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August 25, 2012

Borrowers With Guns

Stay with me here! It may be a wild ride. Yee-haa!

A few years ago, a Texas professor showed his class this wonderful, funny animation, a kind of protest song, “Cows With Guns,” about the underdog…or in this case, the undercow. That was where I first saw it. You can still see and hear this humorous short animated musical cartoon: http://www.cowswithguns.com/cgi-bin/listen_animation.cgi?cart=1344148843.

I am smiling and thinking that it’s kind of like that in the notary business: naturally peaceful, calm notaries begin to feel they have to arm themselves with guns in response to formerly secure, mild-mannered clients who used to be their friends but are now arming themselves with guns. Some people feel taken advantage of…and that stress makes them try to retaliate. They crack. Now that we’ve had our laugh, here are a few stories that are snapshots of how crazy things are…at least in some parts of the country.

There are companies that prey on people, particularly the elderly, and try to get them to take on more debt than they can manage. Internet loan companies are notorious for that. One Texas notary came to the door ready for a signing, and was greeted by a man with a rifle pointed at her. All he knew was that his grandmother had taken out a few loans and had a few debt collectors after her. Says this Texas notary, “He looked at me suspiciously, and growled ‘My grandmother is sick. What do you want?’ He thought I was coming to collect a debt…when in reality, I was doing a notarization from a debt relief company to help the grandmother get out of debt.” In Texas, the law basically states that someone can fire a gun if there is even a remote possibility that a person is threatening you…so a Texas notary might very well feel the stress and carry a weapon, too.

A second Texas notary says, “I have done more than one notarization where there are guns in the house. Cows with guns? How about borrowers with guns? Now I know a few borrowers who feel that they need guns…but a closing is no place for a weapon.There is already too much stress.” She continues, “One time a woman did not want to sign because she thought she was being cheated. She took out a rifle and yelled, ‘Oh no you don’t! I’ll kick your butt!’ and started shooting at the ceiling. She didn’t care what she hit, and that is a fact. I got out of there so fast I almost forgot my notary bag with my glasses and the paperwork for the refi. I had to go to the bathroom real bad, but I got out of there and stopped at a gas station a few miles down the road,” our Texas notary concludes.

Another Texas notary adds, “One man insisted on my doing the entire notarization for refinancing his house while he kept a pistol on the table. Turns out it was an air pistol, but he was acting like it was a real one and he kept fingering it. About halfway through the signing, he went outside to shoot a cat with it. But it could have been me! I didn’t know the difference; I couldn’t tell it was an air pistol. As a Texas notary, I have seen many homes where there are guns…and they are 100% real and loaded!,” squeaks the notary.

An Arizona notary tells us, “Some folks are just crazy…and are probably too crazy to responsibly use the money they borrow. One time, I was greeted by a man in the driveway with a rifle. His girlfriend was in the house and he didn’t want his wife to come in and sign to refinance. Their marriage basically broke up right there in the driveway.” She bites her nails, and continues, “Then there was the man who started yelling ‘This is FRAUD!’ It wasn’t fraud, just some of the documents weren’t correct…and I never found out what he was yelling about…but he had an AK47 in a gun cabinet, and I just decided to skedaddle out of there,” she says. “Another Arizona notary told me that, in one town, a notary was murdered. This woman was a part-time notary, and she was missing and found dead under mysterious circumstances…right after she went to notarize a mentally ill man at his home. A lot of women who are Arizona notaries carry guns in their cars or trucks these days when they go out on jobs,” this Arizona notary asserts.

As all the pro-gun sites claim, only people kill people; guns don’t. Certainly cows don’t. However, as one Arizona notary asserts, “In my experience, people who are so emotional and irrational aren’t always capable of using weapons responsibly…and if those people are my clients, I’d rather they didn’t deal with me with a loaded weapon! If I do not know the people whose signatures I am notarizing, and I have to go way out in the country and deal with these folks…as a single female notary in Arizona or Texas, I just might carry a gun. Based on some of the borrowers I have met recently and the situations I have seen and heard about….If only cows had guns, we’d all be vegetarians–and would probably be a lot better off!”

Tweets:
(1) The notary went out and bought a gun because he heard the borrower had a gun!
(2) Mild mannered peaceful notaries are arming themselves with guns to protect themselves from crazy borrowers.
(3) One Texas Notary went to a signing & was greeted by a man pointing a rifle at her.
(4) 1 borrower felt she was being cheated, whipped out a rifle and said, “Oh no you don’t!”
(5) people who are so emotional & irrational aren’t always capable of using weapons responsibly, especially at a signing!

