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November 11, 2013

Affidavits — What do you need to know?

BLOG: Affidavits

What is an Affidavit?
An Affidavit is generally a document that has an accompanying Sworn Oath. The person who swears under Oath is the Affiant or Deponent. The person giving the Oath could be a Notary Public, Justice of the Peace, Court Recorder, Commissioner of Oaths, Judge, or other type of official who has the authorization and capacity to give Sworn Oaths.

What types of Affidavits are there?
There are many types of Affidavits. Many are for business. There are various types of Affidavits used in loan signings such as Signature Affidavits, and Occupancy Affidavits. A Financial Status Affidavit is also common in loan signings. For people who want to be able to come to the United States, sometimes it is necessary for a relative or loved one to sign an Affidavit of Support. Many people who lost their passports and can’t find their Birth Certificates sign and swear to an Affidavit of Citizenship.

There are many other types of Affidavits as well!
Jurats commonly have an attestation clause at the end certifying the fact that the affiant made an Oath and the date and signatures.

Other common types of Affidavits:
Affidavit of Heirship, Affidavit of Residence, Affidavit of Name Change, Affidavit of Service, Financial Affidavit, Affidavfit of Domicile, Affidavit of Death, ID Theft Affidavit.

What types of wording can you use in an Affidavit?
You can word an Affidavit any way you like, but if it is to be used as a legal document, please consult an Attorney. Additionally, please do not ask a notary public to draft documents, because many states have restrictions as to what a notary public is allowed to do, especially if it borders on what Attorneys typically do.

How do I get an Affidavit notarized?
Please find a notary on 123notary.com! We have 7000 mobile notaries throughout the nation waiting to help you. Just visit our find a notary page in the navigation bar above!

You might also like:

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

Notarizing a Name Affidavit
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4711

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March 1, 2012

Sample Affidavits & Sample Oaths

Notaries have to perform Oaths as part of their job.  But, many have no idea how to do this. If you are notarizing an Affidavit, you generally use a Jurat form, and you need an accompanying Oath. It is an infraction of notary law to omit the Oath, so don’t forget!
 
How do you word an Oath? 

Let’s say, that you have an Affidavit about some business arrangement in front of you.  You watch the signer sign the document in front of you as is required.  Then, it is Oath time… 
 
Oaths generally begin with:
“Please raise your right hand!”
“Do you solemnly swear…”  You could begin with, “Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?”
 
But, what is the purpose of the Oath about the Affidavit?  You need to have the signer swear that they understand the document, agree to the document, and will abide by the terms of the document which is usually some sort of contract.
 
When I was doing this job, my standard Oath verbiage was:
“Please raise your right hand… Do you solemnly swear that the contents of this document are true and correct, that you agree to it, and will abide by the terms in this document?”
 
The answer that I accept is a clear, “I do”.  I never accept grunts, or uhs, or ahs. People don’t always take Oaths seriously, but I do, or should I say, “I do!”.
 
If you are notarizing five affidavits for an individual, do one separate Oath for each notarized document or signature.
 
Good luck!

You might also like:

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

Affidavit of Support
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=17528

Notary Public Oath of Office Information
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2545

Airline meals verses Notary Oaths & Affirmations
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19549

Oaths – How Notaries completely screw them up!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19369

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December 3, 2011

Notarized Affidavits Information

Notarized Affidavits

There are many types of Affidavits that show up before notaries throughout the country. Commonly notarized Affidavits include: Affidavits of Citizenship, Affidavits of Support, Business Affidavits, Affidavit of Occupancy, Signature Affidavits, and Affidavit of Financial Status. The main thing to understand about Affidavits, is that they are normally notarized using a Jurat certificate. However, the notary is not allowed to choose or recommend a particular type of certificate for the signer or client. However, it is not a crime to say that people “usually” use a Jurat when doing this type of notarization as long as you clarify that you are not advising them. Affidavits normally contain sworn statements In any case, affidavits usually contain a sworn statement or a Jurat certificate which by definition contains a sworn statement.

