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 Notary Thumbprints can save your neck
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VincentJLilly

New Jersey
2 Posts

Posted - 12/12/2011 :  05:50:02 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I don't know what all the fuss is about. If you make the thumb print a normal part of the declaration process, no one ever says a thing. Most of them marvel at the fact that the thumb print pad we use just wipes away.

How can we be uncomfortable performing an act that will cover our behinds should anything be questioned about this or any other signing. Then of course there is the probable question from the mediator or lawyer, "Mr/Ms notary. I see that you have taken thumb prints on several occasions. Could you please explain to the panel/jury why you have not maintained consistent documents in your notary journal?"

You are the notary! You take charge as soon as you walk in the room. If the client balks about something you ask them to do, throw it back at them as a question. "Is there a reason we can't use your thumb print Sir/Ms.? This is just a form of protection for both you and me that you are who you say you are. Thank you"



Vincent J Lilly
VJL Signing Solutions
Certified, Background Checked Notary Public
800-373-5618 x 2021
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DianaNotary

California
171 Posts

Posted - 11/29/2011 :  12:51:38 PM  Show Profile  Visit DianaNotary's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jbelmont

If you can't take a thumbprint, then take a blood sample, DNA sample, retinal scan, or get a hair follicle!





....that’s funny…..
I am a notary for over 8 years, and I only take thumbprints when required by law….
Perhaps getting the thumbprints for all the signers, regardless of the document, is a way of protection….but I just don’t want to be in a position where I am asking for the thumbprint when not required and the signer makes a big deal out of it. Just think about it.


http://www.DianaNotary.com
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Les_CO

Colorado
32 Posts

Posted - 11/22/2011 :  09:14:11 AM  Show Profile  Visit Les_CO's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I still must disagree.
If it is not required by law in your State you have no business “asking” for a thumb or fingerprint, or anything else. You may ‘offer but not demand’ to take/record a thumbprint as an additional service to the signer (to more clearly ID then if a dispute of some kind ever comes up. Follow your states laws.

I also disagree with this statement: “the primary responsibility of the notary is to identify signers to prevent fraud”

I believe the primary responsibility of the notary is to be an impartial witness to the signature.

We should follow our State laws regarding what type of ID is necessary. They very greatly, and are constantly changing.

Scenario: In CA a notary ID’s the signer as Jane Doe, BOD: 02/02/1998 Height: 5’ 5”Wt: 125 Hair: blond Eyes: blue. CA driver’s license # 123-12-123. Gets a thumb print as required.
But it just so happens that the actual signer was Jill Doe, Jane Doe’s identical twin sister, using her sisters ID, forging her signature (that is a nondescript semi-scrawl) selling her sister’s house while she’s away on active duty in Afghanistan.
Did the notary do their job…yes. The Notaries primary job was to witness the signers signature (that although similar to was actually a bit different than Jane Does.) Did it prevent fraud…NO! Did the thumbprint help prove fraud (after the fact) yes. Did this keep the notary out of court….No, The Notaries testimony would still be required.
Would the Notary be named in a law suit for damages suffered by anyone? You bet! Was the Notary criminally liable? Was the Notary at fault? Is the Notary liable for any loss suffered by Jane, Title, Insurance/bonding company, purchaser, or anyone effected by the fraudulent exchange? That would be for the court to decide. But you can bet the Notary (and their expensive counsel) would be there. Maybe several times?
If this exact scenario took place in CO where a thumbprint is not required, and without a thumbprint in the Notaries journal. Would the outcome be any different? I say no…but then again this is only a laymen’s opinion.


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jbelmont

California
2991 Posts

Posted - 11/21/2011 :  10:38:39 PM  Show Profile  Visit jbelmont's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I think that you are misinterpreting what I said, and what I said left a lot open. The thumbprint is NOT a way for the NOTARY to identify a signer. It is a way for a fingerprint expert to identify a person should your signing ever be debated in court. The idea is to end the court case early because you can prove "who done it" via the thumbprint!

In a four year term, probably only one of your transactions will ever be questioned. Leave it to the experts. From you they will hopefully only need a copy of your journal entry.