You might also like:

I’d rather stop being a Notary than carry a gun
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15896

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January 31, 2011

State specific – strange and critical rules

Bizarre facts and things to watch out for in these states!

This blog entry will briefly discuss some bizarre rules effecting Arizona notaries, Georgia notaries, Florida notaries, Notaries in South Carolina, Virginia notaries, and Washington notaries (in Washington State, not DC).  I hope you find it as interesting as I do! 
Arizona
The subject of travel fees is a dismal topic for Arizona notaries.  Many Arizona notaries in this state can not make a living doing mobile notary work while obeying the law which only allows a small rate per mile for travel fees.  There is a lot of information on this topic in our forum to read about.  The restrictions on travel fees are disasterous for elderly and bedridden people who can’t go to a notary.  People in convelescent homes can’t get their papers notarized and notaries can’t make a living.  Many notaries do charge a substantial travel fee, and nobody has had their commission revoked yet in AZ, but eventually something could happen.  http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=4231
 
Arkansas
This is nothing to be afraid about, but really bizarre. An AR notary applicant will
be mailed three originals of their notary certificate and oath forms. AR notary rules can be a little odd at times.
 
Florida
To become a notary in Florida, you must be a Florida resident. However, Florida residents can become Alabama or Georgia notaries. BTW… Georgia notaries may only practice in the state of Georgia.  A Notary in Florida may solemnize a marriage.  But, without experience in this sensitive type of work, how well would a notary handle a marriage?  Another strange rule is that Florida notaries get paid by the stamp, and not per signature when doing acknowledgments.
 
Illinois
Be careful if you are an Illinois notary public, there are some new laws that effect only Cook county regarding real estate notarizations.  http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=illinois-notary-laws.  Additionally, an IL notary may only charge $1 per acknowledged signature!  How does anyone make a living at this?
 
South Carolina
Non-attorney notaries in South Carolina are prohibited from doing loan signings unless there is telephone presence from an attorney.  The irony is that our directory has many notaries in South Carolina who pay their renewal fee each year. If you are a notary in South Carolina, you can still do other non-loan types of notarizations for the most part. Georgia notaries are faced with a similar situation.
 
Virginia
Here is a very odd rule:  All Virginia notaries are notaries at-large & have the authority to perform all notarial acts anywhere within the Commonwealth of Virginia. Virginia notaries have limited powers in performing notarial acts
outside of the Commonwealth of Virginia.  However, documents notarized
outside of the Commonwealth by Virginia notaries must be must
be recorded in Virginia.
 
Washington State
This is a nitpicky rule. But, the notary and client must agree upon the travel fee beforehand.  This is stipulated by law in Washington State, so Washington notaries need to be careful to have their verbal agreements clear.  Additionally, Washington notaries may notarize their spouse’s signature.

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October 22, 2010

Arizona Notary Public Q&A Topics

Arizona Notary Public Q&A

Q. How long does it take to become an Arizona Notary Public?
A. It takes roughly 30-45 days for the entire process

Q. How much does it cost to become an Arizona notary public?
A. The application fee is $25 as of 2011 & 2012, plus there is an $18 bond filing fee.

Q.Can I get a refund after I have sent in my application fees?
A. No, it is not possible to get a refund.

Q. If I’m in themilitary, can I become an AZ Notary Public?
A. If you are in the military, certain officers are federally commissioned to do notary acts for other members of the armed forces.

Q. How many years is an Arizona Notary Public term?
A. Four years. A term beginning May 2nd 2010, will expire on midnight of May 1st 2014.

Q. When do I begin my renewal process?
A. Begin the process within 60 days before your expiration date.

Q. If I don’t begin my renewal process early enough, what can I do?
A. Can expidite the process for a $25 fee resulting in 24-48 hour processing.

Q. Who do I contact to get an apostille?
A. The secretary of state can provide this service for $3 and their address is:
Arizona Secretary of State Attn Notary Department
1700 W. Washington, 7th Floor
Phoenix Arizona, 85007

Q. How do I resign my Arizona notary commission?
A. Send a letter to the governor, and send a copy to the secretary of state’s office as well. You must surrender your Arizona notary seal and journal as well.

Q. How do I file a complaint against an Arizona notary public?
A. Contact the Arizona attorney general’s office for an investigation into your complaint. If the violation was criminal, then contact your local police station.

Q. What type of ID does a signer need for documents relating to real estate?
A. A current driver’s license, passport or government issued identification.

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