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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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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:

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http://blog.123notary.com/?cat=3442

The 30 Point Course Final Quiz – Jeopardy!
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Help, I’m being sued, and E&O insurance won’t help!
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April 19, 2015

Point (25-27) Jails; Venues; Fraud; Marcy Notarizes a Felon!

Filed under: (2) Technical and Legal — Tags: , , , — admin @ 10:27 am

Marcy was being very careful now. She had heard horror stories about Notaries getting sued, and landing in huge trouble. Of course in real life, very few notaries get in trouble. But, they could, and Marcy didn’t want anything in her life to go wrong. She got a call from a guy name Sam. Sam seemed very normal at first. Marcy drove out to the job. She recorded Sam’s ID in her journal. Then, she asked Sam for a thumbprint. Sam seemed reluctant. That was a warning sign if Marcy had ever seen one. Sam said, “You don’t need a thumbprint.” Marcy said, “It is safer for me if I have one.” Marcy didn’t know that Sam’s ID was forged. It looked legitimate. But, she had no way to detect the difference as it was forged by someone very professional. Finally, the guy got desperate as he really needed to get notarized. He gave her the thumbprint. A month later, Marcy got a call from a fraud investigator. Apparently Sam was in a lot of trouble. The Feds were catching up with him. Sam was doing fake transactions in false names for huge dollar amounts and cheating people. Marcy asked if they would like a copy of the journal entry that had a thumbprint. The Feds were very happy that she had taken that thumbprint. Without that one piece of evidence they would be virtually unarmed against this felon! A few weeks later Marcy got a call from the Feds. They caught Sam, whose real name was Charles. They were going to put him away for a long time, and they wouldn’t have been able to convict him without Marcy’s help!

Then, a week later, a Lender had a job for Marcy. It would pay extra. The Lender asked Marcy to save a few extra spaces in her journal. Marcy asked why. The Lender said, “Just do it.” Marcy had never been a fan of corrupt Lenders or Nike commercials. So, she just didn’t do it as she knew that was illegal, although she didn’t know what the Lender had in mind. At the signing, the Lender asked Marcy to put yesterday’s date on the transaction. Marcy declined. Then, the Lender asked if she wanted to get paid. Marcy replied that whatever he was paying wouldn’t do her much good if she was at “county.” And that whatever he was paying her (or not paying her) wouldn’t be a huge loss to him if he were locked up at “county”. A day after the signing, the Lender wanted another favor from Marcy. He wanted her to send a loose Jurat with her stamp on it because the certificate section on the Deed had gotten torn by one of their secretaries. Marcy told him that she would send him a certificate, but not a loose one. She said, “Just send the Deed back to me, and I’ll shred the old certificate and add the new one — that way it is legal.” The Lender didn’t like that and said, “Just send it.” Marcy was fed up by now. She told the Lender she was reporting him to the Secretary of State and for him to never contact her again. Just some advice for Notaries: If you want to stay out of trouble, you should consider declining work from anyone who makes even a suggestion of doing anything illegal!

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Point (25) Identification & Jail Issues
Notaries who visit jails may be very aware that inmates never have an identification document which is suitable for notarization on their person. As a result, they might have their mother, girlfriend, or Attorney come and meet the Notary at the time of the notarization and bring the ID which is hopefully current. Jail wristbands do not constitute acceptable identification. However, many states allow the use of one or two Credible Witnesses. Please consult your state Notary handbook for specific laws relevant to your state.

Many States Allow Credible Witnesses
In California, Florida, and many other states, you can use two Credible Witnesses who know the signer, but who do not know the notary to identify the signer. If you visit jails, you might have to use this method of identification to legally notarize someone who doesn’t have an ID. Make sure these witnesses produce their own ID and sign your journal.

Personal Appearance
Many people do not understand the important concept of personal appearance. To be legally notarized, the signer must personally appear before the Notary. That means they need to be in the same room a few feet away, or on the other side of a glass in a jail. Once I was asked to notarize someone 50 feet away barely visible from a jail window. I couldn’t clearly see the person and I declined to notarize as that person was not personally appearing before me.

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Point (26) Wrong Venue
What if the wrong venue is inscribed within the Notary certificate? What do you do? There are several things you can legally do. You can take a loose certificate, staple it to the document, inscribe the correct venue, and then complete the rest of the form. Or, you can cross-out the incorrect county, initial, and write in the correct county name on the original certificate. The third solution is to notarize the document twice: once with the existing certificate and then a second time with new certificate (two journal entrees necessary in this case) in hopes that one of the two will be accepted by the document custodian. It’s complicated. But, what the law says is acceptable and what the document custodian will accept are often based on two entirely different standards.

