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August 17, 2019

The Signature Name Affidavit: what is it and its purpose…

I am posed with questions concerning this document quite often. So let me tell what it is and what it isn’t. For those of you that are unfamiliar; this document is one of the documents found in 95% of all of loan packages.

The signature name affidavit represent names that have appeared on an individuals credit report(s). When a person applies for a loan, the lender runs a persons credit using all 3 of the credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax). These reports will usually include all of the names an individual has used in their lifetime; examples would be; marriages, maiden and name given at birth. The signers are required by the lender to sign the form and the form typically needs to be notarized.

At other times there will be clerical errors consisting of misspelled names and occasionally where the names are quite different. Sometimes in the case of the latter the signers will have an objection to signing the form and one can hardly blame them. So, if the signers have an objection to signing a name that is not their own, I have them strike it and initial. To date that has been acceptable and I haven’t had a document returned because of this action. (I suggest however, that you always bring this to the attention the company (or person) that hired you while-at the signing table if it is an issue. Never take matters into your own hands. ALWAYS ask).

There will be other times when the ID doesn’t match the documents exactly; say for example, a middle name is missing or the maiden was used previously and now they are married but they have no ID with these variations, you may be asked to add this name variation to the signature name affidavit in lieu of having ID. This is a big NO.NO. We must have current government issued picture ID. (or credible witnesses if they are allowed in your state). You CANNOT add names to the signature name affidavit that you DON’T have ID for. This is fraud and you will be on BIG trouble, if it ever comes up in an investigation or court case. I hear notary excuses; “But Carmen, they swore to me that that was their name.” Not good enough. Just imagine how this would appear to law enforcement or a judge. You must protect yourself and the signer. If you unfortunately find yourself in this situation always ask the signers if they have other acceptable ID that has all their names on it or use credible witness if allowed.

Now, I have actually added names to the signature name affidavit that I had ID for, but that is another blog story. 🙂

Until next time, be safe!

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What constitutes a signature?
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The Signature Name Affidavit
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May 30, 2019

What defines what a signature is?

Filed under: Technical & Legal — Tags: — admin @ 10:44 am

I never stopped to think about this until today. What defines a signature? A signature is a type of a mark that is systemically used by a particular individual to identify themselves by name on a document. It is normally a cursive version of their name (do they still teach cursive to the youngins these days?) Some people might print their name in a unique way. Some disabled people might do a signature by x with some subscribing witness. Someone signed using Chinese characters with me as their Notary. And then there are the doctor scribble type signatures too. All of these are acceptable as signatures.

But, how do you know this is their genuine mark? Just check their drivers license and make sure the signature matches up. Sometimes signatures evolve as a person gets older. But the basic stroke style should be about the same. If it doesn’t match up, then you might be at risk notarizing that signature. The signature in Chinese characters I was a little apprehensive or as the Chinese say, “Zhao-ji” about, but I checked the ID and it matched.

In the old days in America, the upper class used to seal deals actually using seals, which is where the expression seems to have come from. They used candle was and a stamp of some sort to seal their business deals on pieces of paper. I saw that in a movie when someone sold a slave.

And in China some people use a square and very intricate seal with four characters on it sometimes written in their antiquated form. They are very beautiful and you can look them up online under the term, “traditional Chinese seal” and then look up images. They could be made from marble or wood, or many types of materials I guess.

But, once I notarized a movie producer from Israel. His signature was some sort of a line with a hook and a dot. He claims he signed million dollar deals with that signature. The only thing I had to say to him was, “You call that a signature?”

You might also like:

Can you notarize a signature in Chinese characters?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18784

The signature name affidavit — what is its purpose?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22541

Bikers on boats — Notaries heisting signatures
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21160

What if the signature or notarization is in the middle of the document?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20525

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December 11, 2018

What if the signature or notarization is in the middle of the document?

Most times you go to a Notary job, the certificate wording is at the end of the document. But, sometimes one document might have two certificates. There might be a signature in the middle of the document, or perhaps multiple signatures in the document. It might be confusing to know which one you are notarizing. You really need to document this in your journal and on the Acknowledgment form so there is no doubt after the fact as to what you notarized and which signature you notarized.

Just remember that you notarize signatures. You do not notarize people or documents although in spoken language we speak as if we are notarizing people and documents.

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Notary Public 101 – Journals
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A coerced signature
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Get the special jobs
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October 16, 2018

A guide to notarizing documents with blanks or multiple signatures

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 1:04 am

Don’t notarize documents with blanks!!!
That’s the end to the guide!

