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March 22, 2015

Point (13) Call The Lender? Finding the Prepayment Penalty

Marcy had been studying up. She didn’t want to make a fool of herself anymore. She went to her next signing prepared.

MARCY: Hi, I’m Marcy, and I’ll be your Signing Agent tonight.

GLORIA: Oh wonderful. It is so nice to see a well prepared Notary.

MARCY: We can start here with the Deed of Trust and I’ll explain the documents as we go along unless you want to start with the HUD and work our way back.

GLORIA: Oh, very sophisticated. You sound like one of those really experienced Notaries who has signed 3000+ loans and advertises on 123notary.com.

MARCY: Well, I’ve signed about 20 by now, and I’m only 2980 short of 3000. I am working on the 123notary course, but haven’t finished it yet, but I’m almost there.

GLORIA: Great. The Deed is fine, the Note is fine, now, why is my APR higher than my Rate in my Note?

MARCY: I just studied this… I know the answer. The APR is the annual percentage relationship between the payments and the amount borrowed, minus the fees. This rate is often used to compare the different loans borrowers have to choose from. The APR is almost always higher than the rate. The rate, on the other hand, is a monthly percentage relationship between the payments and the total amount borrowed, including fees.

GLORIA: Wow, very professional. You are even better prepared than the notaries who signed 3000 loans. They just told me, “It is the cost of the loan expressed as a percentage rate.” Your answer was so professional.

MARCY: I spent two hours memorizing it and I practice daily so I won’t look like a fool.

GLORIA: Oh, no, you don’t. I’m going to tell your boss that you are the best Notary I’ve ever had, and we refinance every five years. Now, where is my prepayment penalty?

MARCY: Oh, just look on the Truth in Lending.

GLORIA: Okay… It says that I will, won’t or might have a prepayment penalty. I’ve gotten more decisive answers from a magic 8 ball. Can you do any better than this?

MARCY: Oh, hmm. I thought it was there. Do you want to call the Lender?

GLORIA: Sorry to lecture you after I complimented you, but aren’t YOU supposed to know this?

MARCY: We could call the magic 8 ball? Better yet, let’s call the Lender.

(ring-ring)

FRANK: Yeah, Frank here.

MARCY: You are the first Lender in human history to actually answer his phone.

FRANK: Glad to be of help.

MARCY: Your customer wants to know what the terms of her prepayment penalty would be.

FRANK: You mean my BORROWER. Never call them customers. Gloria DiStefano. She doesn’t have one.

MARCY: Where is that documented – In the Prepayment Rider?

FRANK: No, if there is no prepayment penalty, then there definitely won’t be a rider. Check the Note. Anything else?

MARCY: We’re good. That was fast. 45 seconds exactly not that I’m counting.

GLORIA: I’m on it. I thought we went over the Note. I guess I skimmed it too fast. Here it is. It says I don’t have a prepayment penalty. Great. I’ll pay the whole thing off tomorrow. That was easy.

MARCY: Sorry, I’ll study harder. But, I am doing so much better than three weeks ago when I first started. I hadn’t a clue then, but now I get most of the questions correct.

GLORIA: That’s good, but you need to get ALL of the questions correctly and handle all situations like a pro if you want my business!

MARCY: Sadly, you are right. I’ll finish my course and review it regularly. I might even take a few other courses too.

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Point (13) Calling the Lender
Notaries are often confused about when to call the Lender. Some Notaries are over-confident and never want to call the Lender while other Notaries call whenever the borrower sneezes. A high quality Notary knows when to call the Lender and when not to bother the Lender. You have to understand many of the common situations that arise when you have a small problem. If you call the Lender, leave a message, and wait 20 minutes and then call again. Call other entities related to the loan too if you can, such as the Signing Company, Escrow, Title, etc. If the Lender does answer, the borrower might talk to them for 45 minutes while you are running late to an appointment. You will save a lot of time and aggravation if you ONLY call the Lender when you absolutely need to.

The 1003
The 1003 Universal Residential Loan Application is the one document that is universally wrong. There are always mistakes on everybody’s 1003. I’m not sure if there is a law requiring it to always be wrong, but it seems like there is some sort of cosmic law mandating that. Since the 1003, and the Good Faith Estimate are not final documents, don’t worry too much about it. Just make sure that the HUD Settlement Statement is correct, otherwise you’ll have to redraw your loan!

The APR
Many borrowers ask why the APR is higher than the Rate. If you study and rehearse explaining the APR, you can save yourself the time and aggravation of calling the Lender only to find out they are not able to answer their phone. The borrower will feel a lot better, and you will have one less problem at your signing.