The signer is supposed to sign in the presence of a notary, and then raise his/her/their right hand and swear under oath that they consider the contents of the document to be true and correct, and that they will abide by the conditions in the affidavit (if there are any). I am generalizing what the oath should be about. It is up to the notary to make up an Oath, so make something up that makes sense under the circumstances. What is an affiant? An affiant is the person who swears under oath to the contents of an Affidavit. Administer an Oath Just for the record, a notary is a person who is in charge of various notary acts including administering an Oath. You might also use the word “give” in association with giving an oath, although it is more normal to use the term “administer”.

Sample Oath for a Notarized Affidavit
Q. Do you solemnly swear that the contents of this document are true and correct, and that you agree to abide by the terms in this Affidavit?
A. I do.

Where can I find a notary to notarize an affidavit?
Just visit the advanced search page of www.123notary.com and you can find many choices of notaries in your area anywhere in the United States.

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You might also like:

See our string on Affidavits
http://blog.123notary.com/?s=affidavit

Oaths — how Notaries completely screw them up
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19369

Affidavit of Support
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=17528

The Signature Name Affidavit
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=13190

Airline Meals vs. Oaths & Affirmations
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19549

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April 24, 2019

Notaries can get jobs in banks more easily

Filed under: Public Interest — admin @ 10:22 am

If you would like to have more options to work in a bank in any particular capacity, it is easier to get a job at a bank if you are a commissioned Notary Public. Being a Notary Public involves applying to your particular state, in many cases taking a course and passing a test. The rules for becoming a Notary are state specific and change over time so please ask your state or visit your state’s Notary Public information online which generally is on the Secretary of State’s website.

There are lots of documents that might get notarized at a bank. Sometimes banking power of attorney forms need to be notarized. Other times, contracts, affidavits, or other general documents might need to be signed and notarized. Loan documents might need to be signed at a bank and those include Deeds of Trust, Mortgages, Signature Affidavits and many others. It is good to be knowledgeable about the loan signing process if you get involved in loan signing.

It is likely that a bank might want to have multiple Notaries on staff. After all, people call in sick, quit, and take lunch breaks, but the Notary work still must get done.

So, consider becoming a Notary so you can get that bank job you have always dreamed of. And yes, I would like my withdrawal in ones please…

You might also like:

Bank of America Power of Attorney Form
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21327

Banks need more notaries on staff
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21153

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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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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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November 13, 2020

Penalties for Notary misconduct, fraud, and failure of duty

Filed under: Notary Mistakes — Tags: , , — admin @ 11:23 am

Originally posted in 2018

Notaries by and large do not willfully engage in any type of illegal activity or illegal notarizations. The normal types of crimes Notaries commit are due to complete ignorance of Notary procedure, Oaths, and certificates. The only serious and purposeful crime I have ever heard of a Notary associated with us committing was one that assisted someone in fraud concerning real property — and the Notary ended up in jail. Please keep in mind that Notary law is different in every state and changes all the time as well. Penalties and fines for Notary misconduct are different in each state, California being the most stringent.

Negligent vs. Willful Misconduct

In California, the penalties are much more severe for Notaries who have engaged in willful misconduct rather than just making a careless mistake or omission.

Failure to keep your seal & journal under lock and key.
In California this is very serious and is a crime. You can keep your Notary equipment in a bag with a small lock that locks the zippers together. If you are the only one with access to your car, then the trunk of your car could work as well.

Unauthorized Practice of Law
The definition of UPL differs from state to state. However, offering opinions on legal matters or offering to draft legal documents might constitute UPL. For a professional opinion — ask an Attorney!

Asking a notary to do an improper notarization.
This is a misdemeanor in California. If it involves real property, then it is much more serious. Clients might ask you to notarize their signature using a different name variation that is not documented on their identification, or put a false date. This is illegal. They would guilty for asking you to do this, and you would be guilty if you give in to their pressure. If you have driven forty minutes to a signing job, in a sense you have a beneficial interest in notarizing their document unless you have gotten your travel fee up front when you walk in the door. So, to be prudent and avoid this issue, you MUST get your travel fee BEFORE you see the document, or are informed who the signers are, or see their ID, because a conflict of interest can easily happen. If someone asks you to do something illegal, you can threaten to report them to the Secretary of State’s office. This is a serious crime and you should treat it as such.