Dealing with Blanks
However, the main thing to understand is that as a Notary, you have many responsibilities. You have to identify people, keep a journal, staple things together, give Oaths, fill out certificates. You are so busy, that you might not have time to scan a document for blanks. But, you need to scan every single page.

If you spot a blank, you can put a diagonal or horizontal line through it. The main thing is to make sure that no new information is added to the document after the notarization.

You can also refuse to notarize and make the signer or document custodian complete the document before submitting it to the Notary.

Notarizing Individual Pages (or not)
Additionally you cannot notarize particular pages of a document separate from the document. Sometimes a particular page needs to be fixed or changed in a document and you might get a request to notarize just that page. You simply notarize the entire document as a whole.

Multiple Signatures
However, sometimes you get a document such as a health directive which has multiple notarizations within a very long document. I have seen health directives or living wills with fifty or more pages. Sometimes at a notarization you are notarizing signatures in the middle of the document as well as at the end of the document when the certificate is at the end of the document. I have also seen cases where there are multiple signatures in the middle of a document and a certificate in the middle of the document. This is confusing. Affidavit of Support forms have Jurats in the middle of the form too, and not enough room for your stamp (dumb government workers.)

The 1003 is a great example of a document with an entire page intentionally left blank. But, that is a signed document, not a notarized document.

The main point of this quick article is to remind you that you have to scan documents for blanks.

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Cross out and initial, or use a fresh form?
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Affirmations – pleasing the politically correct while offending all others
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Five things a Notary must do
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19583

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August 26, 2018

Are you practicing law by drawing a signature line?

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — admin @ 11:14 am

Are you practicing law by drawing a signature line?

As usual my opening ambiguous answer: it depends. Depends on what you are probably thinking. Well IMHO it depends on where that line is to be drawn. I view items to be notarized as consisting of two sections. The document and the notary section, the former is outside of my “sphere of influence. Conversely, the notary section is my domain exclusively.

I have a simple policy regarding the document area, I don’t touch it, nada; not at all. If a correction is to be made in the document, the affiant(s) make it, and they initial it. That rule applies to additions, changes and redactions. Often I have been requested to change something in the document section; I request that in writing. Then, the instructions are passed to the affiant(s) as “requested” modifications; with the source of the request explicitly shown.

Of course if the signature line where I as the notary should sign is missing I, using a credit card as a straight edge, draw it in. Not so for the document itself, that is a job for the affiant(s). Am I carrying my “keep out of the document” policy to an extreme? Probably, but it’s a slippery slope when violating a basic rule.

Often the notary section is split. The Venue (State of: & County of:) might appear at the very top. That is still part of the notary section and must show where the notary signed. We all know to either fill it in if blank, or redact the inappropriate entry (notary initials at one end of the redaction line) and neatly prints the correct value(s). The affiant(s) do not initial changes to the Venue. Thus, the document section and the notary section(s) are “touched” only by their owners.

Back to that missing affiant signature line. It’s not really required. Often there is just a box for the signature or only an indication of where the affiant is supposed to sign. Would I really ask them it draw that silly line? Probably I would give them the option to do so; and let them decide if they want to. It has happened to me a few times. They are split on the option; some do, some don’t – it matters not a bit to me.

Let me stress the major “take away” from this article again. Don’t write, not even a tiny bit outside of the notary section. Pass along requests, but do not make the marks yourself. The affiant(s) will be initialing those modifications and they should be in “affiant handwriting”.

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How do you notarize a document with no signature line?
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Notary also as a witness
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The Notary of the Future
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Power of Attorney – notary processing mistakes
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August 3, 2018

Notary Public 101 — Scenarios: How do you notarize a document with no signature line?

If you have been instructed to notarize a document that doesn’t have a signature line, that is a cross between a quandary and a conundrum.

You cannot notarize a document without a signature. Notaries notarize signatures on documents, not documents, and especially not documents without signatures. And you cannot have a signature without a signature line. But, it could be construed as UPL for a Notary to add a signature line to a document. So, now your ability to get the job done is really on the line — which unfortunately doesn’t exist in this case, until someone writes one in.

So, what do you do to get the document notarized? If the signer draws a signature line, then they are the one engaging in UPL, not you, especially if you do not advise them to do so. The bottom line (no pun intended), which is the signature line, is that without a signature, there can be no Acknowledgment or Jurat on a particular document. An Oath or Affirmation are the only Notary Acts you can do without a signature.