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Point (27) Deterring Fraud
Notary Fraud is a serious issue. Fortunately, it doesn’t happen very often. But, it did happen to me. Luckily, due to my prudent practices, I was able to use three pieces of evidence to prove that a particular notarization was indeed done fraudulently. After investigation, we learned that the fraudulent notarization happened to have been done by a crooked Title Officer’s secretary!

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What Constitutes Notary fraud?
There are many types of Notary fraud. Here are a few.

(1) If a signer falsifies an identification document, that would be fraudulent.

(2) If a Notary puts an incorrect date on a notarization on purpose, that would be fraudulent.

(3) If someone uses a Notary’s seal who is not the rightful owner of that seal, that is fraud.

(4) If a signer signs someone else’s name and has that signature notarized, that would be fraud.

(5) If a Notary or anyone else purposely attaches a Notary certificate to a document it is not associated with, that is fraud.

(6) Swapping pages on a document after it has been notarized is fraudulent.

(7) Using an expired Notary Seal is fraud.

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Here are Some Ways to Deter Fraud:

(1) Use an embosser as a secondary seal for all pages of all documents notarized.

(2) Avoid leaving any blanks in notarized documents as those could be filled in after the fact.

(3) Staple Notary certificates to the documents they are associated with.

(4) Take thumbprints in your journal for all notarizations just in case the signer’s ID is forged.

(5) Be thorough when you fill out the additional information sections in an Acknowledgment certificate.

(6) Be sure to indicate how many pages are in the document.

(7) Be sure to indicate the name of the signer, and their capacity if applicable.

(8) Be sure to indicate the document date to better identify it.

(9) Be sure to indicate the name of the document.

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Additional Optional Information for Acknowledgments?
Acknowledgment certificates have room for the document name, document date, and number of pages among other information. This information helps to identify which document it is associated with. Since Title likes to dismantle stapled documents which is a very questionable practice, you need to make sure they know which Acknowledgment goes with which document.

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There are Three Reasons why this Additional Optional Information Should be Required.

(a) If the certificate is accidentally removed from the document, it will be clear which document it is associated with. That would help someone who made an honest mistake.

(b) If a fraudulent person wants to re-attach the certificate to another document, he would be deterred by the fact that there will be evidence to show that he fraudulently attached the certificate to the wrong document.

(c) If a fraudulent person re-attaches the certificate to another document, they can easily be caught after the fact if investigated.

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These reasons are all related, yet all different. You assist the honest re-attaching, you deter fraud, and you catch bad guys when you investigate. Got it?

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You might also like:

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

30 Point Course (28-30) Beneficial Interest, Negligence, E&O
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Seal Forgery, it happened to me
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=724

Fraud & forgery in the Notary profession
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2294

What is a venue in a notary certificate?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=8454

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April 12, 2015

Point (18-24) Notary Competence; Marcy’s Hospital Signing

Marcy had never done a hospital signing. But, she liked kids, and was thoughtful towards elderly people as well. She was called to go to St. Joseph’s to do a notarization for a bedridden old lady. When Marcy got to the hospital, she learned that the elderly lady could barely move her arms. Luckily, the lady was able to sign an X in chicken scratchy writing. Marcy was able to get together a few others in the hospital to act as subscribing witnesses. Marcy had studied this procedure since she knew that one day a notarization would be ruined and a client lost if she didn’t know it inside out. She got the subscribing witnesses to sign the first name and the last name next to the X in their own handwriting in the journal and in the document. Next, she asked the old lady to explain the document. Unfortunately, the old lady was so mentally impaired, that she could not get a single sentence out about anything. Marcy didn’t want to end up in court, so she played it safe. She declined to notarize after all of that work. Better safe than sorry, because in a fraud investigation, only God knows how long you would be in court!

The very next day, Marcy got a call from 123notary. They wanted to help her brush up on her knowledge. The girl at 123notary asked, “Name two Federal holidays in January.” Marcy said, “Oh, I know this… um…. Martin Luther King Day… and … I can’t think of the other one.” Marcy forgot about New Year’s Day. This may seem funny, but 9 out of 10 answer this question incorrectly. The answer is too obvious, or since it is celebrated in the last evening of December, it doesn’t seem like it happens in January.

