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March 1, 2015

Point (5) HUD (6) Occupancy (7) Deeds; The Value Menu BACKUP checked

I get paid enough to get something on the Value Menu

His name was Chester. He had been a Notary for years and he had seen it all. People liked hiring Chester, because he was on time, knowledgeable, and had quite a sense of humor. Unfortunately, a good sense of humor can be like a double edged sword. Not everyone will like your jokes. Chester was good at introducing the documents, and answering all questions.

CHESTER: Hi, my name is Chester. I’m going to be your Notary Signing Agent today. I am here to supervise the signing of these documents. If you have general questions about the documents, or what information is in which document, I am happy to answer. However, if you have specific questions pertaining to your loan, I will most likely refer those questions to your Lender.

ELLEN: Got it.

(ring-ring)

ELLEN: Hello? You want to speak to the man of the house? You must have the wrong number!

CHESTER: Let’s open the package here. Okay, this is the Deed of Trust. This document includes a property address, the amount of the loan, and ties your property as collateral for the loan. Additionally, it states the expiration date of the loan in 2045.

ELLEN: Right after the war of 2045. How convenient. I heard the war was going to end in June, and my loan expires right in July! Perfect! We’ll have two things to celibrate.

CHESTER: I didn’t know a war was scheduled.

ELLEN: Oh, that’s the new thing. Instead of going at it right away, people are so busy these days that they don’t have time for wars, unless they are scheduled at least twenty years in advance. I even have an app for that. It’s called — schedule my war. It has a D-day add-on too! Pretty cool. Looking forward to it.

CHESTER: And I thought that I was usually the funny one at signings. Now, this document is The Note. It has your payment amounts, if there is a prepayment penalty it will discuss that, and it has your Rate, and the amount of the loan.

ELLEN: My rate? My rate is by the word. Yeah. I charge by the word when I write material. But, my manager says that I should charge by the laugh. I get one rate for my initial time telling the jokes and then residuals. We do that at clubs too. Instead of a $30 cover charge, we have a laughometer strapped to each person. We charge them based on how many times they laughed and how hard they laughed. One guy had to Mortgage his house to pay his bill the last time I was on stage. Oh! Only 4.5% Cool! I won’t have to Mortgage my house to pay that. Did I say that? Oh — I AM Mortgaging my house and as a result will have to pay that. Got it!

Chester’s signing with Ellen went well. She would have appreciated his jokes if she hadn’t kept him laughing with her own jokes. But, Chester’s next signing didn’t work as well. The problem happened when he got to the HUD.

SAM: And who did you say you worked for again? You’re a subcontractor, right?

CHESTER: I subcontract for H&B Lending, over $40 billion served (lended)

SAM: I’m loving it! Don’t I deserve a break today?

CHESTER: Give ME a break, that ad is 40 years old! And this next document is the HUD. The HUD itemizes all of the expenses related to your loan.

SAM: Let me read that. Hmmm. On this line it says that the Notary fee is $250. How much of that do you get?

CHESTER: Oh, enough to get something on the value menu at McDonalds.

SAM: Okay, that’s not funny. Get out of my house! You damn Notary!

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Point (5) The HUD Settlement Statement
This document is often faxed or emailed at the last minute as Lenders often do not have their act together and need to make last minute changes to documents. Without the HUD, the loan cannot close.

The Settlement Statement or HUD contains information about fees and payoffs. Here, you can check to see what the Notary fee is and compare that to what you are being paid. Do not discuss these numbers with the borrower because it is between them and the Lender, and they are both relying on you for confidentiality. If the borrower already paid an appraisal fee out of their pocket and they are being charged again, for example, have them talk it over with the Lender. Don’t try to answer whether or not they will be reimbursed for certain fees; just have them speak to the Lender. If the Lender is not available, let them know that they have several days to talk to the Lender while they have the right to rescission (the right to cancel). The above situation with appraisal fees happens frequently.

