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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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March 26, 2018

Quick information about loan documents

Filed under: Loan Signing 101 — admin @ 10:52 am

On our certification quiz, we ask a few questions about loan documents. For more detailed information, query our courses, but these are going to be quick pointers that we often quiz about.

The Deed of Trust / Mortgage
The Deed of Trust is the security instrument. It also goes over prepayment penalties and late fees. It goes over the address of the Lender and the Borrower as well as a lot of other information which we do not quiz on.

The Note
The Note contains the general terms or general business terms of the loan. It is the best place to look for information about prepayment penalties, when the first payment is due, loan amount, and other general terms of the loan.

The Right to Cancel
As a Signing Agent, you must know how to date a Right to Rescind or Right to Cancel. For a home owner borrower, they are given three days not including Sundays and Federal holidays. Please do not say three business days as the days are calendar days not business days, but not including Sunday, Federal Holidays, or the date of the signing. The borrower can cancel up to midnight on the third day to rescind and can cancel in writing.

The CD
This document has a lot of quick information on certain information about the loan, fees and payoffs. Although it mentions that you will or will not have a prepayment penalty, it does not go over the terms of the prepayment penalty.

First Payment Letter
This document goes over information regarding the first payment due.

Owner’s Affidavit
This document goes over maintenance issues regarding the subject property as well as occupancy status and other information about the property.

Occupancy Affidavit
The Occupancy Affidavit states that the borrower will move into the subject property within sixty days and will stay there as a primary residence for a year, or possibly two years or six months in some cases depending on how the document was drafted. I have only seen this document state a one year occupancy requirement in my experience.

Compliance Agreement
The Compliance Agreement makes the borrower agree to furnish additional information to the lender if requested after the signing. It also makes the borrower agree to cooperate if the Lender needs changes to clerical errors signed off on by the borrower.

Correction Agreement LPOA
This document has the borrower give consent to let the Lender / Title make changes to clerical and typographical errors to the documents on their own after the signing

1003 Residential Loan Application
The 1003 document typically has lots of information about the borrower including how many years of school they had, and other personal information. It is typical for this document to have clerical errors, however, those errors do not affect the final status of the loan.

APR
The APR is typically higher than the rate as it includes some of the fees and closing costs and is compounded.

The information in this section have to do with frequently asked questions. This information in this section is brief, and does not constitute a thorough knowledge of loan documents, but this is typically what we ask about in our over the phone quiz, so please learn this material well.

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You might also like:

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

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

Documents you need to understand for Elite Certification
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20169

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August 23, 2017

Letter to the NNA about Notary Testing

Filed under: Popular on Linked In,Popular Overall,Social Media — admin @ 12:10 am

Dear NNA,
It has come to my attention that the focus that both of our organizations have put on loan document knowledge seems to be a somewhat wasted focus for two reasons. First, the people we both have certified don’t know their loan documents that well. Second, Notaries tend to know their loan documents better than they know their Notary procedures.

When we get complaints about our Notaries, the complaints are normally that a Notary was rude, left someone high and dry after a botched signing not returning emails or calls, or that the notary made a Notary mistake (more common with beginners) or did not follow directions.

To certify someone as a loan signer who cannot function as a Notary is a mistake we have both made. I can show you many examples of individuals who have an intimate and flawless understanding of loan documents who cannot answer basic Notary questions.

For example, if you called your members up one by one and asked them the difference between an Acknowledgment and a Jurat two things would happen. First, they would be offended that you called them and second, 90% would not give a thorough or correct answer according to my findings.

Notary knowledge trumps loan signing knowledge as the most common errors that happen at a loan signing are notary errors. Notaries commonly stamp where they see the word “seal” whether there is notarial wording or not. Notaries stamp over wording. Many Notaries decline legal requests for foreign language notarizations in California. The most common misunderstanding is that in 44 states, an Acknowledged signature can be signed prior to appearing before the Notary Public. There are many other issues as well.

The main point of this letter is to let you know that we are testing people on the wrong things. We need to know if someone is a good Notary and if they have a good attitude first. If they don’t know the difference between an Occupancy Affidavit and a Compliance Agreement, that will probably not come back to haunt anyone. But, if you identify someone incorrectly and notarize someone with an ID that says John Smith as John W Smith simply becuase you are “supposed to” have the person sign as their named is typed in the document, you could end up in court on an identity theft case for months without pay, and possibly be named as a defendent in addition to merely being a witness.

Last but not least, journal thumbprints are a hot topic of debate among myself and the Notaries. Many Notaries are being discouraged from taking thumbprints simply because it seems invasive or offensive to some Notary customers. However, the thumbprint has been the one piece of information that has helped the FBI nail some really scary ponzi schemers and identity thiefs. Not all states require journal thumbprints yet, but people who lead Notary organizations should do more to encourage people to take thumbprints as a measure to protect society from frauds.

