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March 11, 2018

If you have 2 signers each signing 10 Grant Deeds

Filed under: Loan Signing 101 — Tags: , , — admin @ 11:20 am

If you have two signers each signing ten Grant Deeds, how many journal entries should you create and what should you put in the document section?

Wrong Answer
Just create one journal entry and enter both names of the signers and in the document section put ten Grant Deeds.

Another Wrong Answer
Create one journal entry per signing and put “Ten Grant Deeds” where it says name and description of document. Don’t forget to create a journal thumbprint if you want to safeguard against fake identification.

Correct Answer
Create twenty entries, that is ten per signing. Write the term Grant Deed in the document section as well as some unique identifying information about each Grant Deed such as:

Document date, address of property, APN number, name of grantor, grantee, or anything else that is unique.

Why?
If one of the Grant Deeds you notarized for a particular client ends up in court and your journal is queried, you will need to let the judge know which of your journal entries reflects the one for the particular Grant Deed in question. If you did not keep your journal straight in this respect, there could be a debate as to whether you even notarized that particular Grant Deed or if an impostor did. Your journal is not for fun, but is to safeguard you the Notary, Judges, FBI agents, your clients, and society as a whole.
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You might also like:

Notary Public 101 — Journals
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19511

Journal abbreviation keys
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19441

Do you keep a journal to please your state, a judge, the FBI, or 123notary?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19483

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March 1, 2015

Point (5) HUD (6) Occupancy (7) Deeds; The Value Menu BACKUP checked

I get paid enough to get something on the Value Menu

His name was Chester. He had been a Notary for years and he had seen it all. People liked hiring Chester, because he was on time, knowledgeable, and had quite a sense of humor. Unfortunately, a good sense of humor can be like a double edged sword. Not everyone will like your jokes. Chester was good at introducing the documents, and answering all questions.

CHESTER: Hi, my name is Chester. I’m going to be your Notary Signing Agent today. I am here to supervise the signing of these documents. If you have general questions about the documents, or what information is in which document, I am happy to answer. However, if you have specific questions pertaining to your loan, I will most likely refer those questions to your Lender.

ELLEN: Got it.

(ring-ring)

ELLEN: Hello? You want to speak to the man of the house? You must have the wrong number!

CHESTER: Let’s open the package here. Okay, this is the Deed of Trust. This document includes a property address, the amount of the loan, and ties your property as collateral for the loan. Additionally, it states the expiration date of the loan in 2045.

ELLEN: Right after the war of 2045. How convenient. I heard the war was going to end in June, and my loan expires right in July! Perfect! We’ll have two things to celibrate.

CHESTER: I didn’t know a war was scheduled.

ELLEN: Oh, that’s the new thing. Instead of going at it right away, people are so busy these days that they don’t have time for wars, unless they are scheduled at least twenty years in advance. I even have an app for that. It’s called — schedule my war. It has a D-day add-on too! Pretty cool. Looking forward to it.

CHESTER: And I thought that I was usually the funny one at signings. Now, this document is The Note. It has your payment amounts, if there is a prepayment penalty it will discuss that, and it has your Rate, and the amount of the loan.

ELLEN: My rate? My rate is by the word. Yeah. I charge by the word when I write material. But, my manager says that I should charge by the laugh. I get one rate for my initial time telling the jokes and then residuals. We do that at clubs too. Instead of a $30 cover charge, we have a laughometer strapped to each person. We charge them based on how many times they laughed and how hard they laughed. One guy had to Mortgage his house to pay his bill the last time I was on stage. Oh! Only 4.5% Cool! I won’t have to Mortgage my house to pay that. Did I say that? Oh — I AM Mortgaging my house and as a result will have to pay that. Got it!

Chester’s signing with Ellen went well. She would have appreciated his jokes if she hadn’t kept him laughing with her own jokes. But, Chester’s next signing didn’t work as well. The problem happened when he got to the HUD.

SAM: And who did you say you worked for again? You’re a subcontractor, right?

CHESTER: I subcontract for H&B Lending, over $40 billion served (lended)

SAM: I’m loving it! Don’t I deserve a break today?

CHESTER: Give ME a break, that ad is 40 years old! And this next document is the HUD. The HUD itemizes all of the expenses related to your loan.

SAM: Let me read that. Hmmm. On this line it says that the Notary fee is $250. How much of that do you get?