There are several other documents that are similar to the HUD such: as the “Estimated Closing Statement” and the “Good Faith Estimate”. These documents were often drafted earlier in the loan process and don’t always reflect final numbers.

Seasoned Notaries often know what piece of information is on each line of the HUD and have the structure of the document memorized.

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Point (6) The Occupancy Affidavit

There are different variations to this document; sometimes it is called ‘Occupancy Affidavit and Financial Status’. The purpose of this document is for the borrower to state that they live in the subject property (which means the house they are borrowing money on). In addition, it asks the borrower to state that they haven’t had any sudden financial changes — for example, unemployment or bankruptcy. Keep your eyes open; if you don’t check which variation of the Occupancy Affidavit you are dealing with, you might make a fool of yourself (a fool and his money are soon parted.) This document is usually notarized.

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Point (7) Grant & Quitclaim Deeds

There are four major reasons to have a Grant Deed.

(1) To transfer property in a sale of property

(2) To take someone’s name off of a deed so they won’t be liable for a loan when the other owners want to borrow money.

(3) To transfer the property to or from community property in a trust.

(4) To change someone’s name on the deed
The deed could transfer a property from “Jane F. Doe” to “Jane Doe”. This is very common for people with name variations because sometimes a loan can’t fund without the property being recorded as being owned by the owner with a particular name variation.

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Quitclaim Deeds

Quitclaim Deeds are often used to take a person’s name off title. Here is some more information:

A Quitclaim Deed is a legal document which transfers a property to the buyer or owner, whatever interests in the property are held by the maker of the deed. A Quitclaim Deed does not guarantee that those interests are valid. By accepting such a deed, you accept the risk that someone may later appear with a valid claim to your property. A Grant Deed on the other hand guarantees from grantor to grantee that the title is clear. An example of a circumstance where a Quitclaim may be used is where one spouse is disclaiming any interest in property that the other spouse owns. Of the different types of deeds, the Quitclaim has the least assurance that the grantee receiving it will actually get any rights. A Quitclaim deed does not release the party quitting claim to real property from their obligations in any mortgage or other lien secured against the pertaining property.

A Quitclaim Deed is a common, but not standard document in a loan document package. Sometimes, ownership has to be transferred or someone needs to be taken off a Deed before a loan can officially go through. Quitclaim Deeds are always notarized using an Acknowledged signature and the signer must always be positively identified by the notary public for security purposes. Some states also require the notary to take fingerprints in their notary journal for Quitclaim and other deeds affecting real property.

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You might also like:

30 Point Course Table of Contents
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14233

30 Point Course (8-9) The 1003 & Compliance Agreement
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14335

HUD-1 Settlement Statement
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=10197

I go over the HUD-1 First
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4819

The Affidavit of Occupancy
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=10193

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November 4, 2014

The Affidavit of Occupancy

An affidavit of occupancy is a simple document (sometimes notarized), that offers the borrower generally three choices. The first option (generally by making initials) is to have the property as a Primary Residence. This option typically requires the borrower to occupy the property, usually within 60 days; for a minimum of one year. The second option is to acquire the property as a second home, while maintaining a primary residence elsewhere. The third major option is to declare the property as Investment Property, not to be occupied by the borrower; but to sell or rent for rental income. It is unlikely that the borrower cannot accurately choose the correct option.

Care should be taken by the borrower to initial the correct choice. The wrong choice can result in financial and even criminal penalties at a later date. If the borrower is buying to live in, there is really no issue. However, when the intent is speculation or rental; it’s accurate disclosure or risk problems. Lower Mortgage Rates are available for owner occupied. This is why the intent to rent or speculate must be disclosed.

Affidavits of occupancy are especially relevant for small-time or independent real estate investors. If a borrower were to select “investment property” then choose to move in permanently – there probably would be no problem. Of course they would be paying a higher mortgage rate, lenders are rarely annoyed by such activity. It is the reverse, claiming to move in; getting a lower mortgage rate, then renting it out that causes problems.

