever they ask, tell them — the problem is coming from within. You’ll have thousands or Hindus following you overnight. Canned answers work with certain crowds.

BORROWER: Sob. Yes, it is true. The documents are not the problem at all.

NOTARY: Does this mean you will keep the loan?

BORROWER: Of course not dummy. The Lender is trying to rip me off? Boo hoo hoo.

SIRI: Time to offer them one of those Kleenexes you have in your Notary bag.

NOTARY: Oh yeah. Have a Kleenex.

BORROWER: Thanks, you are one of the most considerate Notaries I’ve ever had. Will you marry me?

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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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April 16, 2019

Notary small talk at bars

Filed under: Humorous Posts — admin @ 10:48 am

FRANK: So, do you sign here often?

SAMANTHA: Actually, I just came for a Manhattan.

FRANK: Oh, shouldn’t that be called New York County in the venue?

SAMANTHA: Only if you actually drink it in Manhattan. We’re in New Jersey.

FRANK: Oh yeah. I should have known with all of this big hair. Hey, bartender, I’ll have the ink with lime … neat.

BARTENDER: Can I see some ID?

FRANK: Hey, I’m a Notary… I ID you, not the other way around.

BARTENDER: How about we ID each other. Deal?

FRANK: I can’t live without my lime. Hey, how come there’s lyme’s disease but no other citrus diseases.

SAMANTHA: Yeah! Hey I have a question. If a bad car is a lemon, what do you call a bad lemon.

BARTENDER: I call it a car. Just kidding. Would you like wedge of a bad lemon?

FRANK: I just tried the lemon sorbetto in Beverly Hills. Excellent stuff. But, they mix the lime with basil.

SAMANTHA: I bet Thai people would like that. Lime and basil are their favorite flavors. So, bartender. Do you have a signature drink? Can I notarize the signature in the drink?

BARTENDER: I’ll never work in a Notary bar again. All people do is complain about 123notary and Snapdocs, then they crack these lame jokes faster than the ice defrosting on my counter cracks.

FRANK: Well we have a lot to complain about. We’re either being low-balled, or quizzed. I’m not sure which is worse. At least the low-ballers don’t quiz us because they want to keep us dumb.

SAMANTHA: Yup, it’s the dumbing down of American Notaries. If people would just study from 123notary’s free blog courses they would be smarting up. Just what the government doesn’t want. Because then we will see through all of their veneer.

FRANK: Are you defending this testing that is going on? I know everything I need to know about Notary work.

BARTENDER: Didn’t you get a 35% on Jeremy’s test.

FRANK: Well… um.. yeah, but the test wasn’t fair. Some of his questions were opinionated. Like the one about confirming a signing. Who does he think he is to recommend that I have them read the name on their ID. I’m sure it will match up, right?

LISA: And if it doesn’t, you just wasted two hours. Looks like Jeremy is doing you a favor by having this course. You are always complaining about wasted gas and time, not to mention toner when a job cancels while you are on your way. If you don’t check the ID by phone you have nobody to blame but yourself if you can’t complete the signing.

SAMANTHA: Or worse, you might end up in Notary jail if you notarize him with improper ID. Three strikes you’re out. Don’t drop the embosser.

FRANK: That’s better than Notary hell where you have to use a burning seal.

BARTENDER: Speaking of Notary hell. I have a drink that’s based on the whole Notary hell theme. Not a bloody Mary, but a burning mary.

SAMANTHA: You better have one. Get used to where you are going in advance.

FRANK: Thanks a lot. Notary hell, my ass.

LISA: I heard they have good proctologists in Notary hell, speaking of your ass.

FRANK: At least they probably don’t have mites there because it is a dry heat. If I waste another two hours driving without getting paid, I might just break down and read Jeremy’s course even though it is arbitrary and unfair.

SAMANTHA: Well, it’s not state specific any more, not even to California. So that’s one thing to be thankful about — unless you live in California. And by the way Frank, if you keep getting hammered, you’ll have to stay at the Notary Marriott down the street. Drinking and driving is almost as bad as drinking and signing.

FRANK: Tell me about it.

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February 26, 2019

Notary Public Seal

Most states require a Notary Public to have a Notary Seal or Notary Stamp. This is normally a rectangular shaped seal.

The seal should have the Notary’s name, commission number, expiration date, county, and state. It would also have some type of border such as a straight line, milled, or serrated. The seal should be used with ink. Some states allow for a secondary non-inked embosser that leaves a raised impression on pieces of paper for security reasons as these cannot be fraudulently photocopied.

Your notary seal’s impression should not be smudgy or the document could be rejected by the county recorder’s office. Please be sure to re-ink your seal as necessary so your notary seal’s (notary stamp’s) impression does not get too light.

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February 20, 2019

Notarizing Multi-Page Documents

Should a Notary notarize every page of a document? How can a Notary or signer safeguard themselves from someone swapping pages in a document after the notarization has taken place? You need answers! Here they are!