Issuing a false certificate
A notary who signs and seals false certificates, and this could include backdated certificates would be guilty of a misdemeanor. A false Acknowledgment certificate constitutes FORGERY. Additionally, the notary public could have their commission revoked if found guilty of this crime, with an additional fine of $1500 per incident in California (fines change over time so look this up in the statues).

Failure to Identify a Credible Witness
A fine of $10,000 per incident could occur if a notary fails to check a credible witness’s identification documents and see that they have acceptable identification.

Failure to get a thumbprint!!!
This is my favorite. Thumbprints are critical for identifying a signer if fraud is suspected. Powers of Attorney and Deeds require a journal thumbprint in California. A fine of up to $2500 per incident would be the penalty. Most other states do not require thumbprints, and Texas and Florida actually recommend against thumbprinting as those states do not trust Notaries with biometric data which is the only foolproof way to identify a signer. How ironic!

Failure to administer an Oath
A fine of $750 per incident could be incurred, not to mention revocation, or suspension of a notary commission, or refusal to grant a commission. I heard that some Notaries in Oklahoma had to go to court for a loan document signing in question. The Judge found out that the Notaries had not administered Oaths on the Affidavits in the loan package. I heard that the Judge overturned the loan and had the Notaries commissions permanently revoked by their state.

Felony Convictions
If you have a felony conviction or have been convicted of a crime involving dishonesty or moral turpitude, you will most likely not be allowed to get a notary commission in the first place. If you already had a notary commission, it would be suspended or revoked the minute your state’s ntoary division finds out about it!

Professional Misconduct
This refers to dishonesty in your professional activities. The penalty would once again be suspension, revocation, or refusal to grant a notary commission.

Failure of Duty
This means that you refuse to serve a member of the public who has a legitimate request for a notarization. However, if the signer doesn’t have proper identification, or doesn’t have a properly filled out document, or seems very questionable, you have the right to refuse service to such a client. The penalty would be refusal to grant a notary commission, suspension, or revocation of a notary commission. Additionally a fine of $750 could be imposed on the California notary public.

Falsely Acting as a Notary
This is a misdemeanor. Borrowing someone’s Notary seal and doing Notary work is a serious crime. If you are a Notary, keep your seal and journal locked up.

Making false statements to a notary
Anyone who induces a notary to make an improper notarization with regards to real property can be found guilty of a FELONY. This is the most serious type of fraud possible in the notary profession.

False or misleading notary advertising
Making false statements in notary advertising is illegal, and the penalty for a California Notary is $1500 per incident. Additionally, such a notary’s commission could be suspended, revoked, terminated, or there could be a refusal to issue a commission. Claiming to be an immigration expert, or be able to give legal advice could be a serious example of false advertising and perhaps unauthorized practice of law.

Selling personal information
It is illegal for the notary sells or misuses personal information of those he/she has notarized. Remember to keep your journals locked up, so that nobody can have access to that information. When making copies of journal entries, make sure that the neighboring journal entries are covered, so that their information is not shared with the public. Once again, your application could be denied, or your commission could be revoked or suspended for this type of crime.

Misstatements on a notary application (Application misstatement)
Your notary commission could be suspended, revoked, or refused if you are guilty of this misconduct

Here are some other crimes… I will just list them here, but may or may not describe the penalties.

Failure to deliver a journal to the county clerk at the end of your commission. – misdemeanor
Failure to safeguard seal and journal – revoke/suspend/refuse
Failure to report a lost or damaged seal – $1500 fine
Nonpayment of judgement / Refusal to pay child support – refusal to issue a commission
Failure to keep a journal – such notaries will be prosecuted

There are a few others laws that I am not going to mention, but these were the interesting ones…

You might also like:

A Notary loses $4000 in legal fees because someone changed a name on a certificate

Notary loses $4000 in legal fees because fraud adds name to Acknowledgment certificate.