Thumbprinting should be encouraged by scaring Notaries into realizing that without a thumbprint, they might be in court for a very long time, or named as a defendent and conspirator in an identity theft ring. Unlikely or not, the truth is that the FBI does treat Notaries like suspects as a matter of practice whenever anything goes wrong that requires their attention. Keeping good records is a way to wrap up situations quickly and without being blamed as a shoddy record keeper.

So, let’s both invest more in testing Notaries better on what really matters which is the fact that Notary knowledge takes precident over loan signing knowledge, and that following directions, getting back to people and being nice in the face of adversity are the most important things! Knowing the details of the Correction Agreement is actually the least important thing to know. According to lenders I know, the POA is the only document in a loan package which they stress that I test people on!

Thanks for your support, and I recommend your Notary educational products to all although I am out of touch with what the current names for your courses are as I studied from you in 1997. I think the Notary Essentials is what people have mentioned they were studying.

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You might also like:

My bad karma from testing people by phone
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19447

But, I’m not comfortable answering questions over the phone
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19646

10 reasons why the State Notary divisions should be nationalized
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19487

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October 30, 2015

Compilation of Notary Sit-Com Episodes!

Filed under: Compilations,Sit-Coms — Tags: — admin @ 11:32 am

123notary has been writing sit-com episodes for over a year now. It is time that we put them all in one compilation so you can see them all at once! Many of these links are strings to multiple episodes from over the last two years. Here they are!

POPULAR
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Shark Tank
“Good Sign” seeks an investment of 2 million dollars!
Good Sign will reward Notaries by not forcing them to do fax-backs once they have proven a reliable track record for accuracy!
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=shark-tank

Seinfeld
(1) George’s parents get a vow renewal
(2) The List. Kramer has to get his hands on the list of signing companies.
(3) George Needs a Notary
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=seinfeld

Psych
A man dies of accidental food poisoning and Shawn solves the case using his psychic powers. They find a Power of Attorney behind the Disneyland document that solves the case. But, Shawn is upset that the Notary will not notarize his stuffed penguin
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=psych
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ALPHABETICAL
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All in the Family
Archie needs his drug test notarized
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=all-in-the-family

“Apprentice” — see “The Apprentice.”

Big Bang Theory
Feeling in control Notarizing
Raj wants to take Notary lessons. Sheldon wants to know if being notarized can make them sexy…
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=big-bang-theory

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Cheers
Sammy gets a name change notarized
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=cheers

Comedy Central Notary Roast (na/new)
See how Don Rickles and Amy Schumer make commentary about the Notary world.
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=comedy-central

Family Guy
Peter joins ISIS by mistake & needs a notarized conversion
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=family-guy

Family Feud
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=family-feud
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Flashpoint
Notary job for a hostage with a multimillion dollar contract.
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=flashpoint

Friends
Phoebe’s boyfriend won’t take No-tary for an answer
She’s trying to break up with him, but he always thinks she’s kidding.
So, she needs to get a notarized statement to prove she means it!
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=friends

George Lopez
George needs a Notary for Carmen’s report card and wants to use the paginas amarillos.
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=george-lopez

Good Times
JJ draws a Notary Seal
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=good-times
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Happy Days
The Chinese equivalent of the Fonz appropriately named, “The Fong” needs to get notarized and says, “Don’t touch the leather.”
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=happy-days

Leave it to Beaver
Notarized parental consent form
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=13180

Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous (new/na)
See how infamous signing companies who don’t pay their Notaries are living it up.
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=lifestyles-of-the-rich-and-famous

“Lucy” — see “I Love Lucy”
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Minions
A scene from the Minion Loan Signing.
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=minions

Modern Family
An Affidavit of Citizenship & Affidavit of Domicile
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=modernfamily

Noternity Court
Your honor, it was 20 years ago. I can’t possibly remember if I notarized that document…
You are…. the Notary!
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=noternity-court
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The Middle
Sue calls the Notary about an Occupancy Affidavit
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=the-middle

Notarization on the Steve Harvey Show
Carol meets someone who notarized her 20 years ago and they fall in love!
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=steve-harvey

Notary Housewives
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=notary-housewives

Taxi
Reverend Jim becomes a Notary
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=taxi
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Two and a Half Men
(1) Learning the ropes. Charlie goes to a hot Notary who goes easy on him.
(2) Impaired Judgment. Charlie finds it therapeutic to notarize documents and brings a bottle of vodka for the signers!
(3) Charlie learns the fine art of deterring Notary fraud.
(4) Charlie’s mom needs a Power of Attorney for property management
(5) The intercontinental notary seal
(6) A notary experience
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=twoandahalfmen

Wheel of Fortune
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=wheel-of-fortune

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April 5, 2015

Point (15) Technical Points; Marcy Attaches a Certificate

Filed under: (2) Technical and Legal — Tags: — admin @ 10:57 am

By now, Marcy had decided to really study her text book well. In this last signing, she narrowly avoided two disasters.