CHESTER: Oh, enough to get something on the value menu at McDonalds.

SAM: Okay, that’s not funny. Get out of my house! You damn Notary!

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Point (5) The HUD Settlement Statement
This document is often faxed or emailed at the last minute as Lenders often do not have their act together and need to make last minute changes to documents. Without the HUD, the loan cannot close.

The Settlement Statement or HUD contains information about fees and payoffs. Here, you can check to see what the Notary fee is and compare that to what you are being paid. Do not discuss these numbers with the borrower because it is between them and the Lender, and they are both relying on you for confidentiality. If the borrower already paid an appraisal fee out of their pocket and they are being charged again, for example, have them talk it over with the Lender. Don’t try to answer whether or not they will be reimbursed for certain fees; just have them speak to the Lender. If the Lender is not available, let them know that they have several days to talk to the Lender while they have the right to rescission (the right to cancel). The above situation with appraisal fees happens frequently.

There are several other documents that are similar to the HUD such: as the “Estimated Closing Statement” and the “Good Faith Estimate”. These documents were often drafted earlier in the loan process and don’t always reflect final numbers.

Seasoned Notaries often know what piece of information is on each line of the HUD and have the structure of the document memorized.

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Point (6) The Occupancy Affidavit

There are different variations to this document; sometimes it is called ‘Occupancy Affidavit and Financial Status’. The purpose of this document is for the borrower to state that they live in the subject property (which means the house they are borrowing money on). In addition, it asks the borrower to state that they haven’t had any sudden financial changes — for example, unemployment or bankruptcy. Keep your eyes open; if you don’t check which variation of the Occupancy Affidavit you are dealing with, you might make a fool of yourself (a fool and his money are soon parted.) This document is usually notarized.

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Point (7) Grant & Quitclaim Deeds

There are four major reasons to have a Grant Deed.

(1) To transfer property in a sale of property

(2) To take someone’s name off of a deed so they won’t be liable for a loan when the other owners want to borrow money.

(3) To transfer the property to or from community property in a trust.

(4) To change someone’s name on the deed
The deed could transfer a property from “Jane F. Doe” to “Jane Doe”. This is very common for people with name variations because sometimes a loan can’t fund without the property being recorded as being owned by the owner with a particular name variation.

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Quitclaim Deeds

Quitclaim Deeds are often used to take a person’s name off title. Here is some more information:

A Quitclaim Deed is a legal document which transfers a property to the buyer or owner, whatever interests in the property are held by the maker of the deed. A Quitclaim Deed does not guarantee that those interests are valid. By accepting such a deed, you accept the risk that someone may later appear with a valid claim to your property. A Grant Deed on the other hand guarantees from grantor to grantee that the title is clear. An example of a circumstance where a Quitclaim may be used is where one spouse is disclaiming any interest in property that the other spouse owns. Of the different types of deeds, the Quitclaim has the least assurance that the grantee receiving it will actually get any rights. A Quitclaim deed does not release the party quitting claim to real property from their obligations in any mortgage or other lien secured against the pertaining property.

A Quitclaim Deed is a common, but not standard document in a loan document package. Sometimes, ownership has to be transferred or someone needs to be taken off a Deed before a loan can officially go through. Quitclaim Deeds are always notarized using an Acknowledged signature and the signer must always be positively identified by the notary public for security purposes. Some states also require the notary to take fingerprints in their notary journal for Quitclaim and other deeds affecting real property.

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You might also like:

30 Point Course Table of Contents
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14233

30 Point Course (8-9) The 1003 & Compliance Agreement
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14335

HUD-1 Settlement Statement
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=10197

I go over the HUD-1 First
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4819

The Affidavit of Occupancy
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=10193

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December 17, 2011

Penalties for notary misdeeds & misconduct!

Penalties for notary misconduct, crimes, and misdeeds 

I very rarely hear about notaries engaging in any type of illegal activity or illegal notarizations. The normal problem with notaries is lack of skill, neglegence, or bad tempers in a few cases.  I have only heard of one notary that engaged in a serious crime, and he went to jail.  This blog entry will discuss various types of notary misconduct and types of penalties for this misconduct in California. Please keep in mind that the notary rules are different in each of the 50 states, and that notary rules are also always changing.  However, if something is illegal in one state, there is a high chance that it will also be illegal in your state — although the penalties might be different. The information here is time sensitive and could change at any time. These are listed in the order of which I feel they are important to mobile notaries.
 