The Prepayment Penalty
Borrowers ask about their Prepayment Penalty all the time. Look for it either in the Note, or the Prepayment Rider if there is one (and once in a while there is) The borrower can read the terms themselves instead of being frustrated that they can’t find it.

Letter of Instructions
Consult the letter of instructions before beginning any loan. That way you will know what to do if there is a problem. There might even be phone numbers in the instructions.

Specific Questions
If a borrower asks a question that is specific to their loan, call the lender. If they ask a general question about what information is in what loan document, you should know. Study up!

The RTC
What if the borrower signs in the wrong place on the Right to Cancel? Just go to the borrowers’ copies and get a fresh copy. You just saved yourself a lengthy discussion with the Lender.

Errors on Certificates
If there is an error on a Notary certificate, this is purely for the Notary to resolve. Don’t get the Lender involved in your job as you should know your job.

When is my first payment due?
Look in the TIL, HUD, Payment Coupon, but don’t call the Lender unless you have to.

Power of Attorney Signings
Call the Lender regardless. Even if you know exactly how to sign, call the Lender to confirm. Power of Attorney signings are rejected 70% of the time in my experience even if they are done correctly.

If the names printed on the documents are spelled wrong
If there are any problems with names of signers on the documents, you should call the Lender. If the ID doesn’t match the borrower’s name printed on the document, you have a problem. The Lender might not care about what Notary law says, but does want to get the loan signed. If the signer is not comfortable signing the way their name is typed on the document, the loan will probably not fund otherwise, but you can call the Lender or read our section about the Signature Affidavit.

Missing docs or docs the borrower won’t sign
If you are missing any of the loan documents that normally appear in a package, sign the ones that are there, send them back, and call the Lender immediately upon discovery that you are missing a document. Or, if a borrower won’t sign a particular document, call the Lender. You can send it back unsigned at the top of the stack. Or, if the borrower wants to keep it and send it back after talking to the Lender, that is another common option.

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You might also like:

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

30 Point Course (14) Explain or Don’t Explain
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14440

Industry standards in the Notary business
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4370

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September 21, 2018

What traits do escrow officers look for in Notaries?

Filed under: General Articles — Tags: — admin @ 11:34 am

Here are some things that Escrow officers look for in Notaries.

1. Document knowledge.
You should know your documents inside out and know where to find the rate, prepayment penalty information, 1st payment info, APR, how to date and initial the RTC, etc.

2. Form Filling
Many loans have forms to fill out. The borrower will do the actual filling out, but the Notary needs to know how to assist in this process if you want to get hired again.

3. Personal Knowledge
Many Escrow Officers prefer to hire a Notary who is personally known (rather than proven on the basis of satisfactory evidence) to them rather than hire a signing agency who hires strangers. For jobs that are far away from the Escrow office, they might be more willing to hire signing services.

4. Personable
Are you the type of person who can interact nicely with others? Or are you difficult to communicate with, rude, complain a lot, or avoid people?

5. Available
If you are not available, or are not reachable by phone that is a problem. Then there are others who answer the phone and refuse to talk who are also not doing well in terms of availability.

6. Back to Back signings
If a signer is willing and able to do one signing after another, that is a selling feature for escrow.

7. What about certification?
Certification is only as valuable as the knowledge that goes with it. Escrow officers want knowledge and reliability, not claims of knowledge and reliability. Elite 123notary Certification is popular with title & escrow. But, very few Notaries bother trying to get it.

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If you work for title companies directly, what do they want?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16110

Why you should consider getting 123notary Elite Certified
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20094

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

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August 14, 2018

Title Companies: 123notary Certification – what you need to know about it.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — admin @ 10:54 am

What does 123notary Certification mean in 2018 and 2019? A letter to title companies.

123notary teaches, screens, and certifies Notaries on:
Notary Basics
Loan Documents
Unusual Scenarios (that can lead to damages)
Clear Communication
Following Directions

We go to this trouble to make your title company’s screening and hiring procedure for new additions to your roster more streamlined, and lessens the chance of serious legal complications in the long run due to improper notary work.

We know that many of you would like to hire better quality Notaries. Are our current certified members up to your standards for being a “good Notary,” and how much extra do you feel they merit per signing? Would it be too much trouble to call a handful, talk to them for a few minutes and size them up and see for yourself how much better you feel they are compared to an average signing agent?