MARCY: Hi, I’m Marcy and I’ll be your signing agent this evening.

RUTH: Thanks for coming Marcy. I’m all ready.

MARCY: The Lender asked me to make sure we include a cashier’s check for $2500 in the package. Do you have the check?

RUTH: Oh, he didn’t remind me. But, I have it somewhere.

MARCY: Let’s take care of the check first, otherwise we’ll forget all about it and you’ll lose your lock.

RUTH: That bad?

MARCY: It’s happened before. I read about it in my course and I’m not making any careless mistakes.

RUTH: Here it is.

MARCY: Okay, the course says to staple it to an eight and a half by eleven paper and put it on the top of the stack of documents in the FedEx so the first person to open the package will immediately see it and hand it over to the correct person… Done! I’m putting it in the package, but at a 90 degree angle so I’ll see it. That way I won’t forget to make sure it’s first in line after we add all of the other documents we’re signing tonight.

RUTH: Boy, aren’t you careful?

MARCY: Well, you’d understand if you knew how many mistakes notaries often make in this industry.

(10 minutes later)

RUTH: Okay, I’ve initialed all of the pages of this Deed of Trust. Now, you need to notarize it, right?

MARCY: Correct… (stamps the document) Oooh! That came out smudgy. I better do it again.

RUTH: It looks fine. I wouldn’t worry about it.

MARCY: The Deed of Trust is a recorded document, and that means that it goes to the county clerk’s office. Some of the clerks are picky, and they have the right to reject a smudgy seal which might cause the loan to not go through on time. So, I need to attach a loose certificate and make sure my stamp comes out clearly… Perfect.

RUTH: You certainly dot your i’s and cross your t’s!

MARCY: If I didn’t, you would lose your loan.

(a day later)

LENDER: Marcy, I noticed you crossed out your Notary seal on the Deed of Trust. Why did you do that? That looks very sloppy.

MARCY: Quite to the contrary, the seal was smudged, and the county recorder would be unlikely to record such a document which is why I attached a lose certificate.

LENDER: But, did you have to staple it on? It is very difficult to disconnect — and messy.

MARCY: Legally I am required to attach the certificate. Completing loose certificates that are stamped is illegal because they can easily be used for fraud by being attached to a different document; So by un-stapling my work, you are leaving yourself open to looking very questionable.

LENDER: But, we always do that.

MARCY: Well, you are at liberty to do what you like, but I am not at liberty to break my state Notary laws! If the Lender had the certificate wording on a separate piece of paper without a page number, it would be removable so that nobody would have to see the cross out should there be an error, and once in a while there are stamping errors. Notary seals are not always clear the first time.

LENDER: Isn’t there a better way to do this?

MARCY: If you want your loan to go through, and for it to go through legally, then no — there is no other way to do this.

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Point (15) A handful of technical points
These technical points fall into the category of signing agent knowledge and are generally above and beyond purely Notary knowledge. Being an expert at these points will make you a much more impressive signer.

Checks in Packages
If you are sending a cashier’s check in a package, please note that these get lost much more frequently than you might think and the borrower’s loan will be delayed if this happens. These checks are for high dollar values, so make sure they don’t get lost between all of the many hands that will touch this loan package.

Staple the check to a 8.5 x 11 piece of paper, and put this paper at the front of the loan package so that whomever opens it (generally a secretary) will see it immediately and notify the person in charge of the loan. If you put the check in the middle of the documents, the check will not get seen right away, and there could be a delay. If you don’t staple the check, it will likely get lost in the shuffle.

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County Recorder Rejections
If you make a mistake on a recorded document, the county recorder can reject the document which could slow down the loan processing time. The borrower might even lose their lock which would be very costly. Take extra care when notarizing recorded documents. Which documents are recorded?

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Dates
What is the difference between a Document Date, Signature Date, Transaction Date, Rescission Date and a Notarization Date?
The document date is a random arbitrarily picked date that is often subscribed in the document. It is often the same date the document is signed, or perhaps drafted. The signature date is the date a document is signed. Of course, if there is more than one signer, there would be more than one signature dates. A Notarization date is the date a document was notarized. Legally, a document can be Acknolwedged more than once though! A transaction date is the date that a document is signed. A Rescission date is the last day to rescind. There, you have five dates to remember!