Asking a notary to do an improper notarization.
This is a misdemeanor.  If it involves real property, then it is much more serious.  Clients might ask you to notarize them using a different name variation that is not documented, or put a false date.  This is illegal. They are guilty for asking you to do this, and you will be guilty if you give in to their pressure. If you have driven thirty minutes to a job, you have a beneficial interest in notarizing their document unless you have gotten your travel fee up front when you walk in the door.  So, legally, you MUST get your travel fee BEFORE you see the document, or are informed who the signers are, or see their ID, because a conflict of interest can easily happen.  If someone asks you to do something illegal, you can threaten to report them to the Secretary of State’s office. This is a serious crime and you should treat it as such.
 
Issuing a false certificate
A notary who issues false certificates, and this could include backdated certificates would be guilty of a misdemeanor.  A false Acknowledgment certificate constitutes FORGERY.   Additionaly, the notary could have their commission revoked if found guilty of this crime, with an additional fine of $1500 per incident.
 
Failure to Identify a Credible Witness
A fine of $10,000 per incident could occur if a notary fails to check a credible witness’s identification documents and see that they have acceptable identification.
 
Failure to get a thumbprint!!!
This is my favorite.  Thumbprints are critical for identifying a signer if fraud is suspected.  Powers of Attorney and Deeds require a journal thumbprint in California.  A fine of up to $2500 per incident would be the penalty.
 
Failure to administer an Oath
A fine of $750 per incident could be incurred, not to mention revocation, or suspention of a notary commission, or refusal to grant a commission.
 
Felony Convictions
If you have a felony conviction or have been convicted of a crime involving dishonesty or moral turpitude, you will most likely not be allowed to get a notary commission in the first place.  If you already had a notary commission, it would be suspended or revoked the minute your state’s ntoary division finds out about it!
 
Professional Misconduct
This refers to dishonesty in your professional activities.  The penalty would once again be suspension, revocation, or refusal to grant a notary commission.
 
Failure of Duty
This means that you refuse to serve a member of the public who has a legitimate request for a notarization.  However, if the signer doesn’t have proper identification, or doesn’t have a properly filled out document, or seems very questionable, you have the right to refuse service to such a client.  The penalty would be refusal to grant a notary commission, suspension, or revocation of a notary commission. Additionally a fine of $750 could be imposed on the California notary public.
 
Falsely Acting as a Notary
This is a misdemeanor
 
Making false statements to a notary
Anyone who induces a notary to make an improper notarization with regards to real property can be found guilty of a FELONY.  This is the most serious type of fraud possible in the notary profession.
 
False or misleading notary advertising
Making false statements in notary advertising is illegal, and the penalty for California notaries is $1500 per incident.  Additionally, such a notary’s commission could be suspended, revoked, or there could be a refusal to issue a commission.  Claiming to be an immigration expert, or be able to give legal advice could be a serious example of false advertising. 
 
Selling personal information
If the notary sells or misuses personal information of those he/she has notarized, that is illegal as well.  Remember to keep your journals locked up, so that nobody can have access to that information. When making copies of journal entries, make sure that the neighboring journal entries are covered, so that their information is not shared with the public.  Once again, your application could be denied, or your commission could be suspended or revoked for such a crime.
 
Misstatements on a notary application (Application misstatement)
Your notary commission could be suspended, revoked, or refused if you are guilty of this misconduct
 
Here are some other crimes… I will just list them here, but may or may  not describe the penalties.
 
Failure to deliver a journal to the county clerk at the end of your commission. – misdemeanor
Failure to safeguard seal and journal – revoke/suspend/refuse
Failure to report a lost or damaged seal – $1500 fine
Nonpayment of judgement / Refusal to pay child support – refusal to issue a commission
Failure to keep a journal – such notaries will be prosecuted
 
There are a few others laws that I am not going to mention, but these were the interesting ones…

You might also like:

9/11 Notary Law Changes
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=212

All you need to know about notary work
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2354

How to complain about a notary public
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2179

Penalties for notary misconduct and fraud (2018 version)
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21315

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November 30, -0001

Point (5) HUD (6) Occupancy (7) Deeds; The Value Menu

Filed under: Loan Signing 101 — Tags: — admin @ 12:00 am

I get paid enough to get something on the Value Menu

His name was Chester. He had been a Notary for years and he had seen it all. People liked hiring Chester, because he was on time, knowledgeable, and had quite a sense of humor. Unfortunately, a good sense of humor can be like a double edged sword. Not everyone will like your jokes. Chester was good at introducing the documents, and answering all questions.

