Unhappy client pays Again
As usual it was supposed to be a routine job. The client was in one of the outer Boroughs of New York, the Bronx and my fee included the extra travel time. They needed “an” Apostille added to a Power of Attorney to be signed by a family of four. The POA document was written in Italian, the client was glad to have found me as many local notaries refused. I did the customary clearance for IDs and an appointment was scheduled.
As I was told the document was being prepared in Italy, I was sure the notary section would be also in Italian and useless. Useless because I do not read Italian, and, even if I did it could not be further processed for an Apostille. Therefore I asked my client to email the document to me. I planned to add the requisite notary sections after conferring as to the clients’ choice of Jurat or Acknowledgement. The client did not email the document to me. As he had prepaid (because of the extensive travel involved) I was committed to show up as scheduled. Two reminder calls asking for the email with the document went unanswered.
Upon arriving the client asks me if I had printed the document and brought a copy with me! I related to him that he never set it to me nor did he respond to my two voice mail requests. No document. He hurries off in his car to go to his house to print the document and returns half an hour later. Problems. It appears that there is a blank area that needs something to be filled in. To my great surprise in a household of Italians not one of them is able to read the Italian document. Their lawyer in Italy did read the document to them, presumably in English and they (the four of them) were aware of the content. However, none were able to decipher what should be entered into the blank area. Frantically they search the neighborhood for an “old timer” who could read it.
Finally they determine what needs to be entered in the blank area. To me it appeared to be two documents. But the client instructs me that the “second section” is only “processing instructions”. I ask if that section should be included by stapling to the first section. “You might as well” I was told, “that way the instructions would be with the POA authorization”. I staple the two parts together to formulate a single document. The notarization was routine. They signed above the line and printed their names under the line. As they had opted for me to prepare Acknowledgements, four separate ones were affixed to the signature page.
We had met on Saturday, so on Monday morning I am first on line at the courthouse to begin the process of obtaining the desired Apostille. About an hour later the processing was complete. Then it’s off to their New York attorney to deliver the document. Mission accomplished! On the way home stopped for a hard earned hot coffee and bagel. While munching the bagel I get a call from the attorney who just received the Apostille. As soon as he identified himself I knew bad news would follow; attorneys rarely call to say “well done”.
“What you delivered is totally useless and was improperly processed”. That was a wakeup call, as I was sure I followed the clients’ instructions precisely. There are two separate and distinct sections that were mailed to the family and each needs an Apostille. “Why did you not have them sign the second part, and you also failed to Apostille that part separately”. Mr. Attorney, I told “our” client that I did not read Italian and that he would have to tell me exactly how the documents were to be processed. I distinctly asked if two Apostilles were required and to tell me where it says in Italian that each should be signed. Apparently, the client told his attorney that he could relay the signing instructions, but, failed to do so.
So, now we are scheduled to do the entire job again; also on this coming Saturday morning. Once again the client as made a PayPal payment for the second “try”. This time he assures me the two documents will be stapled separately and the signature areas will be preprinted at the end of each document. I am fortunate that my client accepts total responsibility for not being prepared. He admits his major error was not having the preparer of the Power of Attorneys (now I think there are two) prep the documents with signature areas. My lesson learned is that I must receive via email non-English documents to be sure that complete signing instructions are included, written by the same entity that prepared the documents. A http://newyorkmobilenotarypublic.com must be ready for anything, we all must continue to learn from our experiences and do better next time!
(1) They needed an Apostille added to a Power of Attorney written in Italian to be signed by a family of 4.
(2) This family of Italians was stumped as to what to put in the blank area in their document! Mama mia!
(3) A family of Italians needs an Apostille on a POA drafted in Italy. Everything goes wrong. Find out more!
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