The following day, Marcy got called in to notarize three Grant Deeds for a busy Realtor. They all had the same document date, the same signer, and would all be notarized on the same day. Marcy wanted to mark her journal and the additional information sections of the Acknowledgments with some distinguishing information to tell these documents apart. After all, they had the same name, date, signer, and everything! So, Marcy wrote the document date, the name of the document, # of pages, and some other information in the additional info section, but also wrote the property address as that was the only unique piece of information to separate the three Grant Deeds. Marcy was being smart now and staying out of trouble. After all, she didn’t want someone playing swap the Acknowledgment certificate after the fact. That would be a long court case. Smart — very smart!

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Point (18) Name Variations, Middle Initials & Identification
If the printed name on the signature section of the document says, Tom T Smith, then the signer has to sign that way. Once in a while there is a consistency error where the spelling of the name or the name variation might vary throughout the loan by accident. If the signer’s ID has a shorter version of the signer’s name, then it would be illegal to notarize them under a longer name. For example, the ID says “Tom Smith” and the loan documents say “Tom T Smith”, then you can’t notarize the person under the name “Tom T Smith”.

On the other hand, if the ID says, “Thomas Timothy Smith”, then you can notarize him as Thomas T Smith, or just Thomas Smith in addition to the full name stated on the ID.

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Point (19) Journals
Whatever name you choose to represent the signer that is legal according to your state’s Notary law gets recorded in your journal. Each journal entry must record:

The Date & Time of the notarization
The Type of notarization, i.e. Jurat, Acknowledgment, Oath
The name of the document & optional date of document
The name and address of the signer
The identification of the signer
The Notary fee you are charging
A signature of the signer
There should be space for the thumbprint of the signer to the right.

It is recommended that you take thumbprints for notarizations of any type of document affecting real property such as a Deed, or for Powers of Attorney. Additionally, if the method of identification was credible witnesses which is allowed in many states, you should take a thumbprint just to give extra proof of the person’s identity should it ever be questioned in court.

The most confusing part of a journal entry for Notaries is the additional notes section. What notes should you take? This is where you record information about credible witnesses and their signatures. The witnesses do NOT sign where the signer’s signature goes; otherwise where will the signer sign? You can take notes about the building, or neighborhood, or anything distinctive about the signers or your surroundings. This might jog your memory a few years after the fact should you ever be called into court about the notarization — and some type of investigation will likely happen at least once during your four year term. So, keep well documented evidence for all of your transactions.

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Point (20) Federal Holidays
Please memorize these holidays, and the days or months they fall upon. You will be tested on this.

New Years Day
Martin Luther King Day
Washington’s birthday AKA and observed on Presidents’ day
Memorial Day
Independence Day
Labor Day
Columbus Day
Veterans Day
Thanksgiving
Christmas

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Point (21) Notary Acts: Acknowledgments, Jurats, Oaths, Copy Certification by Document Custodian

(1) Acknowledgments
The signer doesn’t need to sign in front of you for an Acknowledgment. But, they need to appear before you and be positively identified. Do you keep a pad of Acknowledgment forms with your state’s wording? If there is a wording error on the acknowledgment provided to you, and you don’t have a replacement form, you will have to use cross-outs which is very unprofessional. Additionally, the notarization might get rejected if there are cross-outs. Keep a journal even if your state doesn’t require it. That is your evidence when you are investigated for someone’s fraud. You might have to lose a day or more in court if you don’t have your paperwork in order. Take journal thumbprints too, just to be thorough. Be professional, carry Acknowledgment and Jurat pads. Ninjas always carry what they need.

(2) Jurats
Jurats require identification in most states although they didn’t used to many years ago. The signer must sign before you for a Jurat. You must make them swear to the truthfulness of the statement or document as well. Affidavits typically use Jurats, although that is up to your client what type of notarization they want. Don’t forget to administer the Oath to the Affiant, or you are breaking the law! Know your notary procedures.

(3) Copies of a document?
Foreigners often need their transcripts notarized, or copies of their transcripts. The law forbids copies of vital records, but not on transcripts. You should ideally supervise the copying of the records to make sure the copy is real. That is a best practice that you can do as a notary. Some states allow a Copy Certification by Document Custodian form which is a Jurat with some extra wording on it and recognized as its own notary act. Clients were happy that I not only notarized the copy, but made a note on the certificate that I personally supervised the copying, and I signed my brief note as well. People were happy with the thoroughness of my work.

(4) Oaths
What is proper Oath wording? A lot is left to the notary who is generally untrained.
There is no official Oath wording for notaries. So, the Notary is left to improvise. Here is some wording we generally like:

Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?
Are the contents of this document complete, true, and correct to the best of your knowledge?