CHESTER: Hi, my name is Chester. I’m going to be your Notary Signing Agent today. I am here to supervise the signing of these documents. If you have general questions about the documents, or what information is in which document, I am happy to answer. However, if you have specific questions pertaining to your loan, I will most likely refer those questions to your Lender.

ELLEN: Got it.

(ring-ring)

ELLEN: Hello? You want to speak to the man of the house? You must have the wrong number!

CHESTER: Let’s open the package here. Okay, this is the Deed of Trust. This document includes a property address, the amount of the loan, and ties your property as collateral for the loan. Additionally, it states the expiration date of the loan in 2045.

ELLEN: Right after the war of 2045. How convenient. I heard the war was going to end in June, and my loan expires right in July! Perfect! We’ll have two things to celibrate.

CHESTER: I didn’t know a war was scheduled.

ELLEN: Oh, that’s the new thing. Instead of going at it right away, people are so busy these days that they don’t have time for wars, unless they are scheduled at least twenty years in advance. I even have an app for that. It’s called — schedule my war. It has a D-day add-on too! Pretty cool. Looking forward to it.

CHESTER: And I thought that I was usually the funny one at signings. Now, this document is The Note. It has your payment amounts, if there is a prepayment penalty it will discuss that, and it has your Rate, and the amount of the loan.

ELLEN: My rate? My rate is by the word. Yeah. I charge by the word when I write material. But, my manager says that I should charge by the laugh. I get one rate for my initial time telling the jokes and then residuals. We do that at clubs too. Instead of a $30 cover charge, we have a laughometer strapped to each person. We charge them based on how many times they laughed and how hard they laughed. One guy had to Mortgage his house to pay his bill the last time I was on stage. Oh! Only 4.5% Cool! I won’t have to Mortgage my house to pay that. Did I say that? Oh — I AM Mortgaging my house and as a result will have to pay that. Got it!

Chester’s signing with Ellen went well. She would have appreciated his jokes if she hadn’t kept him laughing with her own jokes. But, Chester’s next signing didn’t work as well. The problem happened when he got to the HUD.

SAM: And who did you say you worked for again? You’re a subcontractor, right?

CHESTER: I subcontract for H&B Lending, over $40 billion served (lended)

SAM: I’m loving it! Don’t I deserve a break today?

CHESTER: Give ME a break, that ad is 40 years old! And this next document is the HUD. The HUD itemizes all of the expenses related to your loan.

SAM: Let me read that. Hmmm. On this line it says that the Notary fee is $250. How much of that do you get?

CHESTER: Oh, enough to get something on the value menu at McDonalds.

SAM: Okay, that’s not funny. Get out of my house! You damn Notary!

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Point (5) The HUD Settlement Statement
This document is often faxed or emailed at the last minute as Lenders often do not have their act together and need to make last minute changes to documents. Without the HUD, the loan cannot close.

The Settlement Statement or HUD contains information about fees and payoffs. Here, you can check to see what the Notary fee is and compare that to what you are being paid. Do not discuss these numbers with the borrower because it is between them and the Lender, and they are both relying on you for confidentiality. If the borrower already paid an appraisal fee out of their pocket and they are being charged again, for example, have them talk it over with the Lender. Don’t try to answer whether or not they will be reimbursed for certain fees; just have them speak to the Lender. If the Lender is not available, let them know that they have several days to talk to the Lender while they have the right to rescission (the right to cancel). The above situation with appraisal fees happens frequently.

There are several other documents that are similar to the HUD such: as the “Estimated Closing Statement” and the “Good Faith Estimate”. These documents were often drafted earlier in the loan process and don’t always reflect final numbers.

Seasoned Notaries often know what piece of information is on each line of the HUD and have the structure of the document memorized.

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Point (6) The Occupancy Affidavit

There are different variations to this document; sometimes it is called ‘Occupancy Affidavit and Financial Status’. The purpose of this document is for the borrower to state that they live in the subject property (which means the house they are borrowing money on). In addition, it asks the borrower to state that they haven’t had any sudden financial changes — for example, unemployment or bankruptcy. Keep your eyes open; if you don’t check which variation of the Occupancy Affidavit you are dealing with, you might make a fool of yourself (a fool and his money are soon parted.) This document is usually notarized.

