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January 16, 2011

Quiz: You know you’re a good Notary when you…

What type of Notary are you? A good one or a bad one? I’m not sure who created the questions for, “You know you’re a redneck if you…”
So, I’ll create my own version of this satirical banter, and come up with my own version for Notaries that will have some technical merit.

You know you’re a bad Notary when you…

(1) Do you fail to call the borrower to confirm the appointment that signing company set, and just show up?
If you don’t call and make sure that all parties involved (watch out for spousal signatures) will be there and on time, with a current ID with matching names — you might be in for some wasted time. If you don’t get the documents signed, you might not get paid. You might waste two hours for nothing because you don’t think you “need” to call the borrowers, or because you were asked not to. It is your appointment and your responsibility!

(2) Do you send loose certificates in the mail?
Lenders and Title companies are notorious for asking notaries to break the law and send loose certiifcates. In some states it is a Misdemeanor if you ask a Notary to do something illegal. Report all illegal requests to your State Notary Division immediately. No second chances!

(3) Do you fail to get certified by all agencies that you purchase “effective” advertising from? Or do you say, I don’t “need” your certification because I’m already “certified” without even disclosing the name of the organization who certified you? There is no such thing as just being “certified” as notary certification is not regulated by any government.

(4) Do you say, “I have my Notary” when you really mean you have your Notary Commission?

(5) Do you fail to use a Notary Journal or Seal simply because your state doesn’t require it? What happens if an investigator asks about a potentially fraudulent transaction you were involved in and you have no evidence for the court? The court case might be really long and you might get in really big trouble.

(6) Do you fail to keep thumbprints of signers in your journal because your state doesn’t require it?
Guess what? You might end up in court if you don’t take thumbprints, especially on transactions affecting high dollar figures such as properties.

(7) Do you fail to administer Oaths to credible witnesses or for Jurats because you are not well enough trained to know how, or even to know that you are required? Or, perhaps you don’t even know what a credible witness even is. Better look this up in your state Notary handbook.

You know you’re a good Notary when…

(1) The hair on your neck stand up straight when you see someone try to sign with a middle initial that doesn’t exist on their identification.

(2) You use an inked seal and an embosser with a raised non-inked seal to make it detectable if pages are swapped or photocopied.

(3) You take copious notes in your journal about the signers, what went on in the signing, and the building / neighborhood where the signing took place to job your memory should you ever be summoned into court.

(4) You sell your car, and buy a few top spots on 123notary.com!

There are many other technical points and best practices that we could address, but for this hopefully entertaining blog entry — that’s all folks!

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March 31, 2018

Scenarios: What types of forms should a notary keep in his/her bag?

Notary Public forms

A Notary public needs to carry forms in their bag because you don’t know what will happen at an assignment and you need to be prepared. You also need a reliable stapler in your bag because stapling certificates to documents is a requirement.

You might need a loose Acknowledgment if there is an error on the original or if there is no Acknowledgment wording on a form. You might also have the problem that there is out of state wording that is not allowed in your state. Each state has a different rule for out of state wording, California’s being the most stringent. So, try to know what you can and cannot do. But, you can always add a loose certificate unless you live in Oregon and Maryland where it is rumored that you cannot, but the crab cakes are so good that they outweigh the loose certificate issue. Notaries in Maryland always get crabby about this issue.

There are other forms you could have including Jurats. Some people need permission for their children to travel with an accompanying adult. With respect to crying babies on future flights, here’s hoping they don’t grant permission. I created my own form with dates, thumbprints, names of all parties, etc. The Mexican authorities loved my form, and it did not take long to typeset or copy or make into a form. Whether or not you create your own form, be prepared, because you never know when your customer is not!

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