Our 2002 through 2017 tested mainly on loan documents and a little bit on Notary procedure, but involved mostly online testing which was taken advantage of by Notaries who found ways to game the system. As of 2018, we cleaned up our certification, removing those who cannot demonstrate a certain level of still on oral & email quizzes to ensure reliability to your hiring parties. We reduced the quantity of certified members from about 1600 to about 160 and will continue to screen certified members every year or two for quality control purposes.

Our 14 point certification process generates Notaries who are generally polite, responsive, cooperative, and technically competent. I can go over our process in as much detail as you like, but first I would like to let you know that most notaries will not aggressively pursue education on their own. They will only study hard if those who hire them recommend, require, or offer preferential treatment to those that do.

If you have Notaries who you would like to send over who you use regularly who would benefit from a tune up — or those who are not good enough to put on your list due to a lack of basic knowledge, we are happy to tutor, train, or enroll them in one of our courses. This collaboration of our forces will benefit both of us and does not cost title companies a penny. Our work on 123notary is for the greater benefit of title companies. However, we charge the Notaries for advertising and education and never charge title companies for anything.

If you would like to see our sales literature, just visit our loan signing courses page on 123notary.com. If you like the reliability of our screening we would like it if you can endorse our certification. Additionally, a few dozen of our notaries have our elite certiifcation which is a much more refined version of our certification.

We would like referrals and endorsements from agencies and individuals who work at agencies that hire Notaries in exchange for us helping you to refine the quality of your signing agents.

THE CERTIFICATION PROCESS

a. 123notary certification starts with reading our educational materials. We have loan signing courses that we sell. We also have free Notary basics materials in our blog at Notary Public 101 which we are in the process of adding to our sold materials for the convenience of the buyer. However, that material on the blog is open to the public, so our students can see it at any time.

b. We also offer Q&A by email and even tutoring to those who want it. Sometimes the technical aspects of Notary procedure can be complicated and a one on one session can be the best way to learn.

c. Testing is done online, but also as a follow up by phone. Testing by phone is more reliable as a measuring stick as we can ask open ended questions, multiple choice, fill in the blank, etc. Additionally, we know that we have the correct entity taking the test and can adjust our questions to exactly what we want to ask. We can also more easily monitor how many times and when the person took the phone test than with online tests many people abuse the privilege and treat it more like a video game that they keep playing until they win.

KNOWLEDGE REQUIRED
The knowledge required to pass our test as of 2018 includes:

1. Notary Acts. We require Notaries to know when particular notary acts are used, how to explain these acts, and what the requirements of each basic act are including Acknowledgments, Jurats, Oaths, Affirmations and Proof of Execution. We do not teach other acts as they are uncommon and not necessary. We also require Notaries to know how to administer Oaths as they are required by law when executing a Jurat which is done on Affidavits as a matter of custom.

2. Notary Terminology. We require Notaries to know basic Notary terminology such as Venue, Affiant, Certificate, terms relating to Power of Attorney, etc.

3. Certificates. We go over how to fill in the additional and optional information in certificates which deters the fraudulent as well as accidental swapping of certificates to other documents.

4. Journals. We teach prudent journal entry procedure using the one entry per signer per document principle.

5. Power of Attorney. We teach Notaries to follow instructions to a tee on AIF signings and to call in if instructions are omitted or not clear as to how an Attorney in Fact should sign in their capacity.

6. Identification. We teach Notaries how to make sure the ID proves the name on the document. This may or may not be a legal requirement in their state, but it is a prudency requirement that helps reduce the chance of ending up in court.

7. FAQ’s. We teach the basics of FAQ’s at loan signings such as:
(a) When is my first payment due?
(b) Where can I read about my prepayment penalty (if there is one)?
(c) Why is my APR higher than my rate?
(d) Where does it say where my payoffs and fees are located?

8. We teach the basic loan documents. Our emphasis used to be mainly on documents while our current emphasis is on issues that can cause financial damages to companies involved in transactions which are normally Notary issues or issues pertaining to negligence in business matters.

9. RTC. We teach how to date the Right to Cancel in a Refinance for an owner-occupied property.

10. Errors on Certificates. We teach the various ways to deal with errors on certificates, but this gets into state specific areas and also in to areas pertaining to the preference of the Lender or Title company involved.

11. After-Service. After a Notary signs a loan, they still might be needed for several days to clean up errors or answer questions. Notaries are not normally aware of how long they need to be around, so we tell them what types of situations can arise after the fact and how being unresponsive by phone and email will not make them popular with Title companies.