1. A Notary Public notarizes signatures on documents, not pages on documents. A particular page or pages might have notary certificates within a document. Or, a certificate could be stapled to the back of a document. Ideally that certificate should identify the corresponding document. If you have a ten page document, there will most likely only be one, and possibly two pages with notary wording.

2. A prudent Notary Public carries what is called an inkless embosser that leaves a raised seal impression. This is in ADDITION to having the legally required inked seal that is used with blank ink. The embosser can be used to emboss every single page in a notarized document. I did exactly that on everything I notarized even if there were 100 pages. I did this for safety reasons. I did not want people to get away with switching pages after the fact and dragging me into court as a result of someone else not liking the idea that a page was swapped.

3. If a signer swaps a page from a notarized document, and that page was embossed, they can still swap the page. However, it will not be legal, and it will be very obvious to the Notary Public if investigated that the new page was not part of the original notarization as the notary embosses all pages — if the notary indeed was the type of notary who embossed all pages — like me!

4. Some people initial all pages. Initialing is a type of precaution. But, initials can be forged easily, and it is sometimes not easy to tell if they were forged.

5. If a document had a page swapped, the staple and staple area in the pages might show evidence of tampering. The degree of evidence depends on how skillful the fraud was at swapping pages. Luckly in my career of 6000 Notary appointments I did not have this issue.

6. If you need to add a page to an already notarized document. What can you do? You have to notarize the entire document all over again. I had that happen. What a pain. The signer wasn’t happy. Sorry — just following the law!

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November 25, 2018

Can a Notary notarize a photograph?

Can you notarize a photograph?
Can a notary public notarize a photo?

You can not notarize a photograph. If you have a document that pertains to a particular photograph, you can staple the photo to the document and notarize the signature on the document. Something that not all people understand is that a Notary’s job is to administer oaths and notarize signatures… signatures that are on documents. A Notary cannot notarize a signature on a document unless there is notary verbiage acceptable to the state wherever the notarization is taking place.

Normally notaries perform Acknowledgments or Jurats when notarizing a signature. An Acknowledgment requires the signer to acknowledge having signed the instrument while a Jurat requires the signer to sign and swear to the truthfulness of the document, and do both actions in the physical presence of the Notary Public at the time of the notarization.

You could even put an embosser halfway through the photo with the other half going through the document as its attached to the document if you want to be a fancy and thorough Notary.

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September 29, 2018

Now is the Right Time to become a Notary / Signing Agent

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — admin @ 11:19 am

Now is the Right Time to become a Notary / Signing Agent

Sounds strange? You think the business is dying? Sure, at the moment things are slow. But, I forecast a booming future for the industry. There are many positive signs:

Baby Boomers Getting Out

The “old guard” of “seasoned” experts, born in the 40s are collecting Social Security or looking at the daisies from the root end. It’s time for the next generation. No doubt about it. They (and I) are “slowing down” and less willing to take on the pressure and rush aspects required to earn top fees. They disappear slowly, as their cells phones are unanswered; clients look for new solutions.

Cost of Entry is getting Lower

The tool set required by the modern Notary / Signing Agent is lower than in the past. Cell costs are very low with unlimited plans common. Sure, very fancy phones are super costly; but they are not necessary. As long as it can make and receive voice, text and email – it’s good enough. The cost of printers has fallen dramatically, HP Laserjet is still the benchmark, mine is a totally reconditioned 4350n (network “Ethernet” or WiFi) with duplexer for under $500. A separate FAX machine is unnecessary as Efax service for about ten bucks a month allows a PDF to be “sent as FAX” from any internet connected PC.

The Economy is on the Rise

I’m not going into a political discussion. But it’s hard to argue that personal wealth is not on the rise. This leads to more home ownership and other notary service needs. The “well rounded” notary; comfortable with Edocs and a variety of personal documents that require notarization will flourish. Case in point: I have noticed a great uptick in persons obtaining passports for their children for vacation purposes. Often only one parent can submit; with the notarized signature on the application of the other parent. I am getting LOTS of these lately.

Training is Readily Available

In addition to your state “rule book” many offer advanced classes and training. This was not so easy to obtain a few decades ago. Related to training is obtaining certifications as to your skill level. These “advanced degrees” draw clients to you like a magnet. A few hours a day, two or three for a couple of weeks can really advance your skill level. The big notary sites have blogs which are rich in real how to do information. Also read the “what not to do” equally important.

It’s not “Instant” Riches

Understand that your business, like any other business will grow slowly, At first it’s just some extra pocket money for a night out. Don’t quit your day job until you have a “critical mass” of repeat clients. Don’t forget to distribute your business card widely, perhaps with a cover letter about you and your services. Carry a well stocked “kit” of supplies, forms, embossers and stamps to meet any request. Your Notary Commission can and will yield the results you want; if you are willing to put the appropriate amount of effort into becoming the most skilled in your area.

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