If you can't take a thumbprint, then take a blood sample, DNA sample, retinal scan, or get a hair follicle!

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Les_CO

Colorado
32 Posts

Posted - 11/12/2011 :  08:36:35 AM  Show Profile  Visit Les_CO's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I agree with Linda. Just how would you as a Notary at a signing identify me as the person on the documents by using my thumbprint…only?
No Damages?
Suppose it’s 8 PM Friday you are presenting the refi documents to, say an attorney (maybe working in your States Attorney General’s Office) say, $1,400,000 house, with an $800,000 loan at 2.5% and the rate lock expires at midnight. He refuses to do a thumbprint, (doesn’t want his most personal info floating around in some strangers book/journal) and it is NOT required by law. He has and does present to you sufficient, current ID as required in your State, and wants to proceed with the signing as he must leave the country on business tomorrow morning. You however adjourn the signing because in your sole judgment you have decided you need a fingerprint as ID. The guy loses the lock, the loan does not fund, his new rate is 4% (or maybe the house goes into foreclosure as the guy is out of the country for a month.) You don’t think you would be in court trying to defend the monetary damage your actions caused this guy? And this was NOT an error, or something you neglected to do (no E&O coverage) this was a deliberate action on your part because you heard getting a fingerprint was a good thing.

I say adhere to your States notarial law, and do not embellish on it because of hearsay, or start making up your own laws.

That said; I do carry the equipment to take a finger/thumbprint, and a journal with a place for one. If the signer or I have the time ‘after’ the signing I say: “I offer at no charge to take your thumbprint, next to your signature in my journal if you want. This would insure that you were the person signing these documents should there be any future questions as to your authentic signature or presents here.” Most decline.

Also I believe ‘the primary responsibility of the notary is to’ be an impartial witness of the signature.

(and to be able to swear under oath in court that a particular individual actually signed the document)

All this is just my opinion


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LindaH

Florida
1754 Posts

Posted - 11/12/2011 :  06:14:42 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jbelmont

There are no DAMAGES from requesting a thumbprint, and it is part of the process of identifying someone. It is a more rigorous way to identify someone, and the primary responsibility of the notary is to identify signers to prevent fraud, otherwise the notary profession is useless.





I disagree. Taking a thumprint or fingerprint is NOT a way of identifying the signer - it's just "insurance" for the future to prove who truly appeared before you. Unless the notary has access, on the spot, to a national database of fingerprints (State and local police database, FBI, DOJ, etc etc), the fingerprint is useless in identifying the signer. AND, IMHO if fingerprints WERE an acceptable way of identification, that would be outlined in the notary handbook for states where it's acceptable.

Will also add that Florida notaries are not authorized to take fingerprints - we can ask but if refused we cannot decline to notarize based on that refusal.

JMO

Linda
http://www.notary.net/websites/LindaHubbell
http://www.columbiacountynotary.webs.com

Edited by - LindaH on 11/12/2011 06:15:57 AM
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jbelmont

California
2991 Posts

Posted - 11/11/2011 :  2:05:11 PM  Show Profile  Visit jbelmont's Homepage  Reply with Quote
There are no DAMAGES from requesting a thumbprint, and it is part of the process of identifying someone. It is a more rigorous way to identify someone, and the primary responsibility of the notary is to identify signers to prevent fraud, otherwise the notary profession is useless.

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Les_CO

Colorado
32 Posts

Posted - 11/11/2011 :  07:33:10 AM  Show Profile  Visit Les_CO's Homepage  Reply with Quote
In my opinion asking people for their finger/thumbprints is overstepping boundaries of duty and/or authority where not required by law. I believe those insisting on this could find themselves ‘IN’ court.

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jbelmont

California
2991 Posts

Posted - 11/11/2011 :  12:29:04 AM  Show Profile  Visit jbelmont's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Keeping thumbprints for important documents in your journal entries can save your neck. If you don't carry a journal because your state doesn't force you to, think again, a journal with a few thumbprints in it can keep you out of court!

http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1488

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