12. Elder Signings. Issues involving the competency and state of mind of signers is critical with elder signings. Elder signings normally take place in the hospital, but it is possible that for loan signings, especially Reverse Mortgages, that elders could be there. If an elder is on morphine, they are not in a position to sign. And if they cannot paraphrase a document, it might be dangerous to notarize them for legal liability reasons.

13. Foreign language signers and foreign language documents. We address these points a bit. A Notary must have direct communication with the signer in all states but AZ where oral translators are, or were allowed. However, for safety, you should not rely on a translator, because if they make a mistake, you could end up in court and you would be ultimately responsible as the Notary Public involved in the particular transaction.

14. Omitted Information. Sometimes a Notary will go to a signing. The instructions might say, “This page must be notarized.” However, there might not be a notary certificate. In some cases there might not be a signature line. We teach how to handle these situations gracefully.

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DANGERS OF HIRING A SHODDY NOTARY

1. Oaths. If you hire a notary who does not administer Oaths, your loan could be questioned, or perhaps even overturned in court by a Judge once the judge finds out that an “incomplete notarization” has taken place. Omitting an Oath makes a Jurat notarization on a Signature Affidavit, Occupancy Affidavit, Identity Affidavit or other Affidavit incomplete and therefore a Judge could declare the document not notarized, and perhaps declare a loan as invalid as a consequence. This would cause serious legal and financial damages to many parties involved. 90% of Notaries we talk to do NOT know how to administer an Oath correctly and most do not administer Oaths at all… ever, because they think it is not “required” in their state. It is required nationally.

2. Dropping Packages on time. If you hire a Notary who holds on to packages when they don’t know what to do in a particular situation, or because they just are not in the habit of dropping documents quickly, you might not get your important documents back on time. This is dangerous and can cause delays in funding, missing the lock in an interest rate, or your loan getting cancelled. Often times several days later, the documents will be found in the trunk of the Notary’s car. Each incident of forgetting to drop a package can cost you hundreds or thousands.

3. Identification. If you hire a sloppy Notary who does not make sure the name on the ID proves the name on the document, it is possible for your loan to end up in court costing all parties thousands. The lack of thumbprints in a Notary journal also makes it hard to identify someone who used a fake ID.

4. Journals. If you hire a Notary who does not keep a journal, you might not experience trouble for years. The minute your notarizations are called into question by an Attorney, the lack of evidence (namely the notary journal) would come back to haunt you and cause a nightmare. Without evidence, you have no way to prove who notarized what, or if a fraudulent notary impostering a real notary did the work. You have no idea who did what or when or what type of identification was used, or even if the signers consented to being notarized.

Additionally, if your sloppy Notary uses the “cram it in” style of journal entries where one line in their journal accommodates all documents in a loan signing (legal in some states but not prudent) your borrower could claim that they never had all of the documents notarized, but only one, and therefore the loan is void and the transaction must be cancelled, etc. This happens once in a blue moon when a borrower wants to get out of a transaction, and legally it is hard to prove if they consented to be notarized on five documents in a transaction when there is only one signature in the journal for five documents. You could claim that the Notary was in cahoots with the lender and added four additional documents after the fact.

5. Confirming. Improper confirming of signing can lead to a lot of wasted time. If the name on the ID does not prove the name on the document, there is no point in going to the appointment. There are many other critical points to go over when confirming the signing. The majority of Notaries either do not confirm signings, or don’t do so thoroughly enough which can cause a lot of loss of time and perhaps delays in the loan process.

6. Following directions. Many Notaries do not follow directions well. This can cause a huge loss to companies that hire them assuming your directions are critical to the success of the the signing. We screen for following directions when certifying signing agents. None of them are perfect, but we weed out a lot by asking a few following directions questions.

7. Notarizing for non-English Speakers. If you notarize for non-English speakers, this can lead to liability if you cannot communicate effectively with them. Any misunderstanding could come back to you.

8. Dating the RTC. You would be surprised how many Notaries cannot date a Right to Cancel. That can cause financial damages to any company that hires them.

9. Elder Signings can be a source of liability. The elders don’t always understand what they are signing. A competent Notary makes sure the signer understands the document, especially if elderly or in the hospital.

10. Being responsive after the fact. Many Notaries disappear or play hookey after a signing. Notaries are needed to answer questions before, during and after the signing. If they are not, this could cause grief to the hiring party.