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eDocuments, eSignings, and eNotarizations
eDocuments are documents sent by email to the Notary to be printed out. eSignings are signings done on a laptop with the borrower doing digital signatures on a signature pad — but, with hardcopy regular notarizations using a paper journal. eNotarization are Notarizations where the notarization uses a digital seal and digital journal.

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The Prepayment Penalty
The Prepayment Penalty could be mentioned in any of these four documents, or perhaps even more. The Truth in Lending says you will, won’t or may have a prepayment penalty. The HUD may reference the prepayment penalty as well. But, the two documents that offer the most thorough information on the prepayment penalty are The Note (which every loan has) and the Prepayment Rider which is only included in a handful of loans that have complicated prepenalty agreements.

Most Notaries we talk to do not know the best place to look for thorough information on the prepayment penalty. They usually want to source the TIL, but this is wrong. Try to be a little more familiar with these very basic loan concepts as your borrowers will be more impressed with you if you do.

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Recorded Documents
Here are various types of recorded documents sorted into categories.

Deeds: Deed of Trust, Riders to Deed, Quit Claim Deed, Grant Deed, Inter-spousal Grant Deed, Warrantee Deed

Title Docs: Subordination Agreement, Mortgage

Legal Docs: Affidavit of Trustee, Power of Attorney (sometimes recorded), some states record the Note although most don’t.

Lien Docs:Judgment Liens, Unsecured Tax Liens, Revenue & Recovery Liens

Other:Addendum, Condo Homeowners Approval, Tax Certificate, Affidavit of Continuous Marriage (state specific)

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Commonly Notarized Documents in Loan Packages
Most packages will have certain documents to be notarized such as a Deed of Trust or Mortgage in all loans. It is also common to notarize other documents such as a Signature Affidavit, Occupancy Affidavit, Correction Agreement Limited Power of Attorney, Subordination Agreements, Grant, Warranty or Quitclaim Deeds, certain Riders, Identity Affidavit, and more.

Spousal Signatures
If a spouse is not on the loan, the documents they sign might vary from state to state and lender to lender, but these documents are typical documents that they need to sign:.
(a) The Deed of Trust and accompanying Riders if any.
(b) Grant Deeds and/or Quit Claim Deeds if someone’s name is being removed from Title.
(c) The Right to Cancel if the spouse is residing in the property.

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Trusts
Notarizing Trusts is not brain surgery. However, when people sign with a capacity, it is common to sign their name, a comma, and then their capacity. Al Smith, as Attorney in Fact for Joe the Plumber. You are only notarizing Al Smith, but the additional information is sometimes helpful or critical. As a general rule, unless the document custodian wishes otherwise, You should have trustees sign as trustees: John Doe, as Trustee.

Then, there are Living Trusts which are instructions for what to do if a signer is incapacitated. These are usually long documents drafted by an Attorney that can be more than forty pages long in many cases. Living Trusts are quite different than regular Trust Documents and Wills.

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You might also like:

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

30 Point Course (16) Initialing
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14463

Don’t put the FedEx in the drop box if there is a check in the package
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2831

Spousal Signature Requirements
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=244

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February 22, 2015

Point (3) RTC (4) Closing Disclosure; Story: The Starbucks Signing

The Starbucks Signing
Marcy hadn’t completed her certification test yet. After all, why should she. A little test couldn’t be that important, right? But, she was anxious to get started. She completed her notes section on her 123notary profile. She wrote:

I am reliable, prompt, punctual and professional. Call me for any mobile notary job!

She got her first call a few days after signing up. She answered the phone as her infant was screaming. The screaming was so loud that the person on the other end of the line couldn’t hear what she was talking about. The client decided that Marcy wasn’t very professional.

Then, another call came in. She answered it and got the job. She was to notarize a Grant Deed. She had never seen a Grant Deed, but how hard could it be to notarize. She knew how to fill in an Acknowledgment form. Her baby started screaming right when she was leaving. She left the baby with her husband and went out to do her job. She arrived 20 minutes late as a result of her baby having a fit. The customer said, “Your profile claims that you are punctual, but you are 20 minutes late!” Marcy said, “But, I am punctual, it was just this one time!”

Then a third call came in. They needed a loan signing done. Their house was under repair, so they agreed to meet at a local Starbucks. Marcy’s husband wasn’t around, so she decided to take her baby with her. Luckily for her, the signers loved children, particularly infants. The signing started off okay. Marcy had received a FedEx package of the documents. Everything was in order. She put the documents on the table, and kept the borrower copies in the FedEx. She didn’t know how to introduce the documents because she had never studied loan signing. Her course book was sitting on her desk collecting dust. She would soon learn that book knowledge would help her out of a very serious bind that was about to happen. Ooops!