By the way, the name of the person who swears under Oath is the Affiant.

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Here are some other points about certificates

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Loose Certificates
Don’t send loose certificates in the mail. If the lender wants a new certificate, ask for the document and original certificate, destroy the original, and attach a new one. You do not legally need to see the signer again to do that. There should only be one certificate floating around with the document. Make sure to date the new certificate the date when the notarization was actually done and not today’s date! Important point.

Certificate Wording
Most notaries do not cross out the wording in Acknowledgment sections. Where it says “his/her/their” requires the notary to cross out two of the three. That way, upon reading the edited wording, you know if you are dealing with a single man, single woman, or a plural amount of people. Sometimes the gender of the signer is not obvious based on their name. Signature(s)? What if you have one signer who signed a document twice? Then don’t cross out the (s) buddy! This is not rocket science, but most notaries do not do their cross-outs. This is the one document where you not only get to cross words out, but you are legally required.

Backdating
The date you use for a notarization must be the date of the signing. If it is around midnight, then either the date before or after midnight will do. That is the only exception. If you ask me, I feel that the date on an Acknowledgment should correspond to the minute that the signer signed the notary journal since the document could have been signed before the notarization and the certificate could be filled out after. This is only important if you have a midnight signing, otherwise there is no question about the date.

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Point (22) Elderly Notarizations & Signature by X
If you are a Notary who visits hospitals, you will have to learn how to handle difficult elder signings. Many elders have trouble moving their arms. Additionally, if the nurses have given them drugs, then they might not even be able to stay awake or communicate. You need to make sure the elder is sober. It might be illegal in your state to notarize a signer under the influence of morphine or whatever drug they are on. You also need to make sure the elderly signer understands what they are signing so they don’t get scammed. You need to make sure they are the ones signing the document and not an overly zealous daughter who puts a pen in grandma’s hand, grabs the old lady’s arm and moves it around to make a signature.

Use due caution when notarizing the elderly
Please keep in mind that the well-meaning middle-aged people who call you to visit the hospital to notarize granny might not be the old lady’s children. They might be some strangers who just wanted to “help out” who might be trying to cheat granny out of every penny she owns through a Power of Attorney or some other legal documentation that a senile old person might not mentally grasp. Take precautions to make sure you are not facilitating a scam, and that the elderly signer can state in their own words what the document is about. It might be difficult to ascertain by looking at identification cards who is related to whom as relatives don’t always share the same surname. Just assume that people might not be related and might not have honorable intentions no matter how nice they seem. Otherwise you could end up in court for a very long time!

What is Signature by X?
Signature by X is where the signer being notarized signs an X instead of a regular signature.
Many Notaries go through their entire career without understanding the necessity and importance of the Signature by X / Signature by Mark procedure (Notarizing an X). If you have ever done a hospital signing, or signing for elderly, you might be acutely aware of the physical and mental limitations that a signer has in tasks we take for granted. This often necessitates Signature by X procedures.

What steps are necessary for a Signature by Mark or X?

(1) You need two Subscribing Witnesses who witness the Signature by X.
(2) The signer signs an X in your journal and on the document.
(3) Witness one signs the person’s first name in the document and journal.
(4) Witness two signs the persons middle and last names in the document and journal.
(5) Document the ID’s and signatures of the witnesses in the document and journal.
(6) Keep in mind that this is a very unusual notary procedure and is tricky.

Subscribing Witnesses?
What is a Subscribing Witness? Anyone who witnesses someone signing by X as an official act is a Subscribing Witness. Subscribing Witnesses sign the document and the journal. In California, one witness signs the signer’s first name and the other signer signs the signer’s last and middle name (if there is one). It’s good to create documentation to accompany the document as to what this odd procedure is, since it is uncommon and looks strange. It’s also prudent to indicate the Subscribing Witnesses’ names on the actual document and that they witnessed the Signature by X.

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Point (23) Elizors
I am adding this topic just so notaries can appear intelligent if the subject ever comes up. In my career I have never heard this term, but maybe you will. An Elizor is a court appointed official that can sign over property when the owner refuses to cooperate with the court.

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Point (24) Embossers
An embosser may be used in many states as a supplemental Notary seal. As a secondary seal, the embosser should not use ink. Embossers leave a raised three dimensional impression in paper. If a Notary is prudent and embosses every page of every document they ever notarized, then it will become obvious if pages are swapped after the fact as they would not be embossed. Additionally, in a rare case where a Notary’s seal is forged, the forger will not be likely to be smart enough to also forge the secondary embosser which will make their forgery very obviously detectable. Embossers help to deter and identify fraud. They are highly recommended as a result.