Since affidavits of occupancy are not heavily regulated or governed by formal, industry-wide guidelines, they’re often originated in-house by the mortgage lenders or other real estate professionals. Thus, unlike the standardized HUD, there really is no uniform structure to the Affidavit of Occupancy. Actually it might just as well be called an Occupancy Certification, or similar. The only aspect that seems to appear with regularity is the need for the borrower to specify how they intend to utilize the property. This is generally done by initialing a specific paragraph, but some variations may call for a complete signature.

This form is a redundancy to similar assurances that appear in the Mortgage, namely, how the borrower intends to utilize the property that secures the loan. The occupancy statement contains strong language, 30 years in prison, fine of a million dollars, etc., per Title 18 US code Sec. 1001, and others. They are a separate document that the borrower cannot ignore, often notarized; and help the lender to charge a higher rate for loans that have greater risk. Typically, rental or investment property has greater risk. The difference can be half a percent that will be several thousand dollars or more over the life of the agreement.

They serve as an extra layer of protection against mortgage fraud and provide lenders with a clear chain of evidence that can be used to expose and prosecute such fraud. Whereas a homeowner might be able to make a plausible if unconvincing argument that he or she misunderstood the intent of the “occupancy question” that’s often buried within the structure of a mortgage settlement document, he or she has little chance of avoiding penalties for breaking an affidavit of occupancy. The affiants who “break” these (often) sworn statements risk being charged with mortgage fraud. At the very least the lender can demand full payment of all money due.

In processing this document care should be taken to be sure that all borrowers initial/sign the section that specifies the intended use of the property. Some lenders might require a non-obligor to also sign/initial. It’s probably a safe bet to have any signatory to the document also initial/sign the selection section.

It is the real intent of this document to curb the activities of those who wish to obtain property at a low mortgage rate for speculation or to become “little” landlords. Sometimes it takes years for the housing authorities and the lender to discover the fraud. Those false statements can and do incur harsh civil and criminal penalties. In addition to the mortgage fraud; housing violations are common. The form is simple and easy to understand. There really is nothing for the notary to “explain”. A notarized false statement is exactly that; in addition to being a crime.

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You might also like:

The Signature Name Affidavit
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16298

Ken’s Guide to Deeds of all types
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16285

The Compliance Agreement
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15828

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August 1, 2014

Loan signing at a high school reunion

Filed under: Other Guest Bloggers — Tags: , — admin @ 7:36 am

So one of my more interesting signings occurred at a high school reunion in a loud nightclub. The man I was meeting HAD to get these documents done that night. So we got the signing done amidst compromised lighting, loud music, and loud people! There’s nothing like shouting over the noise to make sure everything gets done correctly!

Borrower: “So, where do I sign?”
Notary: “What?”
Borrower: “So, where do I SIGN?”
Notary: “I’m feeling FINE too!”
Borrower: (leaning over and talking into the Notary’s ear) “So, where do I sign?”
Notary: “Can we find a quiet place to do this signing, it is a bit loud in here.”
Borrower: “I have to stay here because my wife is coming and she’ll get worried if I’m not here.”
Notary: “Got it. Let’s find a nice table, with no liquids on it!”
Borrower: (gestures to the table on the right)

Cindy: “Like Oh my god! Didn’t we make out at the prom like 10 years ago?”
Borrower: “I was so drunk at that prom I don’t remember much. But, I’m married now, so whatever happened then happened then.”
Cindy: “I’m married now too, my husband is the OTHER guy I made out with during the prom.”
Borrower: “Lucky guy (I guess)”
Cindy: “Gotta go, I want to mingle”

Notary: “Okay, here is the Deed of Trust, you need to initial here…”
Borrower: “Judicial?”
Notary: “NO, INITIAL!”
Borrower: “Oh, okay”
Notary: “Here is the Occupancy Affidavit”
Borrower: “I’m not David, I’m Paul”
Notary: “No, see, follow my finger… it says Af-fi-da-vit”
Borrower: “Oh, I thought that you thought that I was (belch) David”
Notary: “A little less beer, a little more medication…”
borrower: “What?”
Notary: “Never mind, just sign here please!”