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Point (7) Grant & Quitclaim Deeds

There are four major reasons to have a Grant Deed.

(1) To transfer property in a sale of property

(2) To take someone’s name off of a deed so they won’t be liable for a loan when the other owners want to borrow money.

(3) To transfer the property to or from community property in a trust.

(4) To change someone’s name on the deed
The deed could transfer a property from “Jane F. Doe” to “Jane Doe”. This is very common for people with name variations because sometimes a loan can’t fund without the property being recorded as being owned by the owner with a particular name variation.

.

Quitclaim Deeds

Quitclaim Deeds are often used to take a person’s name off title. Here is some more information:

A Quitclaim Deed is a legal document which transfers a property to the buyer or owner, whatever interests in the property are held by the maker of the deed. A Quitclaim Deed does not guarantee that those interests are valid. By accepting such a deed, you accept the risk that someone may later appear with a valid claim to your property. A Grant Deed on the other hand guarantees from grantor to grantee that the title is clear. An example of a circumstance where a Quitclaim may be used is where one spouse is disclaiming any interest in property that the other spouse owns. Of the different types of deeds, the Quitclaim has the least assurance that the grantee receiving it will actually get any rights. A Quitclaim deed does not release the party quitting claim to real property from their obligations in any mortgage or other lien secured against the pertaining property.

A Quitclaim Deed is a common, but not standard document in a loan document package. Sometimes, ownership has to be transferred or someone needs to be taken off a Deed before a loan can officially go through. Quitclaim Deeds are always notarized using an Acknowledged signature and the signer must always be positively identified by the notary public for security purposes. Some states also require the notary to take fingerprints in their notary journal for Quitclaim and other deeds affecting real property.

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February 27, 2019

Notary Public Journal

NOTARY JOURNALS

Not all states require maintaning an official journal of Notarial acts, but 123notary requires it as that is the only evidence you have should you go to court or get investigated. There are identity thieves and cons all over the place. They might pretend to be a home owner to steal that person’s equity or con grandma into giving her fortune away to some crooks. If your notarization ever winds up to court, your journal is the only record of what happened and who signed what, etc. Most Notaries think keeping a journal is an annoying task that they do because their state requires it. It is the same attitude that children have towards doing their homework at age seven. But, your journal can save your neck, and I know many whose hides have been saved who ended up in court.

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ONE JOURNAL ENTRY PER PERSON PER DOCUMENT

Most Notaries think that you create one entry for each signer and then cram in the names of all of the documents you are notarizing in that transaction. This is a very sloppy practice. If you pick up five packages from FedEx, do you sign once or do you sign five times, each for a particular tracking number? If you keep one journal entry per person per document, then you have a signature proving consent to be notarized for each document you notarize. Additionally, you must name the particular and complete name of each document, and not just say “loan docs.”

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INFORMATION

In your Notary Public Journal, you need to record the:

Full name of the document, not an abbreviation.

Date & Time of Notarization – Just consult your iPhone for this one.

Type of Notary Act – This might be Acknowledgment, Jurat, Oath, Affirmation, or another Notary act allowed in your state.

Document Date — many documents have a document date inscribed within that is an arbitrary date created by the document drafter. It could be the date the document was drafted, or the date it was intended to be signed, or a random arbitrary date.

Name & Address of Signer – Write down the name as it appears in the identification card.

Identification – Record the serial number, state and expiration date of the identification card.

Other distinguishing factors — if you are signing multiple documents with the same name such as Deeds of Trust, Grant Deeds, etc., you need to differentiate them somehow. Escrow numbers, names of grantors, grantees, APN numbers, property addresses, number of pages, or anything else can help identify a document after the fact in case you end up in court.

Signatures — each line of your journal needs to be signed by the corresponding person. If John and Sally are each signing three notarized documents, then John gets entry 1, 2, and 3 while sally gets 4, 5, and 6. Each signer must sign their three entries otherwise the entries are meaningless.

Thumbprints — I am skipping mentioning more about the other things that belong in a journal as most Notaries get it, however, few Notaries keep thumbprints. Your journal thumbprint is the one piece of evidence the FBI will ask for when they come knocking on your front door. Additionally, it discourages fraud as fraudulent people do not want to be thumbprinted.