The couple was signing away, when the toddler spilled Marcy’s mocha all over the Right to Cancel. All Marcy could say was, “I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry.” Marcy decided she had the Right to Cancel and obligation to cancel the appointment and have them start all over another day with another notary. She went home feeling mortified and devastated. But, she didn’t have to. Marcy made several simple mistakes. What were they?

(1) No drinks on the table. Drinks spill all the time. If you have drinks on the same table as documents, you are going to have a problem, it is just a matter of time. Drinks go on a separate table or a chair as a matter of policy. If Marcy had obeyed this signing policy, she would not have gotten in trouble.

(2) Don’t bring your three year old to a signing no matter what. It is not reliable or professional to do so, not to mention the trouble they could cause.

(3) The Right to Cancel was damaged, but there was a borrower’s copy of that document in the FedEx which Marcy could have used to substitute for the damaged one. An easy fix to a common problem. It is also common that borrowers sign in the wrong place on the Right to Cancel. You need to swap that document out if that happens as well.

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Point (3) The Right to Cancel

The Right to Cancel (Right to Rescission) gives the borrower in a non-commercial / non-investment refinance three calendar days not including Sundays or Federal holidays to read over the documents and consider their options. If borrowers want to spend three hours reading every page of the document, the Notary is encouraged to inform them that this is a signing appointment, and that they can review their borrower copies over the next three days and cancel within that time period if they have any dissatisfaction with the documents.

Dating: (Chaperone Not Included)
In addition to having the borrowers sign this document, it is often the Notary’s responsibility to make sure it is dated correctly. On the top of the document there should be a section that reads: “The date of the transaction, which is ____________________”. This is where the Signing Agent places the current date; this is known as the “transaction date”. Towards the bottom of the document it states: “no later than midnight of________.” This date is called the “rescission date”, and it states when the Right to Cancel period is finished. In this blank you would write the last day for the borrower to cancel, which is three days past the current date (excluding Sunday and major holidays). If it is Saturday the 20th, and Monday is a holiday, the last day to cancel would be Thursday the 25th.

What if the lender dated the document incorrectly? Cross out the incorrect date, write the new date, and have the borrower(s) initial the change. Never use white-out.

What if the transaction date is correct, but the lender is giving them too many days to cancel? Sometimes lenders are generous and give one or two extra days. Don’t correct that because it’s not an error; it is an act of generosity.

If the borrower carelessly signs where it says, “I wish to cancel”, the best way to remedy this situation is by using the borrower’s copy of the document (by the way, this question is on the exam); doing this will save everyone a great deal of trouble. If that is not possible, cross out the signature and have the borrower initial it. Then have them sign in the correct location.

Cancellation by Fax. The borrower always may cancel their loan by fax with all lenders by law within the (3) day right to cancel period.

Here is a list of all Federal holidays:

New Year’s Day
Martin Luther King Day
Washington’s birthday AKA and observed on Presidents day
Memorial Day
Independence Day
Labor Day
Columbus Day
Veteran’s Day
Thanksgiving Day ( the Friday after is a regular day unless the lender states otherwise )
Christmas Day

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Point (4) The Closing Disclosure (formerly The Truth in Lending)

The Truth in Lending is now antiquated.

Notaries have become moderately familiar with the new Closing Disclosure. I want to stress some important points about this document that you should memorize.

1. The Closing Estimate
Previously there was a document called the Good Faith Estimate whose current replacement would be the Closing Estimate. Although these two documents are not even close to being identical, they go over the estimated costs of the loan among other information.

2. The Truth in Lending
This is now an antiquated document. The Truth in Lending had some bizarre and unhelpful verbiage about the prepayment penalty. It said you, “will, won’t or may” have a prepayment penalty. The Closing Disclosure states if you will or won’t but omits the ambiguous word, “may” from the document.

3. The APR
In addition to going over the APR, there will be a new figure discussed on the Closing disclosure called the TIP which is the total interest percentage.

4. Taxes, Insurance, Escrow Fees
Estimated escrow costs, insurance, taxes, servicing, assumption, and appraisal costs will also be covered in this new and exciting document.

5. The property address
Many loan signing courses claim you should look for the property address on the Deed of Trust or Mortgage. You can, but it is also on the Closing Disclosure on the upper left corner.

6. The Loan Amount & Rate
This is also covered on the upper half of page one.

7. Fees associated with the loan
The Closing Disclosure replaces the TIL and the HUD-1 Settlement Statement. So, items from the Settlement Statement such as fees or costs associated with the loan will be covered on this document.

