Where Loan Signing Agent Work Comes From

Recently, I have observed that there is a bit of confusion among new notaries regarding where real estate and loan signing work comes from and how to connect into that flow. Below is a list of sources of work for real estate deals and loan signings.  I’ve tried to put the sources in order from most common to least common.  Hopefully, this will help clarify where loan signing and real estate work comes from and how it gets to notaries. PLATFORMS Platforms are not hiring you or paying you.  A platform is a website that acts as an exchange where hiring parties see notaries’ profiles and can text out a notice of assignment to hundreds of notaries in a certain area....


Part 5 – Trust and Trustee Loan Signings (for Notary Signing Agents)

Congratulations!  You’ve made it! This is the final article on the series  Wills and Estate Documents for Notaries. Thanks for hanging in there for all five installments--you’ve learned a lot!   Today’s article will provide the five top points to remember when you are handling an assignment involving a trust as the principal signer. Kudos to you for focusing on education. I realize that it’s always more fun and exciting to talk about marketing ideas and making money, but all professions require continuing education and reminders on the pitfalls of their careers.  Notaries are no different.  For this reason, I encourage notaries to take advantage of the high quality, reasonably priced notary courses provided by Notary.net.  Your hiring parties expect you to...


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Part 4 – Signing Loan Documents when a Power of Attorney is Involved

Welcome to Part 4 of the Wills and Estates series in which we have been discussing notarizing estate planning documents.   Today, we will shift directions a bit and talk about handling a loan signing appointment where one party has been granted the authority to sign documents for another through the execution of a power of attorney (POA).   This can happen when a borrower has suffered a stroke lets another person handle signing of documents.  Another situation is when a spouse is out of town or a borrowing spouse is in the military.  I have also handled loans with single borrowers who are on military duty and have left one of their parents in charge of their affairs by use of...


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Part 3 – Notarizing a Power of Attorney 

Welcome to the third installment of our series “Wills and Estate Documents for Notaries.”  This week's article contains basic information that should help you oversee the signing of a power of attorney.  We won’t cover any legalities or specifics of the differences between a limited and general power of attorney or touch on the document’s durability.  This information is not legal advice; it is based on my experiences. New Terms Below are a few terms that will be helpful to know as you read this article and the article for Part 4 that will be published next week.  The descriptions  provided apply in this context, but the terms may have other meanings, as well.   Agent - The individual authorized to act on...


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Part 2 – Notarizing Wills

Welcome to the second installment of Wills and Estate Documents for Notaries series!  If you missed Part 1, you'll find it here.  ------- Since the arrival of free and cheap online do-it-yourself (DIY) legal forms, notaries are called more frequently than ever to notarize wills.  Today’s article is about handling about wills from a notary signing agent’s view.  A notary’s focus in this type of work is:  to identify the signer of the will, ensure the will appears to be complete with no glaring blanks or spaces waiting to be filled in with missing vital  information, witness the signatures placed on the will, and to perform the verbal ceremony that goes along with the will’s execution.  Legal Jargon Not Used - I have chosen...


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Split Signings

3 Steps to Handling “Split Signing” Appointments

A "split signing"  is a type of notary signing appointment.  Being signed are real estate  or loan documents--the reason is it referred to as a split signing is because all of the signers can't attend at the same time. Therefore, a transaction that would normally require one appointment will require at least two appointments. Today, our example signers will be siblings--Jack Smith and Jill Jones.  Jack are Jill are co-owners who are selling property that was left to them in equal shares by a deceased relative. Here are three complicating factors --  Jill lives Dallas, Texas. Jack lives in Madison, Wisconsin. The property is in Houston. Unfortunately, when the documents were drawn up, the attorneys who drafted the documents for sellers Jack and...


Foreign Document Notarization

Notary Errors on Documents Destined for Foreign Countries

Last week, our article Use Caution when Notarizing for Elections and Political Candidates described how notarial errors on election and candidate forms can cause a notary to become an ugly headline in the media. There is one more situation that brings notary errors under a microscope.  Today’s topic is about errors that appear on notarized documents that will be used outside of the U.S. and requires an apostille or certificate of authentication. Example of Document Requiring an Apostille Suppose a citizen of China intends to marry a U.S. citizen and the wedding will take place in China. Before this can go forward, according to information on the website of the Consulate General of China  in San Francisco, the U.S. citizen must appear...


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Use Caution when Notarizing for Elections and Political Candidates

Normally, I like to share notary tips and fun strategies for you to use in your business. But, on occasion, I feel obligated to share a warning, especially for those who are just getting started.   If you are new and haven't taken a training course, please do that before you begin seeking work--especially before handling election forms.  If you think that's unnecessary and old fashioned, please continue reading! Candidate and election forms are treacherous. New notaries without training should consider referring requests to perform notarial acts for political candidates and relating to election affidavits to more experienced notaries.  Please don't do it before taking a basic notary course and purchasing errors and omissions (E&O) insurance.  Notarial errors related to elections will...


Top 10 Things a New Notary Must Know

Top 10 Things that a New Notary Must Know

Are you a new notary public?  Do you feel as if you are -- Swimming around in murky notary laws that are too complicated? Trying to learn rules stuffed with terms that you do not understand? Attempting to make sense of confusing notary group discussions?  Unable to get a straight answer on anything? Drowning from information overload? If so, take this to heart:  You can't learn it all at once.  You really can't!  Don't make yourself feel bad because you don't know it all. Let's slow down and take your move into the notary world one small step at a time.  Today, I want to go over the barest requirements and most basic skills you need to learn before you slap the Mobile Notary sign on your car and drive...


The Mysterious Contents of a Traveling Notary’s Bag

The bag or briefcase carried to appointments by a brand new traveling notary is usually a lightweight and slim model.  It contains very little--a few pens, a notarial stamp, notary journal, and a pocket for carrying documents.  However, once notaries begin traveling and having experiences with signers, they learn to be ready to accommodate a multitude of situations.  Soon, the traveling notary bag is bulging at the seems, a zipper breaks, or the thing won't shut at all!  It must be upgraded to a larger size. As the miles click by and notary journals fill up with signatures from appointments, a notary's bag selection leans to something bigger and more capable of organizing gear. Some notaries eventually graduate to an...


Hospital Notary Business

Hospital Marketing Strategies for Mobile Notaries

On April 17, I found myself driving from home to a community hospital 150 miles away.  I had to be there to help my 86-year-old mother stay near the bedside of the love of her life, a gentle and kind man named Warren who, at age 84, suffered a massive heart attack.  For a couple of days, I fretted about Warren's health, the impact it was having on my mother, and about not being at home and able to work or write this article, and I had not decided on a topic before I left my house.  However, on the third day, while prowling around the hospital campus, I could not stop thinking about ways to market notary services...


Remote Online Notarization

Should You Become a Remote Online Notary?

Today's article should not be considered an endorsement of remote online notarization (RON) or an opposing viewpoint.  It is a simple summary of what I have observed since gaining my “boots on the ground” perspective.  I will describe how I got set up and some of the issues that must be overcome. Although, I am in Texas, other states’ notaries will undoubtedly have the same challenges that I had here.  In fact, some states are using Texas online notary laws as a model and tweaking them to fit their needs.  Others states have patterned theirs after the Revised Uniform Law on Notary Acts. Nuts and Bolts of Typical RON Legislation Below are the high points of remote notarization laws in layman terms,...