So, once a signature line has been added, the affiant can sign, and then you can notarize the signature on the document.

But, what if you have a signature without a document — that is an entirely different question.

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April 14, 2018

Check to see if the signatures match

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 10:24 am

As a Notary, when you do an Acknowledgment, the signer does not need to sign in your presence (in most states). However, they need to appear before you and sign your journal. You must check to see if the signatures match the ID, journal and document. If they don’t, you have a big problem. Also, make sure the person looks like they do in their ID, and note down their ID information in your journal which of course you keep because you can get in trouble if you don’t keep one even in states that don’t require it.

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April 10, 2018

Document dates, signature dates, rescission dates and transaction dates

As a Notary, you will undoubtedly be confronted with a variety of dates that all need to be clearly defined in conversation so as not to confuse yourself or the other party. Let me sum these up.

Document Dates
The document date is NOT necessarily the date the document is notarized. It is merely an arbitrary date normally created by the document drafter that might reflect the date the document was drafted, supposed to be signed, supposed to be notarized, or some other arbitrary date. There is no rule for when a document date can be.

Signature Dates
The signature date of a document is the date it was signed. If you have two signers signing on different dates, you might have what 123notary calls “a double date.” There are multiple questions involved in a double date. One is how do you date the rescission document if the date you signed a document is more than one date. The other far more important question is — who pays?

Rescission Dates
The rescission date is based on a date that comes CALENDAR three days after the transaction (= signature date) not including Sundays or Federal holidays. If you have two signature dates, you might have two rescission dates, one per person. But, if there is only one rescission date, it probably is based on the last signature (complicated.)

Transaction Dates
This is more of a glossary type term or test term. The transaction date is the date when the transaction happened which is based on the date of the signature. I ask people what the synonym is for a signature date to see how much they read.

Medjool Dates
If you go to a signing for health conscious people or Saudi’s, after the signing, you might get yet another type of a date — a Medjool date. These dates are typically grown in the Middle East, but also in parts of Arizona near Yuma

Hot Dates Q&A
If you steal a document, would the date on the document be correctly defined as being a “hot date” since it was technically stolen?

Dates and Journal Entries
A good Notary does more than his/her state’s minimum requirements for journal entries. There is a field in your journal for the name and/or description of the document. A good journal also has an optional field for the document date. I suggest you pay attention and write in the document date as it helps to identify a particular document and distinguish it from a different document with the same name signed by the same person. Sometimes the document date is the only way to tell them apart.

Dates and Notary Appointments
I once went to a Notary appointment with a date. I left the date in the car and came out $30 richer. She complained that I left her in the car too long, which is good, because that date would expire at midnight.

Please also read our previous article on the same topic. Read more…

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April 5, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Summary of rules using fortune cookie English

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

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

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

4. TYPED NAME on document should MATCH name on TITLE

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

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You might also like:

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

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

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

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September 5, 2017

Comparing journal entries to fedex signatures

Believe it or not, most Notaries on 123notary do not fill in their journal correctly. It is not rocket science. The rule is:

One entry per person per document.
Two people each signing three documents = SIX journal entries.
But, won’t that take too much time and use too much of your journal? It will only take a few minutes.

Let’s say that Johnny is signing ten documents that are to be Notarized. You put the date, type of notarization(s), document names, document dates, name of signer, address, ID information, notary fee, etc. Next, you draw an ARROW down for the date which remains the same for all ten entries, the name, address, and ID. Then, the signer has to sign for all ten entries. That takes less than a minute. 123notary suggests thumbprinting whether it is required by your state or not as a security measure to help the FBI when they come a knocking. They are bothering one of our Notaires as we speak (or type) and confiscated her journal. So be prepared!

What most Notaries do is one entry per person. Then, they put all the names of the documents in the document section. They have the signer sign once. This is stupid.

If Fedex delivers five packages to you do you sign once? No, you sign once per package and there is a corresponding tracking number next to your signature so you know what you are signing for. If you have a signer sign once in your journal for multiple documents, they could accuse you of having added more documents after the fact and having used them for fraudulent purposes. You would have no way to contest their accusation as the signer did not sign for any particular document.

The bottom line is to have the signer sign once for each document. That way you have proof that your work was authorized and your journal will then be up to standards. And once again, it doesn’t take more than a few mintues and it’s not rocket science.

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