8. Calculating Cash to Close
This is a very practical section that covers total closing costs, closing costs financeed, down payment, deposit, funds for borrower, seller credits, and adjustments. The bottom line in this section is the cash to close total amount.

9. Summary of Transactions
The sale price of the property, closing costs, HOA dues, deposits, loan amount, sellers credit, rebates, and local taxes are all part of the accounting spreadsheet in this section.

10. The additional information section about the loan
This section covers other specifications about the loan such as whether or not assumption is allowed, if there is a demand feature, negative amortization, late payments, partial payments, escrow accounts, and more…

11. Next, there is a basic loan calculation similar to what the TIL had with the total payments, finance charge, amount financed, APR, and the new figure which is the TIP.

12. There is a section listing other disclosures which will list the appraisal, contract details, liability after foreclosure (keeping it positive), refinance, and tax deductions.

13. And last there is contact information of the Lender, the Real Estate Brokers, and the Settlement Agents.

Sign below.

——————————————— ———-
Applicant Signature Date

Eventually I will create some test questions out of this material. I already have one, but I will derive some others as well.

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You might also like:

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

30 Point Course (5-7) HUD, Occupancy Affidavit & Deeds
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14546

The Right to Cancel done Wrong!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=10001

Notary information for beginners: Best Posts
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=10472

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

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February 15, 2015

30 Point Test Course Book: Synopsis

30 Points in Your Favor!
The 30 point course book is yet another certification course offered by 123notary.com. But, this one is different. Our original certification course was a very dryly written quick course designed to teach notaries basic competency in loan signing. Our Elite course was written in late 2012 and was designed to teach very sophisticated aspects of doing business as a mobile notary such as communication, marketing, hiring others, and the finer aspects of notary and signing agent work. This new 30 point course will have some elements from both of these previously written courses, but will focus only on the technical aspects of notary and signing agent work of all levels ranging from basic to very advanced. Also, be sure to read about the new loan document which goes over facts and figures about the loan called, “The Loan Estimate” which is similar in information to the TIL & HUD-1.

Required additional reading

Best blog articles for advanced Notaries – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14736
Mobile Offices from A to Z – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=535
Signing Agent Best Practices – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4315
The Prepayment Penalty – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4429
The Loan Estimate (New) – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15437

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Table of Contents

(1) Deed of Trust – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14245
(2) The Note – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14270
(3-4) Right to Cancel & Closing Disclosure — http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14291
(5-7) HUD, Occupancy Affidavit, Grant & Quitclaim Deeds – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14546
(8-9) 1003 Loan Application, Compliance Agreement – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14335
(10) The Signature Affidavit – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14356
(11) Following Directions – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14379
(12) Cross-Outs http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14406
(13) When to Call the Lender (and when not to) http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14421
(14) Explain or don’t explain http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14440
(15) The Prepayment Penalty http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14447
(16) Initialing http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14463
(17) The APR http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14483
(18-24) Technical Points for Notaries http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14492
(25-27) Identification, Wrong Venues, Fraud http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14514
(28-30) Beneficial Interest, Negligence, E&O http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14532
30 Point Final QUIZ http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14557

Page Titles

Each post about the 30 point course will have a story and several points which could make the titles appear a bit long.
Titles might look like this:
Point (13) The Automatic Payment Disclosure; Story: Marcy’s Babysitter

Use this link to see all published posts in a string in reverse order:
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=30-point-course

How is it different from the Elite course?
The Elite certification course was designed to get its students an upper arm in the notary business. It was designed to help them be a pro at negotiation, growing their business, and handling difficult strategic situations. The overall aim of the course was to help them make more money, grow their business, and gain attention from having the Yellow Elite Certification Icon next to their name on the search results. Notaries who passed are far more intelligent, sophisticated, and get a lot more work than their competitors in high spots on 123notary who lack the Elite designation. Based on my personal experience, I would vouch for the fact that a 123notary Elite signer has quadruple the signing agent knowledge as an uncertified signer. Although they don’t know everything, the depth and breadth of their knowledge is quite noticeable if you talk shop with them for more than a few minutes.

This 30 point course is only designed to teach notaries how to deal with technical situations like a pro, but not designed to help them get rich (although more knowledge never hurts). If you do well on the 30 point test, you can consider taking our Elite course. It will be easy for you if you got a high score on the 30 point test.

Summary of the 30 point course
The 30 point course will cover a wide range of notary and signing agent technical topics including following directions, best practices, understanding what information is where in the documents and more. Additionally, we added some entertaining stories to help make the text more enjoyable for the reader. There will be many stories which are designed to drive certain technical facts home in a pleasant and absorbing way.

Please Note
Not all of the questions covered in the 30 point test are taught in this course. Please rely on your personal experience as a notary to answer test questions not addressed in this course.