All you need to know about notary work

All you need to know about notary work

How to complain about a notary public

How to complain about a notary public

Notary Fines and Penalties

Notary Fines & Notary Penalties (gulp)

Fraud and Forgery in the Notary Profession

Fraud & Forgery related to the notary profession

Notary Public General Information

Notary Public Information

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October 15, 2020

Names for Notary Businesses with Commentary

Filed under: Business Tips — admin @ 8:15 am

Notaries love to read about names for Notary businesses. Some names are geographical, some are funny, and some get you in trouble. Others sound cliche and a few are catchy. Here are some names we see and a few we made up for fun.

Notary 4 U
Now there is a name that works well on an email address.

Signatures 4 Less
Sounds like a bargain

Notaries R Us
Sounds like a Toys R Us commercial. Affidavits are in aisle three.

Seals on Wheels or Notary on Wheels
This on is popular.

Seal the Deal Mobile Notary
Talk about getting things done.

The Notarizer or The Noterator
I think Arnold has registered this name already.

Have Stamp Will Travel
Brings back memories of the old West.

What’s Up Docs
This signing service ended up not doing that well. People thought their name was goofy. But, Bugs Bunny liked it and that’s all that matters to me.

A1 Notary Services
Try this service out when Worcestershire Notary Services is busy!

Notary 90210
Great service, but discounts are probably not their thing in that zip code.

Notary Now
On a busy day, they temporarily change their name to Notary Later.

Jesus (pronounced Hey-soos) & the 12 Apostilles 24 hour Mobile Notary
“We’ll get the job done come hell or high water.”
Sounds like a great name for a Hispanic Notary & Apostille / Authentication Service.

Vampire 24 Hour Notary
“We are Vampires and never sleep. Our price for a Jurat is half a pint of blood with a straw.”

Right on Time Mobile Notary
If you worked for Domino’s Pizza you’ll have an in getting a job from these guys.

Prestige Mobile Notaries
I think the 90210 is still a better idea. Don’t say it — show it…

Royal Notary Service
I’m sure this is where Queen Elizabeth gets her Affidavits.

A. Paul Steele
Sounds like a great name unless your clients want an Authentication!

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You might also like:

Names for Notary businesses that can get you in trouble
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19064

Geographic Notary Business Names
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19060

Notary Business Names
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2302

Choosing a name for a business license
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=7103

You could get sued if you don’t have a business license
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=7100

Deceptive Identities – Companies that change their names
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1090

Stealing a Business Name
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2660

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October 25, 2019

How long does it take to fill in the journal entries for one loan?

Filed under: Journals — admin @ 11:47 pm

Many Notaries use the “cram it in” style of journal entries and claim that it saves time and that it is okay. But, there are several problems with it. First of all, what is the cram it in system of filling in your journal?

If you put multiple documents in on a single journal entry — that is what I call the “cram it in” journal entry style. Normally there is a single signer for these multiple docs on the entry, but some people put two which is even more crazy. Below are the problems associated with this wrongful technique.

1. Fees
Most states allow a Notary to charge a maximum fee per Notary act. If you put multiple Notary acts on a single journal line, you cannot document what you charged for each Notary act.

2. Notary Act Type
If you are notarizing multiple documents in a loan, traditionally there will be different Notary types. There will be acknowledgments for the Deeds and perhaps other documents and Jurats for the Affidavits. You cannot distinguish which document received which type of notarization if you use the cram it in method of journal entries.

3. Court Issues
If your signing goes to court, the signer could claim to not have authorized the notarization of any of the documents listed in your journal as you theoretically could be in cahutz with the Lender and could have added the names of more documents after the fact. It is rare to have an issue in court due to the cram it in method, but I have heard of two examples in my career about how it makes the court case a lot more confusing and you can’t prove that someone consented to be notarized. It can result in a situation that looks like fraud was likely. Why put yourself in that position?

4. Kosher Issues
It just isn’t kosher to add extra document names in a single journal entry. Proper journal entry procedure means one document and one signer per entry — that’s it.