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Do you have to be a CSS to get work these days?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=8914

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

If you were hiring a notary, what would you look for?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16750

If Donald Trump hired you as a Notary, would you get fired?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19120

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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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February 23, 2016

The Closing Disclosure

Notaries have become moderately familiar with the new Closing Disclosure. I want to stress some important points about this document that you should memorize. I also added this content to the 30 point course for future reference!

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:

Ken’s tips for the Closing Disclosure
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=17116

The 30 point course’s guide to the Closing Disclosure
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14291

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June 23, 2015

Loan Signing FAQ’s That Borrowers Ask

Many notaries go to the signing table unaware that there are many frequently asked questions that they might not know how to answer. I’m going to list a few here, but our list might expand as time rolls on. Feel free to contribute some FAQ’s of your own that you came accross.

(1) Why is my APR higher than my Rate?

(2) Do I have a prepayment penalty and where can I find that information?

(3) Where are my settlement fees and the costs of the loan documented?

(4) When is my first payment due?

(5) Can I cancel my loan? How many days do I have? How do I cancel my loan?

(6) Do I sign my name with my middle initial?

(7) Why do I have to sign my name this way?

(8) Do you know how to reach my lender now? I don’t have his number in front of me.

(9) Am I in a flood zone?

(10) Do I have mortgage insurance?

(11) If I am a spouse, which documents should I sign? I thought I was on the loan.

(12) Does this property need to be my primary residence?

(13) Can I lease this property out to others during the Mortgage?

(14) What is the penalty if I am late on any of my payments?

(15) Why is my information wrong on the 1003?

(16) How come the information is different on the Good Faith Estimate and the Settlement Statement?

(17) How much can my rate go up if interest rates for up for my Adjustable Rate Loan.

(18) When my Adjustable Rate Loan graduates, will it still have a cap, but not a gown? (sorry for the bad humor)

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You might also like:

Acknowledgment FAQ
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21331

Certain things you don’t learn from experience
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22572

Do you take control at a signing
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21104

How much pay do you merit as a signing agent?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19188

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June 20, 2015

Un-TIL they make the change! — CFPB’s New Mortgage Disclosure Rule

Filed under: Technical & Legal — Tags: , , , — admin @ 10:22 am

Know Before You Owe!
“The CFPB will be issuing a proposed amendment to delay the effective date of the Know Before You Owe rule until October 1, 2015.”
You can owe without knowing for the time being!

Currently, loan document packages include a Truth in Lending and often a Good Faith Estimate. The problem is that these documents are confusing. The Good Faith Estimate, TIL and HUD-1 have overlapping information and it is often hard to know which document has the final information unless you are a seasoned Notary.

The New Document will be Called “The Loan Estimate.”
This document will cover the loan amount, interest rate, monthly principal & interest, prepayment penalty info, balloon payment info, estimated monthly payments, tax, insurance, closing costs, and more.
http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201311_cfpb_kbyo_loan-estimate.pdf

The APR Revisited
In addition to starting the APR on page three, there will be yet another figure to make Notaries crazy called the TIP which is the Total Interest Percentage which reflects the total amount of interest you will pay over the life of the loan as a percentage of the loan amount.

Other Considerations
Late payment fees, servicing, assumption, and appraisal costs will also be covered in this new and exciting document.

Is Change Good?
Honestly, this new document is somewhat of a combination of the HUD-1 and the TIL with some elaborations and improvements. I believe it is not necessary to create a new name for a document. In my opinion, this information would be better off added to existing documents so that Notaries and borrowers don’t get any more confused than they already are.

What Do Notaries Think?
Deb on LinkedIn feels that this new document will make life simpler.
Wendell on LinkedIn feels that the new forms are not any more complicated than the forms they replace.
Linda on LinkedIn feels the new forms will help Notaries as borrowers will have the chance to look the form over and learn the facts before the signing.
Kelly states that there will be a complete process change for loans in the industry and it will be more than just one new form.
https://www.linkedin.com/grp/post/4139192-6014441719272067073?trk=groups-post-b-all-cmnts

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Technical Points for Notaries
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14492

TRID information courtesy of Carmen
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18932

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June 19, 2015

How much more does a 123notary certified signer make?

How much more does a 123notary certified signer make compared to a 123notary uncertified signer? The answer is roughly $8 per signing average. I hear a bunch of “buts” in the background. “But, I’m NNA certified, so I’m already certified.” Yes, but you will make more money if you have the knowledge and the show that only 123notary certification offers you. Our numbers are the proof. Not only do 123notary certified notaries get more than double the new incoming calls from our site than 123notary uncertified notaries in comparable spots, but they get paid roughly 8% more as well!