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You might also like:

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

30 Point Courses (25-27) Identification, Wrong Venues, Fraud
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14514

Sending loose certificates is illegal
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2470

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

Notary Journals from A to Z
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=8348

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Point (17) The APR; Marcy Practices Explaining the APR

Marcy’s husband came into the room and said, “It sounds like a broken record in here, what are you doing?” Marcy, having grown up with CD’s couldn’t understand the analogy. Marcy informed him that she was practicing explaining the APR. But, that the definition was long and complicated, so she had to keep saying it over and over until it was natural. Then, tomorrow she planned to do the same thing. You get in practice, and you get out of practice just as easily, so Marcy decided to always be at the top of her game.

That night while they were sleeping, Marcy started talking in her sleep, “It doesn’t include closing costs… it is compounded annually.” If her husband hadn’t already been asleep, he wouldn’t fallen asleep from such a boring rant. Her husband was sleeping during this episode, but his subconscious heard everything and he started talking in his sleep saying, “Why can’t she just stay home and take care of Chuckie? snore…. snore… Chuckie…. snore…”

So, Marcy got to her next signing. They went through the documents. Then, she said, “Do you want me to tell you why your APR is higher than your Rate?” The borrower said, “Actually, our Lender already told us.” Marcy realized that her borrowers knew more than she did about loans. But, she didn’t regret practicing. It was one less thing to screw up on some future loan. At this point Marcy didn’t care how often she had to know something, she just didn’t want to screw up and lose her self-respect. It took about seven more signings until she had a borrower who was very confused. Marcy rattled off her definition of the APR and the borrower had to ask her to repeat it slowly. After a few tries the borrower kind of understood the inverse relationship of the equation and how some of the fees and closing costs were deducted. Marcy had memorized exactly which fees were included or excluded from the formula for calculating the APR and people were very impressed with her knowledge. A few asked her if she was an Escrow Agent.

Marcy was also smart by including a disclaimer in her speech stating that her explanation of the APR was a general one and wasn’t necessarily applicable to the borrower’s particular transaction in all ways.

The next thing you know the borrowers were asking Marcy for legal advice. Once again, Marcy played her cards correctly and told them that she was not an Attorney, and that she could not answer legal questions for them. Then, she suggested that they contact an Attorney. Another smart move. It looks like Marcy went from being clueless to being a very savvy and satisfied Notary in only a few weeks of hard knocks and studying. That night in her sleep, she went “z-z-z-z-z-z.”

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Point (17) The APR
The APR is one of the most frequently asked about loan terms that exists. Notaries and Mortgage Brokers almost always sound very poorly rehearsed when they explain this very basic concept. To avoid sounding unprofessional, try to memorize as much as you can about how the APR is calculated, and also try to rehearse a comprehensive definition of the APR so that you will appear knowledgeable to clients and to us when we test you!

Quick Facts

(1) The APR is documented on the Truth in Lending Disclosure.

(2) The APR is usually but not always higher than the Rate.

(3) Your definition for the APR should include the fact that it could include loan origination fees, closing costs, appraisal fees, inspection fees, points, escrow fees, notary fees, and other costs of the loan — those are some of the big ones.

(4) If you mention that the APR is often used to compare loans, you get points on the phone test.

(5) If you mention that the APR might be compounded, you get points.

(6) Several notaries have claimed that there is no government standard for computing the APR, it is up to each individual lender.

(7) You could also claim that the APR includes the interest rate, all fees and costs of the loan, and incorporates them all into a compounded Annual Percentage Rate.

(8) There are many ways to define the APR, the key is to mention all of the components in a clear and easy to understand way.

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When we ask notaries about the APR, the answers we get are very inconclusive such as:

“It included the fees”
“It is the cost of the loan”
“It has the interest and fees”
“It is different from the Rate because it is annual”

How unprofessional. If you are a professional signer, you need a professional definition.

A Mortgage Company’s definition of the APR
The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is an interest rate that is different from the note Rate. It is commonly used to compare loan programs from different lending companies. The Federal Truth in Lending law requires that mortgage companies disclose the APR when they advertise a rate.The APR does NOT change or affect your your monthly payments. Your monthly payments are a function of the interest rate as well as the length of the loan. We provide calculators to calculate your monthly payment as well as your APR.

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Jeremy’s official definition of the APR
The APR is the relationship between the payments and the amount borrowed, minus the fees expressed as a compounded annual rate. 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.

