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 Background check standards 2010
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469 Posts

Posted - 10/28/2010 :  06:37:58 AM  Show Profile  Visit PWinFL's Homepage  Reply with Quote
" ... A copy of the document showing the borrower's typed name, signature and notarial certificate is proof solid who showed up to and completed the loan signing. That cannot be faked. ... "

Not necessarily. I remember an incident a while back where the assigned NSA sent out another person (whom I do not believe was a notary) to do the signing. The person who did the signing did not perform the notarizations. Instead, he/she returned the documents, signed by the borrowers, to the assigned NSA who then systematically prepared, signed and sealed each document requiring notarization.

Also, there was an incident where the person doing the signing was the spouse of the NSA. The spouse used the seal of their notary spouse and signed the notary's name.

So it is not fool-proof to just look at the notary certificates.

Never drive any faster than your guardian angel can fly.

I am not an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Florida,
and I may not give legal advice or accept fees for legal advice.

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Lisa T.

391 Posts

Posted - 10/27/2010 :  6:28:09 PM  Show Profile  Visit Lisa T.'s Homepage  Reply with Quote
If I had a company, there would NO way to subcontract work without my knowledge. I'd know that I hired Suzie Q for a loan signing. I would stay connected with the TC and ask for a copy of a certain document. If that document's notarial certificate is from Betty J. and not Suzie Q., whom I hired, NEITHER would get paid, as per the disclaimer.

A copy of the document showing the borrower's typed name, signature and notarial certificate is proof solid who showed up to and completed the loan signing. That cannot be faked.
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549 Posts

Posted - 10/27/2010 :  03:23:49 AM  Show Profile  Visit Renee's Homepage  Reply with Quote
There are ways to sub work to others w/out the hiring entity being able to tell that you did. There is really only one way they can pretty easily prevent it - knowing what you look like, & confirming w/the borrower.

I do know this new client I spoke of does a follow-up call with every borrower - I don't know what's entailed in that conversation, but it could venture into what you looked like if they felt it was necessary.

The only way that wouldn't work is if you had a 'partner' that resembled you.
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Lisa T.

391 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2010 :  9:46:15 PM  Show Profile  Visit Lisa T.'s Homepage  Reply with Quote
<<< The very real issue of NSA's sending others out to do work THEY were hired to do was his largest beef.>>>

I didn't realize how widespread this was but a simple disclaimer/caveat within the notary instruction sheet should solve that issue (example): Assignments cannot be subcontracted. Notary fee is FORFEITED in its entirety if docs are returned with signing completed by a subcontracted Notary. In case of emergency, Notary shall call Big Bad Bubba's Title Company and return the job for re-assignment. NO EXCEPTIONS!!!

That should nip this in the bud.
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171 Posts

Posted - 10/13/2010 :  3:28:08 PM  Show Profile  Visit DianaNotary's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I think that this issue might be state specific.

As Angela mentioned earlier, in California, the background is done at the time of commission renewal or new application. …and that’s enough. The sate figured that out so I don’t have to print out background checks and flash it around to everyone that I met….If I were required to supply my background check to every company that hires me I will end up furnishing too much personal information to god knows who….

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549 Posts

Posted - 09/30/2010 :  03:32:39 AM  Show Profile  Visit Renee's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Allow me to elaborate a little on why I believe in BGC's, specifically for signing agents:

Most states do not routinely perform BGC's; some will only do them in the event they receive a complaint about a notary public. CA does a great job in their BGC protocol - but their commissions last 4 years, and a lot can happen in 4 years. Every BGC is just a snapshot of background history up to the time it's performed.

The NSA is the ONLY 'party' (disinterested or otherwise) involved in real estate mortgage transactions that is NOT routinely BGC'd. To me, it makes the best logical sense that we should be also.

Fraud implicating notaries public or fraudulent notaries aren't rare, makes the news all the time.

We do often collect endorsed checks - and if you're doing cash purchases, those checks are often in the tens of thousands, sometimes in the 100's of thousands. Regardless, we handle consumer's complete personal/financial profiles.

I will do whatever I can to set myself apart from the crowd, and this for me is another investment in my business. So, it's a two-fold decision for me; one is my belief that they should be standard and the other is a business decision. It has absolutely been worth it to me. If a client is trying to choose between me and another - all else being equal, who would YOU choose?

It has zero/zilch to do with anything the NNA ever said/did, for the record, and I don't obtain my BGC's from them.

The ones I obtain are live-verified - my identity is sworn to & notarized on my application for the BGC. The verification of my having passed muster is viewable (on my website), which I like.

**Lastly, although a little convoluted to this topic - I've recently gained a new TC client who told me he chose me for two primary reasons: my experience, and the first sentence in my profile "If you select me, you GET me" The very real issue of NSA's sending others out to do work THEY were hired to do was his largest beef. My photograph & having a BGC go a long way toward that end.
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360 Posts

Posted - 09/29/2010 :  4:37:30 PM  Show Profile  Visit Shannon's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The State of California does a BGC via the DOJ when a notary is commissioned or renewed. The artificial outcry for background checks was fueled by the profit motive(s) of groups like and including the NNA. Notaries not paying for additional "certifications" were belittled and painted as being something less. I know plenty of certified background checked notaries that know nothing about the job...which to me seems much more important.

Time for those selling such background checks to dry up and blow away!

"A Quick Note"
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Angela V

40 Posts

Posted - 09/29/2010 :  4:28:19 PM  Show Profile  Visit Angela V's Homepage  Reply with Quote
California Notary applicants are required to submit fingerprints (along with a photo) and undergo a background check by the California Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for appointment or reappointment. I believe that should be sufficient, along with the state required $15,000 Notary Public Bond for paying claims against the notary. I also would suggest the E & O insurance, for the notary's protection.

Angela V
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678 Posts

Posted - 09/29/2010 :  1:16:40 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Minority View: A background check is just that--background. What about tomorrow, the next 6 months? Somehow, whenever this topic comes up I picture Marlon Brando as the Godfather... the famous 'make him an offer he can't refuse' line/scene. Only he says "Tell ya what we're gonna do...we all get a notary seal...then...."
Simply put, people who are notaries generally aren't bad people. We aren't responsible for 'getting the numbers straight'; we don't handle money; we don't disburse money; all we do is verify identity. Fail to see why that requires an unneeded (per GLBA) background check.
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New Jersey
26 Posts

Posted - 09/29/2010 :  11:12:22 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I agree with both responses. I've had companies request them. Additionally, I advertise it. I'm sure it is a plus to the company looking for a serious, business minded, professional. That includes E&O Insurance as well.
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549 Posts

Posted - 09/29/2010 :  03:31:35 AM  Show Profile  Visit Renee's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I obtain a verifiable BGC every 2 years of my own accord, because I believe in them - I wish they WERE "standard". My state does not perform BGC's on notaries public routinely, and even if they did they wouldn't be that currant.
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21 Posts

Posted - 09/28/2010 :  12:28:56 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have found that some companies now are requiring the background check.
The first to require it of me was First American Signature Services. They are one of the best I have worked for and they have used me a lot.
I now send a copy of my background check to every company that I work for. I'm proud of my record and I want them to know that I am a person they can count on.

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3106 Posts

Posted - 05/18/2010 :  02:53:06 AM  Show Profile  Visit jbelmont's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Background checks were a hot topic for conversation in 2009, but what is word on the street now? Are many of you background checked? Was it worth the expense?

Additional reading about background checks

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