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You might also like:

What’s the difference between 16 clicks a month and 100 on 123notary?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=13185

From 3 jobs a week to 3 jobs a day!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3940

A detailed look at the Ninja course
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4621

Interview with a Title company
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3724

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September 2, 2013

Notary Perjury and Oaths

Notary Perjury

What is Notary perjury? Is that when a notary lies under Oath or when an Affiant lies under Oath to a Notary Public or other state official? In real life there is no such thing as Notary perjury — there is only regular perjury. Don’t get caught lying under Oath — tell the truth!

Penalty of perjury
If you swear under Oath to a Notary Public, you have made a solemn Oath under the penalty of perjury. Lying under Oath is a Felony and Federal crime punishable by jail time of up to five years. The problem is that Notary Oaths are not always very clear. The Notary might have you swear to a document, but what are you actually swearing to? Are you swearing that the document is true, or that you will follow the terms in the document, or both?

What types of things do people lie about?
People might lie about what their legal name is. Sometimes people want to use an alias. Sometimes the name a person has on the Title of a property might not exactly match the name on their identification document which could cause a lot of confusion and legal issues. Another common lie that I might have been told for years (no evidence either way) is on the Occupancy Affidavit. Borrowers can get a discounted interest rate if they claim to live in the building (house) they are borrowing on. The Occupancy Affidavit makes that borrowers swear that they are residing in the property as their primary residence. But, it is common for borrowers to lie and be using the property as an investment property or second home — an example of “Notary perjury”.

People don’t always take the Oath seriously
My biggest objection to being a notary was that people didn’t take Oaths seriously. I sometimes had to ask people multiple times to raise their right hand all the way up — no, not two inches up — all the way up. Mumbling an inaudible “yes” just doesn’t cut it with me. I think that as a Notary Public, you should remind your Affiants of how serious and formal the Oath actually is. I would also tend to think that your Oath takers will be more likely to tell the truth if they are aware of how serious an Oath is and if they are aware of how they could be subject to penalties of perjury should they lie. I have never heard of anyone being punished for lying under Oath to a notary. I have only heard of people getting in trouble for fraud. But, keep people honest in any case! Being a Notary Public is a serious profession that protects the integrity of signatures and society!

You might also like:

Can a Notary get in trouble?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21429

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

When are you required by law to give Oaths as a Notary?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21017

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May 9, 2013

What is a notary public?

What is a notary?

A notary is a state appointed public official that is authorized to conduct certain types of official acts such as Acknowledgments, Jurats, Oaths, Affirmations, Protests, and sometimes other notary public acts. Since notaries are appointed by their respective states, the laws for notary conduct and what types of official notary acts a notary can do vary from state to state.

Notary Acknowledgments & Identification Requirements
A notary public can execute acknowledgments. Acknowledgments are the most common notary act representing about 80% of all acts done by notaries! The notary must positively identify a signer as the first step in executing an acknowledgment. Identification requirements vary from state to state, but most states allow state issued identification cards, drivers licenses, and passports. As a general rule, any government issued photo-ID with a serial number, expiration date, and physical description is accepted. Social security cards, credit cards and green cards are not acceptable.

Identification through Credible Witnesses
Some states allow a notary to positively identify a signer through the use of credible witnesses who must be identified by the notary and then swear under Oath as to the identity of the signer. Personal knowledge of the signer used to be allowed in most states, but in recent years, notaries are required to rely on more “hard” forms of identification.

Notary Journals
After the identification process is over, the notary must fill out a journal entry in his/her official journal of notarial acts. Not all states require journals, but they should because the journal is the only record of a transaction that the notary has, and can be used in an investigation or in court after the fact. Such an investigation might happen in a few critical cases where fraud is suspected! The signer is required to sign the notary journal which is one of the most important parts of the notary process.

Notary Certificates
The notary must fill out an Acknowledgment Certificate with state specific Acknowledgment verbiage. The Acknowledgment wording can be embedded in the last page of the document, or could be added and stapled as a loose form.

The official notary seal
Notaries typically affix their seal to the notary certificate area in a document or on a loose certificate. This is a very official way that notaries finalize their notary acts. Notaries may use an inked rubber seal. Some states allow a notary public to also use an non-inked embosser which leaves a raised impression in a piece of paper — as a supplemental seal to deter fraud through page swapping.

Jurats
A Jurat is a notary procedure where the notary administers an Oath. The signer has to raise his/her right hand and swear under Oath to the truthfulness of a document or statement in a Jurat form. Additionally, the signer must sign the document in front of the notary for a Jurat, where they can sign long ahead of time for an Acknowledgment. Identification requirements for Jurats vary from state to state. Jurats represent roughly 18% of all notarial acts!