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Fees included in computing the APR:
Points (discount and origination points)
Pre-paid interest
Loan processing fees
Underwriting fees
Document preparation fees
PMI – Private Mortgage Insurance
Appraisal Fees
Credit Reporting Fees

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Fees not normally included when computing the APR
Title or Abstract Fees
Escrow Fees
Notary Fees
Home Inspection Fees
Transfer Taxes
Recording Fees

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Although my delightful sounding definition of the APR sounds very professional, there is no reason why you shouldn’t come up with your own, and practice it until you sound perfect. One objection that I have is that Notaries sound unrehearsed when talking about the APR even if they have signed 10,000 loans. If you are a professional, then sound professional!

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You might also like:

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

30 Point Course (18-24) Technical Points
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14492

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

See what the April phoninar says about the APR. Unusual info…
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4382

.

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April 5, 2015

Point (16) Initialing; Lost in a cornfield

Filed under: Loan Signing 101 — Tags: — admin @ 11:25 pm

Marcy had been to the county fair recently. She really got to thinking as she was lost in the corn maze. But, then it all started to pop. It took her ninety minutes to get out of that maze. All of the routes seemed the same, with twists and turns, but only one would get her out of that maze. It reminded her of her career. One thing that Marcy learned, is that the maze had several signs in various locations that showed the routes. She just wasn’t reading the signs carefully enough. There was one intersection with five paths, and she kept taking the wrong one since they all looked almost identical. Where’s your GPS when you need it? She took each path one by one until she got the right one. Corn mazes are confusing like that. As she munched on some grilled corn at the fair after her ordeal, she was even more determined than ever before to be the perfect Notary. And besides, she would have to face her neighbor Patricia who didn’t tolerate failure (or bad corn)!

At Marcy’s next signing, she noticed that the name of the signer was printed incorrectly on the signature line of one of the documents. Marcy had them initial next to their signature. The next day she got a call from the Processor. The Loan Processor was upset that the initials were to the right of the signature which got in their way of doing the changes. Never had Marcy heard of someone other than her cat being so picky. After all, she did her job correctly, she had the borrower initial and sign the correct way. What more can you ask for? Furthermore, they didn’t do any forbidden cross-outs. Marcy felt her work was perfect. The Processor wanted the initials below the typed name under the last several letters of the last name. This is how 123notary teaches initialing incorrectly printed names by the way. Marcy said that she would do it that way from then on. Marcy went on to tell Patricia what had happened and Patricia said, “If it isn’t one thing, it’s another — but, keep this up. You’re really getting somewhere now! And remember, a cornfield of 10,000 acres isn’t planted in a day.”

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Point 16 — Initialing
Most Notaries don’t understand initialing. At least they don’t initially. Although there are no formal rules, here are some guidelines.

The initials should cover all parts of the person’s name being signed.

Theodore T Tidmore would initial TTT
Nancy Nissenbaum would initial NN
Thomas T Carl Edison would initial TTCE

But, what if it gets complicated?

Thomas Smith, Sr. would initial TS Sr.
Thomas Jones, III would initial TJ III
Thomas DeLuna is a little more complicated. I choose TD since the last part of the name is connected.

But,

Thomas De La Cruz De Philippe Rodriguez Ramirez Gomez would initial TDLC DPRRG — oh my God.

Where do initials go?
Where do initials go, assuming they are not on a tree representing a relationship soon to be DOA? On loan document signings, it is common for borrowers to initial all pages of the Deed of Trust, sometimes the Note, often the Universal Residential Loan Application (The 1003), and sometimes other multi-page documents. There is normally a one centimeter line in the lower corner of the page where the initials are intended. But, keep your eyes open, because the special line for initials might not be where you expect it to be.

Initialing changes
Many notaries do not understand the name changing procedure. It is really up to the processor to do name changes. However, the notary must at a minimum have the borrower initial any changes. My best client during my loan signing days was a processor which is how I know the ideal procedure for name changing. It is easier than you might think.

Have the borrower initial to the right below the last several letters of the typed name.
Have the borrower sign the correct way where they are supposed to sign.
Inform the lender in writing and by phone that the name is changed to whatever it is changed to.
There is no need to cross-out. Cross-outs cause a mess. there is also no need to write in the correct name. The processor can do that.

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You might also like:

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

30 Point Course (17) The APR
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14483

Can you notarize initials?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=8269

Read about initialing in our industry standards blog entry
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4370

Signing Agent Best Practices 63 Points
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4315

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Point (15) Technical Points; Marcy Attaches a Certificate

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RUTH: That bad?

