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October 8, 2017

Which statement is a true statement

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — Tags: , , — admin @ 12:25 am

Here is a situation that Ken Edelstein created for our learning purposes. I am crediting this blog to Ken as he created the content for the question which I really liked.

Both borrowers signed and initialed (correctly in all the right places) all the pages of a 258 page double refinance package; prior to your arrival. Which of the following statements is true.

1. They legally must resign all signaures as you did not witness any of them.
2. Only the Acknolwedgments must be resigned as they include the wording, “subscribed before me.”
3. The Title company notary must do the notarizations as they are the only entities authorized to notarize unwitnessed signatures.
4. Only the Jurats need to be resigned (legally, putting aside Lender preferences.)

This is an interesting question Ken brought up because many Notaries confuse the law with Lender preferences. Most Notaries go through life with the mentality that:

I have to do this and I have to do that.
Jeremy’s comments — yeah, right.

You can ALWAYS oversign…
Jeremy’s comments — what does that mean. Does that mean you can sign more than what is on the typed name in the document or the typed name in the ID. The Lender might not mind oversigning, but you might be in court later on as a witness to identity fraud.

The documents must be signed exactly the way the typed name reads below the signature line.
Jeremy’s comments — once again that is what the Lender wants which is not always legal. You have to please the law, the lender, common sense, and proceed in such a way that you will not end up in court. Taking thumbprints in your journal is the most efficient way to deter identity fraud and catch the perpitrators the fastest as well.

You have to witness all signatures.
Jeremy’s comments. The law says you have to witness signatures for documents receiving a Jurat notarization as it says, “Subscribed and sworn to BEFORE ME.” However, the Acknowledgments in the majority of states do not have a “before me” clause. The Lender might want you to witness, but look up in your handbook to see what the law of the land says otherwise you could create a mess.

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September 11, 2016

How do I get a foreign language document notarized?

How do I get an international document notarized?
How do I get a foreign language document notarized?

This is a tricky point in Notary law. The answer is that it depends on what state you are living in. California requires the Notary to be able to communicate directly with the signer which means you need to know the same language well enough to communicate. However, California doesn’t require the Notary to understand the document. Other states might require the Notary to understand the entire document.

The Main Function is to Identify the Signer
The main function of a Notary Public is not to understand the document, but make sure the intended signer is mentioned in the document and is the person actually signing the document. The Notary uses identification documents to identify the signer. Normally a drivers license or passport is used to identify the signer.

Find Out Your State’s Rules
Most states allow notarizing foreign language documents if the Notary doesn’t know the particular foreign language. To find out your state’s rules for whether or not the Notary has to understand the document, you can visit your state’s notary division’s website. Many state notary websites omit critical information about many Notary procedures. So, if your state doesn’t specifically say that you can’t notarize a foreign language document, then it is up to your interpretation. However, the certificate for the notarization (which could be a loose form stapled to the document) must be in English and using wording identical or similar in content to your state’s official notary wording.

Direct Communication with the Signer
Some states allow the use of interpreters during a notarization for the Notary to communicate with the signer. It is not safe to do this as the interpreter could make a mistake or deliberately mislead the signer which could lead to trouble down the road. Even if your state doesn’t require direct communication with the signer, I recommended just to be on the safe side.

You might also like:

Notarizing your foreign language document! (Ken’s guide)
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2768

10 tight points on loose certificates
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15449

What is a Notary Public?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=6498

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June 17, 2013

California Notary laws that you need to know

CA Notary Laws that You Need to Know

There are lots of reasons to want to become a California notary. The fact that it is a resume booster is just one of them.

Notary Public California: Basics

By now you know just how easy it is to become a California notary public. Because the process (though lengthy) is so easy, a lot of notary hopefuls believe that the job itself is going to be easy. For the most part this is actually true…provided, of course, that you follow the letter of the law. The laws surrounding California notaries are strict, and it is important that you know them inside and out.

California Notary Laws

Here are just some of the laws that you need to follow when you are a notary in California.

Proper Identification Required

It used to be that if you personally knew the person whose documents you were notarizing, that person wouldn’t have to present any ID. That law is gone. Now—even if you’ve known them since preschool, they have to show you ID.

Your Journal Is Important

You know that journal the Secretary of State says you have to keep? You really have to keep it. It must be perfectly updated, and you really do have to know where it is at all times. More importantly, you have to know that it is safe at all times.

If you fail to keep the journal updated, secured, and protected, you could get charged with a misdemeanor!

NOTE: The same rules apply to your seal!

To this end, if anything happens to your journal or notary seal — if you lose them or they get stolen or damaged, you need to notify the Secretary of State immediately. Do not simply hope that it will turn up! You don’t want your seal to be used on fraudulent actions without your knowledge and without the Secretary of State knowing that it was not actually you who performed those actions!

To Thumbprint or Not to Thumbprint

As of January 1st, the state requires every notary in California to get a journal thumbprint for any notarizing involving “real property.” What does that mean? There is a partial list of what constitutes “real property” in the California Notary Law Primer.

Webcams Are a No-No

Notarizing something via webcam is not the same thing as being there in person. This means if someone wants you to perform a notarial action through a webcam, you could get in big trouble if you say yes!

Double-Check the Wording

There are some situations (like jurats) in which the wording in the document must exactly match the wording required by the Secretary of State. Make sure you know which situations require exact wording and which will let a “close enough” slide through.

Every year, the Secretary of State makes changes and tweaks to the laws for what California notaries can do, can’t do, and how they are required to do things. It’s okay to have questions and to feel unsure. When you aren’t sure what you can or can’t do, ask!

The 2013 Notary Public Handbook is available for free online. If you don’t find what you need there, contact someone in the Secretary of State’s office in Sacramento and ask.

Erin Steiner writes full time in Portland, Oregon, and has covered a wide range of topics from gutters to personal finance.

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