I did a poll of the notaries on our newsletter. I asked what their average signing yielded them. The answers were not always very precise and some round-about. However, I was able to crunch some numbers.

Crunching the Numbers
I crunched figures from the first 22 uncertified notaries who responded.
I crunched averages for the first 20 certified (by 123notary) notaries who responded.
I crunched numbers for 10 Elite certified notaries who responded or who I had talked to previously about fees.
I wasn’t sure what to expect, but then who is.
My results are based on limited information, but enough to get a rough idea.

Average Results
The average Elite certified notary polled claimed they averaged $116 per signing
The average 123notary certified Notary polled claimed they made an average of $110 per signing.
While the average 123notary un-certified Notary polled made an average $102 per signing.

My Surprise
I was surprised that the 123 uncertified Notaries did so well. Most of them lack even the most basic of signing agent education. Most of them don’t know where to find the prepayment penalty or how to explain the APR intelligently let alone understanding the other documents. I am amazed they get paid so much!

$8 Extra per Signing Adds Up to Almost $30,000 in a Decade!
Many Notaries think that they don’t “need” our certification. However, Notaries who pass our certification test know approximately double what those who can’t or didn’t pass our certification test know. Additionally, Notaries who pass our test get double the new calls from our site, although our certification will not help you on other sites. Moreover, Notaries who pass our test get $8 extra per signing. If you do 30 signings per month for 10 years, you will make $28,800 extra as a result of having passed our certification test. So, when you ask yourself if you “need” our certification, also ask if you feel that you “need” an additional $28,800 extra over the next ten years. That can buy you almost a brand new Toyota Corolla after seven years!

$14 Extra per signing + lots more offers makes Elite a good investment
Our Elite certification is intentionally priced higher than our regular certification. We are charging $179 currently. Notaries comment on how that is expensive, but what they should be focusing on is what it can get them. Elite certified notaries have a monopoly on the market. We make it easier for them to get to the highest spot(s) on the list, and people who use 123notary vastly prefer our Elite signers as they are four times as knowledgeable (in my experience) as un-123notary certified Notaries. Getting our Elite certification will make you stand out, get lots more work, and get paid roughly 14% more for the same work! Your entire career could be changed by this one decision. We prefer if you have signed a few thousand loans before you take our Elite course, but that is up to your discretion!

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What’s the difference between getting 16 clicks per month and 100?
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A detailed look at the Elite Ninja course
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4621

Augmenting your skill set to make more as a notary
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14150

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April 22, 2015

30 Point Quiz — Jeopardy

Filed under: Loan Signing 101 — Tags: — admin @ 11:28 pm

In this section, we will test you on some, but not all of the concepts in the 30 point course. Once you feel you are ready, you can email us at info@123notary.com to schedule a time for your over the phone course. If you do extremely well on our test, we might either give you the certification icon, or offer you the certification icon at a discounted price if you didn’t purchase the certification course or loan signing combos in the past. However, we will not reveal how many points you need to earn this certification. Additionally, the content similar to the certification exam would be reflected more in the first 15 questions on the test rather than the last ones!

(1) Other than his loose-lipped girlfriend — The first place you should look for the Lender’s contact information.
What is the ________________ ?

(2) The first place you should query to find Poisoned Prepayment Penalty info without asking the wicked Escrow Officer.
What is the ________________ ?

(3) This type of holiday (mercifully missing meter maids) isn’t factored in to the 3 days a borrower has to cancel their refinance.
What are ___________________ ?

(4) This Mortgage term is similar to The Rate
(batteries, certain fees & closing costs not included; only available at participating locations, restrictions apply; must be 18 or over to enter)
What is _______________?

(5) This is the fee documented in the HUD that can help you get something on the value menu.
What is ___________________?

(6) This Deed lets you take your name off of Title; Think of it as the “Name off Title Affidavit” although you’d be “off” if you thought such a document existed.
What is __________________ ?

(7) This document proves that you reside in the subject property. An if you live in an elevator you’ll need 12 of them.
What is ____________________?

(8) This document is an identity thief’s biggest nightmare as it will have your social security number typed incorrectly and claim that you graduated from Harvard when in reality you went to school online at the University of Phoenix.
What is _______________________ ?

(9) This document makes the borrower agree that they’ll cooperate if clerical changes need to be made in the documents. But it won’t change your loan amount from $200,000 to $20,000,000; so don’t buy the private jet quite yet.
What is _______________________ ?