SUMMARY
It is easier to just fill out the journal entries one by one. You might have to write the address many times. It might take about 45 seconds per entry, and with a loan of 12 notarized signatures you might spend 10 minutes total filling out the journal and another minute getting people to sign and thumbprint multiple times. That is about 8 minutes longer than the cram it in method and could save you lots of time in court after the fact. Additionally, if your state audits journals, it could save your career — a valid point to remember in California and in the future perhaps other regions!

You might also like:

Travel fees vs. Notary fees in your journal
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22612

Notary Public 101 – a comprehensive guide to journals
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19511

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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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If Donald Trump hired you as a Notary, would you get fired?
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November 5, 2016

Affidavit of Citizenship

Filed under: Affidavits,Popular on Facebook (some) — Tags: — admin @ 9:52 am

What is an Affidavit of Citizenship?
The Affidavit of Citizenship is a common legal form that is required by immigration services in some cases. Many people need to get an Affidavit of Citizenship Notarized. This document is normally notarized using the Notary act called a Jurat which requires a sworn oath.

Terminology:

Jurat — a type of Notarization that involves a Sworn Oath where the Notary must sign before the Notary Public.
Affiant — the person or individual who swears under Oath perhaps before a Judge or Notary Public.
Affirmation — For those who do not believe in swearing under Oath, many states allow them to Affirm that information is correct while under Oath.
Oath — a solemn Notary act where the signer (who is also the Affiant) raises their right hand and swears under Oath to the truthfulness of the document, or just makes up their own Oath wording for a particular official purpose or commission.
Affidavit — a document (perhaps a legal document) which requires an Affiant to swear under Oath before a Notary to have it notarized.

Drafting an Affidavit of Citizenship
Most Notaries are not authorized to draft legal documents. It is prudent to contact an Attorney or or someone authorized to draft documents. If you appear before a Notary and ask for a notarized Affidavit of Citizenship, the Notary will ask you to present the document to him/her. If you don’t have a document and expect the Notary to write it, you are wasting the Notary’s time. It might not even be legal for a Notary to draft such a document as they are not an Attorney in most cases. So, have a professional draft up a quick document for you, perhaps at a low-cost legal center. After the document is complete — then contact a notary.

Notarizing an Affidavit of Citizenship
A sample wording for an Affidavit of Citizenship might be —

“I, Joe Smith solemnly swear that I am a citizen of the United States of America, so help me God.”
Signature of Affiant _____________________

The Notary could attach a Jurat certificate to the document with this statement. The Notary would ask the signer to raise his/her right hand and swear under Oath to the truthfulness of the statement. Then the Notary would fill in the Jurat form, sign it, and stamp it with his/her official Notary Seal. The Notary needs to be paid whatever the state regulated Notary fee is for a Jurat. Additionally, many Notaries engage in traveling Notary work and should be paid a travel fee, plus waiting time if applicable.

Can the Affidavit of Support be in Spanish?
Official legal documents filed in the United States should be written in English unless you have written permission to write it in Spanish or another language.

Giving Legal Advice
A non-Attorney may not give legal advice. Most Notaries are not Attorneys and therefore may not give legal advice. Additionally, Notaries Public are not authorized to assist in the immigration process or give advice regarding immigration. If you have a legal quesiton or an immigration question, do not ask a Notary, rather, ask an authorized person such as an immigration official, Attorney, or perhaps someone authorized in a legal support profession at a law office if applicable.

What are some other notarized immigration documents or regular documents?
The Affidavit of Support is another commonly notarized immigration document. It states that a particular individual will take care of the sponsored individual in financial and other ways. Basically, a family member can attempt to assist another family member enter the United States by signing an Affidavit of Support. In addition to immigration documents, it is common for Notaries to notarize permission for minors to travel outside of the United States with an adult. Deeds, contracts, Power of Attorney, other types of Affidavits, Name Affidavits, Titles, and other types of documents are regularly notarized as well.

Where can I find a Notary to notarize my Affidavit of Support?
Right here on 123notary.com’s advanced search page! You can find a Spanish speaking Notary by using the language filter on the upper right corner of the search results after you have searched by zip code.

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You might also like:

Modern Family – an affidavit of citizenship & affidavit of domicile notarized
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2011 version of Affidavit of Citizenship
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Index of information about documents
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20258

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