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

RUTH: Here it is.

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

RUTH: Boy, aren’t you careful?

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

(10 minutes later)

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

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

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

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

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

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

(a day later)

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

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

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

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

LENDER: But, we always do that.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Title Docs: Subordination Agreement, Mortgage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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You might also like:

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

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

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

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

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March 29, 2015

Point (14) Explain or Don’t Explain? Marcy Hires a Babysitter

Filed under: Loan Signing 101,Popular on Facebook (some) — Tags: — admin @ 9:37 pm

Poor Marcy needed a babysitter. She called one of her regulars named Amy. Amy was a nice girl from the neighborhood. Marcy’s husband was getting on her case about spending too much money on babysitters.

HUSBAND: Why are you running all around town chasing notary jobs when you should be watching our kid?

MARCY: I’m trying to create a career so we’ll have a better future.

HUSBAND: Our future’s just fine. You just stay here, and we’ll make it. We made it so far.

MARCY: I’m tired of just sitting around the house. I’ve done a few dozen signings, and I’m getting the hang of it. There’s money in this!

HUSBAND: Okay, but I don’t like it. I have to work late and our baby will be all alone with a complete stranger!

MARCY: Oh, It’ll be okay.

HUSBAND: I hope you are making more than $20, because that’s what the babysitter is charging us.

MARCY: If I get paid I will.

HUSBAND: IF you get paid? What kind of business is this? I’m putting my foot down! I bet Patricia down the street talked you into this.

MARCY: I already have the appointment and Amy is coming over.

AMY: Hi, I’m here. But, one small thing.

MARCY: Anything.

AMY: I need to have someone come over while you’re gone. Only for a minute. Will that be okay?

MARCY: Well sure. But, who is it?

AMY: It’s for business. It’s not a friend.

MARCY: What kind of business? And at your age? Business?

AMY: Hmmm. To explain or not to explain. I would feel more comfortable not talking about it.

MARCY: Well, if you are having someone come to my house while I’m not here, I need to know who it is.

AMY: Well, it is sort of a guy who helps with paperwork. He stamps stuff…

MARCY: Is he a Notary?

AMY: Oh my God! How did you know?

MARCY: I’m also a Notary, and I’m going out to an assignment right now. I can notarize you for free when I come back.

AMY: Well, it’s kind of private. I’m not sure I want you to see the paperwork.

MARCY: Private? How private are we talking? Something you don’t want your mom to know?

AMY: If she finds out, I’m grounded for life.

MARCY: So, you’re in trouble? And you’re babysitting my kid? What kind of trouble?

AMY: Oh, it won’t affect you. It’s just for a test.

MARCY: Test? Are you on drugs? Or… Oh no.

AMY: I missed my period last month.

MARCY: Oh. I understand. You teenagers need to be more careful. Boys aren’t a game. You can ruin your entire life in an instant!

AMY: I know that now.

MARCY: Okay, you can have whomever you want notarize you, but no boys coming over here tonight or any night. Got it?

AMY: I understand. I’m glad I explained it to you.

MARCY: If you can’t explain, you have nobody to help you. But, if I can’t explain something. I just call the Lender!

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Point (14) When to explain and when not to explain

The points in this section are not too much different from point 13. But, we will go into more detail here. The main point is that general questions about loan documents are for the Notary to explain if your state laws allow for that. Specific questions about the loan require you to call the Lender or Title company.

What should the Notary do under these situations?

(1) Where is my prepayment penalty explained?
Show the borrower the correct page where the information is located.

(2) Why is my prepayment penalty so unfair?
Call the Lender or refer the borrower to the Lender.

(3) What is my loan amount?
Refer the borrower to a document that has this information.

(4) I thought my loan amount was $365,000 and now it is $390,000 with fees. I had no idea it would be so high.
Show them the HUD, and then perhaps call the Lender.

(5) I am supposed to sign my name as Theo T Tango, but my ID only says T Tango, what do I do?
Unfortunately, the Lender can’t help with Notary law issues as they will most likely encourage you to break the law in order to get the loan signed. Try to find a legal way to get the loan signed. Call the Lender if you want to know about using the Signature Affidavit though.

(6) Where is my APR?
Show them the Truth in Lending Disclosure

(7) I was told my APR would be 4.6%, but it is 4.7%
Call the Lender

(8) The signer wants to introduce you to their girlfriend
Politely say hi

(9) The signer wants their girlfriend to join you at the signing — naked
Call the Lender!!!