(10) This loan document takes jazz musicians half an hour to sign in 12 places. About the length of the world’s most annoying drum solo.
What is _____________________?

(11) Many Notaries complete signings incorrectly because they didn’t read this document or the Lender’s mind.
What is _____________________ ?

(12) If you do this on a document, you render it null, void or prohibited by law.
What is ________________ ?

(13) If the names don’t match, you must attach!
If the names on an ID and the documents are inconsistent, or you are doing a Power of Attorney signing, you might need to do this.
What is ___________________ ?

(14) If the borrower introduces you to his girlfriend, ________ you are the Notary. If your borrower introduces you to his girlfriend who is completely naked, call the Lender
What is ___________________ ?

(15) More than once, a secretary in a Title company lost a cashier’s check and the borrower lost their loan. Here is what the Notary should have done to prevent this situation from happening. And don’t get me started on how she misplaced the vanilla hazelnut creamer. Are we being sexist? No. At least a female secretary knows how to make coffee!
What is __________________ ?

(16) This how Samuel Edward Xavier, Jr. would initial.
What is _____________________ ?

(17) This document discloses the APR, and that ain’t no lie.
What is _____________________ ?

(18) The name on the drivers license was Tom Smith, but the Notary refused to notarize because his middle initial and middle finger were somewhere else.
What is __________________ ?

(19) The type of the Notary act must be recorded in the Journal. But, I swear this type of Notary act has no accompanying paperwork.
What is _______________ ?

(20) If black is the new green, this date in January is officially celebrated when St. Patty’s is not. Maybe this question is insensitive, but let’s make a Federal holiday, but not a Federal case out of it.
What is ____________ ?

(21) This type of Notary act can be used to get a university degree officially copied and notarized using a certified copy by document custodian form. It’s almost as easy as getting a fake college degree, or going to the University of Phoenix!
What is ________________?

(22) This type of Notary procedure is used to help elderly people who can’t sign their real name, or remember your name.
What is ___________________ ?

(23) This is a court appointed official that can sign over property when the owner refuses to cooperate in court. When your Quitclaim Deed quits, use one of these.
What is ___________________ ?

(24) This type of Notary seal leaves a raised impression, but not necessarily a good first impression in a piece of paper.
What is __________________ ?

(25) This type of witness is critical in assisting you if you are notarizing someone in jail who has no ID. Whereas your mother in law is just critical.
What is _____________ ?

(26) This section in an Acknowledgment form had a problem because an incorrect county was inscribed. Consequently, the Notary had to use a fresh Acknowledgment form and start all over again.
What is __________________ ?

(27) This action was committed when a signer swapped pages in a document that had already been notarized. The one time a guy chooses to be good at commitment.
What is _____________ ?

(28) This term describes the condition when a Notary will gain financially or in any other way from a document being signed.
What is _________________ ?

(29) This is a state of being where you fail to administer an Oath, omit a thumbprint (assuming you’re not a shop teacher), or forget to identify someone before notarizing them.
What is ________________ ?

(30) E&O insurance protects the Notary if they make an honest mistake during a notarization. But, doesn’t protect the Notary from being sued if they made a non-Notary error during the signing or if this other party made a mistake affecting the loan.
What is __________________________ ?

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You might also like:

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

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http://blog.123notary.com/?p=13185

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

.

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Point (28-30) Beneficial Interest; Negligence; E&O;

Filed under: (2) Technical and Legal — Tags: — admin @ 10:53 pm

Marcy had to go back to the hospital to notarize Esmerelda, the old lady who could barely talk. Her family assured Marcy that it would be okay this time. Marcy wanted her travel fee in cash at the door. She explained that if the signer was not fit to be notarized, she would legally have to decline notarization, but didn’t want to have any issue getting her travel fee should she decline. A month back, she drove an hour to a jail, waited for another hour only to be told that the inmate had been moved. The client who met her there didn’t want to pay a travel fee because Marcy “didn’t do anything.” Additionally, Marcy would have a beneficial interest in getting the document signed if she didn’t collect her travel fee at the door. She would want it to be signed so she could collect her $30. In any case, they paid Marcy her travel fee. Esmerelda was able to communicate and actually did understand the document. She summarized it. Marcy was able to do the Signature by X procedure and get her notarized that evening.