Oaths and Affirmations
Notaries can perform or administer Oaths or Affirmations for clients. They should record such acts in their bound and sequential journal as well. Wording for Oaths is really up to the notary, but some standardized or formal wording is recommended such as, “Do you solemnly swear that the contents of this document are true and correct to the best of your knowledge?”. Or, “Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?”. The Oath verbiage depends on the situation and the document. However, it should be formal, and the Affiant (Oath taker) must raise their right hand definitively for this type of act. An Affirmation is the same as an Oath except for the fact that the word God is omitted from the Affirmation Verbiage.

Protests
This is an antiquated notary act where someone can protest the non-payment of a bill. I have never met a notary who has actually conducted such a notary act, but most states still include this as one of their official acts.

Acts allowed only in specific states
New York allows notaries to do Safety Box Openings as an official notary act while most other states do not. Rhode Island has something called a Marine Protest which is only an official notary act in Rhode Island. Various states allow notaries to act as a Witness as an official notary act as well. Additionally, please consult your state’s notary division for information about Apostilles and Authentications which typically involve either a local county recorder, the Secretary of State’s office, or a local embassy.

Documents that are commonly notarized.
Many notaries notarized Power of Attorney documents frequently. Notaries are advised not to draft such documents as they are legal documents. However, notaries can notarize signatures on such documents.

Affidavits of all sorts are normally notarized with a Jurat since they are to be sworn to (usually). The notary is forbidden from recommending a particular notary act over another, but they are not prohibited from stating what is “usually” done.

Wills can be notarized by a notary, however, it is generally frowned upon unless given written instructions from an Attorney!

Notaries can not notarize vital records such as Birth Certificates or Marriage Certificates.

A Notary Public can notarize Real Estate or Mortgage documents or loan documents except in certain Attorney states such as Massachusetts or Georgia where there are restrictions. Common loan documents that might be notarized could include Deeds of Trust, Signature Affidavits, Grant Deeds, Quit Claim Deeds, Occupancy Affidavits, and many more!

Where can I find a notary?
123notary has thousands of mobile notaries distributed throughout the United States that you can find on our Find a Notary page. They typically charge a travel fee and specialize in loan documents. To find a stationary notary, please consult your local yellow pages, or call pack & ship places in your area.

How can I become a notary?
Each state has a Secretary of State or Notary Division that appoints notaries. Please visit our state contact page, and contact your state’s notary division for details. Typically, you need to be 18 years old, not have a felony on your criminal record, be a citizen (some states require this), or in many states be legally residing in the United States. Most states have a Notary Public Application Form, and a Notary Public handbook for you to study from. You are normally required to pay an Application fee for becoming a notary, and there could be other fees for recording your Notary Oath of Office as well as the fee for your Stamp, Journal, and other related fees.

Is it worth it to become a notary?
It can be very rewarding to be a notary. You can make a lot of extra money in your spare time if you have a way to attract clients. You can meet new people, and learn new things. Mobile notaries who are good at what they do can make a full time living driving around doing loan signings. You can get a job more easily if the boss knows you are a notary, as that is a skill in high demand at many offices.

Tweets:
(1) A notary is a state appointed public official authorized to conduct certain types of official acts such as Jurats …
(2) A notary public can execute Acknowledgments, Jurats, Protests, Oaths, Affirmations…
(3) A quick guide to being a notary including: journals, seals, identification, witnesses, jurats, oaths & more…

I want to learn more!
Visit our GLOSSARY of notary and mortgage terms, and read more articles in our blog!

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You might also like:

Notary Public Information 2018 Edition
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20075

Notary Public 101 Real Life Scenarios
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19681

Notary Public 101 Quick Review Pointers
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19679

10 Risks to being a Mobile Notary Public
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19459

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April 1, 2012

Do personal loans require a witness?

Filed under: Witnessing — Tags: , , , — admin @ 12:08 pm

Do personal loans require a witness?
 
Most personal loans are signed in the presence of a notary.  Refinance loan signings are commonly refered to as witness signings.  The notary is the witness in this case.  Technically, the notary needs to witness the signings of Affidavits in the loan as a matter of notary law.  Each loan is different, but there could be a Signature Affidavit, Occupancy Affidavit, and perhaps other Affidavits too.
 
What about a non-notary witness?
I have heard of personal loans or refinances requiring an outside witness, however, this only is required in particular states. Additionally, from time to time, if a signer doesn’t have their identification, a credible witness might be brought in.
 
You might also like:
 
Can a notary be a witness?
 
Can a notary be a witness to a will?

If you can’t find a witness to sign

Can a notary sign an out of state Quit Claim Deed?

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