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

30 Point Course (15) The Prepayment Penalty
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14447

Loan signing process & Pitfalls: explain the documents, not the loan
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2780

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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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Point (12) Cross-Outs; Marcy & The Flood Affidavit

Filed under: Loan Signing 101 — Tags: — admin @ 10:06 am

Our friend Marcy is very flustered by now. Everything she does is just plain wrong. But, she has no other way to make a living, so she just continues to, as her friend puts it, “Go out there!”

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

SALLY: Thanks for coming Marcy. Let’s get this signing started.

MARCY: Sounds like a song the way you say it.

SALLY: I listen to a lot of music. I’ve looked over the documents, and everything looks good except for the Flood Affidavit. I refuse to sign this no matter what.

MARCY: Oh boy. I’ll call the Lender. (ring-ring) Nobody answers. I’ll leave a message. “Hi, this is Marcy the Notary for the Rodriguez Signing. Sally Rodriguez is refusing to sign the Flood Affidavit.

SALLY: And one more thing. I don’t like one of the names in the Name Affidavit.

MARCY: Well, in my first Signing Agent course it teaches us to just cross-out any wrong information. Not sure what my second course says as I am only half-way through reading it.

SALLY: How reassuring. I hope it was not the part that was crossed out. I’ll just cross it out.

MARCY: Great. I’ll send these documents back with a note.

Marcy made several more mistakes here. Her self-esteem must be zero right now. Poor Marcy. But, it is her fault for not studying more! First, she did not put the unsigned flood affidavit on the TOP of the package. It was not found until after it was too late. Sally lost her lock as a result and had to pay an extra half a percent interest which cost her $20,000 over the life of the loan. This is partly Sally’s fault for refusing to sign, but partly Marcy’s fault for not putting the note on the top of the package with the document, so whoever opened the package would know there was a problem right away.

The second mistake Marcy made was allowing a cross-out. As a general rule, you cannot make cross-outs on documents. On Notary Certificates you can cross-out, although recorders don’t like it and might reject a Deed with a cross-out. But, on Legal documents crossing something out is as good as shredding the entire document in most cases. White-out is even worst — never use white-out no matter what.

However, there are times when Notaries can and should use cross-outs, so read the text!

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Point (12) Cross-Outs

Notaries are often too happy to cross-out and initial.
Some signing courses teach notaries to cross-out anything which is wrong and have the borrower initial. There are many Lenders (Provident Title being the most famous) that will not allow any cross-outs on any documents no matter what. You will ruin the loan by crossing anything out. So, ask your contact person for permission to cross anything out. If a contact person is not available, read the LETTER OF INSTRUCTIONS. In any case, cross-outs should be done as a last resort if done at all. If the signer won’t sign the document in any case, and you can not find out if the lender will permit them, maybe it is worth the risk to cross something out, if the signer will at least sign the document.

Wrong Names?
If a signer needs to sign his name differently than typed (with permission of the Lender) do NOT cross anything out. The processor will make the necessary changes, just sign as instructed.

The RTC
If the dates are wrong on the right to cancel and there are no borrowers’ copies with the dates left blank, you can cross-out and have the borrowers initial the change in dates. If the borrower signs where it says, “I wish to cancel” and there is no borrower copy, you might be forced to cross-out and have the borrower initial, and hope for the best as there is no other alternative.

Acknowledgment & Jurat Certificates
If a date or county is wrong in a Notary Certificate, it is better to start with a fresh certificate. But, if it is not possible or permitted by the Lender to use a new certificate, you are forced to cross-out and initial. On certificates it is the Notary, not the borrowers, who does the initialing.

County Recorders
The County Clerk is likely to reject a notarization if there are cross-outs in the notary section. For Deeds, be extra careful not to have any smudgy seals, cross-outs, or anything else wrong. Each County Clerk is different and some are pickier than others. As for those who insist on calling a tomato a fruit, don’t even get me started!

The 1003
Borrowers can usually get away with cross-outs on the 1003 as this is not a final document in the loan process. It is still unadvisable to cross things out as the Lender might reject the loan. Lenders often want to sell loans, and if there is anything wrong, then the 3rd party buyer might decline not only that loan, but all of the loans in the package from that particular Lender. So, try to avoid making a mess.

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You might also like:

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

30 Point Course (13) Call The Lender?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14421

Cross-out and initial?
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=cross-out-initial

Cross-out happy; Not a good idea
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4449

Common mistakes on 1003 and crossing out, RTC, TIL & APR
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4553

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