An hour after the hospital notarization, Marcy had a loan signing. At the signing, the borrower asked about the pre-payment penalty. Marcy found it in a snap since she had been studying what information is in what document (like all good Notaries should.) But, Marcy started to read the pre-payment penalty to the borrower and even explain what the terms of that part of the agreement meant. Marcy had overstepped her bounds. She knew she couldn’t give legal advice, but she wasn’t aware that explaining a prepayment penalty could be construed as legal advice. Luckily for Marcy, the Lender gave her a quick lecture on not giving legal advice, and Marcy was very careful from that moment onwards.

After Marcy’s two jobs, she came home only to find Patricia waiting for her on the front porch. Patricia had something urgent to tell her. One of Patricia’s other friends who was a Notary was getting sued, and her E&O insurance wouldn’t help. Marcy asked why. Patricia said that the error was not a Notary error, and that E&O only insures you against Notary errors or omissions. It was the Lender who made an error, and the borrower was suing everyone in sight. Even the Notary who had nothing to do with it. It would have cost this Notary $30,000 in legal fees to defend herself from this angry borrower. Then Patricia told Marcy what a Hold Harmless Agreement is. The Lender has their documents, but if you make the borrower sign a Hold Harmless, that can prevent them from suing the Notary as they agree not to hold the Notary responsible should anything go wrong with their loan. Patricia was a great source of knowledge tonight. So, Marcy consulted an Attorney and got a quick Hold Harmless Agreement written out, and she kept a stack of them in her car so she would be sure to have one for every loan signing form that day forward. She didn’t want to end up like that other Notary! Good God!

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Point (28) Beneficial Interest
It is illegal to notarize a document that you have a Beneficial Interest in. But, what constitutes Beneficial Interest? If you or a close family member is named in the document as someone who will receive money, or privileges, then you could be said to have Beneficial Interest. If you would gain in any way from the document being signed, you have Beneficial Interest.

One interesting twist on this concept is that Notaries who get a travel fee don’t always collect the fee in advance. If you are in front of the signer who doesn’t have proper ID, and they ask you to notarize them anyway or you won’t get your travel fee, then you have Beneficial Interest. You won’t get your $35 if you don’t comply with their illegal requests. As a Notary, you are expected to uphold the law, and if your travel fee rests on you bending the law for someone, you are not only encouraging yourself to do something questionable, but you have Beneficial Interest in the document being signed which is purely illegal.

Financial Interest means that you will benefit financially from a document being signed, while Beneficial Interest means that you will benefit in one way or the other — perhaps financially, or perhaps in some other way.

Point (29) Negligence
What constitutes Notary negligence?

Failure to administer an Oath
Failure to take a thumbprint in your journal for a deed or Power of Attorney
Failure to identify the signers
Failure to inspect signatures
Failure to make sure signer signs in front of you for a Jurat
Failure to completely fill out a journal entry

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Point (30) E&O insurance

Many companies want to hire Notaries with E&O insurance. It makes the Notary look more professional and covered. In real life, it protects you only from honest mistakes on notarizations. Most of what you are doing involves overseeing large business deals that get sent back to the lender via courier. Most of the problems you could encounter might include signing the wrong way (even though it might be notarized correctly), getting documents back late, a missing bank check, cross-outs, no-shows, or other mistakes. Notary errors on notarized documents might account only for 25% of the problems that occur in signings that could lead to damages.

If the Lender makes a mistake that causes the borrower damages, you could get sued, and E&O will not cover you since YOU were not the one who made a mistake AND because it is not a Notary mistake. One of our Notaries dropped out because she got sued for more than $100,000, because of some fraud that the Lender was accused of committing. The borrower was so angry that they want to sue everyone in sight regardless of fault. Unbelievable!

Additionally, in 2013 Notaries who had enormous E&O packages were being sued on a regular basis. You are like a guy in a Mercedes driving around a slum. You have the word “Target” written on your forehead and taped to your back. Sooner or later you will get mugged. Think like a Ninja. You don’t get mugged — you mug THEM!

My advice is to think carefully before investing in a handsome E&O package. If it will land you a good account with Chicago Title, then do it. Otherwise, it might make sense to have a smaller E&O premium and have all of your borrowers, Lenders and signing companies sign a HOLD HARMLESS agreement. The agreement should be drafted by an Attorney and could state that if there are any damages by negligence or omissions by the Notary, that you (the Borrower or Signer) will not hold the Notary responsible.

You might also like:

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

The 30 Point Course Final Quiz – Jeopardy!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14557

Posts about E&O Insurance
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=eo-insurance

Help, I’m being sued, and E&O insurance won’t help!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3570

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