Other Information — Although I am skipping elaborating about the other journal fields, I will make a quick note about the additional information section in a journal. That leaves space for information about credible witnesses, subscribing witnesses, unusual facts about the signers, the location, or the circumstances in which you are signing. If the signer claims that they are being kidnapped, write that down in the additional information section of your journal, then call the police. If the signer has a weird neck tattoo, you might need to remember that in court. Put it in your journal. The judge will think you are a very thorough Notary.

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FINAL NOTE

The purpose of journals is not only to please your state’s Secretary of State, but also to please judges, attorneys, investigators and FBI agents. Keeping a clean, correct and thorough journal will make a positive impression on the authorities and could keep you from being named as a suspect if God forbid you ever unknowingly Notarize an identity thief, fraud, or otherwise bad person. Notaries don’t get in trouble that often, but for those who make a career out of being a Notary, eventually you will be investigated at least once and perhaps end up in court, so keep your paperwork in order so the investigation is fast and smooth. Otherwise you might end up in court for a very long time — no joke! Roughly 1/7 of the Notaries on our site have had to spend time in court due to something that they notarized.

You might also like:

What entities might want to see your journal?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20902

Journal abbreviation keys
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19441

Comparing Journal Entries to FedEx Signatures
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19375

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April 5, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Summary of rules using fortune cookie English

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

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

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

4. TYPED NAME on document should MATCH name on TITLE

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

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You might also like:

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

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

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

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April 4, 2018

123notary 2018 Certification Standards

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

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

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NOTARY KNOWLEDGE

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

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

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

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

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

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SITUATIONAL KNOWLEDGE

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

Common points include:

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

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

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

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

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DOCUMENT KNOWLEDGE

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

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

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Also see — Elite Certification Study Guide

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Documents you need to understand for Elite Certification

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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You might also like:

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

Elite certification will benefit you for the rest of your life
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20770

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April 3, 2018

Notary Public 101 Scenarios: Confirming the signing

Confirming a Notary Signing

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

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

THE CHECK LIST

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. The Numbers
If you want to go over numbers on the CD or HUD-1, you can think about that. These days, the Lenders normally do a good job of that on their own, but a last minute brush-up can reduce the chance of last minute surprises.

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

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

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You might also like:

Confirming the Signing
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19

Real Life Notary Scenarios
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19681

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

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

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

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January 29, 2018

Journal abbreviation keys

Filed under: Journals,Technical & Legal — admin @ 12:50 am

Many people take the easy way out with their journal. Journal keeping is seen as just an arduous task with no higher meaning. Many people feel that they can do a shoddy job doing their journal since it is not required in their state. However, if you are in front of a judge you need a clearly filled out journal whether your state requires it or not.

Many Notaries use the check box journal. I recommend against this. The check box journal says, “E&O” as one of the names of a document. If the real document says, “Errors and Omissions Compliance Agreement” that is a completely different document. E&O is an abbreviation for the first three words, but what about the last two words? Don’t take liberties.

Then there are other Notaries who just write, “10 Grant Deeds.” If you are ever in court, you need to know which Grant Deed is in question and if you really notarized it. Keeping escrow numbers, names of parties involved and addresses helps to narrow it down.

DOT could be a good abbreviation for Deed of Trust. However, if you are in court years later what will the judge say? What if you have bad handwriting and use abbreviations?

My philosophy is to keep an abbreviation key in the inner cover of each journal you use. I had 70 journals in my career so I could have a lot of keys. You can have a key that says:

DOT = Deed of Trust
AFF = Affidavit
E&O Comp Agree = Errors & Omissions Compliance Agreement.
Corr Agree = Correction Agreement.

This way you have a system that is documented just in case.
Or, just write the entire name of the document out. Or you could only abbreviate Deeds of Trust since they are so common and not abbreviate the others just to keep reading the journal more straight forward.

The worst thing you can do is to write, “Loan Docs.” When you put the names of documents in your journal, each document is legally separate, and the fact they are part of a package does not make them legally all have the title, “Loan Documents.” Each document has a name that must be entered in your journal if you notarize it.

You might also like:

Here’s why you should keep a journal
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22543

Detective seizes a journal and complains about a blurry thumbprint
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22237

Index of posts about journals
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20272

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