Chuck: “Hey, you’re the guy that was flirting with my girlfriend at the prom ten years ago!”
Borrower: “What? Oh, you must be Cindy’s husband. Congratulations”
Chuck: “No, I’m Jan’s husband. She didn’t go to school here. But, my girlfriend was Samantha. I’m still pissed at you!”
Borrower: “Sorry, I was stone drunk at the time. I don’t remember a thing.”

Gary: “Hey Paul, did you ever get into Yale, like we talked about?”
Borrower: “Let’s just say that it didn’t work out. But, I have a successful plumbing practice now. The average plumber makes more than a Yale graduate by the way.
Gary: “Just make sure your pipes don’t freeze, gotta catch up with Cindy”
Borrower: “You didn’t also, did you… at the prom?”
Gary: “Didn’t what?”
Borrower: “Never mind… back to the signing”

Notary: “We’re almost done… just sign these last three and I’ll drop this in the Fedex box”
Borrower: “I’m so glad I have three days to rescind. When I’m sober, I’ll look these babies over again!”
Notary: “Oh, you mean the borrower’s copies? You must have been seeing double. You’ve had a few too many drinks!”
Borrower: “You mean there are no borrower’s copies?”
Notary: “I’m just pulling your leg. Your borrower’s copies are right here! Hang on to them.”
Borrower: “What?”
Notary: “I think I see your wife looking for you to the left!”
Borrower: “How do you know that’s my wife?”
Notary: “Let’s just say that I went to high school with her!”

Tweets
(1) A signing at a high school reunion at a loud nightclub. “Initial here!” “Judicial?” “No, INITIAL!”
(2) Paul was doing a signing at his high school reunion that was interrupted by all of his ex-girlfriends.

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Stamped: episode one: a reality show about notaries!
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September 2, 2013

Notary Perjury and Oaths

Notary Perjury

What is Notary perjury? Is that when a notary lies under Oath or when an Affiant lies under Oath to a Notary Public or other state official? In real life there is no such thing as Notary perjury — there is only regular perjury. Don’t get caught lying under Oath — tell the truth!

Penalty of perjury
If you swear under Oath to a Notary Public, you have made a solemn Oath under the penalty of perjury. Lying under Oath is a serious crime. The problem is that Notary Oaths are not always very clear. The Notary might have you swear to a document, but what are you actually swearing to? Are you swearing that the document is true, or that you will follow the terms in the document, or both?

What types of things do people lie about?
People might lie about what their legal name is. Sometimes people want to use an alias. Sometimes the name a person has on the Title of a property might not exactly match the name on their identification document which could cause a lot of confusion and legal issues. Another common lie that I might have been told for years (no evidence either way) is on the Occupancy Affidavit. Borrowers can get a discounted interest rate if they claim to live in the building (house) they are borrowing on. The Occupancy Affidavit makes that borrowers swear that they are residing in the property as their primary residence. But, it is common for borrowers to lie and be using the property as an investment property or second home — an example of “Notary perjury”.

People don’t always take the Oath seriously
My biggest objection to being a notary was that people didn’t take Oaths seriously. I sometimes had to ask people multiple times to raise their right hand all the way up — no, not two inches up — all the way up. Mumbling an inaudible “yes” just doesn’t cut it with me. I think that as a Notary Public, you should remind your Affiants of how serious and formal the Oath actually is. I would also tend to think that your Oath takers will be more likely to tell the truth if they are aware of how serious an Oath is and if they are aware of how they could be subject to penalties of perjury should they lie. I have never heard of anyone being punished for lying under Oath to a notary. I have only heard of people getting in trouble for fraud. But, keep people honest in any case! Being a Notary Public is a serious profession that protects the integrity of signatures and society!

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