This was originally published in 2013.
Signing with the Bartender-Notary: Reverse Mortgage on the Rocks
The bartender notary knocks on the door. “Hi, I’m the bartender notary. I’m here to do your signing.”
“Sure, come right in,” says Joe the borrower.
They go to the dining room table to do the signing. The bartender notary looks around and says, “Hey, isn’t that a wet bar in the back of your living room?”
“Would you mind if we sat over there?; I would feel much more comfortable sitting over there,” the bartender notary says.
Joe goes behind the bar and asks, “Where am I supposed to sit?”
“No, I’m the bartender so I go behind the bar. you sit on the stool on the other side,” the notary insists.
“Aren’t we gonna do the signing?” asks Joe.
The notary opens his briefcase and takes out a few flasks of non-alcoholic drinks, a tall glass, and a little umbrella. “I’m frustrated, because , when I go to signings, no one ever offers me a drink…maybe after half an hour they might offer me some tap water if I’m lucky…So I decided to turn the tables around…or the counters, as the case may be…and offer the signers a drink. I make my own orange-cranberry spritzer…would you like one of those…or would you like a virgin lemonade? I’ve got everything except ice.”
“Make me a strawberry lime spritzer…and can you muddle the fruits a little? Wait—” says Joe. “Aren’t we supposed to be doing a signing?”
“I’m the bartender notary; I talk bar talk. It’s my trademark to serve drinks and make smalltalk before we do the signing.”
“Ok, I’ll play along,” says Joe.
“How about those Dodgers, Joe? Who are they gonna trade?”
“Well, right now, I’m ready to trade notaries—if we don’t get started with the signing right away.”
“Ok, let’s do the signing,” the notary shrugs.
“Actually,” Joe says, “my reverse mortgage was on the rocks since the beginning of the application process, so I decided to go for a refinance– straight up.”
“Ok,” the notary says.“Your first document is a Deed of Trust. May I see some ID, sir?”
The borrower says, “What, I don’t look over 21?”
“Just a precaution, sir.”
The bartender notary opens his journal and begins to record the types of documents, the patron-borrower’s ID, and the types of drinks served at the signing.
The notary says, “This is your Deed of Trust. Your loan amount is right here; please initial all pages of the document and sign on the last page.”
They get to the Note; the notary says, “This is your Note. Your interest rate is 4.5%. The last loan I signed was an adjustable rate mortgage. I asked the borrower if he would like his interest rate shaken or stirred when the adjustment date comes in two years. He didn’t laugh. He didn’t think it was very funny. I’m lucky he didn’t trade me. Maybe it was how I said it…”
Then the notary asks, “So how’s the wife treating you?”
“Oh, I canned her years ago… I have a girlfriend,” says Joe.
“Do you think she will be in need of a bartender-notary anytime soon?”
“No she lives in an apartment. She won’t need to refinance anything in this lifetime.”
“So waddaya think–those interest rates—are they gonna go up or down?” asks the bartender notary.
“Oh, the Fed’s gotta keep it about the same—or you notaries will all be out of a job!”
“Next, we are going to look at the TIL. This is your Truth in Lending disclosure. Your APR is right here. So are we going into Iran? Whaddaya think the chances are that we invade Iran?”
Joe the signer looks at the TIL and says, “I’d give it about a 4.97%… Hey, I thought we’re not supposed to talk about politics at the signing?”
“That’s my trademark, I have to talk about politics because I’m the bartender notary… that’s what bartenders talk about. Would you like some bar snacks? We have peanuts, wasabi chips … Did you hear about LAX Vineyards new wine blend? It’s a cross between a cab, a merlot, and a shuttle. It’s very popular with bartenders. Did you hear about the wine documentary from Ireland? It’s called Cork Uncorked… There’s a special kind of wine for a signing… Did you hear about the Reverse Mortgage Cabernet? It’s rich in tannins and has two subtle notes…black cherry, and a hint of cocoa…and a smooth finish…assuming that we don’t have to call the lender.”
Joe asks, “What’s next?”
“The next document is your HUD.”
They go to the HUD. Joe the borrower asks, “Oh, so is my strawberry lime spritzer documented in the HUD?”
“Yeah, I think it’s right there under the termite inspection…Let’s just sign the rest of these documents; I have to close up soon…Last call,” says the notary.
They finish signing the rest of the documents.
The notary takes the borrower’s copy of the Deed of Trust and places it next to the signed Deed of Trust. Joe looks at it and says, “There are two Deeds of Trust. I’m seeing double. I thought that strawberry lime spritzer was non-alcoholic…”
“No! These are your borrower’s copies. Are you gonna be ok—or should I call you a cab?”
Joe: “I’m already home…I live here.”
(1) I’m frustrated because when I go to signings, nobody ever offers me a drink!
(2) Bartender notary prefers to do his signings sitting on stools near the wet-bar.
(3) I’m the bartender notary; I talk bar talk. It’s my trademark to serve drinks and make smalltalk before signing.”
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